Sunday, August 22, 2010

Reaching out to our Community

Each year, our small suburb celebrates the end of of the summer season by hosting an ice cream social. It's a fun event which is taking place this very afternoon.

This past week we had some car trouble that ultimately forced us to cancel long held travel plans to visit family in New Hampshire. In the midst of the disappointment we began to make alternate plans and Julie soon remembered a phone call she'd received from a friend a couple weeks ago. Her friend had suggested reaching out to our local community center to ask if we might be able to set up a booth at the ice cream social to share about the Anslay Church of God Child Survival Program. Booths typically house local businesses and craft vendors, so we didn't know if we would get the opportunity.

Julie's call ultimately paid off and we were given permission to set up shop. We don't know what to expect but we're excited at the opportunity talk to others about Compassion and what the Lord is doing through CSPs around the world. If you happen to live in or near Dayton, Ohio we'd love to see you. The social is being held between 3:30PM and 7:00PM EST at Shafor Park in Oakwood at the corner of Shafor Boulevard and Patterson Road .

More importantly though, I would ask any of you who are following this blog to take a few moments to lift up a prayer this afternoon as we seek to stand in the gap for moms and babies living and dying a world away. Pray that hearts would be open and receptive, and that above all God would be glorified and lifted up.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Glimpsing the Future

As we partner with others to fund the Anslay Church of God Child Survival Program, we are looking forward to learning more about the people who will be blessed through the collected contributions. As more sponsorships arrive each week, we move a little bit closer towards the moment when we can report that the project is fully funded. We've got a long way to go yet, but feel so encouraged as God continues to move in people's hearts to participate.

In the mean time I wanted to pass along a couple of true stories that describe how the Lord is at work in the lives of individuals and communities where CSP programs have already been established. Both give a picture of the care that awaits the families in Mbulu, Tanzania once the project is funded.

The first recounts the story of a Ugandan mother who received lifesaving care for her and her newborn child as a result of a local CSP. You can read her story here.

The second is a copy of a report from a CSP in Illimomen, Kenya. This report is typical of what you will eventually receive as a sponsor of the Anslay project, and it provides a helpful summary of the actual number of mothers and infants that are a part of the program, a list of prayer requests, and photographs of the families. Since each CSP is managed and facilitated by a local church, the report also contains an interview with the project's pastor. You can read a copy of the report here.

Though we don't yet know the people of Mbulu, we know that God certainly does and we love them and continue to pray for the Lord's provision as we move forward. Please consider partnering with us today. Your contribution may very well save a life, and in the process begin to release a child and a family from poverty in Jesus' name!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Witness the Power of One

What if you knew that the gift of your commitment to love and support another individual, could literally save their life and set it on a path that might bless a multitude of others for generations and an eternity to come?

It’s easy to rattle off statistics about third-world mortality rates, and to quote incomprehensible figures meant to paint a picture of the losses being realized each day in places where hope is a concept as inconceivable as a snowflake. Contemplating and praying over the plight of the masses is both right and necessary, but at its heart, the most compelling number of all is the life of one.

By supporting Compassion’s Child Survival Program you give a little one a chance at life, and once they are old enough, the opportunity to be a part of the Child Sponsorship Program where they can develop a one-on-one relationship with a sponsor who will love, support, and pray for them. It’s truly difficult to measure the power of this connection as countless stories of hope, rescue, and redemption are living proof of its incredible impact. Many children grow up to qualify to be a part of Compassion’s Leadership Development Program which provides Christian leadership training and tuition for Compassion graduates to attend an accredited university. Though I could point you to encouraging statistics about the number of children being rescued from the cycle of poverty, I’d just like you to hear the amazing story of one.

The video below introduces you to Jimmy Wambua who shares his incredible journey of survival and hope in the midst of great deprivation and heart-wrenching tragedy. His story provides us with an incredible example of what can happen when one is simply willing to reach out to another to share the love of Christ. Perhaps today is the day for you to stand in the gap for one who is waiting for their own journey begin. (Jimmy’s story begins at the 1:50 mark)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What is the Chief End of Man?

This is a worthwhile question whether you are student of the Westminster Shorter Catechism or not. It seems simple enough, but upon closer inspection one quickly understands that it is very plainly asking for a singular answer. It doesn’t ask for “a chief end of man” since the exclusivity of the word, “chief” simply renders it illogical. No, instead pierces to the heart of the human condition with the unflinching audacity to demand and assume the truth.

The paradox is that our difficulty with this question only comes when we operate under the assumption that we in our humanity are the source for obtaining a valid answer. Our predicament grows even further when we begin to look within and reason that there is no valid response. Our culture clings to the ragged myth that there is no absolute truth, though some of the brightest and well-learned intellectuals of our day claim to believe this absolutely. Under this tail-chasing assumption, the belief that we are intended to “Glorify God and enjoy Him forever,” is not merely an absurdity. It is an abomination of the highest order.

On the other hand, many who would agree with this statement, don’t allow its words to penetrate past the heart. This is what I wrestle with the most. Does my life glorify the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Creator of the heavens and the earth whose majesty is wrapped up in the triune Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Scripture unashamedly claims that truth is not only knowable, but that it is His and His alone. If I am to accept this along with God’s grace, and forgiveness, then am I not compelled by love to give Him more of my life than I already do?

This is difficult for us to swallow as we live in an age of bloated consumerism and an addiction to vain pursuits and platforms that turn the smallest of us into the gods of our own temporary universes. It’s tragically ironic that as our technology improves and our television screens grow wider and more defined, our vision of the world seems to proportionately fade and blur. What do we have time for, or better yet, what are we making time for? Though one much wiser than me wrote that out of the abundance of one’s heart the mouth speaks, I wonder how much louder our actions call out when we squander the opportunities and gifts we’ve been given on vain and worthless pursuits?

There are many ends to man, but only one of them is chief above all. May all else fall away as we dedicate our hearts to it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

One-Time Gifts Revisited

Though it's been a little while since my last post I'm pleased to report that the number of needed sponsorships has dropped from our original goal of 123 down to 110. We've been thrilled and blessed to hear from a number of people who are passionate about saving the lives of children in Tanzania and we are thankful for every gift that's been made so far.

Though monthly sponsorships are a key element to sustain the program for years to come, we've also received some excellent questions about the need for one-time gifts. Already we've been contacted by individuals who have had garage sales, and also from others who have hosted birthday parties where donations to the CSP have been given in place of traditional gifts.

Almost every time the question has been asked, "Am I able to donate this money to the project?" Our answer, of course, is an enthusiastic, "Yes!"

We realize, however, that the link to Compassion's Anslay Church of God website appears to only offer the ability to give in monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual increments. However, the opportunity to give on a one-time basis is certainly available and is equally secure. Since I previously wrote about this back in June, I think the best thing is to provide you with that link which offers step-by-step instructions, complete with screen shots from each key portion of the website.

We are also available to answer any questions you might have about the site or any other aspect of the project, so feel free to e-mail us at We continue to feel so thankful as we partner with you to fund this project and share the love of Christ with so many who live a world away. It's even inspired us to come up with our own unique and creative ways to raise funds as well, and we'll be sharing much more about those plans in the coming days and weeks.

As always, this project is the Lord's "house" to build and these mothers and children belong to the One who sits on the throne at the right hand of the Father. We are confident in His abundant provision and grace as we continue to walk forward with you on this journey. God bless you and thank you for giving!