It’s almost April 13 — the official date for Compassion Sunday (CS) — the largest sponsorship effort of the Advocates Network during the entire year. Our on-call workers are still feverishly working through stacks of material orders that are inches thick, and we’re fielding calls from sponsors wanting to place a last minute order or asking when their materials will arrive. There is a buzz around here. One of excitement and anticipation of what God plans to do through our sponsors, advocates and church partners on April 13.
This is my first Compassion Sunday. I mean, it’s my first Compassion Sunday to coordinate. I’ve heard about Compassion Sunday since I first started working for Compassion over four years ago. But this year, it’s my job to help make it happen.
What I wasn’t expecting when I started this job last June was that my first project was Compassion Sunday (CS). I’m thinking to myself, “but that’s not until next year!” I had a lot to learn.
86 work orders, which are work requests that needed to be submitted to get the CS materials designed, dozens of meetings, and hours of analyzing and preparing later, it was finally go-time. The letter asking people to host an event at their church was sent in early January. Our physical inventory of CS supplies had arrived, our tracking database was updated and we had more resources available for download on the web than ever before. I thought we had reached the time to sit back, relax, and…wait…wait for the flood gates to open and the orders to come, along with the inevitable craziness that comes with them.
But a few weeks ago, we were all buzzing along with business as usual. It was time to submit over 1,000 pending material orders in our order system for the fulfillment team to begin processing, and this is when I realized we would soon run out of buttons calling others to “Join Me” in the fight against poverty.
I contacted procurement to ask for an early reorder on the buttons. They placed the order for 7,500 more buttons, and we sat back to wait (and pray) that they arrived before we ran out.
I’m expecting the buttons to arrive in just a few days, and then I learn that we have under 300 buttons in inventory and will run out that day — three days before the buttons are supposed to arrive. I pick up the phone again and call procurement.
“Is there anything we can do to rush the order to arrive sooner than Monday?” I ask.
“It’s doubtful, but I will call and ask,” comes the reply.
While I am waiting, I get an email from an on-call worker that we have over 7,500 buttons in inventory. WHAT?!
It turns out the buttons had shipped early and had arrived while I was planning for an outage and strategizing for Plan B. What an amazing God we serve! He knew our need before we even uttered it, went before us and took care of our needs. God loves us and he loves what we do here at Compassion — and He always takes care of us in our time of need.
Amanda Ceren is a project specialist for the Advocates Network. She helps fight poverty by providing advocates with materials to connect a child in need with a loving sponsor.