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Let us not become weary in doing
good, for at the proper time we will
reap a harvest if we do not give up.
(Galations 6:9)

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Entries in Service (22)


Filling the Pool

By Michelle (Graceful, Faith in the Everyday)

Last week as temperatures soared into the 90s we spread a plastic tarp on the backyard grass, hauled the electric pump out of the basement and inflated the kids’ pool. We upgraded this year. A couple of weeks ago we trolled the aisles of Menards until we found a suitable pool – one that’s  a step or two up from the standard kiddie pool but yet  can still squeeze into our postage-stamp backyard.

The kids danced around the blue lagoon as freezing water sloshed from the hose into the pristine plastic. It took several hours for the pool to fill to the top – 3,463 gallons in all – but it wasn’t until the pool was completely full that we noticed the problem. Because of the slight slope in our yard, the pool was uneven. Unfortunately, the filter side of the pool happened to be the shallower side, so instead of sucking in water, the filter wheezed air, straining the motor and threatening to burn out.

There was only one viable solution: drain the pool and move it to a flatter spot.

So that’s what we did. Granted, we used a few buckets to water the plants and flowers in our yard. And the water we drained from the pool was useful for the grass. But still, while the pool drained and as it filled again with another 3,463 gallons of water, I couldn’t help but think about how that water could have been used much more productively in many parts of the world. How those few thousand gallons might have saved actual human lives.

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One Word At A Time: Farm

By Ginny (MAD21)

This post is a participant in a blog carnival over at Peter Pollock's place.
After you finish here, be sure to go and check out what everyone else wrote on: Farm.

I have personally never lived on a farm. But I grew up in an area that was primarily farm land so I had lots of friends who did. My best friend, for example, lived about 45 minutes away from me. On the only road between us were your standard crops growing pretty much year round, but there were also two particular farms where over the years, we mastered the art of holding our breaths. The first one was the pig farm. I personally think nothing except perhaps chickens and a sugar factory (from beets) stink more than a pig farm <blech!>. But it was a small farm so it wasn't hard to hold our breaths until we were past the smell. But then there was the second farm... I don't remember how many acres Mr. Simplot owned on that particular farm, let's just say it seemed like miles, and miles, and miles... of STEER. On a day with comfortable temperatures it wasn't a big deal to drive by this farm, it smelled, but you could tolerate it for the 10 minutes or so it took you to pass the area. However, on hot and rainy days... that was a whole other story. Ya, we never mastered holding our breaths long enough to get past the smell on those days.

My dad grew up in eastern Idaho on a farm. He spent his entire youth tending the fields (no animals much to my disappointment). There are a few things I remember my dad talking about regarding farm life from his perspective: he HATED overalls (because he was forced to wear them all the time); he was never allowed to plow the ground for new planting because for some reason he couldn't ever drive in lines straight enough for my grandfather or my uncle; and it was HARD work.

Aside from hearing endless farming stories, having fresh fruit and veggies available during the various seasons, the one thing I liked most about growing up around farm land in Idaho was irrigation. I know that is an odd thing like about living near farms, but think about it from a child's perspective... what more could you ask for during the long hot summers but gigantic sprinklers and ditches to jump in and tube down. Seriously awesome. I remember my dad telling me years ago that just one section of a particular kind of irrigation sprinkler was around $250,000. The first thing I thought of? "Wow, that's an expensive sprinkler for me to run through."

Our challenge to Make a Difference... to many.

I talked a little last Friday in my Fingerprint post about how we have such a different perspective when it comes to water in this country than others do in many areas around the world. My friend and co-blogger Matt over at Becoming Last was inspired to do something big, really big.

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Back to Honduras

By Chuck (Sharing Compassion)

In less than three weeks I will be returning to Honduras to complete a promise I made over four years ago.  Those of you that know me understand that my journey with Compassion began in 2007 when I met my first sponsored child Linda. To make a long story short I looked into her eyes and my heart was broken. I understood we could make a difference! I became an advocate and Area Coordinator for Compassion and the focus of my life changed because of this one little girl. Back then she made a special request of me. She told me that she had no father and she thought of me as "her father." Talk about an honor. She asked me to attend her Quinceanera when she turned fifteen. For those that are not familiar with this occasion it is similar to our "Sweet Sixteen." It marks the transition from childhood to young womanhood. I promised I would do my best to be there.

We returned to Honduras in 2009 to visit then our three sponsored children Linda, Jeyelly, and Jorge. Number four was to come shortly after the return from that trip. We knew Jeyelly's sister (Sofia) was available for sponsorship but we would not be able to sponsor her until the end of May. I debated having Compassion bring her to the meeting day but did not want to get either of our hopes up. Therefore we kept it a secret until it could actually happen. I took the time to sit down with Linda and tried to tell her (through a translator) how important she was in my life and how she had changed my focus. She was just as responsible as me for getting other children sponsored. I promised I would be back for the Quinceanera.

So here we are just about 17 days until we return back. This time we are taking our daughters Courtney and Stephanie. Our flights are made and the hotel confirmed. All I am waiting on at this point is our itinerary from Compassion and the Honduras Compassion Country office. We are hoping to spend one day with each of our children. We want to visit their home (and pray there) and their projects. We want to take them to lunch and just have a special day with each of them. Then of course we have a day set aside for the Quinceanara. We are actually hosting and paying for this. Compassion will assist with all of this including in country transportation, translators and other things. I am excited that both of our daughters are excited about going. I had kind of felt we were forcing them to go along with us but it is a blessing to know that they are just as excited as we are. Everything is starting to fall into place. I am asking for prayer that this trip will be everything God wants it to be. I have looked forward to this for the past four years and am just afraid that our enemy will try to mess things up. You know how sometimes things you really look forward to just don't live up to expectations? Pray that this trip is truly special for all of us. There is a bit of a political situation developing in Honduras over the next two weeks. Pray that this does not change or affect our trip. Most of all this is about Linda- Pray that this day is truly special for her. 

In 2009 I started my blog to allow people to experience my second trip to Honduras. This time I will again be updating it with daily experiences and pictures so please check it out between (6/11-6/17) as well as my Facebook. In the meantime we covet your prayers as we begin our final preparations.

Chuck is a Christian husband and father who has served in part-time ministry for 18 years, and is a deacon at his church. He has been a Compassion International Advocate/Area Coordinator for several years, finding families to sponsor Compassion children throughout the world. His passion is letting others know how important it is to release children from poverty. Be sure to check out his blog, Sharing Compassion.


Fingerprint Friday: Generosity

By Ginny (MAD21)

I recently worked on a project with a group of people that was successful only because of the grace of God and generosity of many others. What started out as a simple gift to some homeless families, turned out to be so much more because the resources just kept pouring in. God had some big plans for those families, and for those of us who were answering the call to serve.

I can't begin to tell you how amazing it was to have the opportunity to serve a community of folks who really need to know that God loves them. To step out of reality even if only for an afternoon and just have some fun. I am in awe of the generosity of those who made it all possible. God presented a need, and they stepped up and made it happen. These are fingerprints from God that will hopefully leave a lasting imprint for generations.

Fellow blogger Beki at The Rusted Chain has a really great weekly post she does every Friday called "Fingerprint Friday." We are to look around and see where we can see God's fingerprints. Is it in nature? Kids? Animals? Anywhere? Go find out where Beki saw God this week, and be sure to check out the other bloggers who linked their stories as well.


Feeding Sheep

By Pat

In John 21:15-19, Jesus is having a conversation with Peter. Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him. Each time, Peter answers yes, and each time Jesus commands Peter to "feed his sheep."

It's easy to proclaim our love for Jesus, but the true test is the feeding of the sheep. Are we obeying Jesus? Reaching out to others in need, offering a word of comfort or encouragement? Giving unselfishly, sharing our faith, and praying with genuine concern for our brothers and sisters? These are just some of the many ways in which we feed His sheep.

Following Jesus requires more than lip service. Faith requires movement, and love requires action. We need to find a way each day to feed God's sheep, to minister to a world greatly in need of kindness and love. We need to take every opportunity to feed the sheep around us, in whatever way it can be done. We are the hands and feet of Jesus, and therefore must take action and touch the world with God's love. Telling Jesus we love Him is great; showing Him is even greater!

Pat is a good friend who is passionate about her faith and her family. She works from home supporting a family business, and loves to read, write and garden when she can, and spends every spare moment with her grandkids.

Waterfall Picture