Thursday, March 26, 2015

Step Into My Shoes ~ Our Experience: Getting Started and Step 1

Before I begin sharing our experience with the Step Into my Shoes, I want to thank Hannah for sharing about her experience with her very young kids. In fact, it was reading her first couple posts that pushed me to order the kit and go through it with my own girls.

I thought it might be fun for you to see what we did, as my girls are a bit older (8 and 10). Who knows...maybe it will push you to order the kit and do it with your own family. You can order yours HERE.

We opened our took kit and found 7 step cards outlining the focus and activities of that step. I also had an older version of this resource that I used for extra ideas. There is also a great resource page HERE that had links to the videos and printables.

what came in the tool kit

the older version I also had

There is a suggestion to cover your table with burlap, and I had some from last year's Compassion Sunday display. My girls LOVED that I went the extra step to decorate for this part of our homeschool day. I would set it up after they went to bed, and when they woke up it was ready to go. I intended to draw this experience out and do one step per week, but they were so enthusiastic and wanted to do all 7 steps in 7 consecutive days.


Some days or steps were more involved than others and this was definitely true of step 1.  I printed out the child, job and market cards, and then we dove into the lesson.

the kit came with prayer bands - one for each of us!
We watched the first video "Welcome / Meet the Family" and met our host family for the week.

Then each of the girls chose a child card and I blindly chose a job card.

Then we watched the next video - "Find Water and Food"

Next, I read my job card to see how much money I had earned at work that day, and we were off to the market to see what we could afford to buy that day. 

This is how we fared....rice, beans and dirty water (we couldn't afford clean water). The girls weren't very excited about our food for the day.

Finally we watched the third video - "Make a Soccer Ball". We didn't actually make a soccer ball like they suggest because we have done this before. Instead the girls spent some time reading their copy of Explorer Magazine that came in the tool kit.

We also practiced the suggested memory verse:

"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." - Matthew 6:9-13

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Compassion App

If you are an iphone user, Compassion has a new app that you will love. I simply searched Compassion International in the itunes store and found it right away. I downloaded it and then signed in the same way I sign into my online account.

It is so cool. I took some screen shots so you can see what it looks like and some of what is offered. There will be an overview of your sponsored children and correspondent children.

Then you can select a specific child for more information.
As you can see, there are all sorts of different options on this screen....I can see Josseling's most recent photo, the weather, her age and birthday. I can also click on PRAY, WRITE or GIVE

 If I select PRAY, I am taken to a new screen that shows specifc prayer requests and these can be uploaded to your calendar if you want. 

If I go to the BIO page, I have many options to learn more about Josseling's personal life.

And if I go to the CENTER option, I can see where Nicaragua is, the current weather and in this case a photo of the church where she attends Compassion's project. I noticed that not all my children have a photo of the Compassion project on this page. You can also scroll down on this screen to learn more about the specific Compassion project your child attends.

There is also a screen that looks like this...
with many options 

I love the STORIES page. I think it will come in handy when I find myself waiting in the car or for an appointment. I can read about my child, write to my child or read stories of what Compassion is doing around the world. 

I am SO excited about this!

I have no idea if this is available for other phones or if it is only available for iphone. If you know more than me, please feel free to leave a comment. Otherwise, go get an iphone and download this app. You will love it!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Compassion ABC's: M is for

M is for...


Compassion's work in Mexico began in 1979. The Child Survival Program was started in 2012. There are currently more than 33,360 children participating in more than 185 child development centers. 

To learn more about Compassion's work in Mexico and see children waiting to be sponsored, go HERE

all information for this post was taken from Compassion's website

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Crystal's Birthday Wish

Readers and friends....our fellow Compassion sponsor, advocate and blog contributor, Crystal, is celebrating her 30th birthday today.

In an effort to do something big to mark this milestone, Crystal is raising awareness and funds for Marv - a 13 year old boy living in an orphanage in Eastern Europe - waiting for his forever family.

Here's a video she and her husband put together about Marv....

Here's another link to learn even more about this sweet boy. And if you are feeling really generous, consider donating to his adoption fund - this will help in finding a forever family for Marv.

One last thing, say a prayer for Marv and his future family. Pray that God would connect them sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Step Into My Shoes: Week 10

Today we completed our version of Step Into My Shoes! After reviewing our memory verse Matthew 6:9-13, we read the story of Zacchaeus. We talked a bit about giving to others and not taking what is not ours.

Along with the topic of giving, we sang "Dios Ama el Dador Alegre" or "God Loves a Cheerful Giver" (from Steve Green's CD…it's in English and in Spanish).

As usual, we read A Country Far Away and Manuel & Manuel.

Then we watched Enough Food:

Step 07a: Enough Food from Compassion International on Vimeo.

I was struck by the fact that our Ugandan friends, who have enough food, grow so much from scratch! They work so hard for their food. Juanito, on the other hand, noticed that they eat like we do and cook like we do.

We closed our time by continuing to create letters for the sponsored kids. Juanito just loves decorating papers and coloring! He has also recently become interested in answering questions about himself for simple form letters. I'm so excited that he enjoys writing to the kids with me!


Since today was our last week, I thought I'd summarize our time in case you would like to adapt Step Into My Shoes for your toddlers!

* Step Into My Shoes kit
* CD: we used Hide 'Em in Your Heart by Steve Green
* Children's Bible: we used The Beginner's Bible
* Supplemental books: we used A Country Far Away along with a few others

Tips: I found that the SIMS preschool adaptations were a bit advanced for my two-year-old, so what I found helpful were simple discussions after watching each video. I'd ask what he noticed and we'd talk about similarities and differences between Juanito's life and the lives of those we watched. And although Compassion recommends a few Bible verses, we stuck with just one passage: Matthew 6:9-13 (which we are still working on). Each week we sang a song, reviewed our memory verses, read a Bible story, read at least one other book, watched the video clip and talked about it, and then made a picture for a Compassion kid.

* Week 1: Watch Introduction Video, sing Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and read and talk about the memory verse (the Lord's prayer).
* Week 2: Watch Welcome/Meet the Family, sing Children Obey Your Parents, and read about Jesus healing the girl.
* Week 3: Watch Find Food and Water, sing I Can do All Things, and read about Jesus turning the water into wine.
* Week 4: Watch How to Make a Soccer Ball, sing Hosanna, and read about Jesus calling His disciples.
* Week 5: Watch Enough Love, sing G-O-D is L-O-V-E, and read the story of Jesus' death and resurrection.
* Week 6: Watch Enough Water, sing Give Thanks to the Lord, and read the story of Jonah.
* Week 7: Watch Enough Hope, sing Do Not Worry, and read the sermon on the mount.
* Week 8: Watch Enough Safety, sing When I Am Afraid, and read about Jesus calming the storm.
* Week 9: Watch Enough Education, sing Train Up a Child, and read feeding of the 5,000.
* Week 10: Watch Enough Food, sing God Loves a Cheerful Giver, read the story of Zacchaeus.

About Hannah Hinojosa...Hannah is a long time Compassion sponsor and writes about her sponsorship journey at Because of Shamim. In addition to being a wife and mother, she is a part-time math professor and loves to read.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Compassion ABCs: L is for

L is for...


I truly believe that LOVE is at the heart of least it should be. I would never want anyone to sponsor a child out of guilt or pity. Rather, I believe that our love for God should compel us to do what He commands and love others. 

If you love me, you will obey what I command. ~ John 14:15

This is love for God; to obey his commands. ~ 1 John 5:3

and God's greatest commandment....
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind...
and love your neighbor as yourself. ~ Matthew 22:37, 39

So if we love God, we should love others. Sponsorship is certainly not the only way to love others, but it's a very good way.

And then there is the aspect of showing love to your sponsored child. How can we do that? Through prayer and communication. Pray for your sponsored child and tell him or her that you love them and more importantly, that God loves them. 

Which brings me to another "L" word...


Sponsorship is about more than a photo of a child on your refrigerator and a monthly bill. Sponsorship is about relationship, and writing letters is the perfect way to build that relationship. Letters are a fantastic way to let your child know that they are special - to you and God, and that they are loved - by you and God. It is very likely that your child will share your letters with their family members, and this makes letters a great opportunity to encourage and disciple the entire family.

Letter writing is so important that Compassion has started a correspondence program for those children who do not receive letters from their sponsors.

How often should you write? Well, that's up to you, but I would suggest a minimum of 4 times a year. Personally, I aim for once a month, but in reality I probably send 10 letters a year.

What should you write about? Anything...everything (well, almost). I've written several sample letters that you can modify and send to your sponsored child. There are sample letters about seasons, holidays, Bible stories and lessons, family, church, and more. To see a list of sample letters and topics, go HERE.

How should you write? You can use the letter writing template Compassion sends you when you receive a letter from your child. You can use your own stationary. You can use the online letter writing tool. There are many options - choose one and write!

Keep it simple. Don't feel like you have to send coloring pages or photos or stickers. Sure, you sponsored child will love these, but sometimes finding the perfect "extras" to send keep us from writing at all. (this has happened to me many times!) Your letter doesn't even have to be long. A simple message of love and encouragement is enough.

Friday, March 13, 2015

What to Write ~ Fruit of the Spirit ~ Goodness

It's the second Friday of the month...the unofficial designated day to write to your sponsored kids!

I am continuing with the Fruit of the Spirit series In case you missed them, you can find them here...

And now for GOODNESS

Hello my dear friend. How are you? I'm happy to be able to write to you again.  I hope you are enjoying these thoughts on each fruit of the Spirit that is listed in Galatians 5:22…

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

So far I've shared my thoughts about love, joy, peace, patience and kindness and now we are ready to talk about  GOODNESS. What exactly is goodness?

According to the dictionary, goodness is the state of being good - of having moral excellence and virtue. We know the opposite of good is bad. You probably know what it means to be good. Being obedient is good. Being kind to others is good. Doing your best is good.  Sharing with others is good. Loving others is good. Being helpful is good. Speaking truth to others is good. 

In Psalm 136:1, the psalmist says God is good. 

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, His love endures forever. 

Can you think of specific ways that God is good to you? God has given me a husband and two daughters. He is good to me. God has given me a healthy body to live in. He is good to me. God has given me a mind and the ability to think. He is good to me. God has given me a home to live in and food to eat. He is good to me. God has connected me to you through Compassion. He is good to me. 

But even if God took all these things from me, He would still be good. I say this because He sent his Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for my sin. And this is very good. Without Jesus, I am not good. Because of Jesus, I have been forgiven and will have eternal life. Do you believe this? That God is good and that He sent his Son to die for you?

Here are some other Bible verses about goodness that I like. 

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, 
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. - Psalm 23:6

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 
- Psalm 27:13

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. - 2 Thessalonians  1:11
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