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. 101
    KR says:

    I think…that I am screaming halleluJAH that God sent you to India! Thank you for your faithfulness Melissa. You have a gift for conveying the message and the mission. I am praying for all of you each day..and your loved ones. Thanks for being willing…to go, to see, to open your heart, and to share it with us. You’ve reached my spiritually poor soul this evening. God bless your journey.

  2. 102
    Julie says:

    Melissa – thanks for sharing your journey with us from afar. The tears sting my eyes as read your posts. These children have to deal with things they shouldn’t have to and they are just a representation of children around the world with that reality.

    You are putting feet to you faith. You are definitely walking in the spirit of the book of James by showing your faith BY your works.

    Be blessed.

  3. 103
    Jennifer says:

    Melissa -very thought provoking and have been for a few hours now. We here allow so many non-essential things to become distractions -idols-in our lives that we have to get through the “muck” to realize our constant need of Jesus. There in India-they don’t have that -they are just in desperate need to survive. The bottom line-we all are in a constant deep need of Jesus to fill our lives-not just our stomachs with food. I know it’s not all about the food but other needs for these families to help them. Just something the Lord has been telling me here the past few days-quit finding other things to fill up the void only I can fill. Your not gonna find it in food, shopping or filling your mind with mindless TV shows-just Him and His word-nothing else. So thankful that I have the opportunity to do just that and the bible to read and the understanding when I do read, a place I can go worship corporately and a women’s ministry that I am a part of to share with and be blessed by. Thanks for your work and sharing with us. I am blessed-you be blessed-praying for you.

  4. 104
    Me says:

    Oh my gosh, she is just precious. I would have put her in my suitcase in a heartbeat, kidnapping charges be darned!

    Surely these children are truly blessed by God, whose grace and compassion are never-ending. Surely God has a special place in His gigantic heart for them.

    Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us. What a blessing you are to them as well.

  5. 105
    heiditheophilus says:

    Melissa ~ It does take a long time to process everything because it is such a huge culture shock. I spent 2 months teaching in India 2 summers ago and it’s taken me about that long to process everything. I am so excited for your opportunity to be over there and love on them! Keep sharing your stories! 🙂

  6. 106
    Pam in FL. says:

    I once had an 8 year old girl from India named Jonvee in my 3rd grade class. She moved here not knowing a lick of English, and oh what a joy she was. My 3rd grade girls got the biggest kick out of teaching her American games and letting Jonvee teach them Indian games. When she moved to Tennessee, we were heartbroken.

    Your posts yesterday and today inspired me to sponsor a child from India, only when I went to find a child and was all set on an Indian girl, I felt the Holy Spirit speak to me to choose a child who has been waiting the longest for a sponsor.

    Now I feel like an expectant mother and have to wait 2 weeks to find out if it’s a boy or girl, how old, and from where! I can hardly stand it! I am so excited.

    Thank you for sharing your experience in India with us.

  7. 107
    Beth says:

    My Darling, I just came into the tiny town close to our ranch to that familiar restaurant that offers free wifi with a hefty meal. I just read your post and it’s everything I can do not to wail out loud. I am so moved. I am proud of you for going to the extreme personal discomfort of looking in the face of such suffering. Never will your heart beat in closer cadence to Christ’s. Isaiah 58 has jumped off the page and into dry bones, young lady. God is glorified.

    Amanda, Dad, and I can hardly wait for you to get back and tell us every detail. We are thinking of you and praying for you constantly and keeping a close eye on Colin. Rest assured, we love him so much.

    Go do that thing, Child. We are with you in spirit. And, as for you, Amanda Jones, you keep doing what God has called YOU to do right there in Houston, Texas. You girls amaze me.

  8. 108
    Anonymous says:


    I think lots of us will be sponsoring a child in India after what you’ve told us.

    Regarding the poor: Throughout history and all through the bible there have been poor people, God created it that way and we will always have them. I believe the poor exist so the “haves” in this world can can show Christs love to them – both parties benefit. Without the poor a huge part of God’s heart is missing. This is why our new administration in Washington which wants to level the playing field will never succeed – God will not let poverty be wiped out. It is through the poor, serving them, giving of ourselves that we expose the true meaning of Christianity. What other explanation can we give except the power of Christ in us compels us to serve and give to the needy of this world even if we don’t know them.

  9. 109
    Georgia Jan says:

    Melissa – Copy that on the Jack Bauer briefing. 🙂 WOW! You’ve done GREAT!

    Isaiah 58:11 has long been a favorite verse of mine, in fact it is the header for my blog. The meaning in context with the full chapter is awesome. Thank you for the prompt to study the passage.

    Subrata’s story made me weep – for a little boy to even have an awareness of his mother’s burden – slays me. I saw a little boy kicking his mother in the store the other day – the antithesis of Subrata’s heart – God help him.

    In thinking through your masterful thoughts on poverty, for some reason I kept coming back to the passage from Revelation 3 – the Laodecian lukewarm church – chastised because they were “rich and in need of nothing” and because they were lukewarm would be spewed out of God’s mouth. Our lukewarmness is an offense.

    May God bless those two high school girls – that greatly encouraged me with the excess that abounds in our culture.

    I love you Melissa, and I’m praying for all of y’all. I’m so thankful to be a Compassion sponsor!

    Georgia Jan

    2 Corinthians 8:9
    For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

  10. 110
    Fran says:

    In my life, it was when I was spiritually poor, spiritually totally bankrupt, that I came to know Jesus by crying out to God to please, please let me know His Son.

    I am reading and re-reading your post, Melissa, and I will study Isaiah 58 as well. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and your thoughts. This blog means a lot to me, too!

    Gulf Shores, AL

  11. 111
    Taylor says:

    Like everyone else has said, thank you so much for sharing this experience with us. Such an incredible look into a world most of us will never see or experience, and I’m glad to be getting a glimpse of it through your journey so that my heart may be moved toward those people and others in poverty.
    This is making me plan to keep in better contact with my compassion child I’ve sponsored for a few years.
    Thanks for sharing your heart and my prayers are with you!

  12. 112
    Shannon says:


    There was no poverty in Eden. God did not create it that way. It is a result of the Fall and our attempt to hoard resources.

    I find it striking that “Give us this day our daily bread” comes right after “on earth as it is in heaven” in the Lord’s Prayer. Having enough–not loads more than you need, but enough–is a part of the shalom of God that Isaiah 58 speaks to and that Jesus reiterates in the Lord’s Prayer.

  13. 113
    Leslie Lauren says:

    PS: STEVE ROCKS!! Come back anytime, man!!! We need that kind of perspective sometimes in Siestaville! 🙂

  14. 114
    Ima Workinprogress says:

    Thank you sister!!

    Please know I have been diligently praying for you. How comfortable we get in our own little worlds – we will be sponsoring a child (or two). I thought it would be great to have a foster child that I mentor pick them out, so we could both send the child letters. God bless you for your ministry. You are loved.

  15. 115
    becky says:

    what a post!
    thanks Melissa

  16. 116
    Leslie Lauren says:

    Tonight after work I stopped by the grocery store to pick up some things for dinner, and while walking past the bakery my eyes were shocked when they landed on a big display of naan bread. I LOOOVE naan, and of course it made me think of you in India. After grabbing a pack, I started thinking about how much I love visiting other countries~ that the very thought of submersing myself into an entirely different culture…food, art, architecture, ways of life…it’s bigger than any adrenaline rush or drug-induced high for me (somehow I think I missed my calling to be a missionary..but I digress). It made me wonder what the food was like where you were, and then my thoughts went to the children who sang songs for you and it just brought tears to my eyes all over again.

    After getting dinner in the oven, I decided to take a quick swim in our pool (since our Central Florida weather has been absolutely incredible these past few weeks), and once again, my mind came back to you in India. I thought about all of the children there and how much they would love a pool like the one I have, especially on one of those 120 degree weather days. I just became overwhelmed with thoughts of, Why me, God? Why was I so fortunate to be born in America, during a time when someone could be on the complete opposite side of the world on a spiritual journey, and have the capability of sharing their experience with me on a daily basis via this thing called the internet? WHY WHY WHY??!! The thought was completely overwhelming. And I still don’t know the answer.

    The irony was not lost on me, however, that my daily calendar at work today had a quote (sorry I can’t remember the author), that was something along the lines of: the easiest way for man to forget how blessed he is, is to receive his blessings so often enough that he forgets they are even blessings. Your quote from Richard Bauckham seems to find hand-in-hand with that little devotion. It also reminded me of a joke that got emailed to me the other day..about a handful of scientists who told God they wanted to challenge Him by making their own human, and He of course accepts, but just before the scientist reaches down to pick up a handful of dirt, God strikes him with a bolt of lightening and says, “Get your own dirt.”

    Much of our success, I think, comes from us giving God credit where it’s due. Some of the happiest people on earth are also the poorest. They aren’t consumed with all of the distractions that we are. And as crazy as it sounds, sometimes I actually feel envious of people who have much simpler lives. They are oftentimes the most compassionate people, too. Willing to give the shirt off their own back, even though that may be their last or only possession. It definitely puts everything in perspective.

    I am SOOOO SOOOO SOOOO thankful that God and Compassion International led you to India this week. I’m SOOO blessed to read your updates and see the pictures of those who are meeting along the way. The last picture of Susmita was absolutely…I don’t even have a word grand enough to explain it. You were right. It was beyond any beautiful description that words could express. THANK YOU! Be blessed, Melissa!!!!

  17. 117
    Pam from FL says:

    Me again!

    I guess God knew I couldn’t wait two weeks after all.

    IT’s A BOY!

    Sampson from India!!!!! 7 years old and handsome as all get out.

    Thank you, Melissa.

  18. 118
    Kristy says:

    Oh how this post brought me to tears! A 4 yr. old child all alone everyday? A brother sleeping on hard cement? Oh how it breaks my heart and how I praise God that He sees their need and has brought you all there.

    Thank you so much for the updates and pictures of those precious childen!

  19. 119
    Tara says:

    This post resonated with me! It is something that God has been teaching me lately in what seems to be repetitive circumstances!

    In America, we are so often consumed with the things that, frankly, just don’t matter. God’s command for us is to love the poor, and give everything we have to them. And I think you are right- The poor are blessed and honored because they truly love Him! We are so blinded by our “idols” that we don’t love Him the way we should. When you live in poverty, you have utter dependence and devotion to Him alone. Oh, how I wish we’d learn from them!

    I love the quote that you shared, and will be meditating on Isaiah 58 over the next few days. Thank you for your honesty, your genuity, your perseverance to look straight into poverty and see what we can do to help. Count us in!

  20. 120
    TN Girl says:


    We love you too and thank you so much for sharing yourself and your experience. I love that you can preach God’s love for the poor and want to feel “Jack Bauerish” all in the same post.

    Thank you for bringing me, who is sitting in my air conditioned home…with my “house for my car” (as one immigrant child put it)…watching my TV…and typing on my laptop, a reminder of those who are truly poor. Those who are really in need.

    My prayers are with you for continued strength and health and for the entire team.

    Keep bringing it siesta we need to hear it.

  21. 121
    Anonymous says:

    Oh man, Melissa….you have “stirred the pot” in all who read your posts. It’s absolutely amazing what you can experience in a mere 24 hour period being in a culture so contrary to ours, at so many levels, head, heart, and mind. Your sense of the Spirit in these children is tender, just like Jesus sees them. I saw it in Costa Rica two weeks ago. We have been so brainwashed in the US to believe the lie that we “need” so much, I want to just puke….what I am forced to see is my own depravity, shallowness and lack, when faced with people who have nothing, yet everything, because they truly see God as their provider for all their needs. bless you the rest of the time.Pam in San Diego….

  22. 122
    brandiandboys says:

    beautifully said, melissa!!! thank you for sharing your heart.

    and so glad you’re having fun with Pete. i can’t wait for him to get home and fill me in on his this week has impacted him, it’s exciting stuff!

  23. 123
    Isaac's Mom says:

    I am so greatful for your post and so appreciate the effort you are making to write them. I am headed to Kenya in December and I am being encouraged by you to “fear not”. I know it will be hard and the the trip long but so worth it.

    My thoughts on the “poor”….not that I have much worth saying are this. I hope I can make my writing clear from my heart.

    It seems to me that God has blessed so many with poverty. I know that bitterness can take over some in this situation but for the most part I don’t find that to be true. What I do find is that they already have such a deep understanding of their need!! They just need for someone to help them put God’s face to it. They know they need Him but they don’t know His name. It’s kind of like “If I knew the question to ask I would ask it”. They come to salvation much easier than we with all of our pride. We don’t want to acknowledge any weaknesses at all. They readily admit to weakness as it is so evident to the world so they have no problem admitting to further spiritual weakness.

    We need to feed the hungry and clothe the naked but to me this is just the avenue God uses to bring them to Himself. And He lets those of us, for whatever His reasons are, carry the message to them. I am amazed at what lengths God will go to, to bring us to a saving knowledge of Jesus.

    Ok..I was typing really fast probably did not explain that right but I hope you get the meaning.

  24. 124

    Thanks Melissa for the pictures and the update I am going to try
    and figure it into my budget to sponsor a child. Espically when I saw you sitting on the steps with that little boy. I just think that this is going to be a life changing experience for you. I am very glad that you got to go. Love You Melissa Thank You For Sharing Your Trip With Us Seista and taking time out of your busyness to keep us updated.
    Praying For You
    Love Your Seista In Albuquerque NM

  25. 125
    Vicki Sandifer says:

    “What is, in your opinion, at the bottom of His love for the poor?”

    I read somewhere that “we can’t receive the kingdom from Jesus until our hands are not clutching onto worldly possessions.” Maybe He loves poor people more than the rich or maybe He knows what it will take for an individual to come to Him and for some they may not be able to “let-go” of worldly possessions long enough to get hold of Him??? I dont know!! Another thought is that we need the poor more than they need us to show us how to depend on Him – but you mentioned that I think. You are just so good with words and your heart is spilling out onto the page and we LOVE it. I was hoping to hear from you tonight but had no way of knowing how much I would be blessed. Also how much I would be convicted by your words. My husband are praying about sponsoring a child or two. Pray with us as time allows! I have already been looking and I want them all – how do you choose?? Anyway, love you girl and we are praying for you. It seems like God has opened your eyes WIDE!! Ours too and thanks for posting and letting us in on what HE is doing – thanks so much for being real and open. Love in AL, Vicki

  26. 126
    Shelly says:

    We recently went through The Truth Project study by Dr. Del Tacket (it is phenominal by the way!), and he taught about the poor and that taking care of them is our responsiblity. In our small group we asked about the verse that says we will always have the poor with us. Why? I think you just answered it for me. Just like God puts His creation in nature as a reminder, He reminds us of our need through the needy among us. Thanks for taking us along on such an amazing trip, Melissa!

  27. 127
    Julie in WV says:

    Wow – Melissa you inspire us all. I have to tell you how impressed I am with your writing ability. You are so eliquent with your words. I'm sure you're mom is so proud. We love you all & pray for you daily.

  28. 128
    Anonymous says:

    I mistakenly thought my mission trip to Sri Lanka several years ago was for me and our team to somehow bring these “poor” people some Light and Hope. I put poor in quotes b/c I arrogantly felt pity for them before I left. Even before the half-way mark during the trip, I was humbled by how rich they were by the things they haven’t experienced: so much SELF. Somehow they’re richer than we are b/c they are so far from self-absorbed and I think luxury sometimes makes you that way. I am so thankful to God that I am an American, but my opinion of mission trips is that God takes your little head and your little eyes and says, you think you have problems, here-let’s take a little trip across the world. And it changed me forever. They enriched me, they grew my gratefulness, they increased my faith in the God we share; and we let them know by being there that God knows them by name and has not forgotten them.

    It’s like God knows their plight in life and he says for this you suffer, you shall also be rewarded. I will meet your every need: and He sends people on mission trips, for one example, to do just that.

  29. 129
    Tater Mama says:

    Reading your posts is a blessing, not only for us, but for untold numbers of children who will no doubt become sponsored children.

    My hometown church has the most beautiful stained-glass windows, and the BIG one behind the choir loft has the passage from Proverbs 19:17, “He who has pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord.” When I was growing up, I always wondered why the church planners in the 1890s chose such a “random” verse. Now that I’m a little (ahem) older, It’s perfectly clear that I was being reminded, ever so subtly, to have compassion.

  30. 130
    Joni says:

    More tears. I’m going to have to bring a Kleenex box into the computer room if this keeps up! 🙂 These posts are much needed. Thank you for taking the time to let us “come along” on your journey.

  31. 131
    Amy Jo says:

    Melissa – Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Isn't it incredulous that your heart can feel such intense pain and amazing JOY at the very same moment?!?

    God has been working overtime on my heart lately in regard to His heart for the poor and our responsibility to them. (If you don't already have them, be sure to check out: The Poverty & Justice Bible, Red Letters & Crazy Love.)

    Sweet blessings on your life changing journey!

    Amy in OR

  32. 132
    Barbra says:

    Praise God, my heart is leaping for joy because of all these people signing up to be sponsors! You go, siestas.. you’ll NEVER be sorry for sponsoring a child through Compassion!

    Melissa, as to my thoughts about your question… why does God seem to have special tenderness for the poor? God loves us all and sees all of us through the same lens, but I think maybe He points out the poor so much because they are the physical picture of everyone’s spiritual reality. I also believe that He draws our attention to them, because He’s showing us (those of us with material wealth) our jobs. They are our responsibility.

    It also reminds me of the parable of the sower. I think sometimes, we in America are the seed that was sown among the thorns and was choked out, “because of the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things”. Lord Jesus, please till the soil of our hearts and prepare them for Your truths to take root!

  33. 133
    Kellye says:

    That was a powerful Word you brought us. We signed up to sponsor a child tonight. We requested one who had been waiting the longest and are praying God will pick.

  34. 134
    grayse says:

    Don’t you just love the way God can make us family through the sharing? Melissa, thanks so much. God has gifted you with INCREDIBLE writing skills that truly reflect your thoughts and experiences, and HIS love and kindness…thank you.

    Am praying for God to multiply your lessons many times over, and bless you abundantly

  35. 135
    Anonymous says:

    Dear Melissa,
    Your post both moves me to tears and humbles me beyond words as I think of how we live in the wealthiest country in the world. I too have a four year old little girl and your pic of the 4 year old you picked out for Amanda, moved me so much. I want to pick out a four year old who is the same age as my daughter Lily Kate so that she can identify and pray for her as we make this a family project. Thank you for allowing God to use you to inspire us to give to God’s children. May you be blessed and encouraged.
    An Atlanta girl too,

  36. 136
    hisfivefooter says:

    I told you India would rock your socks! Amen to everything you said. The passage in Isaiah has been one spoken over me and in turn my husband. The poor in some ways are closer to the heart of God because they are not afraid to be in need. We hate to be needy, and we are so desperately needy. There is no pretension if you are poor, no posing. I love your pictures and the children’s shoes could make it’s own poster. More children, more names, more please! Keep at this, He has a plan. He’s using you, He will use you. After all, that’s what we want is it not? I think it is amazing that The LORD of the Universe invites us to partner with Him to do His work, for our benefit and for His Glory. He so condescends to stoop to us, how could we not help others in return? This is a true fast. I love you for being honest.
    Lisa in Kirkland, WA

  37. 137
    Anonymous says:

    Melissa, that last picture–with the “Little Women” gathered around you is EXACTLY the way I picture the multitudes used to gather around Jesus to hear Him teach…what a picture!

  38. 138
    Shawna says:

    First just let me say that I chuckled when reading your Mom’s comment — as I think she called you Amanda in the wrap up… which for some reason just hit my funny bone, as it is obvious how much she adores you two — and it is so comforting to know that all Mothers on the planet are required to invert the names of their children. Even when praying blessing over them! (God totally translates however)

    That said – powerful blog Melissa. Praying for you during this time. And your ponderings stir in my so many memories of my own time spent overseas. Always amazes me, that no matter where I go on the planet, in the presence of vastly different customs and circumstances – looking in the eyes of people – I am soo deeply struck by the love of God for us. How deeply we can become anesthetized and hardened in our “western” day to day grind – and how stepping outside of that, even for a short period of time, if we are open, shakes us to the core, and reminds us of the big God that we serve – who is soo much bigger and wilder than we can imagine. And who has a heart for the poor, the lonely, the lost — and that there is not one soul, in any corner of this planet – that he does not know, love, see, and move heaven and earth to speak to… Amazes me…

    Breathe knowing that sometimes it is the “short term” experiences, that create the life long changes. The impact that you will have as a result of this trip – for the Kingdom, is not confined to the duration of this trip. But rather the narrative the King is writing in you, that will be with you forever.

  39. 139
    Sallye says:

    My in-laws several years ago did a misson trip to Brazil. They invited one of their guides back to the states. The guide came. He was from an affluent family there in Brazil. His father was a bank president and they had two homes. Yet this young man could not believe how wealthy we were because we could drink the water out of the facuet. Hard to imagine that something that I take for granted would be a measure of wealth in another country. Makes you realize just how truely blessed we are here in the good ole US of A

    Praying for you Melissa, thank God that you were willing to set aside you comfort level and go where God called you to go.


  40. 140
    Lindsee says:


    I am no longer going to let myself read these posts at work, because I just become a puddle. Seriously! The way you paint the picture for what is going on over there is just priceless.

    So much of me wishes I was there to experience it, too. But, I am thankful for y’alls posts. These precious faces have stolen my heart and I have been looking at the compassion site all day trying to find a child to sponsor and I just can’t come to a conclusion on one. I think now I will just have them choose one for me!

    I am praying for y’all as well as myself that the Lord would make me a more compassionate and gracious person.

    Much love to you and everyone over there.

  41. 141
    Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for sharing with us. May all those who have never sponsored a child be inspired by this. It is a wonderful blessing.
    Praying for you, siesta! Love, Lori

  42. 142
    Owlhaven says:

    Great post– precious, precious children. Their faces…sigh….

    Mary, mom to many
    DR Compassion blogger

  43. 143
    bigdogmom says:

    I have sat in many church services and seen numerous videos brought by missionaries from all over the world. I have never been affected in the way that your posts nor picture have affected me.It is difficult to sit here in my home and look at all I have without a hit on my conscience. Thank you for making it real.

  44. 144
    Rachel says:

    I don’t know quite how to say what I am thinking. My mind wants to make distinctions between the haves and have-nots, but I’m not sure that’s God’s way. I look at these children and compare them to my own children and even to myself, sitting here in western comfort and plenty. The differences move me to pity and guilt and maybe even action, but do they move me to the mind of Christ? Does Christ want us to see ourselves as different from them or the same as them? Does love spring from separation or unity? Which is more powerful, benevolent alienation or soul-deep identification? Am I “over them” (or “under them”) or “one of them?” The heart of the incarnation is not benevolence but identification. I think it matters, but I’m not totally sure how. Does that make any sense at all?? Am I out in left field???

  45. 145
    Anonymous says:

    Hubby and I just recently had the loss, or perhaps a postponement, of a lifelong dream for both of us, and we had been considering sponsoring a child. Your post sent us over the edge – in a good way, of course – and we began sponsoring a precious boy tonight.

    Thank you for your own compassion and your action. Our prayers are with you on this trip – may the Lord move mightily for all involved.

  46. 146
    michellemabell says:

    Thank you.

    What an amazing description of trying to take a drink from a hydrant…
    This post was so beautiful and convicting…I read it many times. And I know I’ll read it again… it just gave me goose bumps.

    You’re in my prayers.


    Michelle in Vermont

  47. 147
    Kelly @ Love Well says:

    As far as why God’s love for the poor is so shameless, Melissa, I think you nailed it. Jesus said he came to the sick, not the healthy. (Mark 2:17) The poor are closer to the truth of the matter, which is that we are all sick without Jesus. But in America, we have all kinds of distractions to ease our sin-sickness and make us believe we aren’t perishing.

    I also have to tell you that I’m doing the Daniel Bible study right now with a bunch of women from our MOPS group, and last week, we covered the story of Nebuchadnezzar (can I admit that I’m proud that I no longer have to look up the correct spelling for his name?) losing his mind. I was struck by the definition of the word “chanan” which translates “showing mercy” in English. The most peculiar concept that is contained within that word is “to complain.” But that’s EXACTLY what you and the rest of the Compassion Bloggers team is doing this week. You’re complaining to us comfortable, self-absorbed Americans about what the rest of the world lives with (or without).

    You are showing mercy. Keep it up.

  48. 148
    Anonymous says:

    I was so moved by reading your blog and seeing the pictures that I just now signed up to sponser a child…her name is Maria from Bolivia and she is 5 years old…I’m excited to see how she will now flourish and am thankful to have this oppurtunity to give.

  49. 149
    Anonymous says:

    Awesome! thank you so much for sharing and for the pictures, they really show the beauty of these precious children. 🙂
    I am really interested in sponsoring a child and especially now after hearing your account and seeing the pics. Thank you!
    My hubby and I have been married 13 years and cannot have children, or so they think. I haven’t given up hope! 🙂 Thank you for showing me another way that I can love children and fill that empty hole that is there.
    On a second note I have to share how God just this wknd in STL showed me a display of the poor and I can’t help thinking about it.
    My husband and I went to a ball game and when it was over I saw 3 homeless people with signs and the first one said “God bless you” on it. I cannot forget that man or the others. The last time I was in Dallas I had the same thing happen. My heart just goes out to them and all that I know is to PRAY for them. I know God loves them and even though they are poor now I pray that He would make them rich in HIM! May God be with the poor children of this world an the homeless who are standing there waiting.
    Thanks Melissa for your post and may God continue to protect you and show you His children. 🙂 Praying for you all!
    Lori in SW MO

  50. 150
    Patti says:

    Those children are precious and I am so glad you are there representing us who are not able to go. If by some miracle you happen to meet a sweet young man (14) named Sobir Khan at the Nabarangpur Child Development Ctr in India, please tell him we love him and are humbled by his daily prayers for us. We pray for him and his family too. By God’s grace, we were able to continue our sponsorship through my husband’s recent 7 mo. unemployment. (Of course, Sobir didn’t know about that). My husband just got a great job and we are SO VERY thankful. Blessings to you, Melissa.

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