Happy Thursday, everyone! Thanks for your kind comments on Monday’s blog post. I’m enjoying writing again and seeing the story start to unfold. Today, you’ll hear from Anna Marie. — Sarah
I’m receiving my third chemo treatment as I write. Once this is done, I’ll be 25% through my initial chemo—nice progress! Thank you all for your encouragement. My blood counts were good today, and I’m receiving an iron infusion this week and next to help keep those red blood cells happy and growing.
With stay at home orders still in effect, it’s nice to have a way to expand our borders, in thought at least. We recently did an afternoon/evening focusing especially on children in poverty around the world. Before telling you what we did, I want to introduce you to two ministries our family has been blessed by.
Compassion International’s mission is to “release children from poverty in Jesus’ name,” primarily utilizing child sponsorship. You can choose a child to sponsor by country, birthday, etc., or sort by longest waiting. Besides the monthly sponsorship money (a little more than a dollar day), you are encouraged to correspond with your sponsored child. It’s made simple by their website and app where you can send photos, coloring pages, etc. Since some of us are beginning to learn Spanish, we love having a sponsored child in Latin America who sends us letters written in… Spanish. 😉 Of course they are translated into English as well, but Joshua enjoys reading the originals and finding words he knows. It’s also a “real life” reminder of why we want to learn Spanish: to communicate with others. This correspondence is a great opportunity to speak words of hope and encouragement into a child’s life, as well as helping our children develop hearts of compassion for children in poverty. It’s so easy to take our blessings for granted!
Feed My Starving Children provides simple meals (“manna packs”) to families in poverty worldwide. Packed by volunteers (before COVID-19), the manna packs are distributed to starving children by organizations such as Samaritan’s Purse. They also have an online marketplace featuring products made by men and women who are able in this way to earn income to provide for their families. Profits support these artisans and provide meals to hungry children. I love their mugs; and their bags, baskets, etc. are beautiful and nicely made. I just saw that they currently have a little Mother’s Day gift shop section with some lovely “Mom” mugs and other things!
Since Christopher and our children have enjoyed helping pack meals, I was excited to find that they have “solidarity meal kits” available in the online store. Containing a manna pack, leader’s guide, and several testimonials/stories from around the world, the solidarity pack was a perfect way to get a “taste” of reality across the globe.
In the afternoon, the girls colored paper dolls we printed off the Compassion website. Those and many other free activities are available here. While they colored, Joshua read to us about those countries from the Friends Around the World Atlas. He also built puzzles featuring the continents we would be reading about.
Cooking the manna pack was simple—just boil water, add contents of the bag, and cook as specified. Its flavor was similar to chicken ramen, with a texture reminiscent of oatmeal. While it cooked, we read the stories, finding each country on the inflatable globe that served alongside the girls’ paper dolls as our centerpiece.
We enjoyed our evening and I was again challenged to be thankful for all the blessings we have, and to do what we can to help “the least of these” around the world.
“Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee
an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and
clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came
unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily
I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least
of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me”