Share Your Umbrella

A few weeks ago my little girl Brooklyn asked me for some cookies and milk for herself and her 2-year-old brother. They sat down in front of the TV in their pajamas (we call them jammies at our house) and watched their favorite DVD while I served them cookies and milk.

That’s when it hit me. We are so blessed!

There my kids are eating chocolate chip cookies and cold milk with nothing on their mind but “I hope Dad forgets that we’re supposed to do nap time today.” While somewhere in a land far, far away from their minds (and mine most of the time) is a little girl Brooklyn’s same age working long hours of forced labor who has never had a day of cookies and milk in her whole life. Somewhere there is a child my daughter’s age (4) that will work harder today than I will and will go to sleep hungry tonight.

On our refrigerator at home there is a picture of our sponsored child. Her name is Heidi, and she lives in Bolivia. (Brooklyn thinks the little girl’s name is Bolivia.) We pray for Heidi often. We pray for her to have plenty to eat. Sponsoring Heidi is a great way for my wife and I to teach our children about others’ needs and how we can help by sharing.

Last Wednesday at Compassion’s chapel service I had the chance to hear a young man that truly grasps the power of sharing. Zach Hunter is a 16-year-old abolitionist who is giving his life to the cause of releasing slaves and giving them their God-given right to freedom. He has been speaking out against slavery since he was 11 years old.

I wonder how many students (or adults for that matter) have even thought about slavery today. Thanks to Zach Hunter at least 600 people thought about slavery that day in chapel and 500,000 more will think about it this year as he speaks to them.

As I studied Zach’s message I realized it is storming all around us, and for whatever reason God has given most of us in this country an umbrella. He didn’t give us an umbrella so that we would deny that it is storming. He gave us the umbrella to acknowledge the storm and share our umbrella with those who don’t have one.

Zach asked the question, “How do people in severe poverty know that God is good?” The only way they could know that is if God’s people share His goodness with those who have not experienced it.

It’s raining hard, Church. Share your umbrella.

7 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Mike Stephens March 29, 2009

    I love that video!!! Thank you for sharing!!! After reading the blog I prayed for the family in Guatemala and the shooter. That’s terrible. I also prayed for the sponsor.

  2. Chris Giovagnoni May 14, 2008

    I apologize for the delay in following up on the question about the shooting.

    I wasn’t able to post anything sooner because our priority is to inform the child’s sponsor. Our guiding principle is always to respect the sponsor-child relationship as much as possible.

    This is what we received from our country office about the shooting.

    “This little girl was studying in a local school located in a red zone (high level of crime). Maria, her teacher and other classmates were heading to a park to receive their PE class, when they were caught in the middle of a shooting that had a terrible ending.

    The Pastor and director of the student center were there to support the family in prayer, and with Compassion support they paid for funeral expenses.”

  3. Chris Giovagnoni May 7, 2008


    Compassion Guatemala has not reported a shooting of a Compassion-assisted child. We are looking into this further.

    Where did you hear about this?

  4. Heidy May 6, 2008

    I just learned it happened last tuesday and had a big media coverage in Guatemala. Oh, let’s come togehter to pray for the family and support them.

  5. Heidy May 6, 2008

    Hi, I heard that there was a compassion assisted 8 year old girl in Guatemala killed in a shooting near her school. Is that so? Is there a way we can help? Let’s pray for her family.

  6. Amber Van Schooneveld May 6, 2008

    Laughter is a good way to get people to listen to you. If you come out swinging with a big word like “slavery” many may close their ears before you even start. The human soul can’t always take all the ugliness of a thing like slavery–many times we’d really rather not hear about it– but a good communicator can diffuse the tension and get you to loosen up and listen.

  7. Andrzej Gandecki May 6, 2008

    I’m shocked. How can he talk about slavery and made people laugh?!

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