Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hope Lives - Week 4 - Be the Change

Although the reading of this book has come to an end, this is really the beginning of a new journey ~ a journey in which we can discover how to BE THE CHANGE.

So how can we BE the change? One way is through child sponsorship. If you read this blog then you likely already sponsor a child. But what else can you do?

What else can you do?

What else?

This is one of my favorite questions because it begs me to think beyond the obvious. Once I've gotten the obvious out of the way, I can begin to think beyond - to think into the what else.

One of the ways I discover the answers to "what else?" is through regular coaching. This is a service Compassion offers to all advocates, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. I have been coaching regularly (every other week) for over a year, and I leave each conversation with clarity and tangible next steps.

Through coaching I have been able to discover how God has equipped me for this journey. I love the opening quote to this final week in Hope Lives.

"The journey of serving those in need is, in essence, the journey of following Christ. And God has created each person uniquely for the journey, giving each one spiritual gifts, skills and passions with which to serve him, to the be the change we want to see in the world."
It's so true that God has given each one of us unique gifts and skills for serving Him. I hope you were/are able to take time to work through the exercises and questions Amber poses in this weeks' readings.

So what have I learned from this read through? I was reminded of the power of prayer - in all things and for all things. Prayer first, prayer second and prayer third. And then, when all else fails, pray some more. I tend to fall on prayer as a last resort instead of a intentional priority.

In week 3, I was personally convicted by this quote....
according to Mother Theresa the greatest poverty is "to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." p. 109
That seems pretty harsh, but there is enough truth in it to convict me. I cannot, no matter how hard I try, save every child from death, disease, hunger, etc. But my choices do add up, and I can make better choices every day that will benefit more people than just myself. I can BE THE CHANGE with daily choices I make.

I'll leave you with this final quote (also from week 3) from Wess Stafford....
"You change the life of a child, you change a family. You change a family, you change a church. You change a church, you change a community. You change a community, you change a nation."
It might not be that simple, but it's definitely a place to start. I have witnessed how child sponsorship changes a child AND a family. I can only hope (and trust God) that bigger changes are also taking place. I know that child sponsorship has changed me and my family. And as more and more people within my church sponsor children, I can see how child sponsorship will change our church. Often we think of the change needing to take place in the developing world, but the reality is that WE desperately need the change as well.

Thank you for reading through this book with me. I would love to hear from you ~ to hear how this book has affected you and what you have learned.

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