Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mexico AG PRAYER FOCUS:Guanajuato and Guerrero

GUANAJUATO (home state of my husband's parents)(#2 green state)is a state in the central highlands of Mexico whose name means “Hill of Frogs”. The first battle in Mexico’s war for independence resulted in a march from Dolores to the capital city of Guanajuato, which has since been declared a World Heritage site. Guanajuato also is home to Mexico’s Mummy Museum and is the state from which hails Vicente Fox, Mexico’s former president.

Guanajuato is one of the states that comprise the Heart of Darkness, aka the 10/40 window of Latin America, since its percentage of evangelicals is less than 2%.

Guerrero, located on the pacific coast and named after Mexican president Vicente Guerrero, is known for its three main areas of tourism of which Acapulco is most famous. There remain today more than 300,000 Nahuatl-speaking people, even though the Spanish conquest brought a sharp decline to the native population during that time.

Guerrero is not included in the Heart of Darkness, yet its percentage of evangelicals censused was less than 6%.

Let’s Pray:

  • For the believers in these two states- “Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.” Eph 6:18 ESV
  • For pastors and ministry workers – “My friends, by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the love that comes from the Holy Spirit, I beg you to pray sincerely with me and for me.” Rom 15:30 CEV
  • For conviction of sin by the Spirit – “But after I am gone, I will send the Spirit to you. The Spirit will come and show the people of this world the truth about sin and God’s justice and the judgment.” John 16:7,8 CEV
  • For the power and conviction as the Word is preached – “Because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction”. I Thess 1:5 NIV

Sunday, September 28, 2008



This is a place to share with one another what God has you doing or have done as a purpose of serving Him right where you are daily, doing just what you feel God has put on your heart at one time or another. Perhaps you have a calling or realize that you were made for a mission and you are doing it, reaching out to others in some way. It may be for a short time or just being birthed in your heart at the moment. God uses each one of us and the glory and honor should go to Him! 

God does not call the equipped but equips those called, as I am finding out each day. 

If you would like more information about this meme, you can go to the information page by clicking here. We have had a good variety of MISSIONS and I pray you will join us with yours.
Since many of you are Christian bloggers, you have a MISSION. Let me share a new one for me.

I first heard of all this PERSECUTION issue of India probably through the same comment that many of you  received from Alan Pardoe

Yet did you know that 200 million Christians worldwide live under persecution? 

Campus Crusade for Christ says, "Since Jesus laid down His life, 43 million Christians have become martyrs." These numbers aMaze me not because of the multitudes alone but because how many of us go about our daily lives without even realizing this many are being persecuted.

I noticed it more and more as God was putting it on my heart to pray for our brothers and sisters being persecuted for Christ's sake, in these current days-in India but it is occurring in many parts of the world. As I prayed, in obedience only, I really had no idea how to pray without having an understanding of what was happening. I am sharing this because many times we say we will pray and we just utter a few sentences for the prayer concern or person. 

But when we get a burden for the prayer request or the Holy Spirit begins to stir inside you, you must do more. So I did. I found an excellent article on why & how to pray for those suffering but it was copyrighted. Thus,  I  try to summarize the key points below***.

I began researching and trying to grasp what it must be like for the Persecuted Church or a Christian asked to suffer, perhaps in many of these cases, die for their belief in Jesus Christ. Sometimes God chooses to magnify His name through His people counting Christ more precious than their own lives and dying in the process. Sometimes He is pleased to deliver His people out of persecution. Regardless of God's doing, we are responsible to pray for our brothers and sisters. 

Many of the Scripture references below I have used, but rarely do I quote the full context of the verse. Trust me, I am hardly well versed or educated about this crisis, but can't avoid doing something. This has not been a MISSION of mine ever but God wants me to prepare.

Because of all of this, again it was time for me to get out of my comfort zone so I had to look deep inside of me and ask, 

"Would you be able or willing to die for your faith?"

It is with this attitude that I ask you to read the following:

"Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life." Revelation 2:10

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?" Romans 8:25

"That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:10

"Keep on loving each other as brothers(& sisters). Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering." Hebrews 13:1-3

Here are all 13 references that Bible Gateway gave as results to PERSECUTION in the Bible. If you click on the verse Bible Gateway will share it:

  • Matthew 13:21
  • Mark 4:17
  • Mark 10:30
  • Acts 8:1 The Church Persecuted & Scattered
  • Acts 11:19
  • Acts 13:50
  • Romans 8:35
  • 2 Corinthians 12:10
  • 1 Thessalonians 3:7
  • 2 Thessalonians 1:4
  • 2 Timothy 3:11
  • Hebrews 10:33
  • Revelation 2:10

    Most current report from Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) 


    Friday, September 26, 2008 Standing with the saints in Orissa

    A month has come and gone and still Christians in Orissa continue to suffer attacks at the hands of Hindus.  Blaming them for the death of Hindu leader Laxmananda Saraswati and angry over the numbers of Hindus coming to faith in Christ, mobs have driven thousands of Christians from their homes. Dozens of church buildings have been destroyed or damaged, at least 50 believers have been killed, schools and colleges have been attacked and vandalized, and numerous cases of forced conversions to Hinduism have been reported.  Even relief camps have been attacked, as mobs terrorize the refugees, sometimes poisoning the water supplies and/or stealing supplies.  The state government has done little to bring the situation under control.

    The Voice of the Martyrs has committed to sending aid to the Christians of Orissa. 

    (to read more go to http://persecutedchurch.blogspot.com/)

    also Voice of the Martyr http://www.persecution.com/topStory_indiaOrissaState.html

    Churches burned, Christians slaughtered in India

    Fri, 29 Aug 2008 - 3:35 PM CST

    In what could be eerily compared to the massacre of men, women and children burned alive or hacked to death in rioting that occurred in Kenya earlier this year, Hindu mobs are rampaging throughout the Orissa region of India, burning churches with people still inside and hacking other Christians to death.

    However, unlike Kenya, this outbreak of violence is linked totally to religion, and Christians are being hunted by Hindus who are methodically targeting, hunting and killing them wherever and whenever possible.

    "We have never seen anything like this," reports a U.S. Assemblies of God minister in India, whose name is being withheld for safety. "We knew that Orissa was the most resistant and hostile state in India as far as the gospel is concerned . . . . But none of our staff imagined that they would see this kind of carnage." (to read more go

    Phil Johnson shares:

    "Reports out of India over the past week or so describe a dramatic increase in violence against Christians mainly at the hands of radical Hindus in the state of Orissa. The conflicts are to a large degree rooted in Hinduism's caste system and Hindu resentment over lower-caste people who have converted from Hinduism to Christianity.

    But the incident that sparked the current violence was
    the August 23 murder of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, Orissa's top leader of Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), a hard-line Hindu nationalist organization. Saraswati was well-known for his militant opposition to Christianity. He is alleged to have directed the burning of hundreds of churches.

    Maoists (communists) have taken responsibility for Swami Saraswati's murder, but Christians have been the main targets of the radical Hindiu backlash. VHP leaders insist Christian missionaries plotted the murder.

    More than 50,000 Christians are said to have fled the region, hiding in jungles and forests to escape the violence. Many of them will likely be permanently dispossessed of all they have."

    Phil goes on to list forty-six typical acts of violence against Christians that have just taken place in less than one week as reported by Evangelical Fellowship of India. He mentions that the Web is full of stories (click to Google here to see) like this:

    Yesterday one of our church members B_____ P______ hailing from Orissa reported that Fanatic Hindus came to her home in Orissa and asked all of them to become Hindus. On refusal they started threatening the family, so her brother said, "We will worship our Lord Jesus." The Hindus said that they would kill him, and asked, "Don't you fear to be killed?" He said, "I am willing to die for Jesus." So they cut him in three pieces. They also killed her maternal uncle, burnt the whole house and threw them on the road. Kindly keep on praying. Things are started happening in our state also. Kindly see Orissa violence on Net for more information.

    I thank you all for praying, & we can say that He is El-Shaddi God. S_____ F______. 


    How to Pray from the Bible

    Because the New Testament was written to persecuted believers, it is filled with examples of how to pray for our brothers and sisters under attack.

    Here are 5 examples from Ephesians:

    • Please pray persecuted believers would know the hope God gives (Ephesians 1:8).
    • Pray the Holy Spirit would strengthen them (Ephesians 3:16).
    • Please pray persecuted believers would know how much God loves them (Ephesians 3:17)
    • Pray they would know how to share the gospel (Ephesians 6:19).
    • Please pray persecuted believers would fearlessly tell others about Jesus (Ephesians 6:20).

    To create additional ways to pray from the Bible, take any book from the New Testament (except the gospels). Search for verses with the word "pray." Then use those verses to create prayer requests, just as in the 5 examples above.

    • Pray for their phyiscal protection and deliverance (Matthew 26:39; Acts 12:5; Phil.1:19; Philemon 22; Romans 15:30-31; Acts 20:23-24)
    • Pray that they will endure (Hebrews 10:36)
    • Pray that God would give them the right words and that they would fearlessly make Christ known.(Eph.6:19-20; Eph.4:2-4)
    • Pray that they will see God's grace as sufficient and God's power made perfect in their weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
    • Pray that they rejoice in sharing the sufferings of Jesus so that they will rejoice even more when Christ is revealed. (Heb. 10:34; Matt. 5:12; 1Peter 4:13)
    As I summarize from the 18 suggestions and I read these ways to pray, while people are actually suffering...I think again, that could be me. Could I pray this way if it were me or people I know?
    I must admit that I would not be ready nor would I be able to pray this way but now realize the immense reason that I should have these verses in memory so that I would recall them to pray them. And why it is so important to have the CHURCH pray UNITED for these concerns. For the day could still come when we may be in this same place of need or situation where we will
    want others to pray for us!

    You can read all of these 18 ways to pray with the verses here from the founder of Open Doors at ChristianAnswers.Net.

    How to Pray for Practical Needs

    Along with the example prayers in the Bible, there are some practical needs persecuted believers would love your prayers for:

    • Please pray persecuted believers would have access to a Bible.
    • Pray they have the courage to remain in their homeland.
    • Please pray for believers who have been rejected by family and friends. Pray that God would surround them with a new Christian "family" who loves them and supports them emotionally and physically.
    • Pray for God to be an advocate for women who are socially vulnerable or have lost the custody of their children because of their faith.
    • Please pray that God would provide persecuted believers with jobs and safe places to live.

    Learn more ways to pray for the persecuted church and read news alerts on current crises by visiting the Web site for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.

    Support in Addition to Prayer

    "When we support them, it sends them the message 'I am not forgotten -- not by God and not by my brothers and sisters."

    You can:

    • Send a believer in hiding their first Bible.
    • Write letters to the government on behalf of persecuted believers.
    • Help pay the legal costs to defend a Christian falsely accused.
    • Help provide for a family whose father has been imprisoned or killed for his faith. (Help is given until they can find alternative means of support.)  

    The Bible League 

    http://www.bibleleague.org/persecuted/index.php is committed to reaching Persecuted Believers around the world. The second Sunday of November (November 9th or 16th) is International Day of Prayer of the Persecuted. Raise your church's awareness of Persecuted Christians. Bible League has an offer for a kit your church can useto raise awareness here.

    Also International Day of Prayer will have material available on October 1st here. 

    As well as Open Doors Serving Persecuted Christians Worldwide has a free prayer kit now just click here.

    BIBLE LEAGUE asks: 

    "Imagine looking over your shoulder because you are studying a Bible, or worshipping in church. Imagine that if you are caught, you could be jailed, beaten, or even killed. To millions of Christians around the world, this is the stark reality."

    What if this happened to YOU? 

    [just like I had asked above.]

    BARNABAS FUND gives hope and aid for the persecuted church. Barnabas Ministries has a section called Daily Prayer Points. They share with us these words:

    "By obeying His command to love one another, we can help our brothers and sisters who live under the crushing pressure of persecution.

    “They are hurting, like the nails which were hurting the body of Christ. We are all members of the body of Christ. These kids are like the hurting wounds. So we have to treat them as if we are touching the body of Christ."

    [Leader of a ministry to disabled Christians in Egypt, which Barnabas Fund is assisting]

    My hopes with sharing this burden is not to convict or cause fear but that you will seriously consider your part, whether in prayer or whatever God lays on your heart for your part in HIS GREAT COMMISSION. 

    And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20)

    "A cord of three strands is not quickly broken" (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

    Together, we-you, one of these organizations and the Persecuted Christians, can boldly shine the light of Jesus in areas of oppression.

    You can promote in your church their participation in the


    Sunday, September 21, 2008


    WELCOME to MISSION 4 MONDAY meme & now blog. If you are visiting here for the first time and would like information about this meme, please go here.

    I started this month with praying as my mission. I joined with others in 30-Days.net

    Loving Muslims through Prayer
    which for me, was a brand new labor of love and stretching me in a completely different direction, a bit out of my safety or comfort zone.
    But that's what God wanted of me. I am learning a great deal through 30-Days.net
    of missions in many parts of our world...such as


    The vast Ganges plains of North India contain the greatest concentration of unevangelized people in the world. North India will probably be the touchstone of our success or failure in completing world evangelization in our generation.” - Patrick Johnstone

    There are possibly 145 million Muslims in India. God loves them all. India has more Muslims than all the following countries combineBlogger: MISSION 4 MONDAY - Create Postd: Yemen, Iraq, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait and Egypt.

    Today(Day 22) and this past Saturday(Day 20), 30 Days Loving Muslims Through Prayer were lifting up the people of INDIA! This information is taken from their wonderful site!

    Nagpur, The City of Snakes

    The central Indian city of Nagpur (whose name means ‘City of Snakes’) has a population of over three million people. Nagpur lies on major north-south and east-west transportation routes. The city is at the geographic centre of India. While the majority of its inhabitants are Hindu, there is a sizeable Muslim minority of approximately 7.1% (215,000). Nominal followers of Jesus number around 5%, although practicing believers are much less numerous. In the region outside Nagpur city there are even less believers among the many Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and others. The governing political party in the area has a clear agenda to keep India as a Hindu nation and reject “foreign and Western” influences making life hard for the local followers of Jesus.

    It is a commonly held misconception in the region that followers of Jesus bribe downtrodden Muslims and Hindus to accept Christ in return for material benefit or social advantage. Therefore actions by local believers motivated by love for Jesus Christ and one’s fellowman are often misunderstood, presenting barriers for the Good News and discipleship. Often, those who do come to Christ are pressured into returning to Islam by various social, economic, emotional and even physical pressures. Yet even in this hostile environment, Jesus is calling Muslims from Nagpur to Himself.

    Muslims usually speak Urdu and Marathi while Hindus and other speak Hindi and Marathi. Between 2004 - 2006, several newer translations utilising some “Muslim-style” terminology have been published. These have helped Muslims to understand, accept and obey God’s word. Nevertheless Bibles are not widely distributed nor are they easily accessible to the Muslim community. The “Jesus” film also exists but there are distribution problems. As far as we know, there is no group of believers that regularly reaches out to the Muslims in this city with the Gospel in an organised way.

    Prayer starters:

    * Pray for local believers to enter into their role as those who are part of God’s plan to bless all nations, tribes and tongues (Gen. 22:18 and Galatians 3:16,29).
    * Pray for the effective distribution of these new translations of the Bible.
    * Pray for the local believers who face real persecution due to the prejudices and misunderstandings.
    * Pray for believers to be trained in how to proclaim the Messiah with wisdom and understanding in the Muslim community.

    Muslims do not believe …

    Muslims do not believe that it is possible to know God as in John 17:3. (They only believe that they can know about Him.) Small numbers of Muslims called Sufis believe in a mystical union with God. However, this group is often seen as heretical by many Muslims.

    To read about Murshidabad, INDIA from Day 20, go here:

    Related Articles

    Islam was introduced to India by conquest and grew through the successful efforts of Muslim missionaries and high birth rates. Today India is the second largest Muslim nation in the world.

    There are perhaps not more than 150 workers (including both Indians and expatriates) in full time witness to Muslims. There are some very encouraging developments happening, however, with more unity between churches and organisations reaching Muslims in India. There are also continued reports of Muslim leaders receiving visions and dreams of Jesus!

    It is the hour of opportunity for the Muslims of India - may we not miss it!

    Prayer for the Muslims in India:

    * Pray for the religious freedom in India to continue. It is under threat from certain groups in the nation.
    * Pray that the Muslims of India would each have an opportunity to hear, and see, the Gospel in a culturally relevant way.
    * Pray for the many large indigenous Indian Missions organisations, that they will “tithe” some of their people for Muslim work.
    * Pray for continuing and new training initiatives to train workers and church planters for Muslim ministry.
    One of our very special participants shared the very first week & then last week, on a very special mission in INDIA-Kulpahar Kids- you can read more here and see wonderful photos here

    Kulpahar, India.

    Thank you all for sharing and please be sure to visit the others MISSION4MONDAY participants! Each participant has richly blessed me. I noticed some of you are concerned about my "button" being on your blog. I wish I could remedy it for all of you, but I'm not computer savy . I do apologize. But what I want to share is THAT is not important as long as you link here or let your readers know to come here and view what others are sharing. Each of You & Your Mission is what counts...and I treasure reading and want others to read what you share. Thank you again! May God richly bless you MISSION!

    Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    Mexico AG: Colima and Durango

    Since I have a PRAYER FOCUS for MISSIONS this month, I could not possible overlook my own group of Missionaries here in Mexico.

    My Mission4Monday focus is to join with 30 Days of Loving the Muslims through Prayer but I cannot forget to mention where my heart focus is here in Mexico!
    So I have added MexicoAG.org's Prayer Focus here:

    Prayer Focus: Colima and Durango

    The state of Colima, tucked between Jalisco and Michoacan along the Pacific coast, carries a spiritual history. It’s capital city is believed to be the third one established in Nueva España by Hernán Cortés for the purpose of helping guide departed souls safely to heaven’s door. Previously, its ancient people believed that dogs served as a pathway from earth to paradise.

    The state of Durango, known foremost as the land of scorpions and secondly as the land of movies, is located in the arid northern region of Mexico. Indigenous people, including the Tepehuanos, make up 10% of its population. In the mysterious Zona Del Silencio (Silent Zone), many visitors have testified to having paranormal experiences or sensing other strange phenomena.

    According to a national census, less than 4% of both Colima and Durango’s population claims to be evangelical.

    Let’s Pray:

    • Spiritual strongholds to be broken. “The weapons we fight with have divine power to demolish strongholds” II Cor. 10: 4
    • Light and life to come to the 96%. “In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” John 1: 4
    • Workers of light to be raised up and/or sent. “There came a man sent from God…to testify of the light so that all men might believe.” John 1:6,7
    • For the body of Christ present in this area, to be encouraged and strengthened in faith and power. “May Jesus Christ…encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”

    Monday, September 15, 2008



    For more information about this meme, please go here!
    The 1st week, I shared a totally new direction for me for a Mission. Our Lord wanted to stretch me beyond my obvious mission here in Mexico. I have been a person of deep intercession for more than twenty years. So God wanted me to join in

    Loving the Muslims through Prayer with 30-days.net

    Even though I only posted about this mission focus the first week of September, I continue to join them daily through their wonderful site here. Today's focus:

    The educational information, prayer focuses and testimonies at 30-Days.net is phenomenal!

    If you have not yet visited you must check it out. Great information for Homeschoolers, teachers, actually all Christians...because the Great Commission is not for just those who have gone or would like to go to the mission field. Each mission field is right where you live. We each must do our part, especially if you believe God's Word and the words of this next video:

    Everyday they pass me by, I can see it in their eye.
    Empty people filled with care,Headed who knows where?
    On they go through private pain, Living fear to fear.
    Laughter hides their silent cries, Only Jesus hears.

    People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
    At the end of broken dreams, He's the open door.
    People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
    When will we realize --people need the Lord?

    We are called to take His light, To a world where wrong seems right.
    What would be too great a cost, For sharing life with one who's lost?
    Through His love our hearts can feel All the grief they bear.
    They must hear the words of life Only we can share.

    People need the Lord, people need the Lord
    At the end of broken dreams, He's the open door.
    People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
    When will we realize that we must give our lives,
    For people need the Lord.
    People need the Lord.

    My second week of Mission 4 Monday focus was Children: Compassion International to the children right here in Mazatlan, in the poorest colonies and even in the colony down from the dumpsite, where their parents work and just recently the children were banned from working there. (Thank God! And the Vineyard Christian Fellowship built a school for them). Because my daily focus is Mexico, I need to share "People Need the Lord" in Spanish(1987). The Spanish title is "Tienen que Saber" which means "they have to know"(obligation) they MUST know...but how can anyone know if we are not doing our part in telling, in sharing JESUS!




    "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." Romans 1:16

    "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20

    All About Jesus Christ.org tells us like this:
    "In the Great Commission, Jesus calls every Christian to step out in faith and spread the Good News. This is faith in action! People who obey this command change their spiritual lives forever! It could be spreading the Good News to a neighbor or moving to another country to reach the people there. It could be sharing with less fortunate kids down the street or spreading the Word in a town two hours away. Wherever we go, every faithful Christian is compelled through obedience to share the Gospel.

    If you're a believer in Jesus Christ, where has He called you to go?
    Who has God put on your heart to share the gift of salvation?
    What small or large steps can you take, with the knowledge that Christ will be by your side, "to make disciples of all the nations"?"

    These are GREAT QUESTIONS to reflect on this week, and remember that YOU ARE MADE FOR A MISSION for your PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE (Book by Rick Warren).

    WHY not WRITE about it and LINK here?

    Monday, September 8, 2008


    If you are new, and would like to join please go here for the information, but I'm sure you'll get the idea as you read and visit others! If you know someone with a MISSION, encourage them to link and share it here with us!

    TODAY I'm sharing about another Mission near and dear to my heart and starting with my PRAYERS and FOCUS this week for:[get your box of kleenex & your heart ready]


    Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

    Matthew 19:14 NIV

    Some versions say SUFFER but you know that JESUS was not telling us to turn a blind eye and a cold shoulder and Let the children suffer...but that is what is happening all over the world and even in the USA.

    Share Your Heart from Compassion International is a journey of people through written expression and visual expression sharing what others have learned bytouching the heart of a child. Please visit here and be blessed if even by just the featured entry...let God touch your heart for a child...by a child.

    Today I have shifted the direction of my MISSION 4 MONDAY back to my comfort level of where God uses me the most, and it was because of the following e-votional that I receive daily from Proverbs 31 called ENCOURAGEMENT for TODAY!

    Amy Carroll blessed me with her words, encouraged me and inspired me:

    September 5, 2008

    The Healing Power of Hope

    Amy Carroll

    "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."

    Proverbs 13:12 (NIV)


    Our whole table was doubled over with laughter. The meeting had begun somberly with formal introductions, but all it took was a little fun to make my diminutive tablemates relax into our time together. Last summer on our team's trip to Ecuador with Compassion International, we had the opportunity to share lunch and craft time with a group of elementary school aged children at a Compassion project near Quito . Each child had shyly introduced themselves with their beautiful Spanish name. When we got to one shiny-haired, sparkly-eyed boy, however, he announced his name loudly--"Stephen Segal!" The whole group erupted with laughter.

    Dr. Wess Stafford, in his book Too Small to Be Ignored, says this about poverty, "More than any other emotion, the poor feel overwhelmed. Without financial resources, shelter, food, education, justice, or skills to address their plight, they succumb to the downward spiral that leads to hopelessness and despair. That, my friend, is the essence of poverty." As president of Compassion, Dr. Stafford has seen the most extreme poverty and its effects on children all over the world. He has watched the light leave children's eyes, seen their shoulders begin to slump, and their hearts begin to believe that all hope is completely beyond them.

    As I watched these children laugh, I was struck with how little it takes to restore hope. A sponsor's small, monthly donation of money is only part of the story. There are many other means of building hope in Compassion's ministry. I entered a home later that day and delighted as a young girl brought out her treasured stack of letters from her sponsor. Each of those letters was a reminder that someone else in the world loves her, believes in her and has found her valuable. The kind words and smiles from the Ecuadorian Compassion staff also nourished the souls of their small students. I hope even their visitors from America stoked the fragile fires of hope in those children's hearts.

    There are children all around us that need an infusion of hope. They are longing for a kind look or an affirming word. It doesn't take much to rekindle hope in a child, but it does require paying attention to those in need. Most of all, they need to hear about the God who created them and who cherishes them as His own special child. The children in Ecuador had heard The Message and received the hope that would forever save their inner selves from the ravages of poverty even though they still faced great physical need in their communities each day.

    Before we left that day, I asked the children what they wanted to be when they grow up. "I want to be a policeman," my precious sponsored child replied. "I want to be a teacher," said another. One stunning little girl told me she wanted to be a fashion designer. Tears filled my eyes as I hugged these children good-bye. My heart was full, too, with the dreams and hopes of an amazing group of children.

    Dear Lord, I want to be tuned in to helping restore hope in a hopeless child's life. Will you bring me a divine appointment with a child today who needs a loving smile or a kind word? Help me to be ready to share your grace and love. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:

    Do You Know Him?

    Compassion International

    You Are Special by Max Lucado

    Visit Amy Carroll's blog

    Application Steps:

    Go to the Compassion link and sponsor a child. The blessings will come back to you as you join with Jesus to restore hope in a child's life!

    Look for a child to encourage today. A child in need could be anywhere--next door, in the grocery store, or even in your own home.


    What am I doing to help address poverty in the world?

    How does God see people in poverty? (Use your Bible's concordance to do a word study.)

    Power Verses:

    Acts 10: 4, "Cornelius stared at him in fear. 'What is it, Lord?' he asked. The angel answered, 'Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.'" (NIV)

    Proverbs 22:9, "A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor." (NIV)

    © 2008 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries

    616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

    Matthews, NC 28105


    Used with permission by Amy Carroll and Proverbs 21 Ministries

    I almost forgot...Amy Carroll is offering us a CHALLENGE but you need to go read about it in her Wednesday, September 3rd post at PONDERINGS FROM THE PATHWAY!THANKS AMY CARROLL for your devotional and touching hearts and lives!

    Here is another valuable link related to this COMPASSION:

    FOR THE LEAST OF THESE with LeAnn http://p31compassion.blogspot.com/2007/10/love-in-action.html

    and she in turn links you with other great team members of Proverb 31
    that also went to Ecuador:
  • Lysa TerKeurst
  • Van Walton
  • Luann Prater
  • Glynnis Whitwer
  • Charlene Kidd
  • Rachel Olsen

  • LeAnn has a beautiful song from Jaci Velasquez that I wanted to post on Saturday with Then Sings My Soul Saturday. I posted a different song and a video from right here in Mazatlan with one of the best outreach programs.
    I could not find a good video of Jaci singing this but I believe it is my new LIFESONG and life message for the many children in poverty both here in Mexico and around this world, even right in the community you live in if you only open your eyes & heart:


    LeAnn has posted the lyrics to this song and she has two other windows that share the beauty of their ministry:
    And wonderful ways that you can have a lasting impact of SERVING the LORD together
    [I should have written to LeAnn for permission also, but that is why I've linked her for you to visit rather than copy her words]

    Compassion's work in Mexico began in 1976. There are currently more than 19,800 children participating in more than 120 child development centers. Compassion partners with churches to help them provide Mexican children with the opportunity to rise above their circumstances and become all God has created them to be.


    Here in Mazatlan, there are two churches: Vineyard Christian Fellowship - La Viña and Amistad Familiar that I have the privilege to assist with their hearts for the poor colonies here in Mazatlan and Children's Feeding Centers, which reach out daily to help take care of the needs of those in poverty here.

    I posted about the Vineyard Christian Fellowship in the past and on this past Saturday with a video of THE OTHER SIDE OF MAZATLAN tour. If you have not seen it please take the time to view God working here in my community.

    Today, I'd like to feature some photos from my very special church that use to have some help from the USA from God's Kids but funds are tight right now.

    Still they have 4 Centers set up in various homes of church members in Mazatlan besides their own church kids at church. Each morning they prepare breakfast for the kids in their vicinity(known as a colony-colonia) very early and open with a lesson from God's Word & then feeding them before these kids head off to school. This precious church is:

    Pastor Carlos and Marilu

    They reach between 750-1000 kids between these 5 places...on a daily basis the number is not as high...but still much more than this small, low-economic church can afford or do alone but through God & the Power of His Holy Spirit under the strong faith and leadership...
    ...the Pastor is also involved with Prison Ministry and different members of their church go along with him weekly ministering in the prison here...outside of Mazatlan...near the airport area.

    DESAYUNADORES of AMISTAD FAMILIAR: Breakfast Feeding Centers

    I LOVE ALL of THESE and although I don't know ALL of their names, GOD does and I'm working on it...but what is most important they know GOD's NAME and learning about JESUS and the LOVE of JESUS...they hear it and feed upon it but their basic needs are also being met.

    WHY not WRITE about it and LINK here?

    Sponsor a child online through Compassion's Christian child sponsorship ministry. Search for a child by age, gender, country, birthday, special needs and more.


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    We were ALL made for a mission...God has a unique purpose & plan for everyone.
    ALL MONTH, Every Week, Every Day...it's a lifetime experience!
    This is where we share MISSIONS that have been placed on our hearts or in our lives. For God has given each of us a purpose & a unique plan to fulfill.
    If you are new to Mission4Monday, please click here for more info.
    A very special thanks to those of you (you know WHO you are) that faithfully have posted a MISSION4MONDAY whether you remember to link or not I appreciate it and if you are a regular and I notice, I have been linking you to the LINKY!
    You are welcome ALWAYS to leave in the current comments a link to anything you share MISSION wise.
    Thank you for placing M4M button on your posts, I so appreciate it! YOU each have presented FABULOUS ideas weekly!
    Micey also has been to Haiti and shared. Please pray for Micey. Once again she has returned to help in Haiti!
    Lots going on over here at a mission field at home in the USA. PRAISE GOD & continue to pour out blessings on Auto Mission & Sherry w/Cowboy.
    Nancie was a participant in the very beginning, but unable to currently blog actively. Yet she still has much good material to read in her previous posts along her sidebar of a worldwide health mission.
    New blogger that shares MISSIONS at times:
    Here's a current post she shared.
    Choose one or all or any & you will be blessed!
    I also have another MISSION: to PRAY, so you can visit our team blog, THE LIGHTHOUSE of PRAYER over here
    Mission 4 Monday sadly ended last year as a meme, but I continue to share here and I know others also share various MISSIONS, especially the people above. Check them out!!! Encourage and perhaps join us.
    Since my life is a MISSION, I share whenever I can. There are many of you, who do community involvement/church events, volunteer opportunities or know missionaries that you could share to motivate others. Motherhood and Homeschooling are MISSIONS and callings!!!
    Each of these are MISSIONS and important to encourage others.
    If you are doing something or share someone's MISSION on your blog, please leave your info in the comments anytime! Hopefully others will notice & come visit. THANKS!