Wednesday, 22 March 2017

A Gift From God

Some days are hard.

I know we all struggle, but sometimes I feel like I struggle more than most. Sometimes there is just so much bad that it's hard to see the good. I'll admit it's been hard for me to see the bright side lately... car troubles that I can't afford to fix, stress, anxiety, anger from being constantly stressed and anxious, negativity from everyone around me, some health problems, and just general constant worry about how I'm going to make it through and keep my head above water.

The day before yesterday was like that. The official "First Day of Spring" arrived with 15 centimeters of snow and an ice storm to beat the band. I got stuck just trying to get home from work. My car isn't the most reliable to begin with, and armed with only "baloney-skins", which is what we call worn-out tires in Newfoundland, I floundered at the bottom of a hill. Trucks, jeeps, vans, and even little sports cars zoomed past me while I slipped and skidded, backed up, gunned her forward, slithered and slid, backed up, pressed on the gas and slid further backwards... the slushy ground was full of skid marks from trying to avoid the ditch.

Kind of like my life at this point.... sitting on black ice while the rest of the world is driving with studded tires.

To make a long story short, a generous stranger in a pickup stopped and offered to tow me up the hill... with a good set of chains and another gentleman lending salt, he deposited me at my front door in no time. But needless to say, I was worn out. Sick of winter, sick of fighting, sick of pretty much everything.

I practically crawled into my bedroom, too tired to even attempt to make dinner. I idly logged into my Compassion account, mainly to check and see if I had received any letters from my kids. But I stopped abruptly when I saw a little face that hadn't been there before.

And then I saw her name... and I burst into tears.


My own precious little Ugandan princess... my little angel sent as a sign of His grace.

My Perfect Gift from God.

She is six years old and lives in Northern Uganda... a place filled with hardships and suffering, with war and turmoil and terror and disease and poverty. And somehow, in a place where children are often thrown away, the Grace of God was enough to let a Ugandan mother name her child Gifty.

And somehow, God saw fit to "gift" this little warrior to me, on the very day that I so needed a Gift of mercy. God in His lovingkindness never fails.

Welcome to the family Gifty... I love you so much already!

And in closing, I quote these lyrics by John Schlitt:

"It's a blessing every day I get to see her face;
I could never ever ask for more than this,
She is such a gift.
Lord, thank you for the Gift." 

Friday, 10 March 2017

God Always Knows: Welcome Elijah!

Have you ever had a God-moment so big that you just had to stop and step back and try to take it in? One that filled you with awe, and maybe brought tears to your eyes? One that made you laugh and cry a little at the same time?

I had a moment like that recently.

But let me start at the beginning.

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you will know that I sponsor a truly wonderful young man named Mbula in Kenya. You may also know that he will be graduating from Compassion's program very soon; this month, in fact. He has received his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (the equivalent to our High School diploma) and is beginning his studies in Computer Technology. To say I am proud of him would be a massive understatement!

So as Mbula is preparing to graduate, and as I am preparing my heart and mind for the fact that I will be "losing" him very shortly, I have also been praying about expanding my family again. I knew a long time ago that I wanted another correspondence child from Kenya, since my experience with Mbula and with my little girl Miriam has been exceptional! So I recently requested that my name be added to Compassion's waitlist for a child from Kenya to write to. Any age, either gender... I just wanted a child from Kenya.

But with that being done, I began to question my own decision. Wouldn't it be better, I thought, to request a correspondence child from a country I have never sponsored in before? And perhaps... perhaps, I thought, I could instead sponsor another young man from Kenya, in Mbula's honor. Seventeen would be a good age... Mbula was eighteen when I began corresponding with him, and twenty when I took over his sponsorship.

I went back and forth on it for a while and finally decided to leave the request as it was. If I got assigned an "itty-bitty", or an older girl (both of which would have been more than fine in my books!) then I would think about sponsoring another young man. Maybe from the Maasai tribe... I've always had a deep interest in their culture. I even saw a seventeen-year-old young Maasai man on the website that tugged my heartstrings... but he was sponsored the next day.

And that was when God decided to step in. I opened my Compassion account one evening to check for new letters... and saw a new face instead.

A young man.

Age seventeen.


Tell me God doesn't have a sense of humor.

And here's the kicker... his name is Elijah. A name that when I was a little girl, I wanted to name my future son.

God ALWAYS knows!

And of course, the addition of Elijah brings my family up to the perfect number of 7.

Welcome sweet Elijah... my miracle son!

Elijah's previous Compassion photos