Give us a love for peace
Move us to brokenness
release from poverty
Your Kingdom here and now
To the least of these
Distribute what we have
That all may taste and see
Aaron Ivey and Matt Carter, a worship leader and pastor at my church home, penned these lines for a song from Aaron’s last album. Another line says,
So let the sick run free
the orphan find her home
Aaron’s daughter, Story, was born in Haiti. When she first came home to Austin, she was very sick. God’s miracles cannot be chronicled, but were logged as best was possible by his wife, Jamie.(You can follow her blog here. It makes me cry a lot less since the two youngest kids got home, but even when it’s not causing your heart to cry out to God, it’s hilarious.)
Anyway, the fact that Story had trouble standing for a while when she first got home, and I now see her running like a mad woman all over the church, provides a beautiful image of God’s power and mercy whenever I hear that line, the one about the sick running free and the orphan finding her home.
But back to Compassion. So Aaron and Jamie and really most of the leadership of the Stone strongly support Compassion International, an organization that makes it possible to sponsor kids from all over the world. They are a Christian organization, and they help kids through sponsorship not only get vital health care but also provide access to the Gospel. HELLO MY HEART!!
My first experience with orphans was during the summer of 2005 when I lived in orphanges all over India for two months. That adventure CHANGED MY LIFE. But that is another story for another day. Today’s story is about how God released my generosity from poverty.
You may or may not know that if you dissected my (metaphorical, please) heart, you’d find huge components of it dedicated to international mission and orphan care. God has KNIT children, especially those without earthly advocate, to my very being. Number one way to make Ritz cry: talking about children who are hurting. So I’ve wanted to support a compassion child for a LONG time. Well, to be more specific I’ve wanted to run an orphanage but as God keeps saying no to that one and keeps me here in America, I’ve wanted to sponsor a child. The problem here was that, as any casual reader may observe, my life is excitingly erratic. I have no sort of stability outside of the Spirit, and finances are just not something I know will be there, ever.
EXCEPT: the $47 a month I get from when I lived on a toxic waste dump!!! I call it my ’emergency money’ and i NEVER touch it- it’s in a bank account that i literally never look at unless God tells me to do something with it. Last year, God told me to give $500 to a person I knew. Didn’t tell me why, just told me to. Guess who “just-so-happened” to have $506 in her emergency money? THIS GIRL!!
So anyway, I’ve got this emergency money, that’s ALWAYS going to come in, that I NEVER touch, but I just never thought it to pay the $38/month fee to sponsor a compassion child.
Until last month, when I was setting up my budget for fund raising. Since I want to raise enough to NOT work other jobs, I had to include everything I pay for now. Supporting missions is a big part of my budget. Not because I’m awesome, but because God is awesome and uses a piddly bit of me to further his Kingdom. I LOVE how he does that! Anyway, I budgeted in a compassion child too because I want to support one. I LONG to, I feel CALLED to, and it’s just been disobedience that’s kept me from it this far.
Somehow, August wasn’t soon enough. I just couldn’t get over that I wanted to be involved in caring for a little one through this amazing organization NOW. So I prayed, God, can you give me the money to just sponsor for a year, so that I won’t have to worry about not having it one month?
And he said, “Well, what about your emergency money?”
“God, that’s for emergencies.”
“Children are starving and dying without my Word, Maritza. This is an emergency.”
So…. I signed up this morning and am now VERY HAPPILY sponsoring Bipin, a little boy in India. I hope I get to meet him some day.