Thursday, September 6, 2012

Life Happens

So I'm aware that I never posted anymore pictures from the Picture a Day July challenge. That's mainly because I didn't finish. I ended up getting busy and forgetting to take pictures, and I just gave up. So, there's the lame (but true!) reason why you haven't heard from me in a while.

 So, I could spend this time telling you all about how my job has been working me crazy lately (oh, the joys of working in the fast food industry), and how school has been tough (grad school isn't easy). I could also tell you how I'm preparing for my upcoming, and much needed, vacation in a couple of weeks, and how as soon as I get back from that, I'm moving into my own place. But, I'm not going to bore you with all of that. Instead, I want to talk about something that has been close to my heart. Something that I am proud to be a part of, and something that excites me. And that's helping people. Especially kids. Especially kids who don't have a way to help themselves.

A few years ago, back when I was attending church regularly, I signed up to sponsor a child through a charity called Compassion International. His name was Fardhan, and he was from Indonesia. He was 6, and his birthday was the same day as my 5-year-old cousin's--the cousin who had died earlier that year due to severe medical problems. I knew when I saw Fardhan's birth date, that God was telling me that I needed to help this little boy. And so for over a year, I got to be this child's prayer warrior, friend, and helper. I wrote to him every month, and every other month or so, I would get a letter back from him. The $32 a month that I spent to help him wasn't much to me, but I knew that it meant everything to him and his family. They were poor (as all Compassion children are), and this money helped them get everything they needed. Every letter I got from Fardhan told me how much he appreciated my help and my prayers, and he told me about the things he was able to do with the money. He also told me about the things he was learning in the Compassion programs that were run through his church. It made my heart so glad to hear about how he was learning about God and how much he enjoyed it. I loved getting letters from him, and I saved them all.

However, in November 2009, I had to quit my job because I was about to start my last semester of my undergraduate degree, and that meant that I would be student teaching full time. I needed to focus on my school, and luckily I was in a position where I could quit my job to focus on school. However, that meant that I had no income coming in to support myself, much less Fardhan. So I had to give up sponsoring that amazing little child. It broke my heart to do so, and I fought to find ways to still be able to sponsor him, despite not having any income. But I couldn't.

I haven't been involved with Compassion in almost 2 years now, because I haven't really been in a position to be able to sponsor other children. However, now that I'm working a lot and making pretty decent money (for me anyway), I am happy to say that I am once again able to sponsor a child. I got a letter from Compassion in the mail last month asking me if I would like to come back and sponsor another child. I thought about it, remembered how much I enjoyed sponsoring Fardhan, and decided to give it another try. This time, however, I wanted a slightly older child. But I still wanted one from Asia (with Compassion, you can decided the age range, region, and gender of the child you would like to sponsor; you can also visit their site and pick out the exact child you want to sponsor). Since my degree is in middle grades education, I wanted a child in that age range. So I filled out the form and sent it in. About 2 weeks later, I got a letter from Compassion with the information about my sponsor child!

His name is Yehezkiel (his nickname is Ekel), and he's also from Indonesia. He's 11 years old, and his birthday is April 6.....which is 3 days before my birthday!

I've already written one letter to him, and I'm planning on writing another one. Hopefully I'll get that done today. :)

My relationship with God isn't anywhere near what is should be, or even where it once was. I've had a lot happen in my life over the past couple of years, and my faith has taken a hit. But I really feel like God wants me to be a part of Ekel's life, and that by doing so, my life is going to change. I'm definitely interested to see where God takes me and Ekel now. And I'm excited about getting my relationship with God back where it should be. It's going to take time, I know. But I'm finally ready to get back to where I need to be.

If you want to find out more about Compassion, check out their site. It'll give you information about the charity, as well as how to go about sponsoring your own child (and the price has gone up a bit--it's now $38 a month).