If there are two things that you should know about me, they are that I LOVE Jesus and I LOVE Scripture. There are few things in this world that make me feel closer to my Creator than reading His Word. And that’s why I’m so excited that 2020 is the Year of the Bible!
As you may already know, there is a worldwide movement of people who are dedicating this year to digging deeper into the Scriptures. I love that. And I also love that we’re approaching a holy season, specifically set apart to draw closer to God and His Word — a season called Lent.
This year for Lent, I’m doing something special, something a little different. And, as you dive deeper into this Year of the Bible, I’d love to invite you into this journey. But before I do that, let me explain why Lent is so meaningful to me.
Lent is …
Lent is a beautiful tradition that has been practiced by Christians for thousands of years. In many churches, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and is observed by fasting for the 40 days leading up to Easter (excluding Sundays). This season of fasting is often linked to Matthew 4, the account of when Jesus fasted in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights.
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:1-4, NIV)
Not all Christ-followers practice Lent — and that’s OK! But over the last couple of years, I’ve grown to deeply appreciate the opportunity it gives to set apart time for the spiritual practices of prayer, reflection and fasting.
You may have heard about people “giving up” something — like chocolate, coffee, shopping or gossip — for Lent, and replacing it with an intentional spiritual practice. Well, that’s a form of fasting! And they serve as small reminders of the bigger reality of Jesus’ sacrifice and love for us.
For me, Lent has become an important reminder for me to actively pursue relationship with God and to intentionally know Him more. Last year, I spent 40 days focusing on the specific attributes of Jesus, and it truly brought me closer to the heart and character of God. This year, I’m motivated to dig in even deeper and to find out what more God wants to reveal to me in this holy season.
What I’m giving up for Lent this year …
Before I tell you what I’m doing for Lent this year, I want to tell you a story.
Have you ever been to a church service where your world gets rocked a little bit? Maybe your pastor shares something especially powerful? Or God moves in your heart in a new way? Well, that’s happened to me a few times — and one of those times was on Compassion Sunday.
The first time I learned about Compassion International and the ministry of releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name was on Compassion Sunday at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale in 2005. On that day, I sponsored three children. And since then, my heart for children in poverty has only grown as I’ve had the opportunity to see the need firsthand.
My first trip with Compassion International was almost 10 years ago, to the Dominican Republic. While there, I witnessed the power of child sponsorship. However, what was perhaps most impactful was meeting moms — many of whom were very young women — and their newborns. I was struck by the intense need and injustice these women faced as young mothers in poverty, and by their dedication to raising their babies well. I was overwhelmed with both heartbreak and hope.
The second time I traveled with Compassion was much more recent. Last year I went to Guayaquil, Ecuador, to meet two of my sponsored children, Ketzia and Mia. On this trip, I was struck yet again by the power of child sponsorship, but also by the specific challenges that girls in poverty face. In the neighborhood where Ketzia and Mia live, they are at constant risk of abuse. And once again, I was overwhelmed by both heartbreak and hope.
Over the years, my passion for helping children in poverty has continued to grow. However, more recently, I’ve pursued a new, even more specific passion — to care for girls living in poverty.
Poverty is unfair to everyone, but it’s especially unfair to girls. They face a unique set of challenges, including child marriage, education discrimination, sexual abuse and exploitation, lack of access to proper feminine hygiene care products, and more. I’ve seen it firsthand.
So, in light of this passion, I’ve decided to dedicate this Lenten season to doing all I can to stand up, advocate and fight for girls living in poverty. Throughout this holy season, I will be “giving up” some of my normal social media posts in order to speak up for girls living in poverty.
You can join me for Lent this year.
I have a really big dream for Lent this year. And it’s one that I need some help with.
My dream is to build a community of love, protection and safety around girls living in poverty. I want to lean in to God’s call to care for the poor in a big way. I want to give up some of my comfort so that girls around the world can experience some themselves. Isaiah puts it so well …
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter — when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” (Isaiah 58:6-7, NIV)
So, as you continue to engage with the Year of the Bible, it might be worth considering participating in this holy season of Lent. To learn more about joining me in doing just that, watch the video below.
If you’re interested in spending this Lenten season speaking up for girls in poverty, click here.
Editors’ note: Lent is a practice embraced by many evangelical Christians as a means to deepen their faith and draw closer to Jesus. While not all Christians participate in Lent, we believe the Bible teaches us to practice prayer, reflection, fasting, and giving all as a means of better understanding God’s redeeming work in our lives. While we recognize not all Christians will choose to practice Lent, we are pleased to share Candace’s conviction with you as a testimony and encouragement.
17 Comments |Add a comment
Thank you for enlightening us (me) regarding all of the risks and difficulties that girls in poverty face. I knew that there was discrimination toward women and girls in many countries, but l never realized that it existed in so many ways.
My sponsored child is a girl, and she is now 15yrs old, and lives in Peru. After reading/hearing your message, l suddenly realized that my ” child ” , at 15 yrs of age is no longer considered a child to so many in her country. Now l have to communicate with her in a somewhat different way, with greater encouragement, love, guidance, prayer, and sharing more of God’s Word with her to help her know and trust Him in all things. I am so glad that Compassion is there for her in all of these things. And l am grateful for those, like yourself, who advocate and act on their behalf. May God be with you and greatly bless your endeavors.
I appreciate the work you are doing for people in need of food ,medicine, love and compassion also in need of GOD’S love. I know what I send isn’t a lot but I thank GOD that i’m able to give to people that’s more in need of things that we here in the United States take for granite. May GOD always bless you and the people in need
I am with you! My husband and I have sponsored 2 children through Compassion for many years and are still currently sponsoring one. Such a great organization!!
I’m so inspired by your Lenten commitment and so excited to be a part of your Fight For Her mission! My husband and I decided to take it a step further and sponsor one of Compassion’s girls in need. We suffered a miscarriage almost 2 months ago and it has been the most devastating experience for us – losing our first child, one that was so desired. We named our sweet angel baby, Quinn. Tonight we sponsored beautiful 5 year old Nardos from Ethiopia, whose birthday is also our baby’s would have been due date – August 7th. My heart has been aching in a way that I couldn’t seem to begin to mend – until today. Thank you so much for your inspiration. My baby will never be forgotten and I am so blessed and thankful to have Quinn’s life in honor as we celebrate and give more life to a precious child in need.
Catie, thank you so much for choosing to bless a child with your love and support. We truly appreciate you openly sharing about what you have been going through and the journey that has brought you to join the Compassion family. What a beautiful way to honor the memory of your passed child by bringing hope to another. I pray that God will greatly bless you and your family.
wonderful i will definitely join lent this year. The practice of lent is a way to prosper in God and the wonderful works of God and lent the Season. Can’t wait to see what more compassions and Candace have in store.
My husband and I sponsored a girl in the Philippines for several years through Compassion until her parents pulled her from the program. We were very sad to lose her ( we still pray for her), but so thankful to God for leading us to another little adorable girl in the Philippines that we are now sponsoring. She is such a blessing to us! I hope and pray to be able to meet her someday ?
We are honored by your devoted support! Thank you so much for all that you do! We pray blessings over your relationship with your new girl and thank you for your continued prayers over your first sponsored girl! ?
Candace Cameron thank you for everything you are doing for the women in poverty. I have always been a big fan of yours since I was a kid growing up watching full house but now this just makes me an even bigger fan. Keep up the good work girl!!!
Cameron, I was privileged to go to El Salvador on a Compassion sponsored trip. The girls were amazing and so full of hope! Looking forward to doing this for Lent. I have been praying about what my service would be for Lent and this is it! Thank you so much!
We are honored to know you were given the opportunity to visit El Salvador with Compassion! We cannot thank you enough for being such an involved sponsor! Thank you so much for choosing to partner with us during Lent this year! ?
Love this! I sponsor 3 children. Last year I went to El Salvador and met one of them. Poverty is so real and when you see it firsthand it makes you appreciate what you have so much more. I volunteer for Compassion at local events and I love sharing my story. Compassion has a huge place in my heart!!!
Thank you so much for sharing! Thank you for choosing to not only sponsor, but also advocate for other children who are still in need of a loving sponsor! It means so much to us to have you in our Compassion family! ?
My husband and I have been sponsor’s for a couple of years we have two little boys from Berkina Faso . It has been an amazing journey for the two of us getting to know these children and their families .For us it is like having two more daughters and three grand children in a far away place . They are Loved because GOD Loves us .Call us blessed because we are .
Martha, I am so glad to hear your sponsorship has been such a blessing! Thank you so much for your ministry to your sponsor children! ❤
I too have recently sponsored a child with CI. She is in Ghana, AFrica. I am currently working with teen predominately Latino girls in the Metro Atlanta area. I am single and never been a mother so I feel the Lord stretching me far outside of my comfort zone. Thank you for being such a role model and for the encouragement. I look forward to your posts. BTW, you are my fab Hallmark actor. ?
Teresa, thank you so much for sponsoring a child! We are so grateful for you taking that leap of faith to minister to a child in poverty! I hope that your sponsorship is a huge blessing in your life! ?