Friday, July 08, 2011

Baker's Dozen

She once was lost, but now she's found...!

Back in April, I had asked Compassion to send me a handful of packs of children available in Ato Sam's Compassion project in Ghana. Hers was one of two that I received.

Her name was Tahameena.

I prayed over her week after week as I placed her photo profile in our church lobby, and when her profile disappeared in May, I hoped it meant she had found a sponsor. I kept praying that I'd connect with her or her sponsor, one way or another -- after all, she was a friend of Ato Sam's.

Then, in June, she resurfaced. Someone from church, assuming that someone had lost their Compassion Child info, tucked her away somewhere for safekeeping. When they saw me with Compassion child packs in the lobby week after week, they put two and two together, and gave her back to me.

Her child pack had expired, though, and her profile could have been in the hands of another Advocate, on the website, or elsewhere. She may have even found a sponsor by now.

Still, I kept praying.

When child packs expire, we are asked to destroy them because it means that someone else has been assigned to finding them a sponsor. I didn't have the heart to do that to her photo... I discarded the envelopes and the forms, and tucked her profile into my Bible, not knowing what it was that God had planned, but knowing I would be praying for her as I studied His Word each day.

I sat across from our Children's Pastor this week at church, talking about connecting Compassion, missions, and worldwide children's ministries with our church's children. I presented the idea of having a Compassion child for our K-5 KidzWorld group at church. We exchanged ideas of how it could work, what we could do, how it would help plant seeds of compassion and serving into the lives of the children and families.

While brainstorming, we also talked about where we could sponsor a child, which country, how great it would be to sponsor a child we could interact with in person to help our children understand that these kids are real, to help them build that relationship.

On the way home, I pulled out my Bible again, and that's when I saw her face and wondered...

I prayed about it all the way home, and called Compassion right away. I provided them with her child ID number, and learned that she hadn't been sponsored. The last Advocate that had her was me.

For such a time as this.

Tahameena is now our 13th sponsored child, in partnership with our children's ministry at church. We will support her in prayer and learn about sacrificial giving through this sponsorship. The children at church will be able to take part in sending her cards, drawing her pictures, and also learn about the work we're doing in Ghana. Her photos and letters will be posted on a special Compassion Station bulletin board where the children will learn about her country and about Compassion's ministry around the world and about the difference that their small change can make in the life of a child their age. The children will have her photo to take home to stick on their fridge as a reminder to pray... and perhaps their families will also be led to sponsor as a family.

I'm so eager to see God working in the hearts of these children through this experience, and to see Tahameena's life bloom as a result of the seeds that have been planted.

This has served as a reminder that He has a plan for each and every one of these children that we're entrusted with as Compassion Advocates; and a plan for each and every encounter we have in our life. Sometimes, the two connect, and it's the most incredible thing to witness!


Michelle ~ Blogging from the Boonies said...

Isn't she just SO lovely?? Praise the Lord!

Anonymous said...

Does the Compassion group educate the children and help with contraception? Prevention is the key to stopping this horrible cycle.
Are the children already Christian or is indoctrination part of their "care?"

Anonymous said...

Hi JD -- Wow, Tahameena is a beautiful girl!! How cool that she is in Ato Sam's project. I am so glad it worked out so wonderfully for the children at your church to be involved in this. God worked everything out perfectly -- as always! - Linda Shinn from OC

Tia said...

Anon - how does this comment have anything to do with this post? If you took 2 minutes to educate yourself on Compassion Intl's mission maybe you would learn something... maybe even compassion.

JD - I love the dress she is wearing. I pray the kids will embrace her and enjoy getting to know her. And perhaps someday some of them will be inspired to play a part in missions for the rest of their lives.

De said...

JD, this is absolutely wonderful! God is so good. De from OC

Jill Foley said...

She is beautiful - I love her dress. How cool that she and Ato Sam are friends. God is so good!

JD in Canada said...

The Maker's Dozen :D I have just written her first letter to introduce this story to her, and I will mail it tomorrow so that perhaps we will have a response by the time we have the program set up at church.

Michelle - God inspired it through you and Kwagala! Thank you both!

Linda (from OC, not from Columbus Ohio) -- I'm excited about her being in Ato Sam's project as well, it will be great when we visit his project in November, especially for Compassion's logistics/planning of the visit.

Tia -- I'm excited about the kids' part in this as well, and I'm thinking of ways that they can bless the kids who don't get much correspondence or the ones not yet sponsored by sending them cards/notes of encouragement and prayers. I may pick your brain for ideas for the bulletin board!

De -- He is, indeed!!! So excited!

Teena said...

JD, it been awhile since I have been here... so encouraging. A wonderful story... so exciting.

I didn't get my first two children sponsored (as an advocate)... my heart aches. I didn't destroy their pics. I just can't.

I was real nervous about requesting more... but I did.

So excited about your Ghana trip! Praying for you. Jill, Michelle & you were so encouraging in me becoming an Advocate. I truly thank you for your friendship. Oh did you know we sponsored another ... this one is my daughter Alyssa's first sponsored child! She just received her first letter this week!

much love,

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