God’s Shameless Love for the Poor

Today as I type this post I feel as though I am trying to take just a little sip of water out of an open fire hydrant.  There are so many stories that I will never get the chance to tell.  My heart and mind are processing so many things at one time that I am having a hard time sleeping at night even though I am beyond exhausted when my head hits the pillow.  I can honestly say that this trip is one of the hardest things I have ever done but absolutely one of the most meaningful. 

Yesterday I got an email from Amanda and she asked me if I could keep my eyes peeled open for a special child for her to sponsor.  So, Amanda, what do you think about Latangi?

Is she too much or what?  I met her today on one of our home-visits in an extremely poor village.  She totally could have fit in my suitcase but I figured Living Proof wouldn’t completely support kidnapping so I relented.  Amanda, you would have seriously died.  Her Mother has the daunting task of raising four children singlehandedly since her husband died three months ago of a heart attack.  Latangi, her Mom, and two of her siblings sleep in two tiny beds in a one-room 8×8 bamboo structure while her older brother sleeps on the hard cement floor.  She currently has no sponsor with Compassion and while her Mom works during the day she is left all alone.  She is four years old.  Four years old and left alone all day to do heaven knows what.  Just think, Amanda, if you sponsor her, Compassion International will provide the opportunity for her to be in school under the umbrella of the local church studying and learning skills during the day to dramatically boost her chances of survival.

There are hundreds of faces, hundreds of Indian children, who are just as precious and in just as dire circumstances who are in need of sponsors.  You can take a look for yourself here or you can just click on the Compassion India banner on the left of our margin.  The Compassion East India office partners with the local churches in a rigorous selection process to choose children who are in the greatest need of sponsorship.  They are generally among the poorest of the poor in their area.  I can assure you, every child you browse through on the Compassion website has a story that has the potential to change your life. 

Today the Compassion East India office briefed us on some administrative issues.  I’ve always wanted to use the word “briefed” because it makes me feel so Jack Bauerish.  And now I have and it was fun.  Anyway, each child has his or her own binder and inside that binder is a thick stack of papers that record everything from medical records to the complete log of child/sponsor correspondence.  My new and absolutely hilarious friend and fellow blogger Pete Wilson and I were shocked to see that one of the children had been co-sponsored by two High School girls.  Can you imagine?   Instead of buying an expensive designer handbag or a new pair of heels, these two seventeen- year-old girls combined their money to bring some hope to a child in India they have never even met.  It just downright blew our minds. 

Can I just tell you that the more I fall in love with the people in Calcutta the more grateful I am that we serve a God who cares deeply about the poor?  I could list verse after verse as far back as Genesis all the way through Revelation that reflect God’s concern for the poor and oppressed. I could quote the striking and slightly scary beatitudes in the gospel of Luke like “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God” but right now I am far too consumed with Isaiah 58, especially the first eleven verses.  My Mom and Amanda both encouraged me separately with this chapter before I set off last week and I have been meditating on it throughout the week. 

These verses have spoken to me in so many distinct ways over the past few days but I am especially stricken by Isaiah’s definition of true religion.  I hope you’ll take some time to study this passage on your own but in brief, the people of Israel cry out with frustration because they do not feel that God is responding to their pious fasting.  The text goes on to convey that, in fact, God really isn’t all that impressed by their outlandish religious demonstrations like bowing their heads in “humility” or laying in sackcloth and ashes. 


His definition of fasting is cast in remarkably different terms.  If the people of God want to fast in such a way that they just might get God’s attention then they need to start being agents of justice in a broken world.  They need to stop believing that humility before God and apathy toward their fellow human beings, especially the poor and oppressed, could ever co-exist.  They need to loosen the chains of injustice.  Set the oppressed free.  Share food with the hungry.  Clothe the naked.  The incredible part about this passage is the promise that if the covenant people of God would really truly fast in such a mind-boggling and earth-shaking way, then light will break forth like the dawn.  The Lord will turn his ear toward them and His very glory will be their protection.  I take so much heart in the fact that our God is a God who loves the people in Calcutta who are bound by the tight grip of poverty.  That He thinks that caring for them is essential, that it is at the very core of our personal and corporate spirituality.  What a vivid picture of the bountiful and impartial love of God.

Now I think we all know that God does care deeply about the poor.  Scripture is blatantly clear about it but why do you think that God cares so deeply for the poor?  Why would Jesus say, “Blessed are the poor” or why would James ask his readers “Did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom”?  What is, in your opinion, at the bottom of His love for the poor? 

I am personally still thinking this through but I read something recently that Richard Bauckham wrote and it really rocked me.  He said, “Poverty, in a sense, exposes the truth of the human situation in its need of God.  It dispels the illusion of being self-sufficient and secure, with no need of God.  The poor are those whose material condition enables them to see more clearly than most the human need to be wholly reliant on God.  It is in this sense that the biblical poor are understood as paradigmatic in their faith.” (Richard Bauckham, Wisdom of James, disciple of Jesus the Sage, 190).   I’m not sure how exactly to explain it, but this statement really resonated with me.  Perhaps Jesus speaks of the poor as the paradigmatic people of God because the poor, kind of like the chronically ill, are most likely to recognize their utter need for God’s saving power.  Perhaps the Lord commands the rich (which in context of our global economy is you and me, even the poorest among us) to empathize and identify with the plight of the poor and care for the needy so that they too can glean this truth. Humankind in its totality is completely dependent on God’s power and provision.  There are no exceptions.  All material wealth is fleeting and fading quickly.  

What do you think? 

I can’t wait to read your thoughts and opinions.  I cherish you all.  I mean it.  I’m so grateful for all of your different personalities and perspectives.  I’m deeply privileged to walk this journey with all of you.

One of my favorite shots of the children’s little shoes: (P.S. Keely Scott, Compassion Photographer, rocks my face off)

Subrata and me.  He wants to be a Policeman when he grows up so that he can take care of his Mom and she never has to go to work anymore.  She cleans houses and he wants to do all the work for her so that she will be able to relax at home.  He is seven.  Seven-year olds shouldn’t have to think about taking care of their Moms.  But Subrata does.

A precious girl named Rinky Roy’s little box where she places the treasures her sponsor has mailed her.  She has the best sponsor ever.  Her sponsor faithfully mails letters and has even bought her clothes and paid for a piece of furniture in their little tiny home. Rinky’s sponsor repeatedly tells her how much she loves her.  Rinky loves to study and has dreams to be a Doctor.  Tell me Compassion International didn’t have something to do with that. 

Me talking with the little women about their favorite movies.  They all apparently love Jurassic Park I, II, and III.  Who would have thought?  When did the third one come out anyhow?



199 Responses to “God’s Shameless Love for the Poor”

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  1. 151
    Moose Mama says:

    I think you are absolutely right. We have no idea really, what it means to be in need. And to suffer for our faith, means we were chastized at work for talking about Jesus.

    I so appreciate you sharing the hard stuff with us. As Americans, we are self-sufficient, wealthy, credit-card-carrying, jaded, and dis-interested people, who need to not just know what the poor live like, but what will our response be.

    Thank-you again.

  2. 152
    Anonymous says:

    Oh, my heart…little Latangi, a 4 year old who takes care of herself alone at home while her mother works! Praise God I know someone has already had their heart won over for her. So thankful you and the Compassion team are sharing the reality and the need. Aren’t they beautiful children? Trusting as a result of your trip and all the bloggers that are being reached that thousands of children will be given the gift of hope through Compassion and the giving hearts of new sponsors. My prayers are with you all daily,and for God’s gift of compassion on willing hearts and also I’m praying for a break in the awful heat wave to make the trip more manageable for all. Thank you so much for paying the price to share the truth and sharing the riveting pic’s of the beautiful Indian children. This is the thought that comes to me concerning the poor children, “Tis the gift to be simple, t’is the gift to be free….” Just imagine how free the child feels who has the priviledge of being in a church sponsored school because of Compassion. Free to live, free to learn, free to hope and free to be. I had no idea that tiny little ones would be left alone at home while the others work.

  3. 153
    Anonymous says:

    I am grateful that God chose you to go to India (and He knows what He’s doing)as I feel so blessed to hear about God through you and these beautiful, Indian people. Godspeed and continued travelling mercies to you!

  4. 154
    Laura Forman says:

    I went to India in 2006 and had the chance to go all over and visit the slums of India…life changing is all I can say. I went back to my Bible and found a few places that I was reading while there and beside I just wrote “India”..may you be encouraged to read this as much as I did after seeing all that I saw: Ps. 113:7-8; Ps. 155:4-8. Lifting you guys up…you will never be the same!

  5. 155
    twinkle says:

    Loved the visual of your taking a sip from a fire hydrant. I can imagine what an overwhelming experience you all are experiencing. How can you NOT want to bring them all back here?

    Another lesson…Can we trust God to complete the mission He has called you on?

    Yes. It takes great FAITH to turn your back and walk away from such HUGE NEED. Your heart will melt. But God is blessing this. I can see His HAND all over this. I even see His Eyes in the pictures of the children…and His Compassion in the picture of their little, simple shoes.

    Breathe in deeply, precious jewel in God’s crown. Breathe in deeply and let His Holy Spirit empower you to serve Him in this call. Trust Him with all your emptiness. He will fill you.

    How can we as women-of-faith not be changed by the need we see through your eyes, Melissa?

    Oh, how we need this pull on our heartstrings!

    Father, we hear You calling us to be Agents of Change. We copy that. Make us all ambassadors of Christ. In Jesus Name. Amen.

  6. 156
    Curly T says:

    We have sponsored children from India for about 8 years. The first child’s father made her quit the sponsorship – being Hindu, I don’t think he “appreciated” the Christian teaching. Now, we sponsor a little girl whose father passed away during our sponsorship. Is hard to imagine the pain she went through – am so glad she had the Compassion center to turn to. Melissa: she is in the Vallioor (Valliyur is another spelling) Dev. Center and she goes by “K.Sumathi.” Please tell her we love her if you see her!

  7. 157
    Juli Jarvis says:

    I recall the 1st time I went to the Compassion projects, planning to be a great “blessing” to all those children. I was in for the shock of my life, for they were the ones that truly blessed me. As it turns out, I have since learned that we need the poor as much as they need us — we need their joy, contentment, deep faith and prayers. As Compassion’s President, Wess Stafford, has said many times, “Without us they die in need; without them we die in greed.” I love this partnership with the church in poverty — because without them we would die in greed, selfishness and materialism; without our support, 28,000 children are dying each day from preventable causes (this is equivalent to 180 planes crashing per day with the same number of passengers as Sullenberger’s aircraft). Overwhelming — but the plan is to help just one child at a time, exactly the way Jesus did.

    In God’s miraculous ways, He has brought us together for a reason. I love your sweet little Latangi! Also the photo of the shoes! Priceless!

    Finally, I love Isaiah 58 and your mention of it here! This is the missing piece of the puzzle that the American churches have missed for so long — this truth that we both learn and gain spiritual insight from one another; the truth that it’s not just about us giving to them or ministering to them. It’s all about God, not about us. And His intention was that we come together to supply one another’s needs in Christ. Melanie is right — “total dependence on the Provider” — this must be the foundation of all ministry and I love the fact that Compassion understand this.

  8. 158
    MiPa says:

    Melissa, your gift of words is bringing this trip alive to me. I’m praying for you and the team hourly, crying with each post read and believing that lives will be changed because of the sponsors that are being cultivated. Bless you for sharing your heart with us.

  9. 159
    Anonymous says:

    God Bless you guys for all you do.

  10. 160
    Anonymous says:

    That is my favorite scripture. It is the last one my mom wrote out for me before she died after years and years of chronic illness. I’ve never thought about it in terms of her illness and now must go back and meditate on it again. In the meantime, I think I need to check on my finances and see what I can do for Compassion…God bless dear one, and know that we love you too.

  11. 161
    Bev Brandon says:

    Psalm 45:1 is all I can think when I read your post—-your tongue is the pen of a ready writer—and it’s all for your King and His children. You paint a beautiful story of a waiting God in India who is hovering over His chosen, holding them together, Col 1:17. HE delights in what HE is doing in India through YOU, your team and Compassion. Keep thinking about Josh 4:10 and about how God parted the waters of the Jordan River to arm them for battle — hurry and take some stones and write on stones of hearts all that your beautiful God has done for you and leave it with them. And 40,000 were armed for battle—-I don’t know how many sponsors Compassion has but I see 40,000 people here armed and ready to help these kids. Just found out I have cancer and I have 9 doctors in one week’s time, NINE—-look at all the illness you see and they probably have such little to nothing help. Can someone tell me if we can give money “one time” or a few times or are they just looking for lifetime sponsors? Or one year sponsors? We can’t commit for the long haul right now but could give for the short one. You are such a beautiful ambassador of His Love, His Grace, His Words.

  12. 162
    Laurie T. says:

    James 1:27 says, “External religious worship (religion as it is expressed in outward acts}that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world”.
    This is one of my favorite scriptures and as one who has been richly blessed with the opportunity to go on a few missions trips, I believe that every Christian MUST live this scripture out in their lives. It doesn’t mean we will all be sent, but in our everyday living we must seek God to show us the opportunities that are right in front of us! We will all give an account to our precious Father and as I read Matthew 25:35-46, I am reminded that as we serve others according to the Word, we serve Christ.

  13. 163
    Mary Watkins says:

    Years ago, my husband and I watched and waited to see if our two week old son would recover from a life threatening disease. Sitting in the hospital day after day we quickly realized our hands were tied. There was nothing we could do in this situation. We prayed. Many others prayed. Our only hope was found in God.

    The overwhelming sense of helplessness opened our eyes to our need for God. We could not look to the left or to the right for help. We could only look up as we fell to our knees in prayer.

    Poverty most certainly must feel the same way by the overwhelming sense of helplessness.

    I pray God would open our eyes to the needs all around us. May we be His hands and feet to help those in need.

    Melissa,I am praying for you.
    Looking forward to your next update.

    I am so thankful we serve a compassionate Father.

    In His grip,

  14. 164
    Debbie says:

    Thank you Melissa,for your willingness to allow God to use you in a mighty way. Thank you for your picture words along with the photographs. I am praying for you,the whole team and the children.

    Love and Blessings, Debbie in Tennessee

  15. 165
    Anonymous says:

    I too am moved by the statement on poverty. Your post are very exciting to me in that my husband and I are in the process of change in ministry and are feeling very much like God is calling us into full-time missions. We are scheduled to spend two weeks in Honduras in June and I can hardly wait to get there! We have been before and cannot wait to see what God has done since our last visit. We will be working again at an orphanage where it is heartbreaking to think of the future of these kids, but it is also inspiring to see the joy they have in their heart regardless of the fact that they have nothing! My daughters, 16 and 12, will return and I cannot wait to see how God moves in their hearts too!

    I anticipate hearing more of your story and I will be praying for you!



  16. 166
    Julie says:

    Melissa: I have loved your past two blogs. My heart was moved by not only your writing but also the pictures that you enclosed. I would like to someday go on this journey myself. I have just signed up to sponsor a child. How I wish I could see her. God’s richest blessings on these people, and thank you for sharing. Blessings, Julie

  17. 167
    Phyllis Twilley says:

    Isaiah 58 has been on my heart all year! I have been praying that my church here in Maryland would grab hold of this and that our church would become known for having Jesus’ compassion!

    If we will just carry out Isaiah 58:7 (Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?) souls will be saved and churches will be busting at the seams!

    Unfortunately, my local church has built a new church “building” and I fear as a result, we have lost some of our compassion. God have mercy on us!

    Melissa, I have never traveled to a third world country, but we have poverty right here in our own back yard as well. I work in a school office and some of our own students live in houses with dirt floors which they sleep on.

    May God have mercy on us and may we get off of our comfy chairs, stop debating theological differences and get busy being the hands and feet of Jesus!

    God bless you for your heart.

    Thanks so MUCH for sharing your experiences and thoughts with us as you travel.

    I am praying for you, those precious children in India, ompassion AND especially for you to be delivered from those nagging migraines! God delivered me from them and wants to do the same for you!

    Love in Christ,
    Phyllis (in Salisbury, MD)

  18. 168
    Anonymous says:

    What a post Melissa. Thank you so much for your heartfelt thoughts and concerns. They always go to my core…..I pray Most Holy Father, make me worthy of this life. Thank you also for the pics…we so often get all tied up in our own “small” world.
    Bible Bunny in NO MI

  19. 169
    Fran says:

    Melissa…my heart is so broken but yet so hopeful.

    Praying so hard for you and the entire team. Asking God to do what only He can do.

    So much love,

  20. 170
    Celie says:

    Your words speak only God truth, putting truth into perspective as your sight opens your heart to truth even more. You and the team have been in my prayers. God to use this time abundantly to his glory. There are many on this journey that have such a way to put pictures in our mind eye with words. Keep pricking our heart back home in the states using the words God is giving for us. Your journey is to affect us also for his glory through you words he gives.

    Praying for all

  21. 171
    CLAUDIA says:

    I get excited about going to one of Beth’s conferences but I think I am more excited about this trip that Melissa is making. I can’t wait to get on this blog each day and read about it. It struck me hard today when I really thought about her being on the OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD and just a keyboard away form us. Wouldn’t Paul have loved to be able to send his letters like this? 🙂 May I suggest that someone keep track of how many children get a sponsor this week because God moved in the hearts of so many blessed woman through this blog. Melissa you are a blessed writer. You make us all feel like we are there with you. Well we are…..in prayer. Go forth in Christ name! We love you so much.

  22. 172
    Kristib says:

    Praying like mad for you Melissa! I remember my husband telling me about the poverty with tears in his eyes. I believe we have the poor with us so we can share God’s love in a tangible way. We talk a lot about the love of God, but how often do we demonstrate that love? Also the poor represent how Jesus came to and left this world – without any material possessions.

    Sending much love your way this day!

  23. 173
    HisTreasuredPossession says:

    I was very moved by this post. I’ve wanted to sponor a child and not just send money to Compassion when we can. So many of my friends sponor, some even sponor a child for every child they have. Generous!

    After reading yesterday, I was certain that I would approach my man after we sell our house and after our upcoming move to California this summer sometime. But through the night, I can only imagine the Lord brought these thoughts to mind: these kids need help NOW!!So this morning I approached my man and asked if, by faith, we could start sponsorships now in addition to our other giving areas and work it into the budget when we get our new salary. He said he would think about it. That is all I can ask. And now I’ll pray that God moves our hearts together in this matter.

    The Lord is surely moving His people to action. It is so evident to me in the responses to this post alone. And I thank you all, each member of the Compassion India team, for being willing vessels to show how deep the need and how great the impact serving the these children in the name of Jesus can have!
    much love,

  24. 174
    Larsen Family says:

    Thank you for that beautiful post. Such beautiful children. Maybe God’s love for the poor is related to his love of children. Children are so innocent and more in-tune to spirituality and God’s presence. They are wide-eyed and wanting to believe. They need someone to protect them, love them, be a savior to them. Perhaps, the poor are that open as well to the need of God. Like the one author’s comments you wrote about. God be with you on this journey and may you bring love to as many children as you can.

  25. 175
    Hearingw/myheart says:

    Melissa –

    My heart is so humbled by the beauty of your message and the Glory that the Lord is providing us all in understanding how we can be a parent to His child so far away, but so near in the spirit. The last picture of you with all the children engaged while you are visiting with them – is beautiful beyond words. The look that the precious girls have in their eyes are a reflection of God’s very presence!

    May He provide you and the others the rest and peace and joy that you need as you continue to be on a Mission with Him in Kolkata.

    Thank you for being available to His Kingdom to spread the Word to them and to us.

    Love you!
    Lea – Waxahachie, TX

  26. 176
    Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much Melissa for sharing these pictures and your thoughts. What a priviledge to see some of what you see over there. i had no idea you could sponsor a child and send as many letters as you want to and even CLOTHES! I love that!!! I have long wanted to sponsor a child, but felt concerned that the ministries might not be legit — i guess that is God’s to handle! I will really look into this! I love the little box that the little girl keeps! I am brought to tears today for the love of Christ and here i go again! Oh how I love Him!!!

    Please continue to keep us posted with more pictures!

    Thank you so much!!!

    Kimberly, Alabama

  27. 177
    Ellen says:

    When God dreamed this world and called it into existence poverty, pain,bone-crushing sorrow and want was not a part of His plan. Maybe His compassion runs so deep for the needy because this was not what He wanted–for any of us. I have begun to pray that I will see all people with the eyes of compassion-with His eyes. It’s amazing how my little, human, sin-exposed heart aches. How much more must His.

  28. 178
    Brandy says:

    Thank you Melissa for sharing your trip. Your words touch my heart. And I could bearly read without crying. I want to sponsor a child in India.
    I feel so honored to serve a living God who loves us so much & has so much compassion for us.

  29. 179
    Shellie Paparazzo says:

    What a darling little girl! Anyway, I know it’s not as big as the children in India, but if anyone’s interested in the full story as of now, on Jeremiah with his bee sting allergy you can read about it on my blog:


  30. 180
    Laura_Primus says:

    How can I say much through my tears? A 4 year old staying home by herself? FOUR?! Whew. My mind can barely wrap itself around that one. My son is 3.5 – it’d be like leaving him home for the day. I cannot conceive of that.

    I hope to be able to sponsor a child. I’ve sponsored through World Vision for years but never had the relationship like the one you spoke of (the little girl with the treasure box of gifts from her sponsor). I need to be better about contacting “my kids”. Thank you for talking about that.

    Blessings to you.
    Pleasant Hill, CA

  31. 181
    Anonymous says:

    Dear Melissa:

    I’m not as skilled at writing as you, so stick with me here, as I feel like God has shown me something about this (post) last night and this morning, and I didn’t realize it until just now.

    Okay, we are a movie family. We watch tons of movies and when we find a favorite one, we watch it over and over and then use sayings from it with each other. Kind of that insider family stuff that no one around you will know what you are talking about. (Hang on to this thought.)

    I read your post yesterday and pondered your question. Then I pulled it up just a minute ago to ponder it again. What is so cool about God is that He taught me something last night before I went to bed and again this morning in my quiet time that I think ties into your question.

    (I am going to use my NIV Study Bible for some of my comments.) In 2 Corinthians 8 Paul is encouraging the Corinthians to excel in the grace of giving. In verse 7 he tells them, “But just as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us – see that you also excel in this grace of giving.”

    Too often, stewardship of money is given a different status than other aspects of discipleship. Most believers would not want growth in faith, knowledge or love to stop at a certain level. Yet many decide a fixed percentage of their money to give and stay there for life. True discipleship includes growing in the mature use of all resources, so giving should expand as well. God can give us the desire and enable us to increase our capacity to give and we don’t want to miss this opportunity for growth.

    He goes on in verses 8-9, “I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”

    There is no evidence that Jesus was any poorer than most first-century Palestinians; rather, Jesus became poor by giving up his rights as God and becoming human. In his incarnation, God voluntarily became man – the wholly human person, Jesus of Nazareth. Christ became “poor” when he became human, because he set aside so much. Yet by doing so, he made us “rich” because we received salvation and eternal life.

    So then Paul goes on to tell them in verses 10-12, “So here is my advice about what is best for you in this matter: Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.

    (And this is where I tie in with what you were saying in your post.) Verses 13-15: “Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time, your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn, their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written: “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have to little.””

    So why do I think God has this particular favor for the poor (my words)? Well, I think we are all poor in God’s eyes. And we are all supposed to help each other out so we can all make it along. Just because I may have more money than one guy, there is another guy who has more money than me. But no one has the money God has, so doesn’t that make us all “less than”??

    If I read Paul’s words correctly, I think God is telling me that if I help out someone else who is opporessed or in need, that I will receive the same help when my turn comes. Is this right?

    So here is my movie quote from one of my favorite movies of all time, A Few Good Men with Tom Cruise, Demi Moore and Jack Nicholson. Dawson and Downey are marines who have just been dishonorably discharged from the Marines. In a desperate search for answers, Downey asks Dawson over and over, “What did we do wrong? We did nothing wrong!” And Dawson replies, “Yes we did (do something wrong). We were supposed to fight for people who couldn’t fight for themselves. We were supposed to fight for Willie.”

  32. 182
    purefire says:

    Melissa – thank you for going, thank you for sharing, thank you for making us aware and thank you for opening our eyes so that we can open our hearts. Praying for ya’ll.

  33. 183
    fuzzytop says:

    This post was on my heart last night and this morning… So I signed up to sponsor a second Compassion Child, a girl named Madhavi, in India. She’s 12, the same age as my Rachel. What a blessing to be able to help her.

    Thanks Melissa!

    Much love,

  34. 184
    ocean mommy says:

    Looking at these pictures does something to my heart. These sweet, beautiful faces, the little shoes! Goodness…

    Praying for you!

  35. 185
    Anonymous says:

    Melissa, you need to know that you are doing God’s work by just going there and bringing this place and this organization to the attention of all of us. As a result of your testimony and God’s leading, I’ve just become a sponsor of a precious little girl in India. I have never felt so blessed in my life to have the privilege of doing this, so I thank you that you’ve opened the door to allow that to happen. The Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you.

  36. 186
    Anonymous says:

    All I have to say AMEN, AMEN, AMEN to your very wise words concerning the poor! I am SO SO SO glad that our GOD loves them with shameless love and that His love is immeasurable, unceasing, and unconditional and BETTER THAN LIFE! And prasie Him that He has NO partiality!!

    Thankyou SO MUCH for clearing up the fact that even the not so well off here in the U.S. are still extremley rich compared to the rest of the poverty stricken world!It is sooooooo true. And that poverty stricken world is a huge one. And unfortunatley A LOT of people turn their backs on it. But PRAISE GOD He has sent some of His faithful servants with the amazing and unspeakable previlige and honor to be HIS hands and feet.
    I know that those kids you are with right now have stories we could not even imagine! I am soooo gald you are with them right now Melissa! I know that thery are happy about it!!

    One of the most profound things for me that your amazing mom has ever said, was that, WE ARE WHO GOD SAYS WE ARE. I pray that those little guys know that they are exactly who GOD says they are and that they are NOTHING LESS. I am still working on that one-DAILY.

    Praying for you!!

  37. 187
    Leslie Lauren says:

    After coming in to work today and rereading the quote I mentioned before, I decided to post it here since my version was completely watered down 🙂

    “It is too generally true that all that is required to make men unmindful what they owe to God for any blessing, is that they should receive that blessing often enough, and regularly enough.” – Bishop Whately

  38. 188
    jennyhope says:

    wow I seriously need to head on over and sponsor another kid!!! It is so good to hear from someone who is actually there. Praying. This post rocked me.

  39. 189
    katiegfromtennessee says:

    I’m glad that the Lord made tech like this…this post is eye-opening. I can only imagine what it is like to live without like that. The material poor do tend to be the poorest in spirit, therefore the most aware of their utter dependence on God to provide for them to just live. They know Who their real security is. When I was in MT on mission trip, the poorest out there were the biggest prayer warriors. They knew God was their only hope. The chronically ill know this too, because they are facing life and death as well. Anything that traumatic. I want to be able to give more to the poor and to encourage those who desperately need encouragement, this is extremely motivating!


  40. 190
    The Davidson Den says:

    Beautifully written. And thank you for bringing some of what you are experiencing to those of us here at home. It’s humbling. And troubling. And convicting. And beautiful. All at once.th

  41. 191
    Darlene says:

    again. a gloriously beautiful post that points to the heart of God’s love for human kind. Oh, how He loves us! To only catch a glimpse!
    I am so enjoying your words as you share just a touch of what God is showing you. Thank you!
    I am hugging my Compassion kids even more tightly in prayer as I read your inspirational posts.

  42. 192
    Miss Debbie says:

    Praying for you precious girl. Your heart has spilled over to everyone reading your posts, bless you Melissa. Thank you Lord for this opportunity you have given Melissa to travel to India and for allowing us to see with your eyes through her, your people there with compassion and mercy. May every one of those precious children become sponsored. In Jesus’s Name. Amen

  43. 193
    Jackie Sue says:

    Melissa, For years my family sponsored a boy from India. We did love Amalraj. We sponsored him from childhood until he became a man and left the program. He would write letters always beginning with, “Dear Mother Mrs. Jackie…” It was so precious. I now have two children that I sponsor. One with compassion in Ethiopia and one with another organization in Uganda. As you questioned about why it is that God has such a heart for the poor…my thought is that when a person is poor they have NOTHING. No material thing to put their hope in. They are completely needy and they know it. And then, b/c of His heart He calls us to give our hearts to them. To reach out and make hope a reality in their lives. To give to them so that they might have a chance to live. To allow His mercy and compassion to flow through us is to care for the poor. It is a remarkable thing that He calls us to…right now my two little adopted babies are sleeping in their beds b/c God chose them for Himself and chose us to parent them. Adoption has made a huge impact on our entire family…bringing the poor home as our own has been lifechanging. I know not everyone is called to adopt, but I do know that everyone is called to care and then to act accordingly. Thank you for sharing your experiences is such a “readable” way. You stories touch my heart and remind me of my sponsored boy all those years ago. Keep ’em coming and God bless and keep you.

  44. 194
    Fiffer says:

    OK so it was Rinky Roy’s treasure box that God used in my family. I was showing my teenage girls your blog, and Angie’s too, and we were reading about the children you’re ministering to, and when they saw that box where Rinky Roy keeps the treasures her sponsor sends they knew God was calling them to use some of their babysitting money to sponsor a child. They chose Victor, so if you see him please let him know that three teenage girls in Lancaster, PA think he’s pretty cute and are praying for him! My husband and I will also sponsor a child but will allow Compassion to assign us the one God has already chosen. God bless you for being over there and being the hands and feet of Christ to these precious people.

  45. 195
    Shelly says:

    Subrata has broken my heart. Thank you for sharing the pictures with your words.

  46. 196
    Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog says:

    I just want to tell you this is the first time I have gotten to read these posts. Oh you don’t even know how God is using your stories. I cannot wait to hear someday. I will just tell you mine. I HATE apathy in my heart. It is there. I have been praying for God to break me. Well, He did. Thank you for posting your journey and the needs. Oh how I cannot wait to see all the things that God does with this. He is so good.
    Much love,

  47. 197
    Nancy says:

    Oh,I am so excited. Bless you and everyone with you on this much needed mission trip. Thank you for sharing many of the details with us. It helps us to be a part of it. After going to the Compassion site and viewing those beautiful children, I kept viewing until God showed me Thillai Muthu. He is 6 years old and his birthday is the same day as mine. I am so excited and cannot wait to begin our journey together. Thank you so much for allowing me to be introduced to this wonderful, beautiful child of God.

    Nancy – Stockbridge, GA

  48. 198
    Kari says:

    So eloquently put! I had the chance to visit a church plant in Mexico on my first mission trip as a very new Christian, and it was one of the most life-changing experiences I’ve ever had. The beautiful poorest-of-the-poor people that we met were joyful, humble and full of love and faith, and they changed my understanding of the world, the Lord and myself in some crazy ways. Your words transported me back to that time, and those amazing memories!

  49. 199
    Groovewoman ♫ says:

    Okay she is Absolutely precious. I want to hug and hold EACH one of them!


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