Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Aly's Compassion Story

Aly is a daughter of the King and a recovering school teacher who still loves to tutor. She's not a mom, but she is a wife to her ultimate fave who has a smart, funny little boy. She is also a sponsor mama to three children in three different countries. Each one holds a part of her heart. Aly is founder of onedaylighter.com and an author/minimalist/gluten-free/thrifter. Our Father gifted us with each other to lift up. Encourage. Be a light. Aly is devoted to making life lighter today. No guilt, only grace.

She hums “Jesus loves me” as she plays with her dolls made of dirty rags. She is sitting on the dirt floor her mama just swept. The last meal she ate was yesterday and her stomach is letting her know it. Her papa darkens the doorway after leaving not long before. She knows this means there was no work for him today. Again.
The heaviness that hangs between her parents doesn’t escape her tiny radar, but she keeps singing. Singing of hope and a Savior who will rescue her every day. Singing of a Best Friend Forever when playing companions are scarce. A Protector when darkness falls. A Provider when the hunger pangs are all she can focus on.
Singing of this man, the Son of God, because someone is sharing the Good News with her.
That someone is me.
Through Compassion International, I have the honor of raising up a daughter of the King. I am not her birth mother. I am a bonus mama who gets to pour into her all the love I have in my heart. Love for her and for Jesus.
In March of last year, I stood in a packed stadium excitedly anticipating the Rock ‘N Worship Road Show. What I didn’t anticipate was sitting in stunned silence listening to Bart Millard, of the band Mercy Me, speak an arrow of truth straight into my heart.
I was a teacher, living in an apartment with no savings account. But when those sponsor packets came out on the heels of Bart’s testimony, I closed my eyes and asked God to send the one he had for me. I raised my hand and the Creator of the Universe placed Bithi into my open heart.
“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” Matthew 25:40
See, this isn’t about 38 dollars per month. This isn’t about giving up a cup of coffee a day to sponsor a child in need. It’s about opening my hands and my life to the God who gives and allowing him to pour out his love on us both.
8 truths I have learned from Bithi and Compassion:
1. $38 is nothing to me. It is everything to her.
2. It’s not about the money. It’s about relationship. Revealing Jesus to her and giving her hope.
3. I can fall completely in love with a child while holding only a photograph and a crayon drawing of a purple flower.
4. Through praying for my sponsor child, God is revealing to me more of who He is.
5. A sponsor child is a beautiful way to teach young children about humility and selflessness and compassion.
6. I suddenly have an itch to start a vacation fund to Bangladesh (yes, they encourage you to visit your sponsor child and see what Compassion is up to).
7. One is just not enough.
And lastly, 8. I don’t have to travel overseas to be a missionary. I volunteer to help at Compassion tables in my area and attend the event for free (and so can you). This summer, I rocked out with Bart and Mercy Me on their new tour. We received 127 new sponsorships in one night.
Are you not in a place where you can afford to sponsor a child financially? Email or call Compassion to find out how you can be a correspondence sponsor. Many corporations sponsor a group of children with a lump sum. While it’s wonderful that these kiddos get to enjoy new clothes and food and scripture lessons that money provides, they crave the relationship more than anything.
I have been told that when these children hear they have been sponsored, they are overcome with joy. Some jump up and down and laugh, others cry with sweet relief. They begin praying for their sponsor immediately and as a recipient of these prayers, I can tell you with certainty this is the real deal.
Hey, no pressure here.
All I ask you to do with my story is pray. Pray for how this opportunity could grow you and your family along with that child who will owe so much to your support and love.
Pray for the children who have been waiting for more than a year, wondering when their sponsor will come (click here to see priority children).
Pray for the local Compassion project workers in many countries who are taking our few dollars and stretching them to care for the immediate needs and salvation of hurting families.
The question Compassion asks is not, “Will you give us your money.” 
The question Compassion asks is, “Will you give them Jesus? Will you give them your heart?”
Would you like to share your Compassion Story at Compassion Family? Simply email Jill at fiddlejill(at)outlook(dot)com and we'll get it up here!

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