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I apologize that I didn’t post this months ago. Actually, in my defense, I thought I had. BUT since I didn’t, I’m posting it now. And it’s out of order. And for that, I double apologize. Here it is. Finally.
Me thinks that I shouldn’t use a title that I have to explain but what the heck. I’m living on the wild side. Unboxing is when people take pictures (or video) to document the process of removing a new piece of electronic equipment from its box. And then they post the pics and/or video on their blog. I realize there isn’t a whole lot of electronics involved in Compassion International but hey, it’s my party and I can do what I want. Hence, my usage of the term Unboxing in relation to Compassion and our family member, sponsored through them.
I thought I’d go through this Compassion sponsorship step by step for those of you who aren’t familiar and at the same time introduce our Compassion child to you all. See, we’re new at this thing too and I’m so excited about it that I just can’t help but walk you through the whole experience. I think that’s the thought behind those guys who first started Unboxing… they were just so incredibly excited about their new electronic contraption-thingy-ma-jigger that they couldn’t help but share each tape-tearing moment with their bloggy world. For some it’s electronics. For me, it’s children. And I’m realizing how undaunting this sponsorship process really is and if that’s what is holding you back from taking the Compassion Sponsorship plunge… well, I’m here to help you get your tippy-toes in the wet.
As a little bit of background, in case you haven’t read my previous Compassion posts, our family was blessed by Pioneer Woman and her husband, Marlboro Man who paid the money-side of our sponsorship. They are our Compassion partners. =0) Their desire was to help some of the teen Compassion children find sponsors. They are an age group that is overlooked and often fall by the wayside. I love that we are able to help an older child, a precious boy-almost-man, who might have gotten over-looked had it not been for Pioneer Woman and MM’s compassion. He will soon be a man who can do great things for his family and village because of the difference Compassion and compassion have made in his life. We’re just thrilled to be a part.
After we signed up with Compassion, we eagerly waited for our packet to come in the mail. I apologize that I didn’t think to get a picture of the actual unopened packet. I just ripped into like it was a t-bone steak with no thought whatsoever. I am sorry for my carelessness.
But it did arrive. And it contained everything we needed to know about corresponding with our child and of course, all of his information and picture. It looks like this:
There’s even an envelope to mail your first letter to your child. It couldn’t be much easier… unless of course they sent someone to lick the envelope for you.
Here’s a picture of our child:
My heart melts just looking at him. His card includes his birth date, some of his likes, what his family is like and what sorts of things he does to help his family. Our child is one of 7 children.
Your sponsored child will write letters to you:
Isn’t it cool to see someone else’s written language?! One side of the letter is your child’s actual writing (if they are able) and the other side is the interpretation. The first letter lists some of their likes. Our child’s favorite pet is a sheep, his favorite food is bread and his favorite color is white. If that doesn’t show cultural and economic differences, I don’t know what does.
Even with everything but the educational aspects of sponsorship stripped away, it’s warms a homeschooling mama’s heart to see her children’s delight at learning about a new area of the world (to them) because they have a friend living there.
Wow. I so love the fact behind that sentence. We have a friend/family member on the other side of the world from us.
That concludes this unboxing.
Consider yourself unboxed when it comes to Compassion.
Last week (or so) our water heater went out. To put a long story short, it took almost a week to get the neccesary part and for Hubby to install it (side note: Praise the Lord that Hubby is so gifted in being able to install such things! He’s my hero). And like so many other situations similar to our lack of hot water, I realized I take it for granted. And this was in the middle of summer! I can’t imagine how out of sorts I would have been if it had happened in the middle of winter!
Today I started researching the village that our Compassion sponsored boy lives in.
(Bear with me, this will connect soon I promise. Or, at least it does in my head. Hope it does for you too.)
I came across this:
I’ve watched similar stories on tv before and they’ve always affected me. But this time, it was so much deeper. I found myself studying each precious face that flashed on the screen, wondering if I’d catch a glimpse of our child. I felt proud to know that the mother of our child didn’t have to walk through that forrest for water and that our child’s sister could stay in the safety of her home because our child fetches the water for them. I was thankful that his family has a brave son to do that job for them. My mother’s heart ached to know that he and his family don’t even know what clean water is. That to them, just to have a watering hole, even one shared with the cows, dogs and other critters, was good.
I can’t mail him the pictures I’d set aside for him of the kids playing in the sprinklers. How cruel would that be?!
I’m ashamed that I was moaning about my lack of hot water… when he doesn’t even have cold water (I can only imagine how tepid that water must be! Bleh!).
And so a fire has been lit. Have you ever seen one of these?
I’m trying to find out, with Compassion and PlayPump’s help, whether or not one could be put in our child’s village. I can’t think of a better fundraising opportunity.
And it would affect our child.
What do you take for granted?
I’m still here, a couple pounds lighter around the hips but heavier in the sinus cavity. We caught a nasty virus that basically was everything under the sun EXCEPT throwing up. And for that small blessing I am very thankful. In case you didn’t know already, I’m one of those who detests throwing up and would prefer to be sick longer with something else rather than spend a night alternating between kneeling in front of the porcelain throne and becoming one with the comfortingly cool tiled bathroom floor.
But we survived and I have to admit, going days with no appetite has it’s bonuses. My jeans have a little more room in them again. But man, I think I’m carrying around 27 pounds of stuff in my sinuses. As soon as I get it moved out, more slides in to replace it. Fun, ain’t it?
But ‘nough about me! *snort* Like you all want to hear about my snot situation! We did receive some fabulous mail last week…
We finally got the info on our Compassion child! I’m so excited to introduce you to him. But not in this post. For some reason, I just can’t bring myself to write about him in the same post that I already mentioned throwing up and snot poundage. Nope, not gonna do it. Because we’s got class ya’ll. The Runningamuck household may be overflowing with mucus and hacking lungs but it’s all classy, sophisticated, well-mannered, napkins-across-the-laps, used-tissues in the trash mucus and hacking!
So stay tuned… I can’t wait to share a little bit about our new family member and the process of getting to know him more.
(No, that’s not a picture of our Compassion child but doesn’t he just melt your heart?!! He makes me wish for countless bedrooms, a magical pantry that never runs out and clothes, toys and school supplies galore. Because my heart feels big enough for all those precious children… it’s just that my home isn’t. But to make a difference in just one child’s life? To have a hand in changing his/her future from here on out? THAT is do-able my friend. Visit Compassion’s website for more info on becoming a child sponsor.)
A couple weeks ago, Pioneer Woman and her husband, Marlboro Man, offered to pay for several Compassion sponsorships of older children if there were people willing to step up and and be the correspondents. I emailed the Compassion contact, as hundreds of other readers did too I’m sure. Older children often go unsponsored. As one who has worked in the foster care system, that doesn’t surprise me. Those lil munchkins running around with huge eyes and no shoes grab at our hearts. The aloof teen in the background? Not so much. We dread our own teens, never mind some one elses. Many of these teens have grown up with war all around them. Poverty is a given but not parents, education or any sense of security. That’s a hard life. And without the help of sponsors, these teens will continue to grow up this way with no hope for a different future. That’s why teen sponsors are so important. Fast action must be made to reach these children before they are adults.
Well I got an email this weekend saying that our child’s packet would be arriving in the mail in just a few weeks! I am just blown away.
I’m blown away first of all at the generosity of P.W. and M.M. That’s a huge gift right there folks.
I’m blown away at the thought of getting to have such a personal connection to a needy child living in a strange and foreign land. My children, while we’ve worked hard at exposing them to the needs around us by working through our church to help the homeless in our town, they live a pretty cushy life. So I’m excited for them to be exposed to a whole new way of life… a way of life that involves pain and suffering but that now will also involve food, clothes and education. What an awesome thing to be a part of.
I’m also blown away by God. Continually. See, Hubby and I had actually discussed sponsoring a child through Compassion at Christmas time. We had decided that we just didn’t have the whole amount needed.
But NOW!! NOW we are able to be a child correspondent even without the money!
Our God is awesome.
And that’s all I got to say about that.
Well, except, “Thank you P-Dub and M.M.!! We are sooo greatful for this gift! If you’re ever in need of some extra hands around the ranch, well, look no further. We won’t even turn our nose up at the nasty jobs. Nope. We may get rreeaallll pale-like and shaky… maybe even a tad green but we’ll do ‘em. I’ll even help with the manure-clad laundry… it’s the least we can do to show our appreciatation.