The month of September is Compassion Blog month over at Compassion International.
For those of you who don’t know, Compassion International is a child sponsorship program. For $38 a month, a child (almost anywhere in the world) can be sponsored. A sponsored child does not just receive money, but opportunity- physical, mental, emotional, and most importantly- spiritual. (Visit the Compassion International site for more information) Although there is some debate about whether or not child sponsorship works, we have come to believe that it does work. We sponsor one precious child, Reagan, through Compassion International.
During the month of September, Compassion sends out four prompts to bloggers who have signed up for the challenge. This is the first challenge:
What would you say to your childhood self?
What words of encouragement would you need to hear?
Honestly, as I took a day or two to think about this, I knew without a doubt what my answer would be:
Suzanne Esther DeValve: You are the only Jesus they will ever see.
Suzanne, you love Jesus. Your Mom and Dad and brother also love Jesus. Mom and Dad are doing their job: telling other people about the love of Jesus. Being young and in love with Jesus is the most powerful things that you have going for you.
Because you know what? Sophie and Maya and Soumayla and Hawa and Atoutou and Maimouna and Hamidou and Carimum and Zenabou are looking for hope. They see glimpses in your family- not in your fancy house with the cement floors or the truck that you can actually afford or in the 3 meals that you eat a day, but in the Christ that shines through.
Suzanne, today…talk to them. Even if you are 8, tell them about Christ. Don’t just assume that Mom and Dad or Daniel will start the conversation- YOU need to start the conversation.
***Just for clarification on some of the details in this letter to myself as a child:
– I grew up as a missionary kid in a small village populated entirely of Muslims.
– I do believe that many of my friends listed above heard the gospel either through the lives or actions (church, bible club) of my family. However, I do wish that I had started more conversations. Even though we build relationships with these people for over 16 years, not one of the people listed above knows Christ personally (as far as I know). They do know the gospel and they do know who Christ is, but no personal decision was made. While this is an act of the Holy Spirit, I do wish that I had bit my tongue less and simply spoken of the love of Christ that I knew, even as a child.
– 15 years later, I think about Tera, and I know for a fact that all those people listed above have never heard about Jesus from anyone other than our family or a few other missionaries who are no longer serving there. This is something that I did not know when I was younger, and if I had known, I probably would have started some of those conversations.
– Compassion International establishes centers all around the world to provide just such conversations with children. If you are interested in sponsoring a child, please visit the Compassion International website, or feel free to direct any questions my way.
And tune in next Tuesday for the second assignment in Compassion blog month!