Monday, September 13, 2010

Family Night: Extending our Reach

We've been out of the habit of planned Family Nights lately and I've really missed it. I think my girls have too ... of course we've spent time together as a family, but the time was not as intentionally planned. I really do want to get back to this!

This week, my idea sort of just fell from Heaven! Have you been following Ann's trip to Guatemala with Compassion? I can't get enough of the pictures and stories she has been sharing and have found myself in tears more than one time.

Sometimes I get so focused on laundry and dishes and child training that I can easily forget the rest of the world out there.

But, I don't want to forget. I don't want to lose touch with how God can use and touch me through these things. I want to train my children in the importance of reaching out beyond ourselves.

And, this week - God moved our hearts.

We've been sponsors through Compassion for more than a decade. And, I am thankful that God has been willing to do this through us.

While perusing the Compassion site this week - I noticed a post about writing your sponsor child on the second Friday of each month. This fell last Friday and I instantly knew what we would do for our Family Night together.

Our Christele's birthday is coming up - so this was a great opportunity for us to make birthday cards and greetings to send her! My girls had such a good time doing this! We had a hard time getting all the stickers and card making supplies picked up! It was so sweet and special to watch the care and love and beauty they put into their creations.

Then, we circled around the computer and I showed them the photos on Ann's blog. We talked about how there are so many who live in a house the size of the room we were sitting in. We looked at their kitchens, their beds, their walls that did not meet the ceiling.

Next, we visited the Compassion site and with one precious girl on each side of me, we prayed for who God would have us to reach out to next. They sweetly looked at the children waiting for sponsors and both pointed to a little boy in a yellow shirt.

"Him!" they both exclaimed ... we pressed a little button that would forever connect our hearts with his. Brayan. We will pray for him, write to him and love him.

Now we were looking for a little girl - feeling so thankful for the privilege of partnering with three precious children just like our own three children. Emily knew just which one was next - Alondra.

Oh, the moments were precious! As we read about these new extended members of our family. I told them what these little ones liked to do and what their chores were.

We love them already...

We pointed out where they live on the globe. I encouraged them to pray for these children as they are laying in bed at night.

We did not physically leave home tonight. But it felt like our hearts traveled a long way and reached out to hug a sweet little child tonight. Something big happened in our home Friday night. Something that impacts eternity!

Would you consider sponsoring a child and joining us on this blessed journey?

15 comments:

mom said...

What a precious Family Night indeed! Thanks for sharing -- I look forward to hearing updates on these three "adopted" children. :)
Love, Mom

No Ordinary Me said...

We sponsor a child too. I also can get caught up with my daily life. I have started to recently pray more for my girl. When I pray for each of my children I pray for the same things for her. Like health, future spouse, education, salvation.

I love this idea. I will have to maybe add something like this to our family nights.

Carrie said...

What a great idea! We sponsor a child as well and I have been trying to think of how to make my boys more aware of her. This sounds fabulous! Thanks for sharing your evening and helping me out here.

Lynette said...

I love this idea for family night.

angie said...

Ann has also inspired me.
My church supports an orphanage in Guatemala, so I am torn between supporting it and sponsoring through Compassion.
How sacrificial of you to sponsor 3 children.

Sheila said...

I especially love the 'put your hand' one.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely idea! I work for the county veteran's service officer and I think this would be a fun project to do with my kids, only make little cards for the veterans living in the vet's home. Thanks for your inspirations!

Kristina

Bella @ Lil Daisies said...

Monica,
I love this! Our girls sponser two children from Africa. In fact, we need to do some more letter writing and picture creations to send to them!! Our family has enjoyed time as a family too on our family nights.

I hope you can visit my blog party: Family Fun Fridays sometime and share your Family Nights with us too!

Blessings,
Bella
http://lildaisies.blogspot.com/2010/09/family-fun-fridays-masquerade.html

*carrie* said...

Monica,

This is great. I think that's awesome that you guys decided to sponsor two additional children, and that you involved your kids in the process!

I'm off to read Ann's posts . . .

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

What a sweet post! You're teaching your children a precious and important lesson, for sure!

We support a different ministry: Voice of the Martyrs. We sponsor a pastor in Vietnam. Many countries are hostile to Christianity and persecute Christians. Our support helps ensure that our pastor's family can eat and keep a roof over their heads, even if the husband/dad is fired from his job or imprisoned or otherwise persecuted.

Your post has inspired me to write him and his family a letter now...

Tommie Jo said...

You are such a good mama & leaving quite a legacy for your babies!

LS said...

What a wonderful post! I, too, am following Ann's posts, and thanks to you, her blog has been one of my all-time favorites for the last year. We sponsor a girl in Ethiopia, but we could write to her more than we do. I was impressed by Ann's posts that I would like my kids to be more concerned with the people of the world and for myself to be less focused on the temporal little things that so often fill up our days as moms.

Thanks again!

Brenda said...

Ann's posts have had such an impact on me this week, and I just love what you've done to expand on that!!! Lovely, lovely time well spent!!!

Tina Peterson said...

Hello - I reviewed your blog and compassion.com on today's post and I thought I'd let you know. Thanks for such a inspiring post! I'm following you know and look forward to reading more.

Tina "The Book lady"
http://familyliteracyandyou.blogspot.com

retrodeb said...

I too follow Ann's blog (I think maybe I found it through a post of yours!) We just started sponsoring 2 children as a result of the Compassion trip top Guatemala, and I like your idea of incorporating in to family night.