One Friday a month is "Family Fun Day" for us. We try to go somewhere as a family and spend the day together having fun and making a family memory. This past Friday, we had the opportunity to go to Baptist Temple (BT) church in McAllen, TX for the "Compassion Experience".
Loaded up & ready to hit the road
It is about an hour away from where we live and we had 1:00pm reservations for this event. Thankfully, the Lord blessed us with an incredibly beautiful day of sunshine and temperatures in the high 80's.
The trailer at the "Compassion Experience"
If you're not familiar with Compassion International, they are an organization that is a child-advocacy ministry that pairs compassionate people with those who are suffering from poverty. The ministry releases children from spiritual, economic, social, and physical poverty. The goal is for each child to become a responsible and fulfilled adult. One of Compassion International's biggest ministries is child sponsorships. For just $38.00 a month, you can choose to sponsor a child and literally change their life and their families lives too. Through monthly financial support, prayer and letter writing, sponsors invest directly in the lives of children living in extreme poverty. The children attend church-based child development centers where they receive life-changing opportunities that would otherwise be out of their reach, and which build on, add to and extend their school lessons. All Compassion-sponsored children have the opportunity to develop their God-given potential and be released from the poverty that has trapped their families for generations.
Happy faces even while waiting in line
Once we got to the "Compassion Experience", we had reservations but there was a school group in front of us so we had to wait a little bit. We didn't mind one bit because we got to talking with some of the students and teachers and found out that they were a PUBLIC school whose English teacher had organized this field trip and she said God literally worked it out for them to get approval to bring all her students to this event. Talk about a work of God! We enjoyed getting to talk to them while we waited in line.
Also, while we were in line a woman came in line behind us. She asked us how many were in our party and we told her 5. She asked if she could go through with our family and we told her we would ask and see. The nice gentlemen running the event said she could absolutely go through with us so we also got to meet her.
Just a few of the scenes throughout the Compassion Experience
Finally, it was our turn to go through the "Compassion Experience". The first story we walked through was the story of a young man from Kenya, Africa. The second story we got to walk through was the story of a young girl from the Philippines. I don't want to "spoil" their stories for you in hopes you will get to go through the "Compassion Experience" this year. I will tell you that I had tears several times as I walked through both their stories. Not just tears of sadness but tears of joy and hope too.
At the end of our walk-throughs the lady who had asked to go through with our family asked if she could interview me. Turns out, she was a newsreporter with The Monitor, a local newspaper here in the Rio Grande Valley. You can read the article she wrote here.
Our sponsored child, Luis!!!!!
At the end of it all, there was a room full of children around the world who need sponsorships. David & I both knew that we were supposed to sponsor a child. Now this may seem crazy to some of you since we are full-time missionaries ourselves who live on very limited support but God doesn't call us to do the easy...he calls us to do the radical! The kids were begging us to do it too and they even decided to give up NetFlix and PureFlix subscriptions so that the money saved there could go to our sponsored child. It also was very easy to choose a child. Wyatt has always wished he had a little brother so he wanted a little boy from Honduras. We are hoping to move to Roatan, Honduras in 2017 and do full-time mission work there for 3-4 years. So, we chose Luis, a 7 year old little boy who lives on the mainland of Honduras! We are excited about sponsoring him and hope to sponsor him all the way until his graduation. We also pray the Lord will allow us to meet him at some point while we are in Honduras as missionaries too. This morning, we mailed off our first letter & family picture to him!
The moment it became "real"
Wondering if the "Compassion Experience" really conveys the needs of children and families around the world? Curious if you really get a sense of what life is like for those in other countries? Well, we took the kids to eat at Chick-Fil-A after we finished at the "Compassion Experience". They ate their meals and then asked for an ice cream cone. While we were waiting on them to finish their cones, we looked over and Wyatt had huge tears in his eyes. We asked what was wrong and he broke down crying saying he had got to enjoy a yummy meal at Chick-Fil-A and even get ice cream and some kids around the world had never even got to eat an apple! His heart had been stirred, reality had broken through for him, and he realized how blessed and fortune he and all of us living here in America are. You will walk away from the "Compassion Experience" changed!
The good news is that even if the "Compassion Experience" doesn't come to a town near you, you can still change the life of a child. You can choose to sponsor a child for just $38.00/month. If you would like to see children who are awaiting sponsorship, click here. If you cannot sponsor a child, you can still pray! Pray that every child who needs a sponsor will be blessed with one. Pray for the children and their families who are both awaiting sponsorship and those who already have sponsors. Pray for Compassion International and all their workers throughout the world as they work to end poverty and bring the good news of the Gospel and the hope of Jesus Christ to these areas too.