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Red. It’s the color of Valentine’s Day hearts. It’s also the color of the heart positioned on Rigoberto’s packet. It means that he has been waiting more than 6 months for a sponsor. 335 days as of this date.

Red is also the color of this little boy’s shock of hair. It sets him apart from so many children in Mexico. In some cases, red hair is a sign of malnutrition because it means the body isn’t healthy. There aren’t enough nutrients in his or her body, so hair becomes brittle and lacks color.

Red can be the color of marbles or other schoolyard balls that he likes to play with at the Compassion Center and at his school.

Red are the A’s, B’s, and C’s that he gets on his homework at school. He does well in school. Not above and not below, but average grades. This community needs further support in employment opportunities, public services, and educational motivation for its children.

Red is the color of the adobe walls that frame the house where he lives with his mom and dad. The floors are cement and the roof is tile. A family in this area typically makes $102 per month. That’s an average of $3 a day. His dad is a farmer. Most people in this village have no employment opportunities at all.

Red is the color of Jesus’ words in Rigoberto’s Bible. Rigoberto goes to Bible classes through Compassion’s center. He learns about the love of Jesus. He learns about the words that Jesus spoke about children. He is taught by loving staff members at the Compassion center who know his name.

Red. It will be a red-letter day on the day he finds out he has a sponsor.




Advertisements – 5 Really Bad Reasons To Leave Your Church.

As someone currently looking for a church home, I would encourage everyone to read this!
I also offer 10 good reasons (I think) people should stay in the church. At least, this is my perspective.

10 Really Good Reasons to Stay in Church:

  1. You can worship God freely. One of my church homes was a tiny Methodist church that had an organ and a hymnal. At first, I hated it, but I loved the people more – in a time where I felt desperate and alone, they joined me to do something I never expected – they gave me take-home meals for my mom (who was in the hospital) and my dad who was by her side on a Thanksgiving in 2008.  And because I loved the people and because we were all there to worship God, I came to love that hymnal, the organ, and the fact that no one ever commented on my poor singing ability. I was free to worship. The heart of worship isn’t in the quality of the music or even in the style – it is in the ability to love the Lord your God with others and to praise Him and give Him the glory.
  2. You can love and worship God freely.  Yes, I said this already. You may not know this, but in at least 50 countries around the world, most people cannot attend church without being watched by the government or interrupted by radical groups. In Iran, switching one’s faith from Muslim to Christianity can result in the death penalty. Witnessing to others can get you life in prison. Being able to worship God in a church of your choice is a great privilege.
  3. The children. Children need caring and loving adults who are examples of what Christ is doing in the world. Whether you are serving in the children’s ministry or not, you are part of their network of people that make church what it should be. Knowing their names, asking them what they want to be when they grow up, and encouraging them when they remember the books of the Bible or have memorized a Bible verse is important. They need to know that more than their parents do the church thing. They need to see teenagers, young adults, working adults, stay-at-home adults, men and women, young and old be a part of the church.
  4. Your neighbors. “Love your neighbor as yourself” – if you have a church that you can invite your neighbor to attend, you should stay in that church. This isn’t just your next-door neighbor, but perhaps a coworker, a family member, or someone that you really care about and see in the community. Most people worry about going into a place where they don’t know anyone. Inviting them to go with you and being there for them when they show up is a good way to minister to others.
  5. Your pastor and ministry team. They have a heart to serve the people of the church. If something isn’t going right, it may be a good talking point and perhaps an area of reconciliation. Perhaps it is you. Perhaps it is them, but it could be a way to better understand what is happening in the church as a whole. It could also be an area that you begin to pray over them, who face far more difficulties than you might expect.
  6. The cookies. I’m really just kidding, but part of many services is a time of after-church snacks and fellowship. It is a time to ask how others are doing and do your part to meet any prayer needs. Go deeper than “how’s the weather” and ask “How are things at home?: Maybe you find out that someone has cancer and needs a ride to chemotherapy treatment. Maybe a new mom has another toddler or two and she could really use some help.  Or, if you don’t have cookies after service, maybe you can invite someone out to lunch at a nearby restaurant or to your home. Hospitality goes a long way.
  7. Growth. Going to church has a way of helping you to “grow up,” in spiritual things. It waters your soul. The teaching can get to your heart or confirm what God is already saying. If you don’t have anywhere else to be, be careful not to try to transplant yourself too fast. As it says in Ezekiel 17:10 “But when the vine is transplanted, will it thrive? No, it will wither away when the east wind blows against it. It will die in the same good soil where it had grown so well.”
  8. Discipline. I really like sleep. I dislike getting out of bed, even if it is somewhere I know I will enjoy once I get there.  However, going to church is a discipline that helps shape and mold us into the people that God wants us to be. It puts me around others that challenge me to be better and challenge me to know more about the world. I grow up a little more each time I go to church service. The discipline is a strengthening of my mind – spiritual and emotional.
  9. Freebies. You think I’m kidding but do you know all the great stuff you can get at church? Hugs. Prayers. Encouragement. Smiles. Friendship. Advice. Help.  And even a free book, a CD, pen, Bible, or mug! Today, the pastor gave me a free devotional. It is something that I will use. Churches often have a lot of resources to help its members and visitors grow. If you want to know more about prayer, ask and you will possibly get something about it.
  10. You belong. Romans 12:4-5 says “Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.”  God has called you to something great. He has a purpose for you within His body of believers. I encourage you to find your gifts and to ask how God might use you within your church. It may be giving a ride to church. It could be as a small group leader. No matter the role, it is not small. You are part of something bigger. You might even help someone else decide to stay in church and feel like they belong. 

What have I missed? What are your reasons for staying IN church?

Sometimes, it’s hard when:

– things don’t work out the way that you thought that they would.

– someone doesn’t like you and you don’t know why.

– you have a million reasons to smile, but still want to cry.

– you feel like you are doing all the right things, and nothing turns out right.

– you are chasing big butterfly dreams.

– you wonder if you are in the middle of God’s will.


For all these reasons, and a lot more, I really like this song by Meredith Andrews.

Our God is great! In a little over a week, I will be in Kenya. It’s scary, really. However, God continues to press the words “I will direct your steps” into my heart over and over.

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. (Isaiah 30:21, ESV)

I am hopeful that my steps in Kenya will be directed so that I can share what God is doing there. I pray that my ears and eyes will be open to see God’s work. And I pray that my mouth would be ready to speak what He would have me to share.

My smaller concerns are about the physical nature of it all.  I am curious how hot it will actually be over there and wonder what day my skin will resist my efforts to bathe it in sunscreen and change into a brilliant shade of red. I wonder what it will smell like in the slums of Nairobi. I wonder what the food will taste like and hope that I will not become too sick. I wonder how fragile my heart will feel once I see my two wonderful kids: Kawira and Wycliffe.

This video is Chris Tomlin’s “How Great is Our God” and he is accompanied by the voices of other worship leaders who sing in their native languages – Hindi, Indonesian, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, and then a Zulu choir joins the mix, and finally, Mandarin. It amazes me and I cannot wait to hear the languages that will be spoken in Kenya.

God’s love is living and active. He is present in all of the world and in every single one of our steps. I can’t believe that I am stepping forward to go to Kenya. I cannot wait to see what He will do.

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