Friday, February 5, 2016

For The Cost of a Cell Phone

In my last post I explained how I am going to write here on behalf of Compassion International once or twice a month, using my blog to make more people aware of all the ways Compassion serves worldwide and ways all of us can plug in. 

Today I want share how we first became acquainted with Compassion.

And today I will introduce Brayan

Way back in 2005, BC (before children, as that always means here) our church hosted "Compassion Sunday." This is a day where someone in the church shares about his experience with Compassion. Afterwards congregants are given the opportunity to pick up a sponsor packet containing information about children still waiting for sponsors. (Your church can host one - click here for more information)

Preston and I had just gotten cell phones, (for emergencies only - this is waaaaaay back) and I distinctly remember when the speaker said, "For the cost of your cell phone bill, you can change a child's life." He was dead on. Sponsorship was $36, and our cell phone bill was $35. 

After the service we went and perused the sponsor packets looking for a child, specifically a boy, with a birth date that would closely match one of our nephews' birthdays. We saw this doll-baby, only two months older than our oldest nephew:


Oh, my word! That darling face! I wanted to
 kiss his cheeks all over! Preston thought he 
looked like he might be up to something...


So on October 12, 2005 we were invited into this little man's life. 

We sent a letter and picture introducing ourselves to Brayan. (Probably said something like, "We are wild and free! We go see 9:00 pm movies without a thought about how exhausted we will be the next day!" Today our letters are more like, "Went to bed at 7:30 last night. Pretty impressed I'm able to write this letter and put two coherent thoughts together.") Very soon we received a letter back, written by his tutor at the Compassion center, with a drawing attached:


How much do I love this?? Preston's beard! Brayan nailed it!And my hair is still big like that, although with a lot more gray.


We have continued sending letters back and forth, transitioning from receiving updates written by his tutor to Brayan writing his own letters in his careful, new-to-this-whole-writing-thing-so-two-sentences-is-all-I-can-do-because-that-took-me-87-hours handwriting. 





We watched his drawings and paintings and handwriting improve. Then the scribbled drawings dropped off, and now he has begun writing about his future. Somewhere along the way our girls became a part of the letter writing process and send their own drawings and notes to him.

Over the course of almost eleven years we have been privileged, privileged, to watch this precious child of God grow from this adorable little peanut-baby...



to this handsome young man:




It has been such a joy to be involved in his life this past decade. To watch him grow. To hear of his successes and struggles. To be in his life.

To be allowed to enter into someone else's life is always a privilege. 

It takes courage to go to the Compassion Center. It takes courage to tell someone of your hardships. It takes courage to share prayer requests for your deepest struggles. It takes courage to let someone in. We consider ourselves blessed to be connected to this young man. 

And isn't it amazing how it is prayer that connects us? I pray for Brayan throughout each day. I pull his picture up on my phone when I'm waiting in line, or avoiding cleaning, or cooking supper, to remind myself to talk to Our Father about him. 

Brayan's willingness to let us into his life is drawing me closer to the Lord

The girls pray for him every time they pray aloud: on the way to school, at meals, and at bedtime. They pray his needs will be met, that God will protect him, that he has a warm enough blanket, that he is safe. They are supernaturally connected to this boy through prayer

And we get to share prayer requests with him, and he assures us that he prays for us every single day. That overwhelms me to think there is a boy over 3000 miles away from us who prays for us by name every day. Who cares about us, who always sends us his love.

When I say he has blessed us, I really mean it. 

I really, really, mean it. 

I'm praying for you as you possibly consider clicking that link over there on the left that will take you directly to a child who is waiting to be sponsored, as you consider clicking on one of the multiple places you can click to share this to your social media page, as you look over the Compassion website and find ways to help even if sponsoring isn't an option for you right now. 

What a great way to spend $38 a month. I don't know what your budget is, or what you could rearrange to scrounge up that money, but I can assure you that by doing so you will change the life of a child

And yours will change, too.

Grace to you and to all the waiting babies,

Come, Lord Jesus!

Martha

P.S. Next Compassion post I will introduce you to Dubencia. She's got a great story. Follow along so you don't miss it. 



  

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