Sunday, September 28, 2014

My Journey to Sponsorship

I want to take a few minutes to tell you about my journey to sponsorship with Compassion International.

Quite a few years ago, as I was walking on my spiritual jouney, I fasted as I occassionly did. Fasting for me was a time of abstaining from food and devoting extra time to prayer. As I did my occassional fast, I felt that it was incomplete and not at all what I felt that it should be so I researched instances in the Bible about fasting. Isaiah 58 moved me powerfully:

2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.

3 Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.

4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.

5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?

As I read this I thought of the time that I have refused food with the comment, "I am fasting" like it was a trial or I was something special. So I decided that I would no longer talk about my fasting. Yet my fasting continued to be missing a vital ingredient. So I read and reread Isaiah looking for that completion.

6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

So I decided that on the day that I fast I would donate to a rescue missions or homeless shelter. But it still felt empty and without meaning. Years had passed by this time and I was apparently no closer to finding that complete fast that I felt God was calling me to so I searched more. Isaiah 58:12 was my desire but still without clear direction on how to achieve it.

12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

Six years had passed from the first time that God really touched my heart about a complete fast when my brother called my family to a fast. As I agreed on a day to fast each week, my spirit was troubled because I knew that my fast would not be complete based on the journey that God had called me. I abstained from food the first week. The second week I abstained from food and gave a bag of things to the homeless shelter. The third week I abstained but was growing more and more discouraged because I KNEW that God was calling me to something but couldn't figure out what it was. The day after my fast my boyfriend took me to see Chandra Pierce, a Christian comedian. She was absolutely hilarious and then she told of her experience with Compassion International. I knew instantly that this was what God was calling me to do. It was giving to someone who cannot ever repay me. It was sending words of Hope, Love and spreading the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus to children that find themselves without Hope. So I immediately started sponsoring Iya. But the next month came and it was time to pay the monthly sponsorship fees and it wasn't a sacrifice at all. Once again that feeling of an imcomplete fast returned. How can I truly be fasting if I am giving out of my abundance and not out of my need. What could I possibly do, other than quiting my job, that would cause this wonderful sponsorship be part of a fast? Then the time came to pay for Netflix and my daily car wash and I realized that sometimes a sacrifice is about giving up the convenience and not necessarily the money. So I cancelled those subscriptions and felt that completeness return. Now everytime that I have to pay more for a car wash or borrow a video I am reminded that a complete fast is about breaking the bands of wickedness and dealing thy bread to the hungry. It is through this type of fasting I will be called the repairer of the breach and the restorer of paths to dwell in.

Everyone is called to different types of fast but this is the one that I feel that God has called me to. So it is with joy and with gladness that I was able to add Popat as a sponsor child in August. If sponsoring a child sounds like something in which you would be interested in participating, please contact me through this blog and I will send you the information you need to bring Hope to a child.