I vividly remember moving to Texas for the first time sixteen years ago. My Dad and I drove pretty much non-stop from Wisconsin, all the way to the great state Texas. I first stepped foot on Texas soil, in Texarkana, Texas! It was exhilarating, and a day to behold. God was sending me out of the Mid-West, across numerous state lines, almost to the country of Mexico, to a city in which I knew no one. I could have never prepared myself for the loneliness that was going to enter my heart that day. It was the beginning of countless and lengthy separations from the ones I loved, and each parting leaving a deeper hole in my heart and cementing loneliness in my soul. Sixteen years later, that painful ache still manages to creep in each and every time I take that last peek around my shoulder, as my family drives away from the airport. Too many times, my salty tears washed away their vision long before they ever drove away.
Yes, indeed, loneliness stinketh!
(Saying goodbye to my niece and my mom at the airport.)
Are you beyond busy and find that you never even get to engage in an important conversation with your family?
Are you checked out from life?
Are you so absorbed with your career you have no social life to speak of?
Are you a stay at home parent who has yet, in ten years, to converse with someone older than one in elementary school?
Are you and your spouse seeming to live on separate planets?
Are you single?
Are you a widow or widower?
Well, then you already know the agony of aloneness. It hurts. It lingers. It paralyzes. It controls. It stills our hope.
Imagine, then, the loneliness and hopelessness, of a young child in India, who has been taken from his or her home and bought or sold into child trafficking. “According to UNICEF, child trafficking is defined as “any person under 18 who is recruited, transported, transferred, harboured or received for the purpose of exploitation, either within or outside a country” (wikipedia). This is horrifying, God-less! Ladies and gentlemen, it is truly not good for us to be alone, and thank Heavens, we were not meant to be alone.
God absolutely, positively, created us to be in a community!
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
“Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
My heart truly aches for people who are lonely. I grievously hate seeing living souls broken. My heart cries because I have Compassion for them. I began this blog explaining the ache that enters my heart when I am separated from my family. It is painful, but, I have honestly never experienced the kind of loneliness an aspiring thirty something feels, who decides that he is so invaluable he choose to end his life, or the kind of loneliness that a young child would experience who was sold into child trafficking. Thankfully, I am not in that category. By the grace of God, upon moving to Texas, I became a part of an amazing family: my church family. These men, women and children didn’t know anything about me. I was from a completely different culture. I dressed differently. I talked peculiarly. I was just not like them. And God-forbid I didn’t use the words “ma’am or sir.” Yet, somehow this loving community embraced me. They loved me with a gracious and forgiving love from the very beginning and showered me with affection. I am so blessed to be a part of a Christian community, in which God created us to be.
Sadly, millions do not have this privilege. Millions and millions of people in America and beyond are paralyzed by loneliness. They do not have a loving Christian community to impact their life. But, you can change that today. Romans 12:16 says,
Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! Romans 12:16
Often children living in poverty feel alone and isolated. But, thanks be to God, when a child is sponsored through Compassion International, the loneliness and isolation fades. Not only do you create a way for a child get further away from the trap of child trafficking, but you also provide the privilege of placing them in a loving Christian church family!
I know that many of you are skeptical of organizations similar to Compassion, but I am here today, nearly seven years after sponsoring my first child and researching Compassion as a Child Advocate, to express that being a child sponsor is life-changing and Compassion International is a fabulous, trustworthy organization!!! Sponsoring a child is a way that we can do what God has commanded us to do in the Great Commission:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
Beyond the command, did you hear that promise? God said, “Lo, I am with you always to the very end of the age!” Amazing how The Almighty reminds us that He is in control and that He will provide for us! I know this from personal experience, yet…
Satan battles with me daily in an effort to tear my trust away from God.
Yet another reason that a loving, Christian community is so essential.
I now sponsor three beautiful girls from Africa. Three years ago I moved into my dream house, a townhouse, double the rent. Three months after moving in to my apartment my car engine literally blew up, and I had to buy another “new to me car.” Last year, I decided to start saving money for a trip to Rwanda, so my twin sister and I could meet two of my sponsored children, one of whom is also an identical twin. On occasion I like to end the ache of missing my family and visit them, which means I have to fly across the country to see them. And while I budget obsessively, I still worry how God will provide? Fortunately, when that worry comes to roost, God counters, and always declares, “watch me!” That I am, Lord Jesus! My eyes are fixed upon You, the author and perfecter of my faith” (Hebrews 12:2). Man, how I long to have a perfect faith! To perfectly trust God, and to no longer worry! Can you imagine how peaceful that would be? Amazing!
Like me, you surely have questions…
How will you be able to sponsor a child for the first time or anytime for that matter?
How can you be a part of making disciples of all nations when you are saturated with worry?
“Lo, I am with you always to the very end of the age,” God promised!
Sponsoring a child for $38 dollars a month may simply not be the best fit for you and your family. However, there are many other ways you can support children and families in need through Compassion International.
God will provide a way!
Please prayerfully consider ending the loneliness of even one.
Check out the following link to learn more!