This post was originally published on my previous website on May 2, 2016.
There once was a 12-year-old girl, who grew up in church and strived to follow Jesus with her all. She did all the right things, and checked them off a list... Morning devotionals, bedtime prayers, midweek church and Sunday school.
Little did she know all that she was missing by simply going through the motions.
Thankfully, God's got an abundance of amazing grace.
And so, one day, that girl stumbled upon a series of articles about the ministry of Compassion International in a magazine. They featured youth not much different from her, telling their stories about how they've partnered with local churches in the developing world to release children from poverty in Jesus' name... all because they had become Compassion sponsors.
Of course, she didn't know or understand all of that great stuff right away. She just thought this sounded like a cool idea. Sponsor a child. Write some letters. It'll be fun. It would be a good thing to do, right?
So she begged and begged and begged her parents to sponsor a Compassion child on her behalf. After a bit of skepticism, they finally relented. Fine, they said, we'll try it out.
Probably hoping she would just forget about it in a few months so they could cancel. ;)
Regardless, they became Compassion sponsors and eventually sponsored a little girl named Florianlyn from the Philippines.
And that girl who had begged and begged and begged? She was stoked.
Little did she know, this would literally change the trajectory of her life. In fact, it would change the trajectory of her entire family's story.
They would go on to all become volunteers with Compassion.
Their Compassion family would grow to include 10 children and two graduates.
They would visit children they sponsor not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times in just over six years of being Compassion sponsors.
She would go on to host Compassion Canada's youth curriculum, True Story: What God Wants Us To Do About Poverty.
Her mama would even end up working for Compassion Canada as their Ministry Relations Rep in the Greater Toronto Area... and she would relentlessly tease her mama—from skeptic to employee! ;)
Her family would begin to understand God's heart for the poor... and start to embrace the beautiful, messy, frustrating, and fulfilling journey He calls us to in the margins, serving "the least of these".
Today, that girl is 19. And she's pausing here in the journey to write this post and reflect on how far He's taken her from just going through the motions in her faith. And she is incredibly thankful for His abundance of amazing grace.
And sitting here, on the eve of starting as an intern with Compassion Canada as part of the Flow Internship program (!!!), she's smiling at His latest installment of grace...
Because you see, little did she know all those years ago when reading about Compassion in a magazine, that almost seven years later, a column of her own would appear in a similar youth magazine called Love Is Moving, telling the story of how she's partnered with local churches in the developing world to release children from poverty in Jesus' name... all because she and her family had become Compassion sponsors. :)
And when she held that magazine in her hands for the first time, she couldn't help but be incredibly, incredibly in awe of how grace comes full circle, as our Father continues to shower more and more of His amazing grace.