Monday, September 8, 2008

COMPASSION for GOD'S KID

IT's MONDAY and WELCOME to MISSION 4 MONDAY!
If you are new, and would like to join please go here for the information, but I'm sure you'll get the idea as you read and visit others! If you know someone with a MISSION, encourage them to link and share it here with us!


TODAY I'm sharing about another Mission near and dear to my heart and starting with my PRAYERS and FOCUS this week for:[get your box of kleenex & your heart ready]

CHILDREN IN POVERTY

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Matthew 19:14 NIV

Some versions say SUFFER but you know that JESUS was not telling us to turn a blind eye and a cold shoulder and Let the children suffer...but that is what is happening all over the world and even in the USA.

Share Your Heart from Compassion International is a journey of people through written expression and visual expression sharing what others have learned bytouching the heart of a child. Please visit here and be blessed if even by just the featured entry...let God touch your heart for a child...by a child.

Today I have shifted the direction of my MISSION 4 MONDAY back to my comfort level of where God uses me the most, and it was because of the following e-votional that I receive daily from Proverbs 31 called ENCOURAGEMENT for TODAY!

Amy Carroll blessed me with her words, encouraged me and inspired me:

September 5, 2008

The Healing Power of Hope

Amy Carroll

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."

Proverbs 13:12 (NIV)

Devotion:

Our whole table was doubled over with laughter. The meeting had begun somberly with formal introductions, but all it took was a little fun to make my diminutive tablemates relax into our time together. Last summer on our team's trip to Ecuador with Compassion International, we had the opportunity to share lunch and craft time with a group of elementary school aged children at a Compassion project near Quito . Each child had shyly introduced themselves with their beautiful Spanish name. When we got to one shiny-haired, sparkly-eyed boy, however, he announced his name loudly--"Stephen Segal!" The whole group erupted with laughter.

Dr. Wess Stafford, in his book Too Small to Be Ignored, says this about poverty, "More than any other emotion, the poor feel overwhelmed. Without financial resources, shelter, food, education, justice, or skills to address their plight, they succumb to the downward spiral that leads to hopelessness and despair. That, my friend, is the essence of poverty." As president of Compassion, Dr. Stafford has seen the most extreme poverty and its effects on children all over the world. He has watched the light leave children's eyes, seen their shoulders begin to slump, and their hearts begin to believe that all hope is completely beyond them.

As I watched these children laugh, I was struck with how little it takes to restore hope. A sponsor's small, monthly donation of money is only part of the story. There are many other means of building hope in Compassion's ministry. I entered a home later that day and delighted as a young girl brought out her treasured stack of letters from her sponsor. Each of those letters was a reminder that someone else in the world loves her, believes in her and has found her valuable. The kind words and smiles from the Ecuadorian Compassion staff also nourished the souls of their small students. I hope even their visitors from America stoked the fragile fires of hope in those children's hearts.

There are children all around us that need an infusion of hope. They are longing for a kind look or an affirming word. It doesn't take much to rekindle hope in a child, but it does require paying attention to those in need. Most of all, they need to hear about the God who created them and who cherishes them as His own special child. The children in Ecuador had heard The Message and received the hope that would forever save their inner selves from the ravages of poverty even though they still faced great physical need in their communities each day.

Before we left that day, I asked the children what they wanted to be when they grow up. "I want to be a policeman," my precious sponsored child replied. "I want to be a teacher," said another. One stunning little girl told me she wanted to be a fashion designer. Tears filled my eyes as I hugged these children good-bye. My heart was full, too, with the dreams and hopes of an amazing group of children.

Dear Lord, I want to be tuned in to helping restore hope in a hopeless child's life. Will you bring me a divine appointment with a child today who needs a loving smile or a kind word? Help me to be ready to share your grace and love. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:

Do You Know Him?

Compassion International

You Are Special by Max Lucado

Visit Amy Carroll's blog

Application Steps:

Go to the Compassion link and sponsor a child. The blessings will come back to you as you join with Jesus to restore hope in a child's life!

Look for a child to encourage today. A child in need could be anywhere--next door, in the grocery store, or even in your own home.

Reflections:

What am I doing to help address poverty in the world?

How does God see people in poverty? (Use your Bible's concordance to do a word study.)

Power Verses:

Acts 10: 4, "Cornelius stared at him in fear. 'What is it, Lord?' he asked. The angel answered, 'Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.'" (NIV)

Proverbs 22:9, "A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor." (NIV)

© 2008 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105

www.proverbs31.org

Used with permission by Amy Carroll and Proverbs 21 Ministries

I almost forgot...Amy Carroll is offering us a CHALLENGE but you need to go read about it in her Wednesday, September 3rd post at PONDERINGS FROM THE PATHWAY!THANKS AMY CARROLL for your devotional and touching hearts and lives!

Here is another valuable link related to this COMPASSION:

FOR THE LEAST OF THESE with LeAnn http://p31compassion.blogspot.com/2007/10/love-in-action.html

and she in turn links you with other great team members of Proverb 31
that also went to Ecuador:
  • Lysa TerKeurst
  • Van Walton
  • Luann Prater
  • Glynnis Whitwer
  • Charlene Kidd
  • Rachel Olsen

  • LeAnn has a beautiful song from Jaci Velasquez that I wanted to post on Saturday with Then Sings My Soul Saturday. I posted a different song and a video from right here in Mazatlan with one of the best outreach programs.
    I could not find a good video of Jaci singing this but I believe it is my new LIFESONG and life message for the many children in poverty both here in Mexico and around this world, even right in the community you live in if you only open your eyes & heart:

    "WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE"

    LeAnn has posted the lyrics to this song and she has two other windows that share the beauty of their ministry:
    And wonderful ways that you can have a lasting impact of SERVING the LORD together
    [I should have written to LeAnn for permission also, but that is why I've linked her for you to visit rather than copy her words]

    Compassion's work in Mexico began in 1976. There are currently more than 19,800 children participating in more than 120 child development centers. Compassion partners with churches to help them provide Mexican children with the opportunity to rise above their circumstances and become all God has created them to be.

    MY MISSION 4 MONDAY HERE IN MAZATLAN

    Here in Mazatlan, there are two churches: Vineyard Christian Fellowship - La ViƱa and Amistad Familiar that I have the privilege to assist with their hearts for the poor colonies here in Mazatlan and Children's Feeding Centers, which reach out daily to help take care of the needs of those in poverty here.

    I posted about the Vineyard Christian Fellowship in the past and on this past Saturday with a video of THE OTHER SIDE OF MAZATLAN tour. If you have not seen it please take the time to view God working here in my community.

    Today, I'd like to feature some photos from my very special church that use to have some help from the USA from God's Kids but funds are tight right now.

    Still they have 4 Centers set up in various homes of church members in Mazatlan besides their own church kids at church. Each morning they prepare breakfast for the kids in their vicinity(known as a colony-colonia) very early and open with a lesson from God's Word & then feeding them before these kids head off to school. This precious church is:

    AMISTAD FAMILIAR
    Pastor Carlos and Marilu

    They reach between 750-1000 kids between these 5 places...on a daily basis the number is not as high...but still much more than this small, low-economic church can afford or do alone but through God & the Power of His Holy Spirit under the strong faith and leadership...
    "THEY ARE ABLE"
    ...the Pastor is also involved with Prison Ministry and different members of their church go along with him weekly ministering in the prison here...outside of Mazatlan...near the airport area.

    DESAYUNADORES of AMISTAD FAMILIAR: Breakfast Feeding Centers

    I LOVE ALL of THESE and although I don't know ALL of their names, GOD does and I'm working on it...but what is most important they know GOD's NAME and learning about JESUS and the LOVE of JESUS...they hear it and feed upon it but their basic needs are also being met.










    WHAT MISSION STIRS YOUR HEART for THIS WEEK?
    WHY not WRITE about it and LINK here?
    with
    MISSION 4 MONDAY


    PLEASE PRAYER FOR THE CHILDREN IN OUR WORLD TO KNOW JESUS & HIS LOVE!
    SHOW COMPASSION and VISIT the website for COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL!
    Sponsor a child online through Compassion's Christian child sponsorship ministry. Search for a child by age, gender, country, birthday, special needs and more.

    PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO CONTINUE PRAYING FOR THE MUSLIMS my MISSION LAST WEEK WITH
    30 days LOVING THE MUSLIMS THRU PRAYER. REMEMBER THE PRAYER FOCUS AND MUCH MORE IS AVAILABLE at http://www.30-days.net/muslims/






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