Kenya calls me, tugs at my heart. And that year, 2012, Compassion was leading a sponsor tour over my birthday. I could meet Nduta, our sponsored girl. Perfect timing in my eyes.
In MY eyes.
But compassion isn’t confined to Kenya. It hollows hearts in the most unlikely places, at the most unlikely times–when your friend’s diagnosed with a life-altering illness, when the neighbor’s husband has a heart attack and dies on a business trip, when your child suffers from a bully’s words. Compassion calls us in the everyday in extraordinary ways if we have ears to hear. Sometimes compassion catches us off guard, wrecks our plans to wreck our hearts.
And that year it wrecked my plans and called me not to Kenya, but to Haiti. And not to a Compassion project but to a compassion project. To spend a week simmering in the sights and smells of poverty in an orphan village. At first I shrank back, overcome and afraid, forcing myself to touch and be touched. Because I wanted to be Jesus with skin on, to walk the way He walked on earth, to love the way He loved with no holds barred.
That trip carved my heart into pieces that I left with orphans hungry for hope and the knowledge they mattered. And compassion called me back last year and calls me again this year–to Haiti.
I still long to visit Kenya with Compassion one day. Because Compassion seeps compassion as it seeks to free kids from the bonds of spiritual, emotional, and physical poverty. I want to see their work up close and personal. And I want to squeeze my girl tight.
In the meantime, I can encourage others to reach across the miles to build a relationship with a child in need–whether in Kenya or Brazil or India or Haiti or another of the 26 or so countries where Compassion serves. Because that relationship can foster release.
But the most important relationship of release, of course, is one with Jesus. And that’s why Compassion has thrown its support behind this movie that releases in theaters tomorrow, February 28.
Here’s what Jimmy Mellado, president of Compassion International has to say about it.
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey talk about Compassion International.
Official Son of God Trailer
Go. And then consider building a relationship with a child. And if that child happens to be from Kenya–well, maybe we can take a trip together.