422 Days is a very long time …..

Its the last week of  September and Autumn has definitely arrived.    It’s also the  last week of Compassion’s  Blog month where those of us who blog for Compassion have been set 4 different  assignments to encourage us to keep going.    I find myself looking at my final assignment, the instructions read;

“For this assignment, we want you to blog as if you are a sponsored child.   God told us to become like little children. Remember?   This assignment is about aligning with the heart of children in poverty.”  …… so here goes……

“Hello dear sponsor, I am so happy to write to you and tell you about myself and my family.    I have been waiting a very long time for a sponsor, 422 days to be exact….. that is  1year, 1 month, 3 weeks and 5 days.    I have been sad many times when I have come to the centre and the Pastor has told me “I am sorry Uwayisenga but I do not have good news for you yet”    He would say to me   “don’t worry, I know that God has someone very special to be your sponsor, it will happen one day”   

At the beginning it was ok, some other children who had been registered before me got sponsors and I didn’t mind, but as the weeks became months and children who had been registered after me began to get sponsors I  wondered what was wrong with me , why no-one would choose me and even the Pastor’s kind words could not lift my spirit.  I prayed to God every day  to find me that one special sponsor but still no-one came.  I felt very sad.

Rwanda is a beautiful country but our life is very difficult here.   The genocide in 1994 was very bad and I have heard stories of what happened then,  it is very hard to understand why such a thing could happen.    There are also many, many people who are sick with AIDS in Rwanda and many families have lost loved ones because of it.  

Now I live with my grandfather and aunt, they try to look after me  but I miss my parents very much.   They both get work farming whenever they can but my grandfather is getting old and cannot do as much as he once could and my aunt has her own family to care for as well.   I help as much as I can by fetching water and gathering firewood but most of the time we don’t have enough to eat, most nights we go to bed with hunger still growling in our bellies.   

I knew if  Compassion could just find me a sponsor my life would be so different, I would receive  good meals, and clothes, and medicine when I get sick, I would be able to go to school and also learn more about Jesus.    Life would be so much easier for my grandfather and aunt as they would not have to feed me and they would also get help from the centre …… if only I had a sponsor.

And then today I came to the centre and  my Pastor he was so happy, he danced me around the room laughing and singing.  He said  ” At last Uwayisenga, at last…… God has finally found a really special sponsor for you,  their name is  __________ “

Only this is still just my dream, I don’t have a sponsor yet, unless maybe …… well I don’t like to ask……  but…… 422 days is a very long time…… it would make me so happy if today was the day if it did not become 423 days ……  could you?   would you?  

The above is my interpretation and conjecture about Uwayisenga based on the information in his profile.    The facts are true, he does need a sponsor and he has been waiting 422 days.   He lives  in grinding poverty and the hopelessness that must surround him and his family are compounded by the fact that there has so far been no-one willing to sponsor this young boy.    

Are you the one who could give him a chance, could you rescue him and speak hope and love into his life?     Uwayisenga is a real child in real need, his details are on the Compassion website click here or on his name to find out how you can help him ……



Who am I today?

Some days I have to ask myself that, at times I seem to have so many different ‘hats’ to wear ….. wife , Mum, friend, blogger, employee, quilter, counsellor, crisis manager, accountant, shopper to name but a few, but today I’m a Compassion  Advocate.

An advocate is a person who speaks on someone else’s behalf, so today I want to speak on behalf of  some little ones who can’t speak for themselves.     This month  is ‘Compassion September’ when we hope to encourage as many people as possible to consider becoming sponsors,  below are the profiles of five children who currently need sponsors would you please pray with me that each of these children would find a loving and supportive sponsor very soon…….


Victo Ido Adjo  

Birthday:  31st December 2007


Victo lives in Togo with her mother, she helps at home in the kitchen and runs errands.  She enjoys walking and singing and attends Sunday school regularly.    In the area of Togo where she lives the houses are typically constructed of cement floors, brick walls and corrugated iron roofs.   Adults who can find work earn the equivalent of  around £28 per month.

Imigisha Gatete

Birthday: 2nd January 2008

Imigisha is from Rwanda and lives under the care of his friends, there are two children in his family.  He helps out at home by doing gardening/farming.  He likes playing with his friends and attends Sunday school regularly.  Typical houses in the area where he lives  are made of dirt floors, adobe walls and corrugated tin roofs.  Most of the adults work as subsistence farmers and earn around £6 per month.

Kadidja Pougrawa

Birthday: 31st December 2007

Kadidja is from Burkina Faso where she lives with her mother who is sometimes employed as a subsistence farmer.  She is one of two children in the family and she helps by running errands.  Kadidja attends Bible class regularly and likes playing with dolls, singing and playing with her friends.  Houses in the area where she lives are made of dirt floors, mud walls and tin roofs.  Most adults in the area are unemployed but when work is available as subsistence farmers they earn the equivalent of £10 per month.

Leon Kossie Gbowia

Birthday: 31st December 2007

Leon lives in Togo with his parents and helps around the home by running errands, cleaning and in the kitchen.   He is one of two children in the family and his parents are sometimes employed as subsistence farmers earning the equivalent of £15 per month.  Leon likes to play football and hide and seek with his friends and he attends Sunday school regularly.  Typical houses in the area where he lives are made of dirt floors, mud walls and thatched roofs.

Jelita Greisye Minanga

Birthday: 6th January 2008

Jelita is from Indonesia where she lives with her parents.  There are three children in the family and Jelita helps by running errands,  her father is sometimes employed and her mother looks after the home.  Most adults in her community work as subsistence farmers earning around £20 per month.  House are typically constructed of dirt floors, wood walls and corrugated iron roofs.   Jelita enjoys playing with dolls and attends Sunday school regularly.

Compassion are committed to meeting the physical, social, economic and spiritual needs of  each child they care for, if you are able to  sponsor a child you will  provide them with the skills and opportunities they need to break free from poverty.  You can make a difference…..

If you would like to sponsor one of these children please contact me or visit either Compassion UK  or                    Compassion International    to see many other children waiting for sponsors.

Letter to God

Dear Lord, its me again,    I’ve been thinking about the children who live in desperate poverty all around the world.   You promised that you had come to give us life in all its fullness but the lives of these children are so diminished, they have no hope for the future and often feel unloved and insignificant.   When I consider how much I love my own children….  so much that I can’t really put it into words….  the thought of them having to suffer  tears me apart.   And yet I know you love them so much more than I do.

But Lord  you love all children, including those  living in desperate poverty, in the same way.   Their parents often aren’t able to provide the things they need through no fault of their own.   These precious little ones are sometimes left alone while their parents try to find enough work to provide a meagre meal and they often don’t have somewhere safe and warm  to sleep, would you set your angels around them Lord and give them your protection.    It breaks my heart to think of them like this ….  we live in a fallen, broken world and I don’t always understand why things happen but I know and trust that you are in control.

Father God,  you have called us to be your hands and feet through organisations like Compassion ….  yet there are so many children who don’t  have sponsors.   Show me how I can be your hands and feet to find sponsors for these kids so that they can begin to know the truth of your  word in their lives.

Yours lovingly



The last few weeks have been inspiring,  a time when I have to say I have been proud to call myself British.   First we had the celebrations marking the Queen’s  Diamond Jubilee,  doing flag waving and pageantry as only the British can!


Of course we like to have our own flags ….

dress appropriately for the occasion ….


and a little garden party is always appreciated ….

This was closely followed by the London 2012 Olympics where we showed our unique eccentricity with the opening ceremony and marvelled at the dedication of  our sportsmen and women,  it looked as if we had reached the pinnacle as the games were declared a resounding success.    The country was still  basking in the afterglow when there came something no-one had anticipated ….. the Paralympics!   If we had been impressed by the dedication of our able bodied athletes we were blown away by the Paralympians.   At the closing ceremony Seb Coe said ,   ‘ after this we will never see sport in the same way again and we will never see disability in the same way again’  ….. I hope he is right, I also hope that we will never see celebrity in the same way again, after years of enduring the ‘famous for being famous’ brigade how wonderful to have the spotlight finally shine on true celebrity.


Mo Farrah ~ Olympic runner              Ellie Simmonds ~ Paralympic swimmer

The slogan of the London games was  ‘inspire a generation’  they have not only succeeded in doing that, but they have also galvanised a nation to remember that even in midst of  recession and difficulty there are still good things to celebrate.  That money isn’t everything after all.   Apart from the athletes there were also others who inspired us,  the  Gamesmakers,  the thousands of unpaid volunteers who worked tirelessly, selflessly giving of their time and skills doing whatever was needed to make the games happen.

The last few weeks have reminded us  that there are  heroes to be found on every street if you are looking for the right thing.

I was proud today to belong to my church too, a team of our young people have just returned from a short mission trip to Rwanda.   As they shared their hearts and told us how God had impacted their lives, changed their perspectives and maybe even their dreams for the future,  many of us were moved to tears as these young people told us that they too had seen for themselves that even in the midst of the most difficult circumstances, human beings still have the capacity to shine.

We also have a  youth band at church,  a fantastic group of 6 young musicians aged between 17 and 20 whom we have watched develop and grow in their gifts over the last few years,  they led us in an amazing time of  worship this morning, it was amazing not only because they are good musically but also because they were not just playing instruments and singing,  they are worshippers themselves.


Youth Band: Kyle (Guitar & keyboard),  Rebekah & Davina (Vocals), Stuart (Bass), Jonathan (Guitar),  Callum (Drums)

I have definitely been inspired ….. but as we settle back into the normality of life I hope I will continue to be inspired, I hope I will continue to look in the right places for the right things  to inspire me, I hope I can be an inspiration to others.

What has  inspired you recently?

The wrong side of ‘cuddly’ …..

I have decided that September is going to be ‘diet’ month …  well actually ‘starting the diet again’ month might be much more accurate.  If I’m being honest I have struggled with being on the wrong side of  ‘cuddly’ for longer than I care to admit.    Every so often I manage to get my head ‘in the zone’,  and if you have ever struggled to lose weight you will know exactly what I mean, you have to be in the right frame of mind.   It’s not that I don’t know what I need to do …. it’s basic, eat less, excercise more, but somehow its not  that simple!

There are lots of factors that influence what I put in my mouth, sometimes I eat because I’m anxious or worried,  that’s called comfort eating,  at other times I eat because I am happy or something good has happened, that’s called a celebration!   I can’t win really, but at least I have the power to decide whether to eat or not.

This got me thinking ….  I sponsor some children through Compassion and often when I think of how much we have and how much we waste, I feel embarrassed.   Especially when I consider that the little ones we sponsor wouldn’t get a decent meal if they weren’t attending the Compassion centre.


Angelica and Agossou need sponsors, click photo for info..                         

How much money could I save if I cut all the little ‘extras’ out of my diet, and those little extras often punch well above their weight in calorie value!   Hmmm …  I think I may have stumbled upon the perfect solution  to my weight  problem.   Not only would this help me lose weight, but I could use the money I save to sponsor another child living in poverty so that they could  gain weight ….  now that seems more balanced!

So ……. I know I’m not the only one who is carrying an extra pound or two.   Maybe you would like to take up the challenge of   lb’s for £’s, its very simple every time you manage to stop yourself buying chocolate, crisps, a take-away etc  (insert your particular vice) put the money you save into a jar and see how much you can save in a month.  You only need £21 or $38 a month and you could sponsor a child.

Still needing an incentive? …….  there are hundreds of children waiting for sponsors today,  I can introduce you to them personally just click  here to meet them.    You have the potential to change two lives  today yours and  _______  (all you have to do is fill in the blank!)

Autumn’s coming…

Today is the 1st September, and my thoughts are turning to Autumn here in Scotland.  The days are getting cooler and the nights longer.  We haven’t had much of a summer this year to be honest but there is a distinct difference in the temperature now.  It was quite pleasant for a couple of hours this afternoon though and I watched these swallows chattering as they sat on the wires, in a couple of weeks they will be gone on their way to South Africa for their winter migration.


I wondered if they were discussing the long journey ahead or if they knew what potential trials awaited them, starvation, exhaustion and storms are just a few of the things that could cost these little birds their lives but they will still make the journey regardless, not knowing what lies ahead or if they will survive.

It made me think of my own journey,  walking with Jesus day by day, I don’t always know where He is leading me, sometimes it feels scary but I go on regardless because I know He has promised to walk with me  “Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when you walk at my side.” Psalm 23 v 4,  The Message.   The Swallows head south for the winter because somewhere deep inside they are ‘wired’ to behave that way,  but me…. I have a choice, I can follow Jesus or not… and today I choose to follow Him!

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