joshua miago.

Out of the Slums of Kenya 

Juan is a Miracle

I grew up in Nairobi, Kenya, in a slum next to a dump. People bring their dead babies there. We were often hungry. I looked for edible food in the dumpsite. Whenever we got a glass of clean water, we considered it a miracle.

When my mother heard about Compassion, we enrolled in the child sponsorship program. Then everything started to change.

Compassion paid for the fees, so all of a sudden we could go back to school. Compassion gave me a school uniform, shoes and socks. I received food. I got a sponsor, a special lady who showed me the true love of Christ. At the Compassion center I got my first Bible. I was taught about Christ and that He loves us in whatever place we are.

I did well in school and was able to go to university. Through the Leadership Development Program I was able to start dreaming again.

It’s important to ask yourself what your purpose is. Malaria is a big problem in Kenya. God blessed me with brains to learn about malaria. I learned that the Radboud University in Nijmegen (The Netherlands) has a trial vaccine against malaria. That’s why I am working with them. It’s my dream to develop a vaccine against malaria and make it available to the poor!

That’s why I’m here. This is my story.

— Joshua Miago

As a Compassion Ambassador, I received Joshua’s story in an email to share with my blog-network. Unlike Joshua, my brain is not equipped to find the cure for malaria (or any other disease, for that matter. I can hardly get my own allergies under control). Through Compassion International, Joshua identified his God-given purpose and gave him hope to help his country.

I have been Felista’s sponsor for the last year. We exchange letters about once a month and I can say with all assurance that the experience has changed my life for the better.

For the price of a new pair of shoes for me, I am able to offer Felista hope in the name of Jesus through the Compassion International program.

I receive no recompense to advocate for Compassion, it’s simply an organization I am passionate about.

For more information about Compassion, or to select your own child to sponsor, please click here.

You read Joshua’s story. What’s yours?

xo


the 4/14 window.

Earlier today I received the email below from Dr. Wess Stafford, President & CEO of Compassion International, which you know is my organization of choice, if ever there was one I would encourage you to support. I wanted to share it with you in hopes that you’ll join me in praying for these children today.

Children are the most open to Christ’s gift of salvation and moldable in their spiritual beliefs and values between the ages of 4 and 14. This is the time in life when they’re also most vulnerable to the devastating effects of poverty, war, disease, neglect and abuse.

This critical time period is known as the 4/14 Window – a time of great impressionability and vulnerability.

My hope is that you’ll set aside this April 14 (4/14) as a special day of prayer and fasting for the more than 1.2 billion children in the 4/14 Window.

Why is it important to reach children between the ages of 4 and 14? Besides the fact that God loves them, research has revealed that the majority of people who accept Christ do so before the age of 15. In addition, people’s life-long spiritual identity is in place by age 13 and rarely changes thereafter.

Together, on April 14, we can be a great, unified voice coming before the Lord, praying for the raising up of a new generation of Christ’s followers who can transform the world.

-Dr. Wess Stafford

President & CEO

Compassion International

To learn more about child sponsorship through Compassion International, please click on the icon on the right of this page.

I also borrowed the pictures from his email. Hope that’s okay, Compassion-folk.

 

emilda.

Per Shaun Groves of Compassion Bloggers:

Emilda is an 18 year-old sponsored child with the mental capacity of a three year-old. She lives in a squatter community in the Philippines.

And she’s fast!

In 2009 Emilda competed in the Philippine Special Olympics and she performed well enough to qualify for the World Special Olympics in Athens, Greece this Summer.

But she needs your help to get there. Emilda’s parents are unable to pay her way to Greece and neither is the Philippine government.

Her need is $19,857.

Emilda’s complete story & pictures can be found here.

Click here to make a donation for Emilda.

To learn more about child sponsorship through Compassion International, click here.

In case you are new to Beauty for Ashes, about once a month I share a story about Compassion International and the difference we can all make in Jesus name, one child at a time.

viva nashvegas.

from the birthday bucket files…

7. Go see Laura & Shawna in Nashville

you know what? when i left last weekend to head to charlotte to meet lisa and ride to nashville with her, it didn’t even cross my mind that i would be able to cross another thing off of my birthday bucket list. it wasn’t until i was thinking about my ‘last friday update’ this week that i realized, ‘omg! i get to cross that off my list!’ what perfect timing, too! just in time for my last friday birthday bucket post!

as i stated, i left my apartment last saturday to go to charlotte where i would meet {in person} lisa whittle. i stayed with her family that night before we embarked on a journey to nashville where we would stay with our mutual friend shawna kirk. lisa and i met virtually through an accidental set of events set into motion by our sweet friend samantha. somewhere in there, shawna got a hold of both of us and said, ‘you must know each other.’ one thing led to another, she called me, i called her…bada-boom, bada-bing…and suddenly i’m on my way to meet this woman i’ve only spoken with over the phone and spend-the-night with her family. that said, i had spoken with lisa enough to know i adored her and, per shawna’s high praise, i knew it was simply meant to be.

i purposefully had not asked lisa any questions about her life, other than what i read on her blog. i had told her pieces of my story, but we agreed she would tell me hers while we were on the road together.

uh, and, by ‘story’…? i mean ‘one of the craziest never-heard-before tales i’ve ever heard in my life’. for reals.

she has a new book (her third) coming out in the fall where you can read all about it; a story of the fallen and how god redeems.

(what – you didn’t think i was going to give it away, did you? tsk, tsk. you’ll have to wait til the fall! it will be worth it, i promise.)

p.s. did i mention she is the first-ever female author barna has published?

my friend lisa is the first-ever female author barna has published.

before we stopped to get lunch, what we thought was a gunshot was actually lisa’s tire blowing out upon making a u-turn. we sat there for a hot minute, unsure of what to do, when jesus dressed in dirty clothes with a long scraggly ponytail pulled up behind us in his pick-up truck. not long after that, jesus from south africa asked if we needed help. when they did all they could to help us to no avail, south africa-jesus went around the corner to get hispanic-jesus who owns a tire shop. as i stood there watching dirty-jesus, south africa-jesus and hispanic-jesus put on the spare, i heard the voice of sweet-jesus in my heart say, ‘mary kathryn, i will always protect and provide for you’ and my eyes were full of tears. we were up and running in 2 minutes flat, ate yummy soup and were on the road again in no time, truly thankful for the kind provision of our god.

when we pulled into nashville, lisa dropped me off at shawna’s house before heading to spend-the-night with her bff in hendersonville. we arrived just in time for me to spend the evening with a group shawna and her husband eli host each week. a handful of their friends gather every sunday night to discuss a book they’ve been reading. they are currently studying chapter seven in none other than my fave, ragamuffin gospel. per shawna’s request, i was able to share with them about my relationship with the author, brennan manning.

[let me just say here that i am not a name-dropper. barf me out. so you know, brennan manning has been a part of my life since the early '80's. he came to our conference center before he ever gained the notoriety he maintains today and continued coming twice a year, even though it became a smaller venue for him, even after he did become so popular. he has been a personal minister to my family for many, many years. i realize i sound like i'm showing off when i mention 'my friend brennan manning' - for me, though, it's not enough to just call him by his name when he is the only man who loved and respected my dad enough to help him get help. (twice.) we've had several long phone calls and eaten lots and lots of ice cream together and he has been a dear, good friend & minister to us for many years.]

anyway, it was awesome to sit among mark & becky, pam, jb, and shawna & eli. we had great fellowship. we had church.

and then we had a huge cheeseburger that made me wish i hadn’t, even until the next morning.

one other kinda cool/kinda weird/kinda sad thing is that shawna and eli live right around the corner from where my dad lived. like, i could have walked there. the last time i was in nashville, we were packing up my dad’s house. the plans for this trip happened so quickly that i didn’t have time to process that it was the first time i had been back since then, but you know…it really was okay. i only have good memories of my dad there and it makes my heart happy that it was where he spent his last days, loving every moment. so, i was fine. plus, i was too busy to even think about it.

on monday, shawna made lunch for us and invited laura and her german/hispanic/dutch/norwegian/british/french fiance. they were so gracious to join us as they had just driven back into town from visiting family. brian crow, a friend of compassion, also came. all stellar folks whom you should know.

when i came downstairs after getting ready i hugged laura and greeted someone named michelle, but it wasn’t until we were praying before lunch that i asked michelle…something?…and realized she was Mi-CHELLE! MY MICHELLE! OMG, IT’S MICHELLE! michelle and shawna have been lifelong friends, so when shawna said to me, ‘she’s one of us’, we became facebook and blog-friends. it was the First Time Ever i had met a blog-friend! and, y’all, can i tell you…? michelle has one of the most contrite spirits and best hearts at which i’ve ever had the privilege of glancing. we sat down, just the two of us, at the kitchen table and just swapped stories. well, she told me her story (she already knew mine – you all do, for that matter). it was so special getting to spend time with her. what a good soul.

by the end of the day, we were all pooped. we had plans but we just couldn’t motivate off the couch until it came time to put our ‘friend pants’ on and hunker down to watch brad and crazy-michelle. who is bonkers. besides that, we knew tuesday would be full of appointments.

first up, we hung out with spence smith at meridee’s in franklin. what a cool guy! you might remember him from the ’90′s band big tent revival. he now also works as both a social media expert and is the artist relations guy for compassion international. for every question we asked him, he was chock-full of great answers. a wealth of knowledge, that guy. we briefly met his compassion partner, randy elrod, as he was on his way out when we walked in.

following our meeting with spence, we met jim chaffee. he represents speakers and writers like palmer chinchen, anne jackson, susan isaacs and donald miller. (in other words, he’s kind of important.) both lisa and i had good visits with him and it looks like i might contract with him to promote some events his company produces.

when we walked in to starbucks, and before jim got there, lisa looked over my shoulder and quietly mumbled something along the lines of, ‘youknowwholoswhitis?’ ‘onlyfromtwitter’, i muttered back. ‘heisrightbehindyou.’ so i tweeted him: i promise i’m not a stalker but how does it feel when people sitting in *bux know who you are but you don’t know them…? then he said something about picking his nose and then we went to meet him. what a great guy! you should definitely know who carlos whittaker is.

and THEN…perhaps the highlight for me…was meeting alece ronzino and lindsey nobles, who were gracious enough to join us for coffee that evening. alece is every bit the beautiful soul you would expect her to be; lindsey, equally beautiful and quirky, too. both smart, both important.

that morning lisa and i packed up the car in the event we would have to head back due to weather. after a full and exhausting day, we sojourned back to charlotte to keep from getting stuck in the nashville (or asheville) snow the following day. after loading up on red bull, pixy stix and blow pops, we were delirious. laughing hysterically and rocking out to ’80′s hair band music, my sugar high lasted most of the night. i did well to stay awake with her until the last two of our 7-hour drive, when we pulled back into her driveway at 3:30 a.m. (for someone who turns into a pumpkin at 10:00, this was quite an achievement.)

lisa and i decompressed our trip when we rolled out of bed the next day and made plans that will unfold in coming months.

meanwhile, we had an awesome trip and i get to cross one more thing off my list.

old tapes.

i do this thing, see.

i do this thing where i apologize for myself.

like, a lot.

i know where it comes from, i know why i do it. to expose the foundation would mean hurting someone else, which isn’t worth it. but believe that, while i am still caught unaware as i do it, the root was dealt with early on my counseling. nevertheless, i still do it and i really don’t mean to. that is, it came so naturally to me for so long that i now i just do it now out of habit.

i wish that i didn’t.

watch this again and tell me if you don’t notice. go on, i’ll wait.

did you catch it?

after i posted that video, i got a text, which read: we need to talk about your video, girl!

me: oh no! did i say the wrong thing!? {immediately followed by an apologetic voicemail}

her voicemail to me (which was very loving): if you’re not sure what you’re doing, then i haven’t done my job.

this time, my self-apology came at someone else’s expense, as they sometimes do. yes, of course she has done her job. and well. i understand what my reponsibilities are to be a member of shawna’s compassion team of speakers and artists.

but here’s the truth: i don’t have the same amount of confidence in my own gifts as others have on my behalf. even though i know i’m called to ministry in some capacity, i believe vocationally at some point, it’s not what i’m doing now. (vocationally, i mean.) because of this, sometimes i doubt myself. it’s not like i can really call myself a ‘minister’ if i’m not actually ministering, so to speak. is it nothing more than a desire? perhaps. right now, i just have to keep doing what i’m doing, which includes seeking god in a truer and deeper way on a more regular basis so that, when the time comes, my heart is prepared to speak from any platform on which i might be standing, to a group of four or four hundred.

my responsibilities as a speaker (whenever that happens), where compassion is concerned, is to advocate on behalf of children around the world and to help them become sponsored through friends like you. in theory, i suppose i could even do it here on the blog. (which i do. but i mean the actual part of providing sponsorship opportunities – having the names and faces of children in hand so that you can choose your child).

but because i doubt my own abilities and giftings, i couldn’t state that clearly in my video, which has nothing to do with compassion or shawna not doing her job – at. all. rather, it has everything to do with me entertaining old tapes that play back the messages that say ‘i’m not worth very much.’ the ones that tell me i don’t have what it takes to be who god wants me to be; the ones that squelch my voice and leave my heart trembling.

do you have any old tapes like that? the ones that say you’re not good enough, smart enough, cute enough, pretty enough, handsome enough, tall enough, skinny enough, can’t sing the best, can’t pray worth a hoot…in general, you’re just not enough? you’re simply…less than?

friends, can i tell you? i’m tired of allowing those old tapes to interrupt the passion GOD has placed in my heart to do what HE has called me to do. it’s not that i have a false sense of confidence in my own self -believe me, i don’t- but, if he’s called me to do something, then  i can believe that he’s going to give me any skills i lack in order to love his people better. and whether it’s vocational ministry you’re called to or the marketplace or working in a salon or for the city dump or you’re a local barista, loving people doesn’t require any special giftings, friends. and isn’t that what it’s all about, anyway? how well we love others?

god doesn’t apologize for this.

and it’s not something i have to apologize for.

and it’s not something you can apologize for, either.

and for either of us to do so is to tell god that he messed up when wiring us. that he did something wrong. that we need fixing because he didn’t do a good enough job.

well? go on and tell him that if it’s really what you believe.

i know that’s not the message of either your heart or mine. because we both know that it’s not true.

let me go one step further, if you’ll allow: friends, it’s a tool of the enemy of our soul to distract us from loving god’s children -big and small, old and young- if he can get us wrapped up in our own flaws and foibles enough that we don’t see the bigger picture. his picture. god is not glorified and we are not edified when we doubt ourselves because, really? it has nothing to do with us, and everything to do with him.

can i get an amen?

my prayer for you today, friends, is that your old tapes would play so loudly that you would recognize it for what it is, call it out, and then move forward in freedom away from that horrible voice that says ‘you’re not enough’.

because, sweet friend, in jesus

 you are enough.

you really, really are.

just as you are.

you

are

enough.

feel free to share your old tapes with us so our little community here knows better how to encourage your sweet soul and breathe life into your tumbled heart.

{and i am certain that god, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when christ jesus returns. -phil 1:6 (nlt)}

#29 & winner of made to crave.

the video camera on my mac is, for some reason, disabled, which is why every vlog i’ve done has been by a different camera in different locations (including this one). i’ll get it together one of these days. so this video is honestly a hot mess but it gets the job done. it looks like my bed is unmade. (i didn’t realize i had a sweatshirt sitting up there, or maybe i thought it wouldn’t be seen.) also, the drawer you see is what you think it is: my stockings drawer. i pulled the drawer out to set my sister’s little camera on top of it. the little motion above my head is, that’s right…my zella girl. and, in the middle, my sinuses attack.

also, i need a script.

it’s  pretty awesome.

i am for hire, folks.

congratulations to the winner! i would have been glad for anyone to have won, but i am so, so happy this person did. she knows why. :)

to the rest of you who expressed interest in participating in the study, go on and get a hold of the book. i’ll send you an email this weekend of how it will work. it will come from mktyson(at)hotmail(dot)com, so be on the look-out for it. if you didn’t sign up via comments, then by all means let me know, either by commenting now or shooting me an email at the same address.

love you guys!

have a great weekend!

xo

’tis the season

…for holding my breath and being INSANELY BUSY. i canNOT beLIEVE i have not had ONE FREE MOMENT TO MYSELF ALL WEEK to dig deep enough to find anything to share with you. until now. still insanely busy, still not breathing (but working on it), but wanted to pause for the five (or 12) minutes it will take to share this with you.

first thing is the compassion catalog. if you are looking for ways to give of yourself for christmas on behalf of your friends and family, please peruse this awesome catalog of gifts you can give to help children in the name of jesus.

WHAT IS THE GIFTS OF COMPASSION CATALOG?
An on-line catalog of gift alternatives for friends, family and clients. No crowds, no lines, no stress – just a gift that will help make a difference in the life of a child living in one of the poorest communities of the world. These gifts help provide clean drinking water, medical treatment, disaster relief, food supplies and much, much more for Compassion-assisted children and their families. Meet real needs and bring real joy with a Gift of Compassion.

Gifts include mosquito nets, soccer balls, chickens, goats, water filters, farm equipment, clean water and more. Gift prices range from $10 to $5000.

second, my friend brianne and her husband george have three children, a toddler and two twin daughters who are 4 1/2. brianne is a nurse who knew something was wrong when one of the twins noticed the other’s eyes were funny. when brianne took her to the slide and she couldn’t make her way up the stairs, she took her immediately to the hospital where they found out that ava grace had a cancerous brain tumor. after a successful surgery, 4 1/2 ava grace is now facing several months of radiation and chemotherapy.

some friends of the gee family have put together a raffle for an iPad in order to help their family. tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20.00. if you are interested in putting your name in the hat, please email me privately at mktyson(at)hotmail(dot)com. i will give you my address and you can mail a check to me; i will put your information on the raffle tickets and mail your half to you. as this is not tax-deductible, and we just want to be able to bless the gee family with a wad of cash, you would make your check out to me and i will cash it out for them. (i know that sounds sketchy but i think you know by now that i’m far too honest to swindle you. besides, if i was going to swindle you, i would hope to get more than 20 bucks out of it.)

**********

i’ve been finishing up details this week for my company christmas party which is tomorrow and i’ve been doing make-up pretty much every weekend since october with no reprieve. while i’m desperate for the extra-work, my dog doesn’t even know who i am anymore and there is some funk coming from the region of my apartment that is my kitchen and i have yet to even have a moment to identify just what that is.

i would like to think lindsey nobles called me out yesterday but, the truth is, i’m not even not saying ‘no’ to things. it’s just my life right now. tis the season to be busy? ugh. no. tis the season to show people the face of christ.

i’m trying to keep up with this here blog -as well as the rest of my life- but i’m not looking at an official break until january.

of 2013.

meanwhile, i don’t want you guys to miss the 100 joys series that sarah markley is doing these days. for all the reasons why she’s doing this are all the reasons i have not participated yet, but i am finding joy in the 2 minutes it takes to read about hers and others 100 joys. hopefully i’ll be able to jump on board before it’s finished.

that is, if she doesn’t finish before 2015.

love you.

xo

mini-compassion-hurricane-stuff.

i was totally inspired this morning when i read boomama’s mini-makeover blog.

i love my apartment. it’s the perfect size for me and my dog. only since it’s 175 square feet, it’s not the perfect size for me and my dog and all my stuff. there’s stuff everywhere. and it’s just. stuff. stuff i don’t know what to do with, can’t really get rid of yet, don’t have another place to put it stuff.

i’m someone who likes to have a home. i couldn’t live in a place with barren walls or without a comfortable place for guests to land. but my little cave is a really great scale by which to weigh just which of my stuff exactly is critical to my well-being. which of my stuff exactly is going to get on the boat to go to heaven with me? not any of it. in fact, if something were to happen to me, someone else would have to go through all that stuff and they would probably just throw it all away. or most of it, anyway.

mind you, i’m not a hoarder. {have you seen that show? yikes!} but i do have little piles of clutter here and there that i must go through. and i know that once i go through one little pile after one little pile, i will throw away about 3/4 of it and then find homes for the rest of it. and it wouldn’t take more than about 10 minutes per little pile, if that. ugh. why do i make things so difficult for myself? not always. just sometimes. once i get started, i’ll get it done. in the meantime, it hangs over my head the way going to the gym does. once i’m there, i’m fine. it’s the getting ready part that is so daunting. mweh.

if you know me well, particularly if you’ve known me for a long time, you know one of my faaavorite things to do in the world is to entertain and throw parties. in my little 2×4 box, i might be able to rotate in a few at a time. otherwise, it’s not the place i can throw my cosby sweater christmas party this year. or any party at all.

anyway, so i love boomama’s little steps she took just to make her house more of a home. it’s given me space-saving ideas for the bungalow using things i think i already have. whoot!

i had to share this with you. felista drew these on the bottom of the first letter i received from her recently. isn’t she a wonderful artist? hey, let me ask you a question – no judgment - have you considered sponsoring a child through compassion international? y’all, they are doing some incredible things. you don’t just give money to an organization and they use it to feed a child (or you hope that they do). for $38 a month, you are feeding a child, providing medical care for them. compassion even has programs for the kids who come to them -sponsored or not (but sponsored children obviously get other benefits)- where they learn the bible and are taught life skills that will help them become productive members of society.

and can i be totally honest with you? when i was ‘picking out’ my child among a sea of pictures of really adorable children, felista wasn’t the first one that caught my eye. i hate to say it, but there were tons of other really adorable kids on the table that i wanted to scoop up and put in my pocket. i couldn’t decide which one to pick. but when my friends shawna and laura pointed out what the different symbols represented, i learned that certain children had been enrolled in the compassion program for more than 6 or 9 months without being elected for sponsorship yet. at that point, i just picked up the first child i saw with a ‘waiting 9 months’ label on her, who happened to be felista.

and now, y’all…when i look at her picture on my fridge -or when i received her letter- i seriously could not imagine ‘picking out’ a more beautiful or cuter child than felista.

$38 is a lot of money to me. but in light of all the meaningless stuff i just mentioned – that really is just. stuff. – and that felista would otherwise go for days without eating…it requires no thought or effort when i consider she is being cared for in jesus’ name.

so, i just hope you’ll think about it. or don’t think about it and just do it. they need you. you need them. plus, you’ll have a better chance of getting into heaven if you do.

i don’t know if you’ve picked up on this yet, but i have this feeling i’m in a season where god wants to teach me discipline. don’t have anywhere to go with this, just wanted you to know. i’ll let you know as more is revealed.

speaking of discipline, i have some ideas for my blogs for next week that i plan to work on this weekend. (in between painting faces and dog-sitting and going to the state fair, i mean.) thought you’d appreciate knowing that.

also speaking of discipline, i’m going to have to revise the bucket list. i just have to. i’m fine with the monthly things and everything else but i’ve already totally failed at anything i said i would do daily or weekly. can someone please tell me if that okay for me to do? does anyone really know? are there any rules or codes of conduct by which we must abide in order to successfully perform our bucket lists?

by the way, does anyone else besides me not have psalm 139 memorized yet? i’m the only one? boo. well, i’m going to keep working on it for the next two weeks and then i’ll let you know then next passage or verse i’m going to work on.

so, in other news, i’ve been a little weepy today. i think i’ve told you before that it strikes randomly. i never know when it’s going to hit me that i’m going to be sad for missing my dad. i can talk about it and be totally fine. i can even laugh about it – in a managers’ meeting where i was taking notes recently, i joked, ‘well, he can’t die again.’ there are times when i laugh because it’s inopportune to cry. or i just don’t want to.

there are some moments when i cannot stop crying, and it’s one of those deep, gutteral, moaning-type of cries. the kind you can’t reach for any further down to find. the kind that i had never experienced until he died.

and there are days when i can feel the grief swelling up in me, the lump in my throat and i plead with the tears not to come but they do, anyway. today is one of those days. i told the girls in my bible study a week or two ago that i knew this month would be like getting ready for a hurricane. i haven’t known when the storm would hit. but today feels like the calm before the storm. time to batten down the hatches.

see, i’m 12 days away from the one-year anniversary of my dad passing away. a year ago today, i had no idea that he would die in 12 days. no one did. a year ago on monday, i had no idea that would be the last time i would see or talk to him. sarah hope and hannah grace were at my apartment and we were skyping with my dad while hannah grace colored and painted and sarah was in the background working on something for school and ‘da-da’, as hg called him, was ‘woo-oo’-ing hannah grace’s artwork and then we just got disconnected. no matter, we’d talk to him later in the week.

only we didn’t. or, i didn’t.

and then he died.

i had hannah grace’s scribble-scrabble from that evening framed for sarah hope’s christmas present last year.

bethany was the first person who told me about a new normal. i had lunch with her today and told her what was happening. she told me what she and her family did on certain anniversaries of her mother’s passing. but we agreed that this is still The Year of Firsts for me, and so it’s just something i have to get through. which i will. because it’s what i do. if not with dignity, than with crocodile tears and my ugly cry-face. but i always get through whatever it is i have to get through. that’s actually something i really appreciate about myself…is that a weird thing to say about yourself? well, anyway, it’s true.

it feels so weird that i haven’t heard my dad’s voice in a year.

how are your hearts today?

what are you looking forward to doing this weekend?

oh, here’s a good one! what is your best mini-makeover tool or tip you’ve found?

love y’all.

xo

hands and feet.

you guys. you must know that i receive nothing at all for blogging about compassion international. they have no idea who i am. i just believe in the organization is all. i’m a sponsor. last week, a group of compassion bloggers went to guatemala, where a few of them actually got to meet the children they sponsor. i’ve just finished catching up on their trip through each of their blogs and i am…affected. i am uncomfortable. i am thankful. please read and hear and be moved by god to take action by sponsoring a child through compassion. they’re the real deal. i promise you i will post the end to my other story tomorrow. but you must read these today.

a holy experience: if you like your dreams and miracles

i’m just saying: reconciling the desparity (also read the post before about meeting her compassion child)

shaun groves: you must watch the video at the end. shaun is the leader of the compassion bloggers’ trips.

baby bangs: this will make your stomach churn.

gypsymama: isaiah 51 (beautiful)

gypsymama: especially read this is you are a compassion sponsor already.

keely marie scott: the resident photographer, works on display

compassion: guatemala

As a member of Compassion, I received this email from Shaun Groves, the Blogger Manager. Sorry to interrupt my regularly scheduled post all about  me. Some things are just more important. Like starving children.

Four Compassion bloggers are meeting a few hundred of those children this week in Guatemala (September 8-11).
Please support them this week by praying daily, reading along, leaving an encouraging comment on their posts, sharing their words on Facebook and Twitter, and linking to them from your own blog. These blogging trips release hundreds of children from poverty and wouldn’t happen without the support of our entire Compassion Bloggers family. We need you!

PRAYER SUGGESTIONS:
1. Safety: Severe flooding over the weekend and continued heavy rains have caused mudslides in Guatemala that have claimed the lives of at least 100 people and displaced an estimated 110,000. We are altering our travel plans slightly for our own safety. Please pray for the safety of Compassion’s families and the whole of Guatemala.

2. Family: All our bloggers are leaving behind friends and family for the week. Please pray for the protection and comfort of these families while apart.

3. Writing: It is very difficult to have your heart broken and inspired so tremendously every day on these trips and then sit down at a computer each evening and put it all into words. Pray for God’s guidance and courage.

4. Re-entry: Begin praying now for each blogger’s re-entry into life back home. Coming home to the average American life after spending even a short time in the developing world is difficult for many. Pray that our bloggers return forever different and able to bring that difference into the same life they knew before.

OUR BLOGGERS:
http://www.aholyexperience.com
http://www.lindseynobles.com
http://thegypsymama.com
http://babybangs.blogspot.com
http://blog.compassion.com

With your help, MANY children in Guatemala will be released from poverty this week in Jesus’ name! Thank you.

-Shaun Groves
Blogger Manager
CompassionBloggers.com

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