Naturally, when I heard that this year’s Compassion Bloggers team was headed to the Philippines, I was intrigued and excited.
First, because the Philippines is the country of my ancestry.
Second, because my local church recently planted a church and school in the Philippines.
Third, because I am greatly inspired by the work of Compassion International.
By following the Compassion team’s journey this week, I see a small window into a world that is so close and yet a polar opposite.
As a first-generation American (in my father’s lineage), I can picture my dad in the faces of each of those little boys that they visit.
My dad’s journey to the United States was innately led by God, each step of the way. Because of his faithfulness and obedience, I am living comfortably in the suburbs of one of the largest cities in California.
It is not lost on me that if a single choice he made was different, it could have altered my life as I know it.
He was one of those barefoot kids in a small fishing village on the river. He started working at the age of 9 to support his family (my dad’s father died when he was 4) and to pay for his schooling.
Compassion International had not been formed yet, but there were several caring individuals along the way who opened doors of opportunities for him that eventually led him to the United States.
A missionary team to the Philippines led a VBS-type service and my dad happened to wander in. He wanted to know more about Jesus and committed his life to following his teachings. This choice greatly influenced and shaped his life.
Long story short & fast forward to present day……. It’s as if I’m on the opposite side of the looking glass.
I want to do my part to make a difference. Over the past year, I’ve contemplated whether to join one of our church ministry teams to the Philippines. And, through the Compassion Blogger teams, I can really see the value of sponsoring a child. I haven’t made a commitment to either option yet, but I have a greater sense of urgency to prayerfully take that first step.
Founded in 1952, Compassion International, with the support of its donors, volunteers and staff, provides for 1 million children in 26 different countries. Their work is life-changing. Read their vision statement and the posts from the bloggers past and present and come to your own conclusion :)
But first, read this amazing post by Shaun Groves who is one of the Compassion Trip Leaders. Kristin Welch traveled with Compassion last year. There is no such thing as “random” in this story! Don’t wait. Read it now :)