Sunday, June 13, 2010

Thanksgiving and Compassion

Many of the posts on this blog have been words of thanksgiving for the blessings that I have received in and through my two children. They are successful, happy and healthy kids. Sure, childhood has dealt them a few what seems in our society to be “rough days” – not enough sleep, too much homework, nagging parents, and broccoli for dinner. And they have also had days where their health has not been one hundred percent – ear infections, broken bones, strep throat, chicken pox, and swine flu. In the big scheme of things, these are all minor ailments and easily treated because we live in a country where medical care is readily available and because my family is very fortunate to have health insurance. Many in the United States take these things for granted; I hope that I never do. No matter how bad things seem here with our unstable economy, soaring healthcare costs, natural disasters, and perceived epidemics, the majority of the world views our life as living in the lap of luxury. For the life my family and I have been given, I am thankful. It is not enough for me to offer prayers of thanksgiving for all of these blessings: I feel called to offer my life in service to others. For the last several years I have been stumbling around trying to figure out how best to do that.

I enjoy writing. Thus far this blog has been a creative outlet for me, a place where I can share my thoughts and every now and then a few pictures. I know that it does not provide service to anyone other than maybe to elicit a smile or chuckle every now and then, but for whatever reason, I have continued to write. I may now know why and I also may have stumbled upon an avenue that affords me the opportunity to use my blog as a means of service.

A month or so ago I accidentally, or coincidentally, or purposefully stumbled upon a website called Compassion Bloggers are people who are using their blogs to get the message of Compassion International, a group who is dedicated to” releasing more than 1,000,000 children in undeveloped countries from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty.” You can read more about the work of Compassion International at .

Compassion International is continually working to improve the living conditions for many children around the world. Each of these children is precious and deserves the care, love, and compassion that we give our own children. I share with you here the story of one eight-year old boy, Achilles, who lives in Burkina Faso in western Africa. He suffers from a congenital heart abnormality known as tetralogy of Fallot. For the past two years, Compassion International has provided medical care for Achilles at the national teaching hospital in Burkina Faso but because his heart abnormalities are complicated and extensive, doctors there feel that they can no longer address his medical needs. They have determined that Achilles needs urgent surgery that requires this young boy to be transported to a hospital in India that is equipped to perform this lifesaving procedure. An estimated $20,449 is necessary to cover travel and medical expenses for Achilles.

Look at this boy.

This is a child who has been in pain for five years and who has been too ill to attend school regularly.

Look at him again.

This time imagine that you are seeing the face of your own child. Imagine that you are the parent who for five years has watched your child suffer. Imagine praying desperately that someone will care enough to help save your child’s life.

Imagine doing nothing.

Do more than imagine.

Give thanks for the blessings in your life by donating to Compassion International’s efforts to raise money for Achilles. Go to to to do more than imagine.

Thank you!