Every other Tuesday, I have a writing class. The teacher will give us homework. This past week I had to write about me. It could be about a hobby or my name or whatever. So guess what I chose. Compassion! If you talk to me more than five minutes, you are likely to hear about it. I think that kinda makes it me :) So here is my paper-
So that is part of my Compassion story. It really has and is changing my life. What is your story?About MeOctober 29, 2012My name is Elisabeth, but most people call me Lizzie. I have a big heart and love people, especially little kids. So I guess it should not have come as a surprise that when I heard about Compassion International, I would later partner with them. Here let me tell you how it happened.It started as a challenge in August 2010. The Clubhouse magazine readers were challenged to raise money for the Haitian people. The money would be donated to Compassion to help the families recovering from the earthquake. Being who I am, I could not give up the chance to get the prize. Therefore, I donated some money to Compassion, and I got my prize.To tell you the truth, I did not even remember the name of the organization when I got an e-mail from them the following May. It said that many impoverished children needed sponsors. To look at them, you had to click a link. I asked my mom, and she said I could look at the kids needing sponsors. I did. And it changed my life.On the top right corner of the page, I saw a Filipino girl. Her name was Hymns. I clicked to see her profile. Then I saw the sassy four-year-old with her hands on her hips. I saw her cute pink dress. I read that her birthday was close to mine. I looked at some of the other kids, but none grabbed my heart like Hymns. Every day I would check back to see if she was still there. One day, she was not. I knew that I could not sponsor her because I did not have any money, but realizing that someone else sponsored her was heartbreaking. I would never know if they would write to her and love her like I would. To double-check, I e-mailed Compassion to make sure she was indeed sponsored. They confirmed my presumption.Reminding me that I could sponsor another child, the representative also told me I could correspond with a child. She told me I could write to a child who did not get any letters but had been financially sponsored. This was right up my ally. I had a pen pal and was always trying to write letters to my friends. I told them I would love to write to a girl. While gone camping, the packet for my new friend came in the mail. When I got home from the trip, I saw the envelope addressed to me. I tore the envelope open, trying to not act too excited. I pulled the booklet out and saw the face of an angel. Her name was Kartini. She lived on an exotic island in Indonesia, and she was eight years old. That night, I wrote to her. I told her I loved her and all about the trip I was on. A month or two later, I got the letter she wrote me. She told me she had a sister and brother. Kartini said she liked to bike and her favorite colors were red and yellow. It was then that I knew I had to write to more kids.Checking my account after school every day was soon rewarded. During the first week of school, I saw a new name on my account. Her name was Lucie. She was fifteen and lived in Haiti. However she was not affected by the earthquake. I wrote to her, and she wrote to me. She told me she like to wash dishes and jump rope. This really surprised me, because I hated to wash dishes. Whenever I have to wash dishes now, I remember what Lucie said. It makes it not so bad.I went on to write a little boy in Mexico, and I even got some friends to sponsor an older girl with me. In April 2012, I became an Advocate for Compassion. It was so exciting for me to learn more about Compassion through the Advocate training. Even though I am still too young to work a table at events, I can get child packets in the mail to find sponsors for. But I still wanted to do more.My dad helped me organize a bike-a-thon to raise money to sponsor a child of my own. Going door to door taught me a lot. Sometimes it is not always easy to help others, but it is always worth it. On September 22, the day came to ride. Because it was an individual event, just my sister, dad, and I rode that day. Riding 25 kilometers in the rain on a fine gravel path, I was exhausted practically from the start. Whenever I got behind or felt like quitting, I would think about how many people had helped me and how the child I chose to sponsor would be changed. The song “Your Presence is Heaven” by Israel Houghton kept playing in my head. It talked about how Jesus' presence in our lives is like heaven. I knew that God was with me and that He was happy with what I was doing to help His impoverished kids. It helped me ride to the end.One of the children who I was trying to find a sponsor for had really grabbed my heart. His name was Mainor. He lived in El Salvador. Maybe it was because he was a cute four-year-old, or because he only lived with his mom who worked when she could. Or maybe it was because his house was made of mud. No matter what it was, I know God led me to sponsor Mainor with the money raised by the bike-a-thon. So I did. I can't wait to get to know this little boy and all the other children I write to.I said that Compassion changed my life, and I wasn't joking. Shortly after finding Hymns, I started to read a blog by a teen girl in Georgia. She sponsored many children by herself, and she did not even have a job. God provided daily the money she needed to sponsor the kids. Seeing her faith helped me to trust God more. Knowing that so many beautiful children live in extreme poverty has changed me too. It has made me realize that I have more than enough. It showed me how blessed I am, and it ignited a passion in me to help those who do not have. Compassion and the children I have gotten to know through them has truly transformed me and how I think. Looking back, I can see that God used many things in my life to lead me to Compassion. I am so grateful that He did.
Change a life!