Bloom where you are planted

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

When I was asked to write my first post for this blog, I sent an e-mail to my family and friends joking, “Apparently my ability to drone on and on, (and on), about Compassion International and child sponsorship has gotten back to the organization. I have been given a public forum at last!” I have no doubt there was some good-natured snickering around many computer terminals in Iowa that day.

Let me put it this way. If you know me, AT ALL, you know I sponsor children — you know how I feel about Compassion — and you know that I think child sponsorship is one of the best possible ways to help children in poverty. It is a regular topic of conversation for me and I am known for it.

Jesus told us to let our light shine before men. We are not to light our lamp only to put it under a bushel. If someone who had been a friend for a long time suddenly came to me and said, “I had no idea you believed in Christ!” I would feel that I had not done my job as a Christian. If my faith was so absent in my daily activities that there was no outward sign of it, what would that say about me as a follower of God?

I feel exactly the same way about my ministry with Compassion. And that is what I consider child sponsorship to be — my ministry. What kind of a ministry would it be if I told no one about it and gave no one the information that would enable them to participate? To minister is to tell others — to share the good word! Why would I keep it quiet?

So my challenge to everyone today is to BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED. Think about how you can share your Compassion ministry, wherever it is you may be.

Not all of us are great orators. Speaking in front of a crowd of more than 10 would probably give me a rash or hives of some kind. Not all of us are good at the “hard sell,” so I’m certainly not suggesting you go door to door. But I know there is some way that is immediately available to you to put Compassion out there, front and center.

Compassion advocates, can you offer some suggestions on how the average sponsor can share Compassion with others?

Sponsors, is there something unique you have done to get the word out to family and friends?

Has anyone taken advantage of the free brochures, posters, etc., that Compassion offers? If so, how have you used them?

Please share…

And thank you!

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  1. Aug 25, 2009
    at 2:25 pm

    I’m a Child Advocate, and love it. I don’t mind speaking to large groups, but also have found opportunities to share in small Sunday School classes, to youth groups, cell groups and even contacted my newspaper about a news article (they’ve put several articles in through the years). When I return from a Compassion tour with child packets, I take them with me and ask friends right out if they would like to sponsor this child. Also, make sure you have a photo of your child at your work place and in your home for friends to see. Yes — I also have placed brochures in Christian book stores and in fast food restaurants, churches and businesses (with permission). I know a lot of people that have sponsored children because of those brochures. You can also give a Compassion Sunday in your church without having to speak at all — Compassion has great DVDs of various lengths and topics that can be used to share with a church or Sunday School class. I’ve never done any ministry more rewarding than this one because the benefits are so far-reaching in the life of each child and his/her family.

  2. Amy
    Aug 25, 2009
    at 3:07 pm

    I have posted your widgets on my blog and Facebook page, so I hope you’ll keep developing and updating them! They help me keep conversations about Compassion going online and in real life.

  3. Mike Stephens
    Aug 25, 2009
    at 3:33 pm

    Lisa,

    I agree with you because anywhere Jesus is proclaimed for example like I Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for YOU!!!!!!!”

    or
    I Peter 2: 20-24

    20[After all] what [a]kind of glory [is there in it] if, when you do wrong and are punished for it, you take it patiently? But if you bear patiently with suffering [which results] when you do right and that is undeserved, it is acceptable and pleasing to God.

    21For even to this were you called [it is inseparable from your vocation]. For Christ also suffered for you, leaving you [His personal] example, so that you should follow in His footsteps.

    22He was guilty of no sin, neither was deceit (guile) ever found on His lips.(A)

    23When He was reviled and insulted, He did not revile or offer insult in return; [when] He was abused and suffered, He made no threats [of vengeance]; but he trusted [Himself and everything] to Him Who judges fairly.

    24He personally bore our sins in His [own] body on the tree [b][as on an altar and offered Himself on it], that we might die (cease to exist) to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.

    Power is released and I believe encourages and helps people who need it!

    Now to your question…I think the best way I share Compassion with my family and friends is by simply making some noise, making some waves, causing a fracas, and doing the most crazy things I can via Compassion. So first I started sponsoring, then I visited Nicaragua and the Philippines. I wish I could do more but I just got fired from my nice $5000/month taxi job for too many tickets and angering a school crossing guard so God must have an even better job in mind!!!!!!! hahahahaha! But with that money I made I was able to send 8 $300 family gifts to the families of the kids I sponsor. I was hoping to visit the last 3 of them this year or at least some of them but I may have to wait a little longer. I am so joyed I have been able see 5 of them so far. I am very thankful for the Good Compassion enables me to do and enhances my obedience to God but it is so true that all my Good deeds are like dirty rags compared to how Jesus ransomed me from hell.

  4. Aug 25, 2009
    at 8:01 pm

    I’ve been a sponsor for 16 years and an advocate for 14 years. Being an advocate used to just be a nice thing I did when I got around to it…now it’s one of the titles I proudly wear…Christian, wife, mother, violinist and child advocate! When people meet me and ask what I do, it comes up.

    I write about Compassion on my blog, I talk to others about my sponsored children, I approach churches and small groups to give presentations, I put up displays and leave brochures, I wear Compassion t-shirts, I use my Compassion bookmarks with photos of my kids.

    I hope that when people see me coming they know that Compassion will come up in our conversation!

  5. Sara Benson
    Aug 25, 2009
    at 10:47 pm

    I am not an official advocate but I have made it my goal to reach more children by sharing Compassion’s work with others. Here are some of the things I have found that work
    Facebook: I often find children on the website that I wish I could sponsor. One day I found a little boy who captured my heart, but I knew that I could not sponsor him. What I did was use my facebook status to tell my friends about him and I gave them the link to see his profile. One of my friends ended up sponsoring him! She said that she had always wanted to sponsor a child but had just never done it.
    Another way that I have shared Compassion is just telling people about my kids and sharing my enthusiasm for my children like others do for their biological kids. I have a coworker who is going to sponsor a child because of our conversations. She had seen all the commercials for child sponsorship organizations but had not known who she could trust.

  6. Aug 26, 2009
    at 4:16 am

    LISA! HA! I just sent you an email about this the other day! Funny how God works :)

    I’m a “newbie” advocate and keep brochures handy in my purse and car (which has the Compassion sticker on it’s bumper)…and the Compassion sign is displayed in my front lawn. Most importantly, I have my children’s photos proudly framed around my house. There has been more than one occasion where a visitor has asked, “So who is that?”

    Great post Lisa :)

  7. Teresa
    Aug 26, 2009
    at 8:56 am

    I am new to sponsoring, but I think that means my enthusiasm is fresh and engergized about it! :)

    I have told friends and family how rewarding it is, trying to encourage to take this step as well. I share the Compassion magazine with some ladies here at work, giving them vital examples of what Compassion does and the impact they can share in. I also have links to Compassion on my Facebook page.

    Every little bit helps, and it’s another way of demonstrating Jesus love in action to all my non-believing friends.

  8. Aug 26, 2009
    at 10:13 am

    Brittany, I just e-mailed you back! :)

    I LOVE everyone’s ideas, keep them coming!

    One thing we do is to include in our Christmas letter a photo of our sponsored kids and a short mention of how they’re doing, (basically just, “Our Compassion International child, Israel, is now in 2nd grade and doing well. We continue to be blessed by child sponsorship.”)

    I’ve had people off our Christmas card list contact us about how to sponsor through Compassion.

  9. Amy Wallace
    Aug 27, 2009
    at 12:09 pm

    I take my child packs with me almost EVERY WHERE, show my friends and family my child letters, I recently did an interview about my trip with Compassion Canada to Colombia for a newspaper, I do presentations at my church, and I really promote Compassion on my Facebook page.

  10. Aug 27, 2009
    at 1:10 pm

    Lisa
    I enjoyed reading your post. You reflect the true spirit of Charity towards needy children around the world. We congratulate the efforts of your organization and yourself to spread the love of our Savior and make the world a better place. Although we don’t belong to your organization, we share a common goal. We are child sponsors through the Trivani Foundation and have likewise found this experience expremely rewarding. The goal of the Trivani Foundation is to see that every child in the world is fed by 2015. If anyone is interested in effective fund raising for child sponsorship. We have some ideas. Please contact us directly (we are under Robert Hawkins on Facebook) as that aspect doesn’t seem to be in keeping with the ground rules of this blog. May the Lord bless all of you as you reach out to the little ones.

  11. Stephanie Green
    Aug 27, 2009
    at 3:05 pm

    Thank you, Lisa, and all who responded for these wonderful ideas! I’ve been a sponsor for a few years and can’t say enough about Compassion, all they do and how my involvement with them has already changed my (and my family’s) life! I’ve been strongly considering applying to join the advocates network and these ideas are SO helpful!!!

    Britt -where can I find the yard sign? Love that idea!

  12. velta nicholas
    Jul 2, 2010
    at 1:02 am

    I was given a poem some 20 years ago, entitled ‘blossom where you are planted” It began , God is the gardener, we his seeds. I have spent many years searching, but cannot find. Should anyone have, please share it with me.

  13. Jul 2, 2010
    at 10:52 am

    Velta, I’m going to keep my eye out for that one. In the meantime, I did find this.

    Master Gardener, help me be
    Content with where You’ve planted me;
    You carefully place each seed you sow,
    And choose the soil to make it grow,
    A shady nook or sunlit plot,
    A wooded glen or garden spot;
    And when you send the storm and shower,
    You give me strength and inner power;
    All things come that You might be
    Glorified, my God, in me;
    And so I’ll lift my flowers high,
    To cheer and bless each passerby;
    And may they see within my face
    The beauty of Your love and grace;
    So help me, Lord, to ever be
    Blooming where You planted me.

    —Wm. Claire Greiner

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