An Impossible Perspective

I look around me and I wonder.

I wonder a lot of things.

I especially wonder why…why, in this beautiful tropical country, one where God’s fingerprints are everywhere, I still see such need all around me.

Not just physical, but emotional. Spiritual.

It’s as if the need has become too great and no one knows how to help.

Each day is the same for me.

I put on my one pair of tattered flip flops and trudge to the market.

I pass children in their school uniforms. Carrying backpacks with books. Pencils. Paper. They’re excited.

Oh, how I long to be one of them.

There’s so much to learn…do…see…discover. And I want to sit in a classroom and soak it all up right along with them.

I arrive at the market and find my father…the man who sells fish.

Sometimes he sells enough to provide for our family that day. Sometimes not.

But I help him. I love him and am so proud of him for doing what he can for our family.

That evening we go home. Short on sales that day, our family has a bit of rice for dinner. My parents are tired, worn out, discouraged…and we go to sleep early on the corner mattress we share.

I lie there in the dark…and I wait.

I’m waiting for something. Someone. I’m not sure what or who or how, but I pray every day that it will happen.

That someone will choose to help ME. That they will sacrifice a little so I can go to school. And wear red shorts and a white shirt and sit in a classroom and learn all I can. So my family can eat. So my parents can rest easy each night knowing that our basic needs are met.

Maybe they will even have enough energy to join me at church on Sunday.

It’s a beautiful dream and one that could come true, but I need that person. Someone to say, “Your life matters. You are worth investing in. And I want to be that person.”

It would truly change my life forever.

*********************

Sometimes, even as a writer, I find it impossible to fully find the perspective of someone.

A child waiting for a sponsor is one of those people.

It’s almost a place I don’t want to go. Most of you know that I’ve seen this very situation…walked right past it many times, I’m sure. I’ll never forget the sight of those students in their red shorts and white shirts on their way to school. And near them, the children who didn’t wear their school uniforms. Didn’t go to school…not because they didn’t want to but because they couldn’t afford to.

I saw need. In the eyes of those children whose lives were spent begging at the corner of Jalan Sukajadi and Pasteur. I wanted something different…better for them. I hope and pray that somehow they found it.

Tomorrow marks the last day of Compassion’s Blog Month. As of Friday, there are still over 400 children waiting for sponsors.

It’s never too late to change the life of a child.

Because every child deserves a chance.

Sig

On Making a Difference: A Letter to God

Dear God,

Do you remember him?

That little boy who stole my heart that summer so long ago? I can’t believe it’s been thirteen summers since I fell in love with the sticky heat of the Amazon and all that came with it.

Especially him.

Eladio.

He was one of hundreds we saw. Talked to. Loved. Those streetkids who just wanted someone…anyone.

But there was something about this particular boy…the way his eyes pleaded, the way he scraped the last bits of shoe polish from his can in his attempt to polish my sandals and earn a few extra soles for…well, I don’t know who exactly.

Was there even a family for him to go home to?

And do you remember how long I wore those sandals? I do…it broke my heart when I finally threw them away.

I was just a college student on what I thought would be just a summer adventure to write home about. I had no idea he would change me. That Peru would change me. That my heart would never, ever be the same.

I still ache today thinking about him.

Now he’s an adult…and I wonder sometimes. Did someone take the time to love him? Did he grow up healthy and strong? Did he grow up to love You? Did he grow up at all?

I really can’t think of that last question, God…because I’ll never know the answer this side of eternity. And even more-than-sometimes…I wish I had done more. Tried to find him…and maybe, somehow, sponsored him. Even a college student could have found a way.

God, you know Eladio never left my mind or my heart. And how often I still go back to look at his picture.

And then…you gave us an opportunity. Another chance to make a difference. His name is Putra, a nine year-old boy from our beloved Indonesia. I’m amazed at Your Goodness…how you brought our hearts to this place and showed us which child needed us. We already love him. We are anxious to see what You will do through him.

Thank you for him.

Sponsoring him makes me want another one. And another.

God, I pray that they will all get sponsors. Please. Whether it’s through my blog or another, please don’t keep them waiting longer.

And, God…be with Putra. Let him know, somehow, that we love him and are praying for him every day. We’ll be telling him that soon in our first letter, and I can’t wait to write it.

Love,
Mel

September is Blog Month for Compassion. I’ve committed to write blog posts for them to raise awareness for child sponsorship during the month. But I have to be honest here…I LOVE this ministry. I have a feeling I’ll keep on writing these posts for a long time. :) Should you feel led to sponsor a child, you can simply click here or on the Child Sponsorship button on my sidebar. Pray over the children you see, and ask God who he might be asking you to sponsor. You truly can make a difference! Thanks for being here!

Sig

Little Blessings (Pt. 48)

I feel bad that this series has tapered off…trust me, my life is abounding with blessings. And I need to keep counting them, even on the rough days.

God is doing some really cool things, and I’m excited to share them with you, hopefully soon.

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend. :)

Now, the list. 😉

:) Ice cream dates with my girl. Like, the kind when I end up wearing half of her sundae before the date is over. Choosing to smile over our precious time together instead.

:) This 5k. Which I managed to run a mere 25 days after having my gall bladder out. Nowhere near a PR for me, but I love the cause. Was worth the pain that running FOUR hills involved, and I managed to still break 30. 😉 (Ok, I’ll stop…some of you have heard me talk about this a little too much! HA.)

:) Symphony concerts with friends.

:) Changing the life of a child. So thankful for my Bible study group and their decision to sponsor a child. You can, too!

:) Hide and seek with a two-year old who skips five every time she counts to ten. LOVE her.

:) Parades and candy and perfect, sunshine-y 70 degree weather.

:) Piano duets with a certain little girl…a strange mix of beauty and chaos. So profound that it triggered a blog post I’m hoping to use as a guest-write. We’ll see. :)

:) Flowers and barefoot dancing.

:) The promise of fall being here very soon.

:) Seasons…and that He performs miracles in each one. My Father is Good.

Sig

Take a Few Minutes…

…and watch this.

I know child sponsorship isn’t for everyone. I know finances are tight for a lot of people.

But these few minutes were life-changing for me. More than ever, I wish I could rescue every. single. one. of them.

Will you help?

One Act from Compassion International on Vimeo.

Sig

Compassion…Change a Life

A few of you know that for several years, I’ve wanted to write.

That’s kind of been a bumpy road.

Finding a good fit for me has been hard. I wrote a few articles for a local online newspaper, but it wasn’t really my thing. (And I have a hard time sticking to a theme…hellOOOO! Just read the random of this place.) 😉

Several months ago, I decided that stressing over what might be next for me as far as writing (if there even IS anything) wasn’t worth it.

This blog is my space…my place. And in some very real ways, a piece of home. And so it’s where I’m staying. Just to do my own little thing.

However, one of my long-term dreams has been, for several years, to blog a trip for Compassion. For those of you unfamiliar with what that might entail, Compassion takes bloggers with them on their trips to visit sponsored children. Those bloggers are able to provide new perspectives because they are seeing and experiencing with new eyes and hearts.

I don’t make it much of a secret that I’d love to do that.

But that really can’t happen at the moment. For one thing, I have a two year-old girlie. My place is with her for now. And the bigger reason is they tend to choose bloggers who have higher amounts of traffic and comments. (That’s not a subtle hint. Or a not-so-subtle one, either. Just the facts. ;))

Last week I was browsing the Compassion site and came across something…

Want to blog for us?

Um, YEAH! (Pretty sure that was audible, though Maelie was the only one to hear it. :))

It turns out that Compassion is asking bloggers to write for them during the month of September to raise awareness and ask readers to consider sponsoring a child.

I can do that. In fact, I would LOVE to. :)

I can’t sit here and tell you that I understand the extreme poverty, hunger, and sheer need that these children face. Yes, I have lived near people very much in these circumstances.

But I have also never, ever been without. I have never been asked to enter in to the suffering experienced by so many children around the world. God has blessed me abundantly and given so much MORE than I could ever ask or imagine.

I honestly don’t know whose eyes see this. If my blog is anything like the many I read but don’t necessarily comment on, I could have a lot of readers.

Will you do me a favor?

First, leave a comment. I want to know you’ve been here. You can just say hi or tell me your favorite joke or compliment me on my awesome word usage. (Well, sometimes. ;))

Second, would you pray? For children around the world who are in life or death situations. Such a small amount of money each month would turn those situations around and give them HOPE.

Third, would you consider sponsoring a child? I can’t guilt you here. I can’t force it. Nor do I want to. But I can give you the opportunity to think about it. Pray and see what God might have you do.

I had this crazy, but super-cool, idea that it would be awesome if, through BarefootMel, I could get 100 children sponsored this month. (There are currently 3,108 waiting for sponsors. That’s a LOT!) All you have to do? Is click the button on my sidebar, pray through the children you see, choose one, and that’s that!

The lives of 100 kids changed forever. Or even MORE!

THAT’S something that can be done NOW. Love it.

I do want to point out that the blogger who gets the most children sponsored through his/her blog gets a spot on an upcoming Compassion trip as a blogger. That’s not why I chose to do this. It’s ultimately about seeing lives changed, and that’s what I want more than anything…just being up-front. :) But it would be pretty awesome to get to participate in a Compassion trip.

That’s all.

Oh! I almost forgot the best part…we have a new family member. :) His name is Putra, and he is a nine year-old boy from Indonesia. My husband and I decided we needed to finally put some walking with our talking. I have to tell you that I’m already in love, too. I can’t wait to share pictures with you!

Sig