Monday, 19 January 2015

Music Monday: Faz Um Milagre Em Mim

Looking back over my blog, I can’t believe how long it’s been since I shared a Music Monday with you all! I intend to change that in the new year.

The song that I want to share with you today is a special one. It’s a Portuguese song written by Regise Danese. Because you may not understand the lyrics, here is the translation of them.  (Note that this is Google Translate, so it may not be entirely accurate.)

Like Zacchaeus
I want to climb,
The highest I can
Just to see You
Looking for You
And call your attention to me.
I need You, Lord
I need you, Oh Father!
I'm too small
Give me Thy Peace
Leave everything to follow you.

Come into my house
Come into my life
Move in my structure
Heal all wounds
Teach me to have Holiness
I only want to love you,
Because the Lord is my highest good,
Make a miracle in me.

The song is sung by Gospel singer Milena, who is quite famous in spite of her young age. She excitedly announces the name of the song she will be singing. I love her bubbly and precocious spirit! As the song builds, she is joined on stage by Regise Danese, the song’s author himself. Together, they sing an incredible duet. Despite the fact that I don’t speak the language, I adore this worship song and couldn’t help the tears that came to my eyes when I first heard it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

A New Compassion Blogger!

After months and months of hemming and hawing, I did it. I took the plunge. I am now a registered Compassion blogger! Look on the right side of my blog and scroll up a bit. See that nifty little blue widget that says, “I blog for Compassion”? Yup, I get to use that little badge to let everyone know that I blog for Compassion!

“So… what?” You might be asking. “How is this different than what you did before?”

Well, it is true that I blog about my Compassion kids a lot. After all, they’re the center of my universe!  The main difference is that now, I’ll be doing a fair bit of blogging about Compassion itself, not just about my kids. (Although you’ll continue to hear all about them too!)

I talk about my kids a lot… how they’re doing, what they’ve been saying in their letters, how proud I am of them, and of course, sharing new photos of them! I know that because of Compassion, they are growing into wonderful young ladies and men (well, man, in Mbula’s case).  Without Compassion, my kids wouldn’t be my kids… they’d be growing up in poverty, with no hope. No one to tell them that they are loved. That they matter. That God has a future for them. Isimbi’s grandmother wouldn’t have anyone to help her look after her grandchildren. Ada’s mother wouldn’t have had medical help when she had her heart attack last year.  Mbula wouldn’t be playing soccer and dreaming of university. And Miriam might not even be alive… three is such a vulnerable age for children in poverty.

But because of Compassion, there is somebody. There are loving project workers who watch over the kids, teach them, love them, and pray for them. And because of Compassion, I am able to be a part of their lives.

You all have heard me talk a lot about different organizations since I started this blog. Operation Christmas Child, Metro Ministries, and Shelter Them, among others. I don’t believe in being exclusive; God has His people everywhere, in many different organizations. I’ll continue to talk about all these ministries, don’t worry. I’ll just be taking more time to focus on Compassion’s work around the globe.

Over the past little while, I’ve felt God really speaking to my heart about becoming a Compassion Blogger. He’s been speaking to me about other things as well, but I can’t give away too many secrets yet! ;) It’s a new year, a fresh start, a chance to get out of my comfort zone and start doing more for God and for His people. It’s a curve in the road along the path trodden by the Carpenter of Nazareth, and I can’t wait to see what lies around the next bend! I hope you’ll all join me as we continue walking together… see you on the Path!

(And hey, while you’re here… check out this awesome video about how one child’s struggle opened his mom’s eyes to kids in need all over the world… you’ll fall in love with this kid, I promise!)

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Welcome to the Family

As of a month ago, I was blessed to have four precious children to call my own. The four quarters of my heart… the four corners of my life. Handsome Mbula, shining Shakira, precious Isimbi and beautiful Ada.
So many times I shake my head at the goodness of God. You’ve heard me tell stories before of how I was blessed with my Isimbi, but my heart longed for another little Rwandan girl… until Ada joined my family. I was so happy with my two girls, until the Lord spoke to me; “You have room for one more.” And seventeen days later, Mbula became my brother. I told God after that, “That’s it; my family is complete.”
I’m sure He chuckled. A few months later, Shakira pulled on my heartstrings and wouldn’t let me go… shortly after that, she became the fourth member of my family.
By this time, I threw up my hands and said, “Lord, I give up saying my family is complete. Next time, I will just be quiet and let You do the adding!”
For over a year now, I have been content to nurture and mentor my “fabulous four” through letters. Then a few weeks ago, I noticed a Facebook post from Compassion International, the organization that Isimbi, Ada, and Mbula are through. A large company had decided to sponsor 1,000 children (yes, one thousand) in Kenya, and the call had been put out for correspondents for these precious kids.
My initial reaction was, “Oh, wow, somebody is going to have fun getting assigned new kids!” I didn’t even think about applying for one myself. Four was definitely enough. But then, I started thinking, “Kenya is fabulous with letters. The kids there right every two months, and in English! Mbula is from there and we have such a close relationship. I wonder what it would be like to add a very young child to my family? I could send so many cute items that my girls are a bit too old for now. I’d like to have a child to “grow up with” so to speak. One who’ll be with me for her entire time in Compassion.”
Unlike the others, it wasn’t an easy decision to make. I talked myself into… and out of… applying many times. I tried to figure out where I could fit a fifth into my writing schedule. Finally, a friend of mine told me in mock frustration… “I think you already know what the answer is going to be… you wouldn’t be talking about it this much if you hadn’t already made your mind up.”
Of course, they were right… and so I put in a very specific request. I wanted a three-year-old girl.
Then came the waiting.

I nearly drove myself batty, checking my account multiple times a day. I hoped to have her by Christmas… and then held out hope for New Year’s. Patience is a virtue I didn’t have at all, at least not for the past couple of weeks. Every night my prayer was… “Jesus, you see the little sweetheart who’s coming my way. Be with her and her family and keep her safe. Help me to show her your love…” I was more than ready for “Angel #5” to arrive.

And then, on January the 2nd, 2015… I opened my account, and there she was. She was everything I’d hoped for, longed for, prayed for, and dreamed of; the most precious gift I could have asked for.

So I’d like you all to officially meet Miriam, who is three years old and lives in Kenya with her mother and father. She’s too young to attend school, but she helps around the house by taking care of the animals and she loves playing ball games!

Welcome to the family Miriam… you are so loved!