Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Everyone Likes Free Stuff!

So, I'm pretty new to this blogging thing. I'm learning as I go. I'd love comments and feedback from anyone who happens to stop in, and please share my blog with others!

I was browsing the website the other day (a dangerous thing once you are a sponsor--it is so hard to pass up those beautiful children who need sponsorship!). I came across a wealth of free resources that I think a lot of moms would love to get their hands on, but are probably unaware of.

First, if you are a homeschooling mom, teacher, Sunday School teacher, children's minister, or any parent who wants to share cultures and lives of children in other countries, the Christian Homeschool resources are really wonderful.

One lesson focuses on Burkina Faso, which just happens to be where two of our sponsored kids live. The curriculum materials include information about Burkina Faso, activities to help children understand how their lives differ from children living in Burkina Faso from the perspective of relative wealth, and crafts to make a homemade soccer ball from recycled materials (plastic bags!) and a beaded bracelet from recycled magazines. Burkina Faso celebrates the arts, and many of its residents are craftsmen, so arts and crafts are a good way to celebrate and remember the culture of that country.

Another lesson focuses on Brazil, and on taking care of our rain forests and other creatures in God's world. Children learn to identify food products in their own homes that originated in the rainforest, and make a rain forest in a bottle. In lesson plan two, kids unscramble the names of countries and capitals to improve geography skills.

Other regions explored include Peru, Mexico, and India, and focuses extend from Biblical concepts of stewardship, evangelism, and caring for others to science (how mudslides occur and how they can be prevented, for example), measurements, map reading skills, and other important concepts.

You can access the materials and download the lesson pdfs at

Another freebie for parents and kids is the really cool "For Kids" section of  This page offers an online educational journey called "Quest for Compassion" to four countries where Compassion's ministry works on behalf of children. Kids can also access "Explorer Magazine" for children, which can be read online or printed in hard copy. This magazine features stories of children around the world and activities that help children learn about poverty and culture. Also included are recipes and crafts from the featured countries.

You can access "For Kids" and all of its content at

Finally, if you have a heart for helping the poor--particularly through Compassion International, there are a variety of free resources available to you online, including posters detailing poverty-related statistics; computer wallpaper; web gadgets (banners, widgets, etc); and videos.

You can access free downloads at

With so many free resources, it's well worth your time to visit the site and see what they have available. And while you're there, why not sponsor a child?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Starting Up(Ward)!

In November of 2012 my sweet husband lost his dear grandfather. A kind man with a big heart, a love for all things Lawrence Welk, and a lot of attitude, he left behind a big gap in our family and our hearts.

After his funeral passed, and as Thanksgiving approached, I began to try to think of ways to honor his memory. I do not recall what led me to Compassion International, specifically, but I know WHO led me. Unmistakably, the hand of God was present in my stumbling accross the Compassion International website and confronting the faces of sweet children across the globe.

After searching my soul and, truth be told, searching Google for charity watch statistics on Compassion International compared to other charity organizations, I was sold on the idea of sponsoring a child.

Thirty-eight dollars a month...One meal out for a family of three, and that's not even at a high-end restaurant. $1.25 a day--less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks. That's all it takes to sponsor one child through Compassion.

I picked our first child, 4 year old Mohamed Diarra, simply by sorting through the kids who had been waiting a long time for a sponsor, and then by looking at their ages. I have a 2.5 year old son, and my thought was that perhaps in the future they would be able to write to each other. I signed up to be a sponsor, and with a full heart I told my husband about my sponsorship..... then I started thinking about girls in developing countries, and how they are often considered second-rate, unwanted citizens.  I began to worry...

Later that same evening, while watching TV, I flipped through row after row of kids on my phone. Then I saw sweet 5 year old Korotimi Millago. Standing in her best pink dress, looking hopeful but not *too* hopeful for the camera. I loved her instantly. Before I even had a chance to think much about it, I had signed up to sponsor her. My sweet husband just laughed and accepted her as part of our new family.

A few weeks later, after joining the Compassion forum for sponsors, I read a post by a young woman who, for financial reasons, was having to let go of some of her sponsored children. One face on her post kept tugging at my heart. I just felt so led to embrace this young girl, 7 year old Marcelle Banassim. After asking my husband if he minded if we picked up "just one more" I jumped in and asked to have her transfered to my account.

Now I am fortunate enough to sponsor 3 kids, and serve as a correspondent to 3 others--handsome 13 year old Andres, beautiful 15 year old Florance, and my lovely 21 year old Maryadasu.

However you select a child to sponsor, my plea is---listen to the tugging on your heart! For the price of a CUP OF COFFEE you can make a real difference in the life of a CHILD!  And how much more valuable is a child than a cup of coffee?