Jody’s Story

Last week Jody, a mom of 5, shared with me her Compassion story. It was such a compelling story that I asked her if I could share it with you!

I love stories where God squashes our fears and does His best work!  That’s what this story is all about!

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1903489_10152189837737381_1416794775_nJoining Compassion was a process that involved our entire family. We have five children ranging in age from 4 to 15. We have taken our older three to the WinterJam concert for the last few years as a night with them & their friends.

As you may know, there is a Compassion presentation during the concert. The stories tugged at my heart, but raising five children of our own and the burdens of medical bills for one with heart issues, and the uncertain future for one of our younger ones who was in the midst of diagnostics, which turned out as we expected with an autism diagnosis, and the therapy that would follow for him, I wrote it off as an impractical desire amongst the reality of our financial mess.

Last year, our youngest daughter was ill, so I stayed home with the two littles while my husband took our three bigs to the concert. We bought the kids’ tickets into the concert, but they were on their own for t-shirts or any souvenirs. They all had money which they had earned through various jobs. I was excited to hear all about the concert & see their new shirts as they returned exhausted at nearly midnight.

Our oldest son hung back, letting the twins, four years younger than him, share all their stories. Once they headed to bed, I asked him where his shirt was.

“Well, ya know how they talk about the kids in other countries?”

“The Compassion kids?”

“Yea. Mom, I know I don’t have enough money to sponsor one, but I figured the $15 I’d spend on a t-shirt could help them a whole lot more than I need another shirt, so I put it in the bucket.”

I was speechless, convicted, and still tear up remembering the conversation.

A few days later, his younger sister asked me why he hadn’t worn his WinterJam shirt yet like she & her twin had, so I told her what had transpired. Much to my surprise, she said, “You know, Mom, I’ve been thinking about those kids, too. And I figure there’s seven of us, if we all give up a dollar a week that would almost let us sponsor one. I know it wouldn’t get us there, but we’d be close, wouldn’t we?”

My heart skipped a beat. “Yes, it would, Baby. Yes, it would.”

Six weeks later I was sitting at the 2013 Hearts at Home National conference, listening to the presentation of a man who had been a Compassion child. I could not get his words out of my mind and heart while I browsed through the exhibitor area looking for just the right take-home from the conference. I bet I visited the Compassion table a dozen times thinking about my own kids, remembering our conversations, and pouring over the kids on the table, promising myself I wouldn’t make any commitments because I knew what it financially took just for me to be able to get to the conference that day, but also realizing God was working on my heart in a way I couldn’t deny.

So, as any good Christian mom would do, I bargained with God. Crazy, right? I told God that if He could show me a child that was so much like one of my own, that I’d think about checking with my husband to see if there was any way possible we could make this work.

1937843_10152189834762381_1246777340_nRemember one of the reasons I used as why not to do this was the uncertainty of financial burden that lie ahead due to our youngest son needing therapy for autism? Would you believe that in the hundreds of children represented on that table there was one whose birthday was a mere 10 days off from that son? And his favorite things listed were art, running, and playing with cars – the same as that son? And would you believe that if you covered the hair of that compassion child and lightened his skin a bit, you’d be looking at a child who could pass for a sibling to that same son of mine?

Of course you’d believe it. After all, I had bargained with God, remember?

And so it was, I found myself timidly texting my husband, “Have you ever thought about maybe, ya know, when we could, if we ever could, maybe sponsoring a Compassion Child? Ya know, if we could ever somehow make it work?”

I expected a delayed response something along the lines of wouldn’t that be nice? Much to my surprise, I had an instantaneous reply, “YES!”

Before I could even confirm that I understood correctly, he sent another message, “Yes, do the paperwork. I already know how we can do it!”

To think I spent so much time stewing over what seemed like the big things, all the while God had already made them little things. Of course, I knew all things are possible through Him, but to be reminded in such a powerful way… He is so patient with me.

1948021_10152189837317381_1063500004_nWe added Josue to our family that very day. Our children pour over his letters and get just as excited as I do when we see a Compassion envelope in the mail. Our youngest daughter, now 4, has asked a couple of times when she’ll get to meet her Compassion brother Joey. Oh how my heart longs for that day.

Ordinarily, I would have been quick to respond that we’d never be able to afford that, but reflecting back on how he came to be a part of our family, I know that if God wills it, it will be done.

Not only have we been able to support him on a monthly basis, but God has also provided for us to send extra for his birthday and to help his family at Christmas time, all in a time that we still work month to month to cover our own expenses.

As always, God provides.

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My 50th Birthday WishWe’re up to 9 kids who have been sponsored in the last 12 days.  Maybe you have some of the same concerns Jody had.  I hope her story was encouraging and if you aren’t already sponsoring a child, you’ll sincerely pray about it.

Below you’ll find a way that you can find a child who shares your birthday or your child’s birthday.  This is one way many people choose a child to sponsor!

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