Thursday, April 30, 2015

One Proud Compassion Mama

When I woke up this morning, I scoured my Facebook news-feed and stalked my email inbox with eagle eyes hoping for photos and perhaps even videos to either be posted or to appear in my inbox.

You see, because April 30 is a very special day!

A couple weeks ago, I posted this on Instagram...

And yes, today is Rechelle's graduation day from Compassion International's Leadership Development Program (LDP). She will be among the last sponsored children to graduate from the LDP as Compassion transitions from this program to focus on youth development in order to benefit even more young people in the developing world!

And since Philippines is twelve hours ahead of us, when I woke up this morning the graduation had already happened {while we were sleeping}.

This is the first photo of
Rechelle that we ever saw.
We first met Rechelle four years ago. It was during our first trip back to the Philippines after twelve years of not being back, the trip that broke my heart anew... for the things that break God's

One week before our departure date, God made our path cross with Rechelle's in a way that only He can. You can read that story here.

We arranged to meet Rechelle in person and at the end of that meeting, we knew that, despite the steep cost of LDP sponsorship as compared to regular child sponsorship, we would be sponsoring her. You can read that story here.

I can truly say that sponsoring Rechelle has turned out to be one of the best decisions we've ever made!

Then last summer, we visited her again.

2011: At the Compassion project where Rechelle grew up as a Compassion sponsored child.

2011: Inside Rechelle's house.

2014: At the same spot, inside Rechelle's newly rebuilt house after it got destroyed by an earthquake.

2014: At Rechelle's church.

These four years of journeying with Rechelle as her sponsor family have been pure gift, wild grace! Being a part of her life has blessed us immensely... more than words can ever describe. We are looking forward to more of doing life with her... as we continue to correspond with her directly after her graduation from Compassion's program.

As details of her graduation date were released, we were sad that we couldn't attend in person. We wrote her our last official letter through Compassion and sent her a graduation gift, accepting that we've done all we can to make her graduation day special.

Little did we know, God was going to surprise us with so much more! We quickly realized that my parents are going to be in Cebu on Rechelle's graduation day. We submitted a request for them to attend the event on our behalf and it was quickly approved. We were overjoyed!

But God wasn't done just yet with His surprises!

We were volunteering at a Compassion Sunday event not too long ago where Compassion Canada's President/CEO Barry Slauenwhite was the guest speaker. Upon chatting with him and his wife, I learned that Barry is going to be the guest speaker at Rechelle's graduation! How awesome is that?!? I was over-the-moon tickled by God's lavish love!

Not only were my parents going to be there for Rechelle, Barry and his wife will be too! 

Only God can arrange details such as these... much like how He made our path cross with Rechelle's four years ago

So this morning...
My eyes stayed glued to my computer monitor... and that first chime came. An email. Photos. Another email. More photos. Yet another email. Videos!  

I can't even begin to describe how much of a gift it is, being able to see the photos and watch the videos. Oh my... I couldn't stop the tears! I was beyond overjoyed!

I am truly one proud {Compassion} mama!

Here she is, friends... our Compassion daughter, Rechelle, graduating from Compassion's Leadership Development Program.
Young people selected for the LDP have distinguished themselves in the Child Sponsorship Program through service, academic excellence and leadership. They have committed their lives to Christ and to serving Him. The LDP offers these students the opportunity to refine their gifts through a university education and targeted Christian leadership training. 
Students who qualify for the LDP have demonstrated academic and extracurricular excellence and have successfully met the selection criteria established by the LDP Advisory Committee in their country of origin.
Rechelle with my parents.

Rechelle with my parents and her mama.

Rechelle with Barry and his wife.

Rechelle with her Compassion LDP mentor.

And speaking of being a proud mama... here is Rechelle and her proud mama during the graduation march!

Friends, Compassion child sponsorship works!
Our Rechelle is proof... a child released from poverty in Jesus' name! Friends, do it --- sponsor a child with Compassion. It will be the best decision you make!

It has changed our family's life in ways that are beautiful beyond my comprehension. It is life-giving and joy-inducing. It is a YES that you will not regret. 
God calls me to do thanks. To give the thanks away. That thanks-giving might literally become thanks-living. That our lives become the very blessings we have received.
I could be the joy!
This is what makes us content - the contented, deep joy is always in the touching of Christ - in whatever skin He comes to us in.
Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. (Isaiah 58:10-11)
It's the fundamental, lavish, radical nature of the upside-down economy of God.
Empty to fill.
Spend the whole of your one wild and beautiful life investing in many lives, and God simply will not be outdone. God extravagantly pays back everything we give away and exactly in the currency that is not of this world but the one we yearn for: Joy in Him.
Here I can become the blessing, a little life that multiplies joy, making the larger world a better place.
~ Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts.

Compassion is a command, an act of worship, a song of thanks to Him.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for dropping by today, Emily! Yes, we serve an awesome amazing God! :)

  2. How cool! I very much want to sponsor an LDP girl majoring in journalism one day. In fact, I kind of thought this would be the year, but then Abigail happened.... :-)

    1. Hi Crystal... sponsoring an LDP journalism student would be a neat experience for you! The LDP program is being phased out though, but I'm sure the new youth development program will have journalism students as well. And the plus side is... I've heard that it will cost less than the LDP sponsorship! :)

      PS. I am so excited to be following your journey of adopting Abigail. You guys are such an inspiration!

  3. Wow!!!! How kind of God that He allowed so many people dear to you to be with Rechelle during her graduation!!!!

    1. Thanks, Hannah. Yes, our God is truly kind. He loves lavishly!