Friday, November 14, 2008

Having Compassion

For about a year and a half, I have sponsored a child through Compassion International. Her name is Scarle, she is six-and-a-half years old, and she lives in Peru. According to the info on my sponsor account, the average monthly income in her community is about $96. Lately the Lord has been challenging me to expand my faith and take on a second sponsorship (something I've wanted to do for a while but have been afraid to do because of my extremely unpredictable income). Last night I took the plunge.

I wanted an older child who'd been waiting for a long time for a sponsor, so I did a search. Only about half-a-dozen faces popped up, and one in particular drew me. She was the only young woman who showed up in the search. Her name is Allen, she is seventeen and lives in Uganda. She is in about seventh grade (when I was seventeen, I was in the middle of a challenging high school curriculum!) and the average monthly income in her area is $3. Yes, I said three dollars a month. That's less than I pay for a Starbucks cup of coffee, which only lasts about half an hour if you drink it slowly! All I could think was how incredibly privileged we are here in the United States, that we'd spend more on a single drink than some people make in a month. Incredible! I can only imagine how far my measly $32 per month will go in Uganda. From what I could tell, Allen has been waiting since at least last December for a sponsor, and I am glad to be able to meet her need. I just wish I could see her face when they tell her she's been sponsored.

Monday, November 3, 2008

election time

Elections are tomorrow. Many people are voting, many especially who have never done so before. In a day or two, we'll have a good idea of who will be our next president (though I understand there has to be some wait to know for sure, something about the electoral college). And we may have made the gravest mistake we could possibly have made.

I have held back for some time on discussing my concerns about this election, because I believe in examining evidence (NOT rhetoric) and coming to a conclusion based on those observations. And while my observations may not lead me to be excited about the candidate I am voting for, they do lead me to have deep concerns about the candidate I will NOT be voting for.
This candidate, for whom I am not voting, has incredible charisma, the likes of which have not been seen perhaps in decades. He speaks words of hope and change, all the while failing to openly disclose just what "change" he intends to make.

This candidate has caused an unease in my spirit for months, since long before it was decided who would be the actual candidates for the parties. This candidate's meteoric rise to political stardom is stunning, and disconcerting. This candidate would, I believe, create hardships for Christianity not yet seen in America. Perhaps the prayers of the Chinese church will soon come true-perhaps we will soon be facing strong persecution, and perhaps the church will begin to pray and fast and return to her first love. Why do I say he would create hardships for Christianity? Well, Christianity and Biblically-based beliefs oppose much of what he stands for, and even much of the far-left agenda. I have already seen his supporters attacking those who oppose him, and have seen many good people appear to have "the wool pulled over their eyes" regarding this candidate. His rise to prominence is unprecedented...and that, too has me concerned.

Father, I pray you'd hear my words and the words of so many of my brothers & sisters in You. I pray You'd move on the hearts of the people of this country to vote for the candidate who will allow Your work to continue unhindered, that we may continue to spread the Gospel over this earth. Please place Your hand upon this election, please move the hearts of Your people, please uncover their eyes that they be not deceived! And more than anything else, Father, I pray You would have mercy upon this nation...for what I fear we are about to do.