Monday, February 8, 2016

Filling Buckets

This morning my girls and I were reading from the devotional He Walks Among Us by Richard and Renee Stearns (CEO of World Vision.).

This particular reading was about changing our perspective on how we view poverty and our contribution towards making a difference. It leant itself well to an hands on demonstration, and so we gathered the necessary supplies.

We can view poverty as one big problem - one big bucket that needs to be filled OR we can view the individuals living in poverty as tiny buckets that need to be filled.

I gave each girl a glass of water (not big by any means) to represent the resources God has given them.

When they poured their water into the large bucket, it hardly made a difference. It would take a lot of water to fill this bucket. Much more than the one cup they were given.

Then I let each girl use their water to fill the three smaller buckets - representing children we sponsor through Compassion. 

Each girl was able to fill each smaller bucket to the top, and they had water left over. 

I love how easy this demonstration was. And although I'm not one who usually takes the time to do things like this, I think it made a lasting impression on each of us. I also really like the visual of pouring ourselves out to do the work God has equipped us to do.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Hondy in the Dominican Republic

March 27. 1998

Hondy started out as one of our correspondent children in late 2007/early 2008. Our first letter from him was dated January 25, 2008. Somewhere along the way (I can't remember exactly when), his financial sponsor dropped and we were able to pick up his sponsorship. So far we have received 29 letters from Hondy.

He lives in the eastern part of Dominican Republic with his mother (Yajaida Altagracia), step-father (Marcos Ramirez) and two siblings yodaris Madrid and Joan de Jesus).

In one of his first letters Hondy told us that his mother had a baby in January 2008, but sadly the baby died 19 days later.

Miscellaneous info from letters:

  • Bible hero - David
  • real life hero - mom
  • favorite month - March (because of his birthday)
  • likes baseball, soccer and basketball
  • favorite foods - rice and beans, fried chicken, fried potato
  • sleeps with mosquito net
  • attends Compassion project 3x week
  • threw his teeth on the roof when they fell out
  • hometown is historic - was the first to be independent in national independence

Used extra $ from gifts for the following:
  • pants, socks, sandals, underwear, pencil set, trousers, t-shirts, polo shirts
  • In 2010 we were able to send a gift bag to Hondy - ball, soap, t-shirt, crayons, photo album (in one letter to us he mentioned asking his mom for an album to put all the stickers and letters we were sending him)

letter highlights:
"I want to tell you about the hero in my life. It is my mom because she works to feed me and my siblings and she is hardworking, brave and gives us too much love. "
"Thanks for the letters because I liked them a lot, as well as the verses that are in it, which give me and my friends from the center a lot of learning, and they like your letters a lot. Thanks! Thanks for being my sponsors."
"I get very excited every time I read your letters, since I know I have another family in another country and they worry about me. Sometimes I imagine what the day in which we meet each other will be like. We will talk about so many things and will laugh. I know it will be very special if it happens. I'm going to pray so that this happens."

message to Wess Stafford on his retirement:
"I would like to thank him for all the things he has done for many children. God bless him a lot."

Sunday, January 31, 2016

January Compassion Joys

we received 9 letters this month
Orm (Thailand), Rayson (Kenya), Gabriel (Kenya), Jerry (Indonesia), 
Preeti (India), Jackson (Kenya), Joylyne (Kenya), Esther (Uganda) and Emanuel (Peru)

Joseph in Tanzania was 10 on January 1st

My daughter, Sydney, and Yoselin in Dominican Rebuplic 
both turned 11 on January 9th

Jerry in Indonesia turned 15 on January 28th

Antoni in Dominican Republic turned 13 on January 28th

compassion experience
We had the wonderful opportunity to go through the Compassion Experience as a family. I've been waiting for a couple years for it to come close enough for my family to go and it finally did!

I encouraged many friends to go and quite a few did, including our youth group at church. One friend at church sponsored a little girl from Peru (who happens to be a birthday buddy with her youngest daughter) before going to the Compassion Experience. 

In an effort to eliminate some clutter from our home and participate in the ACT for Brazil fundraising campaign, my girls and I went through some of our books, homeschooling curriculum and jewelry and have sold quite a bit. I posted the jewelry here on my blog, and the books I put into this box which I took to our homeschool group that meets every week. It's been highly successful and I've raised $200 so far.

My oldest daughter saw this fish bowl when we were in PetSmart earlier this month. If you can't tell, it has the world map on it. She got excited and told me she'd love to get it and then name the fish after some of the countries where we sponsor children. She ended up getting a gift card to PetSmart and now we have three new pets....Kenya, Inda (short for Indonesia and India) and Peru.

and that, my friends, is a promising start to a great year!

If you haven't joined us before, please consider sharing your Compassion JOYS here each month. It is so encouraging and inspiring to see how God is blessing others through this ministry. 

And now it's your turn! Here are some guidelines for you to follow for this link-up:
  1. Link up by entering the URL to your blog post (make sure it's a link to the actual blog post and not just your blog).
  2. Be sure to link back here to Compassion Family and tell others you are doing so. Feel free to grab the button code for your post (it's on the right side of the blog).
  3. Set aside some time to visit the other participants and leave some comment love.
  4. Begin taking notes and making a list for next month.
I should also mention that I reserve the right to remove anyone's submission if it fails to meet the link-up requirements or is inappropriate. 

***If you have trouble linking up, simply leave a comment and I'll be sure to visit your blog.

***If you don't have a blog, share your blessings in the comments!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Building a Wall

Have you ever had to build a wall? I have. A couple years ago I was in Mexico working at an orphanage for a few days and I was given the task of building a wall. I'd never built a wall before, but knew it could be done one brick at a time. 


Are you familiar with the book of Nehemiah in the Bible?

We kept at it, repairing and rebuilding the wall. The whole wall was soon joined together and halfway to its intended height because the people had a heart for the work. ~ Nehemiah 4:6 (MSG)

When Nehemiah learned that the wall surrounding Jerusalem lay in ruins he was saddened and moved to do something about it. He prayed. He fasted. And he led his people in the rebuilding of that wall. They shared a vision of restoring the wall and they worked (with all their hearts) until the task was done.

When I hear about the children who are still living in extreme poverty around the world - dying of preventable diseases every day - I am saddened and moved to do something about it.

Sometimes I pray. Sometimes I fast. Sometimes I rally others who share my vision to help me rebuild God's kingdom here on Earth.

Lately I haven't worked at this with all my heart, and the task certainly isn't done.

Just like I know I can build a wall one brick at a time, I can  also help wipe out poverty one child at a time. It's not enough to want to be part of this, I must have a heart for the work. I must persevere and see it through.

I've just ordered a few child packets and am eager to advocate on their behalf - to connect them with a sponsor who will offer the support, love and encouragement they need. Will you join me?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World
How One Family Learned That Saying No Can Lead to Life's Biggest Yes
by Kristen Welch

What can I say? I love this book. I love it's cover - how it looks. I love the format and how it feels in my hands. I love the mix of personal stories and practical tips. Most of all, I love the message.

"We live in a culture that is obsessed with the right to have what we want, whether we've earned it or not." 

If you believe in the concept of grace, then hopefully you understand that grace is two-fold. Grace is, first of all, getting what you don't deserve, and secondly, grace is not getting what you do deserve. Grace is the opposite of entitlement.

Kristen and her husband, Terrell, recognized the ugliness of entitlement that was rearing its head in their family and decided to call it out and wage war against it. Being grateful is an art that needs to be cultivated and nurtured daily, so that it can be practiced in all areas of our lives. Living gratefully is living counter-culturally, and it's increasingly difficult to practice in our current society.

"Society has shifted truth by bombarding us with an idea until its normalized. "
As I mentioned before, this book is full of personal stories in which Kristen shares what she and her husband have tried with their 3 children. It's also full of practical tips. Each chapter ends with a section called "Going Against the Flow" and includes ideas and suggestions for all ages: parents, toddlers/preschoolers, elementary, tweens/teens.

I've already implemented several ideas into our own family life. If you need encouragement in your own journey to raise grateful kids, or even in your own effort to be more grateful, then this book is for you.

So much of what Kristen shares in this book stems from her wake-up call after seeing poverty first hand on a Compassion trip. Not only does Kristen's family support the ministry of Compassion through sponsorship, they have created their own non-profit ministry in Kenya - Mercy House. The ministry is run locally by Maureen, a former Compassion child and LDP graduate from Kenya. The fruit of this ministry and this book are deeply rooted in the ministry of Compassion. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Simple Valentine's Idea

As a mom of two toddlers (ages three and one) and one more baby on the way, my energy level has been low recently! I had a high spot of energy in the second trimester and we did a lot of fun things for Advent, complete with crafts and lots of learning about Compassion countries, but now as the third trimester progresses, I am getting tired. So I was trying to think of a simple way to help the kids remember our Compassion kids this month and thought I would share the idea!

We went to Dollar Tree and I let the kids each pick out a box of Valentine's Day cards. Juanito chose Avengers and Rosie chose Minnie Mouse.

Then I collected some fun stickers and pens and our Compassion kid album (this album is of our Compassion kids and for Juanito's and Rosie's use…so some of the pages are a little sticky and it's been beat up, but the kids love looking through the pictures and showing it to family and friends who come over!).

The kids decorated their cards and then when they completed one, they'd pick out a Compassion kid to send the card to!

Since Juanito and Rosie are toddlers, they work very quickly and love to make LOTS of cards at once. But that worked out perfectly since we sponsor and correspond with a lot of kids and so in the end, I think more than half of the kids ended up with fun Valentine's Day cards!

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.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Simplify With a Cause

I've been holding onto some things I no longer use because of where they came from. However, it's ridiculous that they sit in my garage in a box. This morning as I was reading about a new fundraising initiative called ACT for COMPASSION (specifically Brazil), I decided that I would happily get rid of these items if I could donate the proceeds to a good cause. 

I won't bore you with statistics, but there is a great deal of poverty in Brazil and children are at a high risk of child traffricking. We'll be hearing a lot of Brazil as the 2016 Olympics approach, but we likely won't hear about the vulnerable children living there day in and day out. 

I'm excited to reduce my clutter and make a positive impact on the children of Brazil through the ministry of Compassion International. To read more about this fundraising initiative and the need, simply visit HERE. Be sure to watch the stories to see just how Compassion is making a difference. You can learn about the Assis brothersJesus Gabriel and Morgana.

If you are interested in any of the items below, leave a comment or email me at: fiddlejill(at)outlook(dot)com

Shoulder bag from Thailand - $15

Necklaces - $10 each
30" long - easy to double up
Left - from Nicaragua / Right - from Peru  SOLD!

Necklace from Uganda - $15
35" inches - can be doubled and even tripled

Necklace from Uganda - $8

This necklace and earrings are originally from Ten Thousand Villages - an organization that sells fair trade jewelery made by international artisans. I can't remember the country this comes from.
Necklace is 18"
set $15

This necklace is also originally from Ten Thousand Villages - an organization that sells fair trade jewelery made by international artisans. I can't remember the country this comes from, but I think it's India.
If you look closely, you can see one stone on the left is missing.
Necklace is 24"

bracelet - $3
We had a bunch of these made several years ago and I have 12 left. 

No longer available, this 5 week resource offers children a look into the lives of children living in poverty. Through this journey, they will have the opportunity to learn how to respond to poverty compassionately.
book and CD-ROM (music and printable Hope cares)

Includes beautiful prayers, scripture passages and photos of children around the world.

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