creating compassion

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Have you ever thought how different your life would look if you were born in a different country? Like not just France or Austrailia, but somewhere like Haiti or Botswana or Ecuador. It blows my mind thinking that if I was born in a majority world country, I honestly would have a much higher chance of not even being here today. And I want to do something about that.

So I’ve decided to raise money to help expectant mothers and mothers of young, at-risk kids in poor regions of Ecuador get some help. This help comes in the form of Compassion International’s Child Survival Program.

Though my family has been sponsoring Compassion children since I was around 6 years old, it is now that I’m realizing just how well this organization does at taking a holistic approach to ending poverty. I recently had the opportunity to hear more about how Compassion partners with local churches in poor areas to meet the needs of children, ensuring that they receive good food, water, education, and medical care, all the while sharing the gospel with them.

But here’s the thing: the sponsorship program starts at 4 years old, and there are millions of children living in poverty who don’t survive to that age because of preventable causes. Ecuador’s poor mountain regions of Chimborazo, Bolívar, and Manabi have some of the highest rates of child malnutrition, and the funds that I raise will go directly to providing equipment for the program and training for these young mothers. 

It’s so easy to pass the problem on to someone else. But I’m learning that if I want something to change, I can’t expect someone else to do everything. Please, please, please, consider giving to help these kiddos. I know that there are a lot of worthwhile causes out there that need a lot of funding, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen an organization with such a comprehensive and long-term approach to releasing people from poverty. I’m a college student and I don’t have the means right now to sponsor a child, but I do have a voice and a heart for these people. You have something to give –  don’t keep it to yourself.

Learn more about Compassion

Donate to my fundraising efforts

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Pursuing Holiness

I am beyond blessed to go to a school that will cancel class for a day so that we can gather together and worship our Creator. Every fall and spring, we have Day of Worship. It’s not just a time to sing praise songs and get pumped up on a spiritual high, but a time dedicated to beholding God through praise, scripture, teaching, and time spent alone with him. Usually each one has a theme, and yesterday we talked about holiness.

So often I sing some variation of “God, you are holy,” but I realized that I have let those words fall empty on my lips. The idea of God’s holiness is so, so far from me. I look to this world to find some semblance of holiness – but holy is distinct, set apart from this creation in every single way. I could never set up any kind of standard to measure it. HE is the standard. It is simply unfathomable; my mind cannot even grasp it. Confronted with this holiness, my first response is to fall to my knees and just cry. Even my shadowy, small view of his holiness is enough to ruin me – I have missed the mark so spectacularly. I feel much like Isaiah before God, saying

“Doom! It’s Doomsday!
I’m as good as dead!
Every word I’ve ever spoken is tainted—
blasphemous even!
And the people I live with talk the same way,
using words that corrupt and desecrate.
And here I’ve looked God in the face!
The King! God-of-the-Angel-Armies!” (Isaiah 6:5, The Message)

So what about God’s holiness causes Moses to worship him for it in Exodus 15? Why should we rejoice over this? Well, it was his very holiness that set apart the true living God from the false idols of Egypt. The same is true for us. No idol I could ever turn to could ever bear the weight of my sin. No idol meets the standard of holiness needed for redemption that is found in Christ alone. Especially considering that my biggest idol is ME. Looking at my life, it doesn’t take me long to conclude that I could never live up to that standard. But praise God, I am saved by grace, and my position before God stands on the perfect holiness of Jesus. Can I get an amen up in here? That is why his holiness causes us to well up with joy and thankfulness – without it we would be left to our sin. But our God chose to wrap himself in humanity, veiling his holy deity in flesh to die for us so that we could have salvation on the basis of his perfect sacrifice.

But that’s not all. And this is where my mind blows up a little bit: the Holy Spirit of God actually dwells inside us, helping us to pursue holiness. I have not been abandoned as an orphan to follow Jesus’ commands in my own strength, cause guess what – I can’t. But that same unfathomable holiness lives inside me through the Spirit, and I don’t have to live in slavery to my idols, to myself, to the lies I’ve believed. Peter says, “just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.” Why would he tell us that if we were not to pursue holiness? We need to have hearts that seek the Spirit and say yes to what he is guiding us to do. I know that some days I will fail to do this, and other days I will succeed, but I rest in knowing that God is faithful, and he isn’t done with me yet.

1 Thessalonians 5:24-25:  “Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.”