Feb 26, 2010
...and while I'm at it: Naima. Naima is her daughter, she wrote this song for her - so sweet!
Another good one, this video isn't great but it's funny at the beginning.
Can you tell I have this album? This is the song that made me love her.
I wish we were friends in real life. How much fun would that be?! I do know Georgeo Okudi. I have his cell. Don't believe me? Come over, we'll call him!
George won a KORA award for this song:
(KORA awards are similar to the Grammys!)
Here's another, you'll have to adjust the sound as it's not great.
Feb 23, 2010
I've been a child sponsor since 1993 (you do the math). It's something that I will always do. In 1997 I visited two of the girls I sponsored at the time, Monica and Mavis. That's another post, but it was an amazing experience. Right now, the children I sponsor are with Compassion International, but over the years I've had experience with a good number of organizations both large and small. Christian Children's Fund is probably my next favorite.
I love, love, love Compassion though and I love that they have a blog. A seemingly very transparent blog at that. Today's post featured a guest writer from India, Pastor Sam, of Immanuel Child Development Center. I wanted to share some of the words he wrote that basically jumped off the screen and screamed to my face:
"You play a major role in the development of children. You are instruments in the hands of God to demonstrate His care to children who don’t know what love is all about. When children receive no love at home, it’s common for them to seek from you the love they miss from their parents."
This is certainly NOT a new concept for me - not in the least. Between my travels, my experience with HAI, and the world as a whole, it is simply old news. What is different is that I can actually put a NAME and a FACE with what he said. It's not just "children." It's quite possibly MY CHILD. I use the term "my" loosely, but it's the way I think of the children I sponsor. I love them. I have learned what they like, what they are afraid of, what they pray for - intimate thoughts they choose to share with me about their daily life.
"When children receive no love at home..." WOW. I can't even imagine what that would feel like. I grew up in such a loving home... to have none, no love at all. What emptiness that would leave.
"...it's common for them to seek from you the love they miss from their parents." As a long-time sponsor, I sometimes take for granted what this whole business of 'child sponsorship' is really about. I send my monthly donation, I pray, I write letters - but I often forget what life is really like for my children. I forget that life is really hard and that is why I even know who they are. I forget that it is because of me that they are able to live better. Because of Compassion, my children are fed, cared for, loved. I don't know what their home life is like. I know what they tell me and what Compassion tells me in their updates, but I am not living it. I would like to think that my children are all deeply loved, but I am not there. Princy, my child in India, lives part of the year at a hostel so she can attend school. Her brother does the same. What is life like for her at home? Clara's mother used to write letters to me - I know she loves her daughter so much. Hilda always writes her letters from the student center. I don't know much about her mother or father other than that they live with her and her brothers.
"You are instruments in the hands of God to demonstrate His care to children who don’t know what love is all about." That's a big role. Sure, I know that I should be a role model for my sponsored children; I should always present myself as godly and as a good person, but to know that I am an instrument in God's hands. Um, did I sign up for that?! It's a pretty big role. And not a role to be taken lightly. These children -my children- are counting on me to not only help them continue to receive assistance from the student center, but to guide them spiritually - to teach them love. Exemplify love.
When Wess Stafford, president of Compassion, wrote Too Small To Ignore, I immediately bought and savored every bit of it. It basically says the same thing Pastor Sam said above, in many more words. For whatever reason though, I didn't get as much out of it as I did from Pastor Sam's blog today. I would encourage anyone who has children or works with children in the church to pick up a copy of Too Small To Ignore. It's a great book.
If you have any interest at all in sponsoring a child, but don't think you can afford the $38/month, I leave you with this from Pastor Sam:
"Even today, the Lord cries out with the same words that Isaiah heard, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
You are the ones who have responded to this call with the words “Here am I.” You are the ones who have responded to God’s commission."
Please read Pastor Sam's full blog post. It's pretty powerful. Maybe it will speak to you, maybe it won't, but sponsoring is one of the most rewarding things you can do. Until today, it never occurred to me that I might love my sponsored children more than their parents love them. I just cannot imagine. That sentence redefines child sponsorship for me.
Feb 21, 2010
Domestications (that actually used to be the name of a company that is now called The Company Store and is a little better quality)
A few months ago, we started shopping for bedroom furniture since we are planning to get a new bed and both of our furniture sets are at least 300 years old. (Ok, almost 300 years old.) The more we thought about it and really looked at where we wanted to spend money, we realized that this wasn't one of our priorities. BUT - I still wanted a new look, so - let's paint! It's been sooo cold lately we just haven't felt like doing it, so this weekend's weather was perfect.
(I don't know why the pictures are so small, blogger's upload must be having a bad day.) It took us ALL day to get this done and we might have rushed it... there is a chance we'll be stripping and re-painting in a few weeks, but I LOVE the way it turned out.
It is going to look sooo nice with the grayish color I've picked for our bedroom. We'll also be painting another piece similar to this one that will be the same color with the same hardware (that I found for $1.47 a piece at Home Depot - score! We used different drawer pulls on the top drawer because those were smaller).
I also went out on a limb this weekend and tried three new recipies. They all turned out great! On Friday, we had this souffle - oh man, it was SO good! I added mushrooms and a tiny bit of green pepper. I probably wouldn't add the pepper next time but will always use mushroom! The pepper didn't make it bad, you just couldn't really tell they were in there. I also used regular monterrey jack cheese as I generally don't prefer too much flavor. I didn't have enough small baking dishes (might be updating our registry!) so we only made three, but they were delish! We saved the other one and ate it Saturday for brunch and it was great for a breakfast too and still tasted just as good as it did when I made them Friday. The fluff was gone but everything else was the same. I will be making this a LOT!
Feb 19, 2010
Feb 18, 2010
I'd previously been reading What the Bible is All About by Henrietta Mears and I thought THAT was my ticket but this book is even better! It's also more up-to-date in terms of things recent scholars have said, etc... so it's nice to read with some modern snippets.
Not all chapters have maps included, but there are all sorts of charts and timelines - including lineages! I have learned even more with this book and I think anyone who has a true interest in studying the Bible would enjoy it.
Feb 14, 2010
Nola met what she thought might be her one and only.
Feb 13, 2010
Feb 4, 2010
What did you think? Moved? Offended? I loved it - obviously - but I could see it going the other way as well for some.