Expanding Borders While Staying at Home

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.

Anna Marie

“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”
Matthew 25:37-40.

7 thoughts on “Expanding Borders While Staying at Home”

  1. I absolutely loved this post! It is so easy to get in our own little worlds and forget about how our brothers and sisters live in other places. Anna Marie, you are doing true kingdom work in your family and setting their minds on things above while they are young. May God bless the works of your hands and thank you for your encouragement for us all. I am going to go on that website!

  2. Thank you for sharing this post! It’s a blessing that you’re teaching your children about those ministries that reach out to others.
    I was once the child on the other side, I was one of those children sponsored by someone through compassion international, and I can tell you how exciting was to get those letters and pictures that my sponsor would send, and also get to go school and learn. I’m blessed to be now on the other side, the side that helps others but I’ll never forget what a blessing someone here in the states was for me.
    Reading about what you are doing with your children is a joy to me. And since I saw first hand what compassion could do not only for me but for so many children I Thank you for what you are doing! You are making an impact in a little soul and it won’t be forgotten!
    God bless you!

    1. Thank you, Ana, for sharing. That’s an amazing testimony to hear from a real person who was helped by Compassion International’s child sponsorship, and to know you are now in a position to help others!

  3. What an amazing post!

    I was looking into ways of blessing others while staying at home during lockdown, and this sponsorship came at the perfect time.
    I will make sure to send the link to my family and friends 🙂

    I also absolutely love the time you are investing in your children, Anna Marie, even when far away and probably tired. You are a source of deep inspiration!

    Many blessings,


  4. In case it hasn’t been thought about, you can buy a Spanish language Bible and then write out the chosen verses to the child.

    Duolingo.com is also a simple and good, free starter for language learning.

  5. Thank you for sharing this with us I will check their website and see how I can help too. It’s amazing how you’re not only teaching your children how to bless other people but they are learning about other people’s lives, country, language….

    Thankful that you chemotherapy is going well and that your red blood cells are up. Praying for you.

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