Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Guest Post ~ Michelle Akins

Michelle Akins is the wife of Alan, mother of Brynn and Jolee and the pastor of children and family ministries at Newberg Friends Church. She is an advocate for children at home, in her community, and worldwide through her affiliation with Compassion. Michelle blogs at Compassion Glows.

Last month at my church we held a “Global Outreach World Tour.” This Sunday morning service and event captured what worship means to me: our community gathered around a common goal, children included, a powerful and thought-provoking message, a call to action, and music that challenges my human perspective while praising our Savior. I left church filled with joy.

The G.O. tour enabled me to be a part of something bigger than myself. I was not on the planning committee, and I didn’t have to worry about logistics or programming. This time I simply got to participate. As my church’s champion for Compassion International, I spent the morning doing my favorite thing in the whole world: advocating for children. My 11-year-old daughter, Jolee, reminded me that my favorite things were supposed to be: loving her and Jesus. OK, she’s right. My family and God are most important. Gratefully, I see representing Compassion as an extension of loving my family and Jesus. The most fulfilling feeling in the world is when you find what connects you to God’s heart. I’m “in the zone” when I’m advocating for children through sponsorship, providing clean water or protection from malaria. It’s in those moments when my children recognize that all children are loved and valued by God. It is through our commitment to Compassion that my girls learn why our time, attention, and service should stretch much wider than our own family unit. Compassion advocacy has also brought my husband and me closer as a couple. I told Alan after the G.O. tour, “I could not have done this without you.” That morning he explained the importance of safe water provided by Compassion’s Water of Life system, handed out samples, stamped kids passports, and helped me share with dozens of people the benefits of child sponsorship. Through Compassion we have a shared mission and a way to live it out.

I hope you are challenged and encouraged to seek the unique place God’s heart meets yours. Be still so you can hear the leading of the Holy Spirit, allow Christ to create a desire, and join enthusiastically what God is doing in the world. God values relationship, and the Trinity is a beautiful example of shared mission. Together we can educate, discern, and take action.
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