Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sharing Compassion (Thanks Captain Obvious)

Hello, it's Captain Obvious here. I love sharing about Compassion International.

I've been privileged to share with individuals, students (young and old), colleagues, churches and other sponsors and advocates. I cannot comprehend just how much God has used Compassion to grab my heart, twist it, squeeze it and break it in so many ways. Ever since I prayed that prayer for him to "break my heart for what breaks Yours." I have seen injustice, poverty, despair and hopelessness. THAT is what breaks God's heart.

He used Compassion to wrench me out of my nice little comfortable life that was all about me. I could no longer use my shyness and introverted nature as an excuse to do nothing, or hide away. Through Compassion God showed me my purpose in life: to use what I've been given to care for others, in particular little people. He has give me His "Father's heart" to enable me to love them and provide for them

I'm thankful to God for the opportunities He has given me to share my Compassion sponsorship journey with others, and the way He has used me to impact others, both in the developed and the developing world.

I see my purpose as Inspiring, Encouraging and Challenging other people, through the way I live my life and give to others. Sacrificial generosity.

To do this, I cannot stay quiet. My purpose in sharing about the journey God has brought me on is not to blow my own trumpet. I'm not foolish and arrogant enough to think it's all about me. But God in His grace and mercy has chosen to use me.

Occasionally I've had the opportunity to engage with a wider audience, and I wanted to share three of those with you now.

After my 2012 trip to Brazil, a friend contacted the local newspaper in the town where I lived, and suggested they do a profile piece as a bit of a "human interest" story. I wrote down a summary of my sponsorship journey and some information about Compassion. The spiritual climate of the town is quite challenging, and there is some hostility towards God and Christianity, but I did not shy away from the reason I do it being to share God's love with the kids and their families. Three days later there was a nice half-page spread with everything I had written, including the God stuff. I was quite pleased. (Note: I did not write the headline)

2013 was probably the biggest year for me in terms of my involvement with Compassion.
- Three trips to eleven countries,
- 5 kids sponsored at a Compassion Sunday event at a wonderful little Lutheran Church
- Many opportunities to share with students at the school I was employed at

In May I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from someone at Compassion, wondering if I'd be interested in doing an interview for the September edition of the Compassion magazine. I didn't have to think too hard about that one. So she sent me the questions, and I waded through the many, many stories I had from my travels, trying to decide which ones would effectively answer the question and at the same time inspire, challenge or encourage others to see the effectiveness of Compassion child sponsorship. This is the final result (please click on it to enlarge and read. I can't seem to edit it)

In 2011, I was talking about Compassion to a relative named Chad Loftis, who is a journalist/documentary maker/media guy. He was fascinated by my passion and intensity, and wanted to do a mini-documentary about my sponsorship journey. This involved travelling four hours down to the sleepy little town where I lived at the time, filming me going about my ordinary day (quite ordinary!), and then doing a sit-down interview with me.

The filming was done in May 2012, and he had planned to release it in the first half of 2013, but when Compassion heard about it, they wondered if it could be released at the same time as the magazine article, which was September 2013. This was later than Chad had hoped for, but he wasn't going to turn down exposure from an organisation like Compassion.

So I found myself in the unique situation of being overseas on another Compassion trip, and having a magazine article and a mini-doco released about me when I wasn't even in the country. Here it is if you haven't seen it already. Enjoy!

The Man with 50 Kids from Chad Loftis on Vimeo.

The hubbub only lasted a few days, but it was nice. Lots of encouragement, and literally thousands of people were seeing what God was doing through me. I was comfortable in myself because before the article and the doco were released, I gave them to God and said "Anything that comes out of this, take it and use it for Your glory." It was a pride test, and I like to think I passed.

Coming soon: The Book
Earlier this year, I decided to take the advice of many friends and write a book about Compassion, viewed through the lens of my personal experience. There are so many stories that need to be told, that I know God doesn't want just sitting in my personal journals, or my seen-by-a-few blog.

Stories of the realities of poverty - heartbreak, despair, hopelessness, loss and tragedy
Stories of Compassion - life transformation, joy, hope, faith, sacrifice and heroes.

The book is completed, and is in the hands of a couple of publishers. I'm just waiting to hear what they think. I am excited to see how God is going to use this book and my experiences to impact many more people and help them see the difference that they can make in the life of a child and that Compassion works!   

No comments:

Post a Comment