31 Days to Holistic Christ-Centered Living–Day #8: Faith With Works Is Pure Grace!

I pour over all the faces of children, a sea of them, hoping to get a glimpse of him.

He is our sponsored Compassion child, and his name is Rohan.

We had supported him four years ago through a children’s ministry, and then when our pastor left the church and moved back to California, we also left and began a new journey. The children’s ministry was halted, and so the support for Rohan also discontinued.

I have thought of him once in a while, but with so many mouths to feed ourselves on one income, and almost losing our home twice, we had not given much thought to supporting Rohan or any other child. Until now.

Ann Voskamp’s writing and speaking and going to Equador for Compassion children–children who are orphaned, or whose parents are barely able to feed their children and the children work instead of attending school or church–this has really touched me and sparked something within.

I also read about the poor, sweet, mal-nourished babies and children on Katie’s blog, about the men with alchohol addictions and the mothers who need someone how to teach them how to love and take care of their babies, need someone to teach them about Jesus and His redemptive, saving grace.

When I know that it is all about God, His glory and not mine, the suffering that He went through for me and for every child of His on this earth, how can my response be to do nothing?

My only right response to the suffering on that sacred tree must be to reach out–not just vertically, but horizontally.

This is something I’ve known for a while now, but it is really starting to sink into my heart, pounded in by the nails on that heavy beamed cross.

So after not being able to find my sponsored child, Rohan, I called the Compassion people and asked where he was. They told me that his family has moved to an area where there is not a Compassion program. My heart almost stopped beating in my chest. This was worse than I was expecting–I was hoping to hear that he was continuing to receive support.

But then the voice on the other end told me something I didn’t know. He said that Rohan’s family moving is good news–this means that they have probably moved where there is better work for the parents, or more family for a better support system for the children. My heart sang at this news.

As I hung up the phone, I thought about our other sponsored child in Africa. We picked her picture up at a concert this past summer. She seemed to speak to me, look straight through me with her beautiful eyes, pain peering out.

Her name is Deliphine and she is the same age as Ivy. The kind folks that took down our information said that we would receive something in the mail soon to begin our sponsorship.

Nothing ever came. This sweet African girl is still waiting on us. After months of battling illness, and feeling my way around in a fibromyalgia fog, I found clarity of mind enough and I found her–the packet we brought home with us sitting on top of the fridge all this time.

Something has been stirring within, deeply, deeply stirring. I feel God waking me from my slumber. I want to call and find out if we can re-start the sponsorship process for this precious girl.

I want to do more with the grace that has been given me, more with the blood that has been shed for me than just sit here.

If faith without works is dead, then I have been faithless. But He is faithful. He keeps pursuing me, and He keeps pursuing you, and He is pursuing and loving all of His creation, and He is using even me.

I want to go, be poured out as an offering, to be laid out, bare, roots surging straight deep to the well of God and the gospel of His grace and naked branches stretching out and reaching them, all of His children and straight up to the Heavens in worship.

Please join me at Ann’s for more reflections on faith:

And if you would like to follow here as I follow the Compassion bloggers in Equador this week…read their stories?

Compassion Bloggers: Ecuador 2011

and also at Emily’s for Imperfect Prose Thursday:

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7 thoughts on “31 Days to Holistic Christ-Centered Living–Day #8: Faith With Works Is Pure Grace!”

  1. The word Ells uses “pursue” has been on the tip of my mind for the past while – that God pursues, that He does not give up – our life has been in an upheaval for 2 years, but God is sending us on a path – and He has put on our hearts, not sponsorship, but words like “fostering” – we are praying and in the right time, doors will open! I love your heart, Nacole – and how you pour your heart out into your blog ministers deeply!

    I have a little encouragement for you over at my place; a friend passed it to me and I wanted to pass it to you!

  2. i love your heart, your way of thinking friend. our sponsor child just moved too… it shocked me, but then i learned it is a good thing… i long to help so many… one at a time, right? xo

  3. Poured out…I, too, want to do more with the grace given and blood shed. I'm asking God what that will be.

    I can empathize with the fibro fog. Someday we'll be free from pain. Looking forward to that day!

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