Having never set foot in Colombia, how is it possible for me to be part of her life? The answer is a Christ-centered ministry, Compassion International. Their motto is "Releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name."
I love the scripture that is featured in their sponsor's booklet, Isaiah 58:10 (NIV):
If you spend yourself on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness.
So many of my friends have sponsored a Compassion child over the years, seeing them through their childhood, exchanging photos and letters (through Compassion's translators) that I'd always hoped to be able to sponsor a child of our own. Our family excitedly made up our shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child, and I even had the opportunity to help sort and pack shoe boxes at Samaritan's Purse's warehouse for Christmas 2011. But no lifelong personal connection was formed.
Now, it seems, that with the children grown and Steve's estate settling, it is the right time to make a lifetime commitment. I was impatient, but was forgetting Psalm 27:14.
Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your
Wait, I say, on the LORD!
My heart needed strengthening, and with every aspect of Steve's mounting mental and emotional issues, God formed courage in me, and confidence to step out in faith, following his call to serve others. At our Mary Kay Career Conference today in Ontario, CA, consultants and directors gained courage from the testimonies of many Christ-following women, women of prayer, faith and boldness, whose leadership opened up opportunities for scores of others, while providing for their own families. I now have the boldness to set a deadline for my goals, and to lay out a "track to run on." By God's grace and believing His spoken promise of a year ago--"I am in this for you"--I will be a Sales Director by Seminar 2013 in August!
I have goals for little Niccol, too, made possible by the ministry of Compassion International. With my monthly support through the years, she will be able to go to to a child development center where she will have a nutritious meal, learn hygiene, get homework help, participate in sports, learn vocational skills and attend Bible classes in addition to attending school.
How I look forward to praying for this little one, of whom Jesus said (Luke 18:16),
Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.