The Power of Being Known…

I hadn’t been forgotten. I was treasured. That is what meant the most about meeting my Filipino family this week.

They didn’t just remember me when I told them I was coming, they had always remembered me.

On the other side of the world, even when I was a little girl, I had been talked about, known, wanted.

I can’t even write that without crying.

The Power of a Name

Each day, as I played with the kids, I did my best to remember their names. And when I did, a simple, “Hi Lourdes!” was followed by brilliant smiles and squeals of laughter.

There are children here waiting to be known. Waiting to be remembered.


Today we visited the home of a little 12 year old girl named Margie. She was gorgeous. I’d played with her earlier at the center and loved her smile.

While we sat in that little home where she lived with her father and 2 siblings, we learned that her mother had left them just a year before.

It broke my heart and as Patricia spoke encouragement to her, you could tell it broke Margie’s heart too. To be abandoned, to be forgotten.

The Power of You

But then we asked her about her sponsor, and she beamed again. She proudly said yes when we asked if she received letters from her sponsor (many children don’t).

They remembered her. People she’d never met on the other side of the world cared. She was known. And despite poverty in her home and poverty in her family, she shone.

Inspired to Action?

As Shaun asked us in our debriefing tonight, now that you know, what will you do?

I desperately pray that the stories from this trip have changed you in some way. That you’ll live differently now that you know.

The children we’ve met don’t need pity. Pity is worthless and doesn’t accomplish anything.

People in need…need people of action.

Maybe you’ll write a letter.
Maybe you’ll look at your budget.
Maybe you’ll download the Compassion Magazine and look at it with your family.
Maybe you’ll commit to pray for 5 minutes every day this week for the children.
Maybe you’ll eat rice one night a month and talk about those in need.

Maybe you’ll choose to sponsor a child.

Whatever you do, I challenge you to do something.

We have shared the stories. We’ve taken you to their homes…

So tell me, now that you know…what will you do?

And that’s not a rhetorical question. I’m feeling all in-your-face today (like that’s unusual) and I’m asking you to share in the comments what you hope to do differently. May your actions inspire others.

Read all of my trip posts here:
Day 1 – The Tears, They Were Aplenty…
Day 2 – My Bathroom Is a Portal to the 1980’s
Day 3 – Grab Your Passports! I’m Taking You On A Trip
Day 4 – What To Do When You Can’t Do Anything
Day 5 – The Power of Being Known

Comments

  1. I am going to keep blogging about Compassion and reaching to inspire sponsors to write. I am going to use the words and images you’ve shared to fan the fire in my heart, to use that energy to do more as a Compassion Advocate. I am going to share these posts, these lessons you’ve all shared.

    We pray daily for our nine Compassion kids. We write to them at least once a month, and most months twice or more. Every day, I try to do *something* for this organization that I love. Praising god for this passion and opportunity to do His work.

    As you come back to “life as usual” I will be praying for you.

  2. Well, right now, I’m going to go write our child a letter. Why does that so often become a chore?
    But, I really like the idea of ‘rice’ night with the family.

    Praying for you all as you re-enter.

  3. Kat, my daughter (13l and I have read, cried, and followed as you have been our eyes this week. We sponsor a boy from Indonesia and correspond w/ a girl from Ethiopia. We know several people from the Philippines that worked w/ a childrens choir here in the states…. our hearts are pulled toward the Philippines! We have been looking at pics all week. One little girl named Jhel has been waiting more than 6 months… another little girl named Mercy… that’s my word for the yr that God gave me….

    Pray as we choose…. its so hard.

    Thank you so very much. Praying for you. My heart is full.

    Much love.

  4. My goal is to send a bright, happy package to our boy, Jon, by this Thursday. I want to make a space where we can keep his pictures, letters, and the Compassion magazine out and on display. I think the worst thing for me is when I file them back in the binder.

    I will be suggesting the rice night to my husband!

    Thank you, Kat!

  5. hello kat, I just found your blog this week. I was born in the Philippines and know very well these poor children living in what we call squatters. It breaks my heart everytime I go there on vacation. Honestly, I’ve seen these squatters as I drive by but never been “inside” until I found your blogs. I didn’t know how bad they are. I am inspired to do something. We will be sponsoring a child this weekend. With the help of my 6 year old, we will find a child (it’s so hard!!) to sponsor ASAP. I will also be sure to write letters to my sponsored child as well as the other college child I’m sponsoring in the Phils. I sponsored a child to go to college 5 years ago (he already graduated) and I never even wrote him a letter!!! I feel so bad. I didn’t think it mattered to them but now I know better. My heart is full of regret. But I will start writing letters to my new kid and also to the new kid we are about to sponsor with Compassion. Thanks for opening my eyes..

  6. I will keep doing what I’ve been doing for 16 years – only with renewed inspiration and fervor. I will sponsor (more and more as God allows), I will pray, I will write letters, I will advocate, I will encourage and I will share.

    Our family has chosen to make Compassion our family ministry – our home is full of reminders. Maps on walls…photos of our kids on the refrigerator, shelf, bedrooms, photo albums….Compassion t-shirts, bags and hats in our closets….binders full of letters in our kitchen….books on our bookshelves…we even have a blog called Compassion Family where we write to encourage others.

    Thank you for your stories – for going to the field and letting us “tag along” through your blog!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    We have a child in Peru and through your trip, I’ve been convicted to pray more and write more (we do about every other month now).
    I LOVE the rice for a meal idea and will do that soon.
    Also when I go back to work when my girls are in school I will make sure another sponsored child fits into our budget.
    Thank you for sharing.

  8. I’m not exactly sure of everything I am going to do differently, but I can tell you the things I know for sure. I am sharing about this blogging trip with everyone I know in the hopes that they will sponsor Compassion kids. I am going to write our sponsored children even more often. I didn’t realize how much joy it brought to the kids. Right now I only write every 2 or 3 months! I am committing to pray for Compassion and the kids and the programs. I am also committing to pray about what else God wants me to do! Thanks so much for opening my eyes even more to what life is like for the children and how Compassion brings hope to them.

  9. what a great post! i’m inspired by it, except from this, i don’t have anything else to say…

  10. You can’t write it without crying, and I certainly can’t read it without crying!

    Today my children and I are sitting down to write letters to our sponsored young lady in Peru. I am sad to admit that we have not been very consistent about doing this, but your posts have inspired me to do better. I even had prints made of some digital family photos–finally–so that we can send them to her along with our letters.

    Praying that your trip home is smooth and that you are able to rest even as you continue to process all that you’ve seen and felt over the past week. Thank you for taking us with you to the Philippines!

  11. I blogged about it this afternoon after reading lindsay’s post from Passionate Homemaking. This is what I wrote. =) http://singingsarahsmiles.blogspot.com/2011/06/live-simply-in-order-that-others-might.html

    Your guy’s trip has been so inspiring to me! Thank you for taking this step of faith!!

  12. What will I do? Be MORE purposeful about writing REAL letters to our kids–ones that ask questions and give encouragement.

    And I’m toying with the idea of letting IYK sponsor a child. I’ll have to do a little more footwork on getting advertisers, etc. But that’s worth it, right? Why am I arguing with myself? Of course it is!

    Kat. THANK YOU. I wish I could say it better but thank you for going with Compassion. And for showing us so clearly what they are all about. love you!
    a

  13. We sponsor a child from Mongolia, and I am going to write her a letter, and then I’m going to write her another letter, and I’m going to send her pictures of our family, and then I’m going to write her more letters, and while I do all of that, I’m going to pray for her and for her family. Thank you for the inspiration you have given me to be more than just a silent sponsor!

  14. I will love our sweet, Audry from thousands of miles away, and I will make sure she is a real part of our conversations and life.

    Thanks, Kat.

  15. Well, my birthday is tomorrow and I am going to send some of my gift money to our Compassion child (in the Philippines!). And though I write letters to our Nico, sometimes they are sporatic. I want to start scheduling a writing day for him. Maybe the first of every month. AND I want to talk more about Compassion to others.

    Love to you, sister-friend. Thank you for faithfully walking forward in this journey.

  16. My husband and I committed and signed up to sponsor a Compassion child. We don’t know their age or country…I couldn’t make myself pick a child from the sea of faces, so we will let Compassion decide for us. My heart feels peace with this decision and I know it will be God-led…the right child for us.

    After reading the other bloggers’ posts, I am determined to write very frequently to our child and just let them know how much they are prayed for, thought about and loved.

    I’m so looking forward to receiving our package in the mail with our child’s info. This will be our first, but I’m sure there will be more in the future!!

  17. We sponsor children in India and have never written them.. after reading your posts I have made that top on my list to do (and continue to do)
    Thanks for sharing your story and inspiring us all.

  18. I. will. remember.

  19. I will start writing to my Guatemalan sponsored child. She doesn’t read or write herself yet, but you all have convinced me it’s still important to write. I already picked out a card I hope she liked and some stickers to enclose. I also called Compassion yesterday and signed up to be a correspondent in case there are some kids who need it. And I started praying that I will get (or find!) the means to give more to children who live in poverty.

  20. I will start writing to my Guatemalan sponsored child. She doesn’t read or write herself yet, but you all have convinced me it’s still important to write. I already picked out a card I hope she liked and some stickers to enclose. I also called Compassion yesterday and signed up to be a correspondent in case there are some kids who need it. And I started praying that I will get (or find!) the means to give more to children who live in poverty.

    Thank you for your courage and, as always, your amazing writing.

  21. We sponsor 2 children already and I’m wondering if we can find the funds to sponsor another some other way.

    Reading the posts this week has really pushed me to think more about my role not only as a sponsor, but as the rich and knowing the reality. I really liked how Tsh said live simply so others can simply live.

  22. Kathryn L says:

    So blessed by your posts and this afternoon I sponsored our 14th child through Compassion. He is in the Philippines and his name is Carl. Thank all of you for your wonderful posts and I see a pattern in my life. Every time Compassion goes on a trip we sponsor another child. Oh, the joy! It is like Christmas for me today!!!!

  23. Thank you, Kat–again!–for sharing your heart, your story, and the stories of all those sweet children in the Philippines. Years (and years) ago, when I was about 16 I started sponsoring a little girl from Ecuador. She eventually left the program and I never signed up to sponsor another child. But it has been on my heart all these years. I have read your posts, along with the other bloggers, and my heart was so stirred. My husband and I have decided to sponsor three children, one for each of our own and the same genders and ages as they are. We will be sharing more about this with our kids this week and allowing them to be a part of the process from the very beginning, including choosing the children. I am so thankful that God has provided us with the opportunity to serve Him in this way.

  24. To Tsh, Lindsay, Kat and Stephanie…hi! just wanted to say I love your blogs, and I’m an avid, albeit silent, follower of your posts. So imagine to my surprise (and joy!) to find out that you were all coming here to my home as a Compassion Blogger! I followed all posts of your time here closely, and was moved and inspired to tears again and again. I love how God used angels from another country to bring a new meaning to the poverty that I see every. single. day. Too often citizens like myself are quick to be filled with pity at their plight, or helplessness, or even anger… but through the posts by the Compassion Bloggers now I am filled with hope and joy, rather than anger and pity. I am inspired and convicted to be a good steward of God’s blessings, and to have the desire to use these blessings to bless others :) God bless you, your family, and the Compassion International family :D

  25. Stan Peters says:

    I so know what you are talking about and feeling. My wonderful wife and I have been to the Philipines twice. Our former pastor and wife went there in the mid 80’s and started up a birthing clinic and outreach. They would have women from a nearby barrio come to the house, where they would feed them and give them checkups as well as some medications that were needed. They would then deliver the babies and give ongoing teaching etc. I was an EMT at the time and was able to help in the clinic as well as holding clinics in the barrio. It was a life changing experience. Our friends have now retired from the clinic, although he is church overseer for India and Sri Lanka.
    The clinic is now an orphanage and school. The have about 20 young men there all the time.(live in). They are also a recognized adoption agency making other peoples dreams come true. I and my church sponsor them continuously. We are So blessed by what we see.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] The Power of Being Known  {Inspired to Action} Kat along with several other bloggers and the Compassion group, has been on a trip to the Philippines to visit the children they sponsor as well as other little kids too. I haven’t read a single post in the series either by Kat or by Tsh (of Simple Mom) that hasn’t made me tear up and bawl. Please visit any of the Compassion bloggers and read these powerful posts. [...]

  2. [...] Some of my favorite blog posts from this week’s Compassion blogger trip: The Power of a Letter (wherein we learned that only 7,000 out of 57,000 sponsored Filipino children receive letters),  Do You Feel Guilty? Don’t. (wherein we learned that we don’t have to feel pity for Compassion-sponsored children b/c they don’t pity themselves), and The Power of Being Known. [...]

  3. [...] Passports! I’m Taking You On A Trip Day 4 – What To Do When You Can’t Do Anything Day 5 – The Power of Being Known [...]

  4. […] Read the rest of my trip posts here: Day 2 – My Bathroom Is a Portal to the 1980′s Day 3 – Grab Your Passports! I’m Taking You On A Trip Day 4 – What To Do When You Can’t Do Anything Day 5 – The Power of Being Known […]

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