Today I led our first Compassion service at our church. A couple of months ago I decided to get involved and I jumped in with both feet. I've shared a little of our Compassion journey here.
I've said before that whenever I lead or teach something, I learn so much more and get so much more out of it than if I had only been a student or participant. The same applies to planning and leading a church service!
I've read blog post after blog post and cried my eyes out until I thought I didn't have any tears left to cry! BooMama writes about Jonathan and if this doesn't make you want to keep reading, I don't know what will! On a holy experience, Ann describes her meeting Jonathan and uses Keely Scott's pictures to really woo us in. I love Jonathan. He comes to my mind often when I think of changing the story.
I have spent hours this past week reading, praying and trying to discern what God wanted our Compassion Sunday to look like. I am so thankful for all of the resources that Compassion gives us to make it so anyone can do this.
We watched this video; which is very well done. It's only 4 1/2 minutes so grab a cup of coffee or tea and hear Elisabeth share their story:
We sang songs: Jesus Saves, Jesus Saves!, Mighty to Save, Hosanna by Brooke Frasier, Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord and Give Us Clean Hands. Everything flowed and the Holy Spirit was moving. My DH sang a special, Who Am I, and did "like totally awesome, dude!!!"
We began Open Worship (open worship is a time for us to focus on our personal relationship with God. During this time, the congregation sits in silence and personally communes with God through the Holy Spirit. If moved by the Spirit, individuals within the church body will speak to share their thoughts or questions with those gathered. It also is a time we can address specific prayer needs, praises or scriptures with the Body.) with some scriptures relating to how we are to care for the poor and oppressed. Sponsor experiences were shared in open worship and more sponsor experiences were shared as part of the service from yours truly, our 17 year old daughter who sponsored her own Compassion child, and our pastors.
From there, we viewed pictures of Compassion schools that our pastors had visited in Bolivia and their overwhelming positive experiences that our money is being well spent!
I then shared about becoming a sponsor, the joys and blessings that not only the sponsored child receives but we as sponsors; as well! A challenge/invitation/opportunity to take $1.26 a day and sponsor a child in need through Compassion International was given. Oh, did you know that you can do a search of the children needing sponsored by name, birthdate, age, country, region and more?! How exciting is that? Pretty cool, if you ask me.
I then sang, "Lifesong" and had pictures and poverty stats rolling during the whole song. I can't speak for anyone else, but it was a very moving time for me.
Our pastor closed our service with another invitation and prayer.
I walked to the Compassion table in our foyer with tears running down my cheeks. I may not be able to change the world, but I can help change the story of one young man in Manta, Ecuador.
Thank You, Jesus.