Thursday, November 14, 2013
Friday, November 1st, I get home and dig through the pile of papers on the table.
I find an envelope with my name on it,
An envelope and logo with the words I was looking for,
"MESSAGE FROM YOUR SPONSORED CHILD".
I rip it open as I sit down on the couch to read.
I pull out the blue paper and know it's from my correspondent child in the Philippines.
A sweet teenage girl,
She writes about her family and her passion,
Tells stories and shares Bible verses,
And I sit there staring at the paper for minutes after I've read,
Thinking how much I love this girl.
I take the letter back to school with me
And hang it on my letter-display clipboard above my bed
So I can look at her words and think of her every day.
Friday, November 8th, I'm definitely thinking about her.
Compassion sends an email that the Philippines has been hit by Typhoon Haiyan.
They don't have much information yet, but ask for prayer.
And, oh, I'm praying.
That night, my roommate and I watch footage of the devastation on her iPhone.
She says she'd read 100 people had been confirmed dead already.
It hits me even harder.
See, I've lived through some so-called "natural disasters",
But nothing too serious.
None of the serious ones have ever threatened anyone I love.
Until this one.
This one has gone directly toward that sweet teenage girl whose letter I'd ripped open a week ago,
The one who loves to cook and tells me of making food for her family,
The one who picks up her first-grade-age sister from school every day,
The one who loves and helps her parents yet feels that maybe at times she has a little too much responsibility.
Oh, I love this girl.
I've never met her face-to-face.
The argument could be made that I don't know her that well,
But my heart is sick to think of the danger that she and her family may have faced.
Saturday, November 9th, I go for my walk
And I'm wrestling with God a bit,
Trying to wrap my head around it all.
I'd told my roommate the night before that it's so hard -
That, on the one hand, I love the Power of God displayed in natural disasters,
The sharp reminder that He is in control, that He is Mighty and Awesome,
Yet this kind of Awesome is maybe not the kind that I'd like,
And springing up from what's left of the sinful nature in my heart is just a hint of the desire to tell God that He can't do that -
That He can't just send gigantic storms that kill people - kill children, like that sweet teenager I have the privilege of corresponding with, like her adorable little sister whom she picks up from school.
I want to pick Him up and put Him in my box.
"Good Gods don't do that."
Boy, do I need to get over myself.
I keep walking and praying and asking Him to help me understand that He is Good,
Even in this,
And it's good to care,
But it's also good to trust.
There's a reason why He's God and I'm not.
Monday, November 11th, Compassion posts on Facebook the areas affected by the typhoon.
Geographically challenged as I am, I go hunting through maps online.
As far as I can tell, the area my correspondent child lives in wasn't among those listed as severely effected.
So, so many children and families do live in those areas, though.
And the estimated deaths are now up at or above 10,000.
There is so much need in the Philippines right now.
There is a need for prayer, and there are so many prayer requests.
Yet, to help those in desperate need, action must be taken as well.
So many organizations are asking for donations.
And, yes, Compassion is one of them.
Compassion has a disaster relief fund already set up to help areas with severe and immediate needs.
Right now, that is the Philippines.
And Compassion stands ready and willing to help.
But first, they need help.
Compassion posted on their blog some guidelines for deciding which relief organizations to donate to?
They didn't promote their own organization too much in that post,
But, from what I know, here's how they meet their own criteria:
They already have people working in the Philippines, so all money that goes into the relief fund is going directly to bring relief, rather than some providing travel money for people to go and the rest being dedicated to relief.
Compassion works through the local church, so it was there before the typhoon hit, and it will be around for long after. They're not just going in, helping, then leaving again. They are committed to loving and caring for the people of the Philippines.
There are already people from Compassion traveling and assessing the damage, as well as developing plans to use donations most effectively to bring the Filipinos the greatest possible amount of relief. They're not just using money arbitrarily, but they are doing so purposefully, even anticipating how needs might change as the immediate impact of the disaster wears off.
So, if God is putting it on your heart, please consider donating to Compassion,
And, if not to Compassion, then please just give as God leads you.
There is so, so much need right now.
Please don't miss the opportunity to make a difference.
Maybe a few words of encouragement from that sweet teenage girl to end with?
In the wake of all this, these words were what I needed to hear.
That wise man? His house weathered every storm.
Oh, yes, always working for our good.
Even in this.
And the best part?