we have been partnering with compassion international for many years now sponsoring a boy in columbia. when the opportunity arose to volunteer on behalf of compassion international at an upcoming casting crowns concert, i jumped on it. i love casting crowns, some of their older songs really spoke to me when i was finding my way back to this thing called faith and having a relationship with jesus.
what a blessing this experience was. sitting in an arena with brothers and sisters praising and singing, clapping their hands, and moving to the presence of God and what he’s done…to me, it’s just the best feeling. i had so much time to just sit there, let my thoughts and the busyness from the day slip away and just be still. stillness is what i long for each and everyday, yet it’s so hard to find a quiet moment. to just be still. and realize that this world we live in is much bigger than we imagine, that children all over the world have needs and a desire for someone to sponsor them and give them hope. to instill in them the gospel and what it means to have everlasting life.
i’ve struggled with feeling ‘connected’ to our sponsored child at times, because we took over a sponsorship for my dear friend rather than choosing from the many children on the website. the letters we write back and forth don’t happen as often as i’d like and there seems to be this space and feeling of discontinuity or flow between them. how often have i prayed for this child or integrated more of his needs and prayer requests into our daily lives? how often have i shuffled those letters to the side saying i’ll get to them at some point?
on the day of the concert, i really felt called to sponsor a girl. and i wanted to find one from ghana, where my brother and sister-in-law are currently stationed on their missions trip. on the night of the concert when i was handing out packets to interested parties, there were several requests for girls. but it turned out i only had boys packets left to pass out on multiple occasions. and then i started thinking, “what about the boys?” “they need love too”. and it so happens, i come across a little boy from tanzania who is born one day after the twins and his middle name is ‘jeremiah’. and i think, i was suppose to be there that night to choose, bless and pray for this boy as he grows up. i needed this heart awakening to follow god’s plans to give this boy a hope and a future.
there are many other things that could’ve stopped me from attending the concert. tiredness. busyness. needing to do housework and chores. wanting to just stay home and rest (which would’ve resulted in me doing more housework). i’m so glad i went. i had never attended a movie or concert before by myself, and this really felt so freeing and well, awesome.
i take a moment to ponder about the things going on in ‘jeremiah’s’ country and how there are child rights violations happening. how that upsets me. how this little boy should not have to worry or fear and be protected from those acts at the age of 4. (thankfully they just raised the minimum age for marriage to 18 (was 15). how i hope that his ability to be at church will give him that avenue towards wanting and pursuing more in his life and trusting in a god that can do immeasurably more.
thank you, compassion international and casting crowns, for allowing me to be a part of a night that provided the opportunity to be still, and that much more.