Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

There are so many things I could say to prove how fortunate I am as a wife, a friend, and a mother... especially on Valentine's day. And please know that my heart is true and sound when I say that I love my husband and son .. along with my lifestyle... more than anything in this world, and I wouldn't trade it for a moment.

But, I also know that there are many hurting people out there, across the world, who don't even have a fraction of what I've been blessed with... people who are hungry, sick, poor, empty both physically and spiritually, and they don't realize that there's really anything else out there than what they are surrounded by.

But there is. It's the love of Jesus.

It may not find them a better place to live ... right now ...
It may not find them immediate health ... right now ...
It may not find them with full bellies ... right now...
It may not give them wealth untold ... right now...

But trust me when I say, there is a world out there dying... dying to know of a man named Jesus who can save their souls, heal their emotional state of being, and fill their spiritual cavities to overflowing. And yes, it may be true that this man named Jesus won't make them rich, or give them full bellies, or line their pockets with money ... but He will give them everlasting life, mansions in heaven, perfect health ... riches that the likes of me or you could never share with them.

So please ... on this day of love ... as you take a moment to reminisce on how much you love your spouse, or your children, or your friends and family -- also take a moment to remember the many, MANY children, women and men in third-world countries who have nothing ... nothing but each other, and a small handful of men and women sharing the love of Jesus with them.

And then there's always me. And you. How can we become a part of their lives? How can we impact their little world in a big way? How can we make a difference?

Well, my friends Shannon (from Rocks in my Dryer) and Sophie (from BooMama) are doing that right now, along with Compassion International. They are in Uganda seeing and experiencing first hand things that you and I only read in papers, magazines, or see on TV and hear on the radio.

You can hop over to their blogs and read their experiences first hand, see heart touching pictures, and know that someone is making a difference, and there's a way that YOU can too...

So for Valentine's Day, I encourage you, and CHALLENGE you to think outside the box. Do something different with your sweet-ones. Why not sponsor a child instead of purchasing a box of chocolates, a dozen roses, or a fancy meal or weekend away... That's what my family is doing.

I'll close with a quote from Shaun Groves' blog (who is on the same trip with Shannon, Sophie, and others) that explains how sponsoring one child works to break a vicious cycle:

In Uganda, one of Compassion’s goals is to care for one child in every impoverished home. As that child’s needs are met the entire family is rescued.

The parents of a sponsored child are taught proper nutrition, given a skill they can earn money with, taught how to manage their money. They are educated in family planning so the family will not grow unless they want it to, and taught disease control so that HIV and other common illnesses are prevented. They are taught how to parent and are no longer alone: Every bit of Compassion’s care, in twenty-four countries, is administered by the local church which means that pastors and Christian social workers from Compassion visit every family regularly - in this case, at least once every month. Those visits build community, a network of support, and help then is always nearby.

[The one child sponsored] ... then helps her entire family by simply being sponsored. One sponsor isn’t just releasing one girl from poverty, but [her entire] family. They all thank God for that generous American. They read the letters that arrive from across the ocean.

One child released from poverty is saving [the entire family].

You can change a family right now. Sponsor a child through Compassion International.

"Whatever you do unto the least of these brothers,
you do unto me."

Matthew 25:40 (NIV)


Susanne said...

What a most loving, giving post this Valentine's, Gibee!

Sandy said...

Great post, GiBee. Happy Late V-Day to you and your family.
We've always sponsored a Compassion Child. Our children have grown up w/them (pix on our kitchen cupboards). So worth it.
Bless you! Sandy