He compared us, as Compassion artists and speakers, to Miriam, who was the mediator between the princess who wanted to help baby Moses and the mother who raised him. In the end, the slave and child of poverty became the national leader who led his people out of bondage.
He thanked us on behalf of the local churches, who are partnering w/ Compassion.
I got to meet the next child Joyce and I are sponsoring today. Her name is Wendy.
She and the other kids in her class performed some songs and dances for us, and I performed La Gente Que Jesús Conocia (The People that Jesus Knew) for them. At the end I asked if any of them wanted to know Jesus more. All of them I could see raised their hands, including Wendy. I led them in a prayer of Salvation. Without hesitation that was the highlight of the week for me!
I played a game with them in which they would grab hands with a friend, creating a loop and a third child would stand in the loop between their arms. When the teacher would give the command the children would raise their hands and the third student would need to find a different place. It was like musical chairs in that someone would not have a place to go. I was drenched in sweat after five minutes of scurrying and ducking!
Wendy told me she wants to be a doctor! Lord, help Joyce and I to give her all she needs from our letters and gifts to overcome the poverty all around her and bring healing to her patients and to her nation. Amen!
We went to her home but her parents had already left for work. Though the door was locked, I could see that her home was slightly better than some around it. It's made out of concrete and painted green. She has both her parents living there, so that gives me even more hope for her success.
As we were walking away I was told that there have been girls kidnapped from this neighborhood that attended the Compassion project. They believe the girls were taken by a group known to kidnap kids and sell them as sex slaves in Mexico and America.
Wes Stafford, president of Compassion, happened to sit next to me at dinner. He has a vision that one day a Compassion child will grow up to be president of his or her country.
He gave me great hope for Wendy truly becoming a doctor when he told me that Compassion will bring their Leadership Development program to Honduras. On my Compassion trip to Bolivia four years ago I was able to meet students in the program. They are the best of the best Compassion graduates, who are given scholarships. The developing leaders in Bolivia were preparing for careers in everything from medicine to pastoring. One student had a vision to be an influencer on his president.
Wes said every time he visits Compassion kids and their families he takes a picture with about 10 kids who don't receive letters from their sponsors. He writes those sponsors and tells them what a very special child they've chosen and encourages the sponsor to let the child know that.
Wes is our speaker tonight. These are my notes from his talk:
He said 35,745 kids have been sponsored through the artsts and speakers in this room.
He told a story about a 6 year old who had been hit by a bus. The church was packed with kids for the funeral. Someone asked each child why they were there, and 50 of the 60 children there said they came because the 6 year old (before he died) led that child to the Lord . Wes said the sponsor that encouraged that child will be shocked to know how much he or she impacted the Kingdom of God.
The hero in Peter's denial was the rooster. "The look you imagine on Jesus' face as he looked at Peter when the rooster crowed says everything about your concept of who Jesus is and your relationship with Him." Wes brought up all the arguments the rooster might have had: I'm not the right one for the job. I can't be called there! Why should I? He was obedient.
[A note from the present: When we were standing in Caiphas's courtyard on our trip to Israel we heard a rooster crowing!]
Jesus looked at Peter not with anger, not with disappointment, but with love. Peter's only rebuke was that Jesus asked him 3 times if he loved him to match his 3 denials. Jesus request: Feed my sheep.
During the massacre at Littleton Cassie Bernal was asked if she believed in God. Before Cassie heard the pistol she heard, "Cassie, I believe in you." She said yes at the right time and inspired hundreds of thousands of teens. When God says, "Do it now," go for it!
Tonight we debriefed our experience. One of the things that I was encouraged to do is to speak into the childrens' lives powerful names: mighty warrior for God, talented, beloved. Lord help us to communicate how very much they are loved by the Lord.
Craig Timmer, my first liaison for Compassion, talked about how different the sponsorship process would be if the kids were really there in the back of the room after the performance.
They live in poverty, but they are not poor when they have Jesus.
If you would like to sponsor a child click here: Compassion.