"I can't get that beach out of my head."
I'm not your typical muddle-of-tears girl [OK, I am, but it would just be insensitive not to cry through some of those movies, don't you think?], but oh yeah, I'm choke-whispering those words out though a blur.
Bless my sweet friend's soul for putting up with this.
This is October. I'm chatting with my mama a few days later and she goes, "So, are you gonna sponsor a child from that community?"
And - oh yes. This is the greatest part, you see.
I serve a God who refuses to leave me in that muddle-of-tears state. When all that grief is over and all that's left is this burden for a certain beach under a certain bridge that connects two islands that belong to a certain cluster of islands that make up a certain country... I am not left to helplessly carry this burden.
I serve a God who gives me this invitation...
"Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help."
- Isaiah 58:6-7
What a privilege, blessing, hope this is.
Believe this, friends: We don't have to serve and love the world's poor and vulnerable.
We get to.
What could be greater in this world?
And so it is with absolute joy that I introduce you to Johnrel:
Johnrel attends the Compassion Child Development Centre that ministers to the community under that bridge. And he is my new Compassion child.
It's wild to think that just a few short months ago I was standing in his community during a filming trip for True Story: What God Wants Us To Do About Poverty, Compassion Canada's new youth curriculum video series. Did I walk by his home, his parents' place of work, his favourite places to play? Did I walk by him?
|Totally not gonna lie... I've been looking through photos from our trip for a possible Johnrel sighting. ;)|
I am beyond excited about adding Johnrel to our Compassion family.
On top of that - I remain immensely thankful for the ministry of Compassion International.
Not only for their instrumental role in enabling individuals to respond to God's call to serve and love the poor, but for their unwavering commitment to serving children, empowering the church, and most importantly, to bringing people to Christ.
Because even when physical poverty is gone, hopelessness can still remain. Just ask the rich young ruler. Or better yet, maybe ask those hopeless parts of yourself? I know I have to all too often.
But when the Hope of Christ is brought to the darkest places of this world and of our hearts... This is where poverty, hopelessness, despair, and brokenness find an eternal end.
I think that's pretty sweet.
So, to sum this all up, I guess this just means I'll have to wander my way back over to the Philippines sometime soon to meet Johnrel. :)
Need your own little excuse to travel? Here you go: Sponsor a Child with Compassion. [Really, it'll change your life. I mean, how cool is it that we get to partner with the Creator of this universe in loving on His kids?]
Also - it's coming soon, friends... I can. not. wait. to share True Story with you!!! AHHHHHH. :)