Joy is stuffing toys, clothes and school supplies in a backpack for a four-year-old girl. Joy is filling a gift bag with household items, toiletries, a Spanish Bible, an Esther book, and a Texas A&M ball cap for her parents. Joy is going to visit my new Compassion sponsor child today.

Joy is being so nervous to meet little Stefanie, but being greeted with big hugs and smiles at the door.

Joy is finding a baby doll at Target that speaks Spanish.

Joy is seeing a little girl so eager to share her new things with her baby sister. Joy is being told that Stefanie is a girly girl who dreams of growing up and wearing beautiful dresses. Joy is telling her that I love beautiful dresses too, and one day we can twirl in them together for Jesus.

Joy is Stefanie’s mother asking me to pray for her as she prepares to enter school next year. Joy is telling her that I’ve been praying the same thing for my son.

Joy is a having abuelitas who care so much.

Joy is meeting Stefanie’s big brother who is dressed up like a cowboy. Joy is telling him that I live in a place known for cowboys and teaching him to say “Howdy, partner!” Joy is showing the kids a picture of an armadillo.

Joy is Stefanie’s mother telling me that in our family photo, my son looks just like my husband. Joy is spending the whole day with a little girl who will grow dearer and dearer to me through the years. Joy is seeing that she’s a daddy’s girl.

Joy is now having family in Guatemala.

Joy is eating Dum-Dums together in the bus. Joy is being given a Guatemalan headband and wearing it right away. Joy is Stefanie’s father saying that we are two peas in a pod. Joy is him saying that I look happy.

Joy is Spanish coming back to me after a long time. Joy is feeling like I would take 7 more years of Spanish classes just to get another day like this.

Joy is visiting the student center where Stefanie and her brothers are nurtured by godly men and women.

Joy is drawing pictures of rainbows.

Joy is playing with balloons. Joy is missing my Jackson but having tons of little boys to play with.

Joy is meeting several college students in the Leadership Development Program who have had the same sponsors since the age of six.

Joy fills my prayers for God to give Stefanie the grace to do well in school and enter the LDP program one day. The ultimate joy would be to continue sponsoring her and attend her college graduation.

Joy is the promise of writing letters. Joy is having to say goodbye to Stefanie, but knowing she will continue to be taken care of in Jesus’ name.


200 Responses to “Joy”

If you'd like your own pic by your comment, go to Click the first button "Get your gravatar today ->", and it will walk you through a simple process to select a picture.


  1. 101
    Samantha says:

    AHHH. Thank you.

    I’m crying as I saw the pictures and read the captions. You guys are amazing. I cant wait to see the simulcast!

  2. 102
    Alyssa says:

    Thank you! I’ve been inspired to sponsor Raquel from Guatemala today!

  3. 103
    Kelly S. says:

    {tears} Amanda, I have loved reading all your post from this trip! It is so encouraging to really see what Compassion does. I am re-committed to pray for my Compassion child and the entire organization. Stefanie is beautiful!! Thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚
    ps. I couldn’t wait to show my kids these pics and I see my daughter has already commented (Olivia age 11)….hard to stay ahead of that one!

  4. 104
    Jan says:

    This brings tears to my eyes, and makes me want to visit our little girl, Rica Jane, in the Philippines some day. We’ve been sponsoring her through Compassion International since she was 6, and now she’s a beautiful 11-year-old. We have watched as her pictures show her growth in confidence and joy. God bless you for how your visit touched Stefanie and her family!

  5. 105
    Marcia says:

    Those pictures were awesome! We have sponsored a boy in the Dominican Republic for a few years and we struggle with what to write to him! It was fun to see those pictures of the family in Guatemala.

  6. 106
    Pamela Hammons says:

    Thank you for sharing. I and my “home girls” have traveled from Katy to study under your mom for years. We are so blessed by your family. Thank you for being real. When I read your post my heart was so touched. I had been looking to help the kids of Appalachia for years and can’t seem to find the right organization.Long story short I couldn’t just pick one little girl, I chose two and wanted to help so many more.Their little wise faces just tug so hard at my heart. I chose a 14 year old girl from Guatamala and a 5 year old girl from Honduras. I cannot wait to receive their packets and get to know them. I know God will use my small sacrifice to do great things for His kingdom. I am blessed to be a blessing!!

  7. 107

    I love the pictures! Amanda, you were so brave to go … I’m so proud of you.

    Love you, sweet girl!

  8. 108
    Lisa says:

    Amanda — thank you so much for posting the pics and “joy” from your trip. I sponsor two Compassion children, one in India, and one in Ethiopia. Your trip inspired me to hopefully one day make the trip to see my kids. Stefanie is absolutely adorable and her family seems to sweet — it is so neat you were able to spend time with them and pray for them. Thank you for sharing!

  9. 109
    Janet Norwood says:

    Thank you, Amanda, for sharing your joy! Your pictures and heartfelt emotions brought me to tears. I read your post yesterday just hours after I sat watching my two sons, thanking God for the blessings He gave me through them. I told my husband, “I would love for us to have another child,” knowing that giving birth again was probably not in His plan for us. Little did I know that He was going to use you and your work with Compassion International to bring another child into my life and that of my family! We are going to sponsor a child in Guatemala today…I am filled with joy already!

  10. 110
    Jennifer S. says:

    Love your posts….especially this one….we sponsor 2 children through World Vision and would love to meet them some day…thanks for sharing your travels with us and for those who decide to also sponsor a child…you give us through pictures and words what our feet, hands and hearts cannot experience physically…THANK YOU!!!

  11. 111
    Kathy B says:

    Oh, Amanda. What a blessing to read through your posts during your Guatamalan adventure. I too love Compassion and their focus and have been blessed to partner with them for several years. I have never known a Christian charity with more integrity or heart.

    I’ll never forget a story I read in one of Compassion’s mailouts: it told of a young sponsered child who was being rescued from her flooding home. At the last second she tore away from her rescuer’s arms to run and retrieve her most treasured possession. When she emerged from her flooding home, she held clutched to her heart her sponser’s letters and pictures. I just wept. And committed to not only sponser and pray, but to correspond on a regular basis.

    When my kids were younger we would have “letter writing day,” when we’d all sit around and jot notes and pictures to send along to our sponsered children. Now I have a high school SS class of girls who sponser a little girl from Honduras. Every few months we spend a few minutes at the end of class writing letters to her. In our most recent letter from her, she told me she’d been praying for my daughter in college. Can you imagine? How humbling.

    Thanks, Amanda. And thanks, Compassion!

  12. 112
    Becky G says:

    Amanda,thanks for sharing your Compassion journey with me. I have a young lady that lives in Tanzania that I have sponsored for many years.She always writes “When will you come visit me?” I tell her to pray about it,and I will pray. I have loved watching her grow into a young lady.
    Thank you for sponsoring a child from Guatemala. For 2 years I have had the priviledge of going on a medical mission trip. We help NAMB missionaries, stationed in Guatemala. Their heart is compassionate in serving the Quiche people. We take medicines for medical clinics to open doors for them so they cab spread the gospel of Christ. We ministered in Nahuala,and I recently read the town had been hit by a mudslide,and people were killed. These generous people,who have nothing,gave our group of 12,gifts for serving them. We experienced the body of Christ serving one another despite the language barrier. The greatest joy for me is seeing the smiling faces,knowing that they have heard the gospel of Christ.

  13. 113
    Alison says:

    Thanks for this post, I love that you visited your sponser child. It’s so neat how we sponser a child with hopes to change their life and they really change ours. ๐Ÿ™‚ This post reminded me the Joy of the Lord is our strength!

  14. 114
    kim costner says:

    Oh my how sweet! I cried through this entire post! What a blessing you are to that sweet child.

  15. 115
    Kristi B, says:

    I so en-joyed this post!

    Love ya!

  16. 116
    Dawn Michelle says:

    Thank you Amanda for being the tangible arms of Jesus for your beautiful Stefanie… What a treasure for you to be able to love on her and her family. We are now proud sponsors of two boys and one girl through both Compassion and World Vision.. What a delight it is to learn about their worlds, and to encourage them to be the BEST Christians they can be in Rwanda or El Salvador or Mexico…. Thank you for sharing. Your joy was palpable, and I am sure one beautiful little girl in Guatemala will never be the same. We visited Guatemala ourselves this June, helping to build homes and teach the Truth “en el nombre de Dios.” They are a truly humble people, gracious and loving. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and joy just being with them. What an honor to be a part of the WHOLE body of Christ, wherever the Father ordains for us to live…..

  17. 117
    Beth Herring says:

    thanks for this great post Amanda. It was so amazing to see the joy on everyone’s face and to feel the joy in our heart as we journeyed with you! I know that you miss your sweet babies, but i know that you are being enriched in ways that only God can do!

  18. 118
    Susan says:

    with many tears in my eyes as I read this and look at the pictures makes my problems and the fact that Jesus is Lord over all null and void. You are so blessed to be able to get to hold those children! God Bless You !

  19. 119
    Johnnie says:


    sigh…. so precious. I’m so filled with joy right now.

  20. 120


    Being the JOY girl that I am [thanks to your Mom’s teaching from 4 years ago] I loved seeing you in these pictures ministering to a very special people group who love God.

    I have had the privilege twice in the last 3 years of ministering in Tamazunchale,Mexico to the Spanish people there. It is one of the poorest states and mountain regions in all of Mexico – yet the people there will give the shirt off their back and give up their beds – to make our stay comfortable. They have the biggest hearts I have known in any people.

    The pictures you shared are a precious reminder to me of how BIG GODS’ HEART REALLY IS!

    Thanks for sharing your heart with them – and with us here!

    Blessings, Stephanie

  21. 121
    Julie in Idaho says:

    Joy is having a 10 year old boy in India write you a letter that says “I thought you forgot about me” since it takes approx 6-8 weeks for our letters to get back and forth to each other, but knowing that he is covered in prayer daily and is in God’s hands constantly.

    Joy is a receiving a picture of a 5 year old little girl in Colombia proudly wearing new cowboy boots because it was her birthday present and she is proud of them.

    Joy is knowing that God has provided me with precious children to love even when they aren’t biologically mine.

    Joy is knowing that one day we will all meet in Heaven even if we never have the chance to meet on Earth (which I hope we do, but God’s will be done).

    Thank you for sharing your amazing journey with us. God bless you and those you are ministering to in Guatemala! Joy is being able to share with each other these amazing life events and truly understanding how they impact us and others.

  22. 122
    Kris says:

    Oh Amanda – This post brought tears to my eyes! My 8yo son and 11yo daughter just recently cosponsored a Compassion child from Peru. They love writing sweet Libni and sending her pictures and gifts (coloring pages, but still a gift to them – they love picking out just teh right coloring page :)) and I pray that one day we would have the privilege of meeting her and her family as you got to meet Stephani. God is so good and so awesome – all of the time!!!!

  23. 123
    Anna Mitchell says:

    What a wonderful weekend you’ve had, Ms. Amanda! Couldn’t you just kiss on all those sweet little faces all day?! Blessings galore! I am so glad you shared your weekend with us. I hope your journey home is safe. I know you’re anxious to get home and love on your babies.

  24. 124

    Joy is crying all my make-up off while reading your post and it’s before 8am!! (and not caring) Thank you for sharing.

  25. 125
    Erin says:

    Ok, I am crying. That was so sweet. Thank you for sharing! What a blessing!

  26. 126

    Thank you so much for sharing these photos and the joy…!


    michelle in VT

  27. 127
    Diana says:

    I have really enjoyed reading about your journey. My family sponsors Stefany, an 11 year old from Brazil. Your story and pictures help make our relationship with Stefany more real. It has really inspired us to write to her more often and to pray for her and her family more. It has been challenging to imagine what her life is like and what the program actually looks like. Your photos have helped to fill in the “blanks” for us. Thank you so much!

  28. 128
    Amanda M. says:

    OH my. I am in tears; this was SO very beautiful. <3

  29. 129
    Lori says:

    Awesome! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. This brought happy tears to my eyes and brightened my day!

  30. 130
    Pat Schuessler says:

    Thank you for going with Compassion (and leaving your own children for a while) and sharing this journey with us. I always enjoy reading your posts. As much as I love your mom and sister–you’re my favorite “Moore girl”. Your heart comes through and touches me every time!
    God Bless you for your service to Him–and I will be signing up shortly to sponsor a Compassion child!

    Pat from Kansas

  31. 131
    MC says:

    Joy is reading this blog when a Monday morning is not very joyful!

  32. 132
    Catherine says:

    Thank you for sharing – JOY! I hope that one day we will be able to see our sweet Siska Friska. We adopted her almost two years ago and she blesses my socks off with her sweet letters to me and my family. The pictures prove what a sweet time you are having there and what a blessing all of you all for each other. Isn’t God awesome!

  33. 133
    Deb Weaver says:

    Loved this! Love you!

  34. 134
    Michelle says:

    I love your pictures and the message you so clearly portray here through simple captions. My daughter and I were blessed to go on a sponsor tour with Compassion this summer to the Philippines. We experienced so many similar things and feelings. Isn’t it wonderful when you have an experience like this and you realize how connected we ALL are by Christ. Can’t wait for that huge huge huge reunion in Heaven. I thank God for Compassion and their integrity and deep faith in Jesus Christ. I’m so grateful we are able to partner with them.

  35. 135
    Kim Safina says:

    Adorable Amanda,

    I am overjoyed to read your journey experience as well as seeing the photos that enhance the love and hearts of your precious Compassion Child, Stephani & her caring family!

    I too, have a Compassion Child, actually she is a teenager. I chose to sponsor older children for the purpose of keeping them off the streets. I love receiving letters and photos of my precious teen.

    I am so HONORED to be a sponsor! Compassion is a wonderful organization!

    Thank you for stepping out of the comfort zone and traveling to Guatamala!
    I love you and Pray for you & your precious family daily!

    With (((( HUGS ))))) & Harvest Blessings,

    • 135.1
      Amanda says:

      Kim, it’s so great that you make a point to sponsor the older children who are waiting. It makes such a difference to all these kids.

  36. 136
    Becky says:

    Oh what an amazing post!!!! I have a little girl in Rwanda and would LOVE to go meet her. Funny enough…I read your post and the mail came and in it was a letter from her. She said that she had just studied John 1:12…what a precious thought to know that so far away…she is being taught the truth of the Gospel…that all who receive Him and believe in His name have the right to become children of God!!! I am so thankful for Compassion and for the opportunity it provides for so many people around the world to partner with these precious children. After reading about your experiences I would now change my answer on the blog your Mom wrote not too long ago about the top *dream* things you would want to do if you could….on that list for me now is to go meet my sponsored child. Thank you for doing such a great job of helping us “experience” the journey with you.

  37. 137
    Nicole says:

    Joy is writing my first letter to my sponsored children. Thank you for inspiring me!

  38. 138
    Leah says:

    Amanda, I have enjoyed reading all your posts about your trip and this one is my favourite. Thank you for sharing and show us the pictures. Stefanie is so cute and pretty. I used to sponsor a little girl through a different organization for about 4 years (I think or it could be more) and then I had to stopped last year for a personal reason. I missed getting craft cards with messages from her and can’t wait to meet her in heaven someday. I’m planning to start sponsor another little girl sometime in the next couple of weeks or so. This time, probably I will go with the Compassion organization but haven’t decided 100% sure yet.

  39. 139
    Cara says:

    Hi Amanda!

    Wow. THANK YOU for sharing your joy! This is SO incredibly sweet ๐Ÿ™‚ Definately one of my favorite posts! I want to print it and hang it on my wall to remember what it’s all about. I loved the part where you told Stefanie you would someday wear beautiful dresses for Jesus. Several years ago, I had a vision of that..wearing the most beautiful gown in front of His throne, for just Him. It makes me think of the new Veggie Tales Sweet Pea movie and Nichole Nordeman’s music video..”Beautiful for Him” Have you seen it?

    I got stuck on the 2nd to last photo…where I realized that her t-shirt said SHINE. Isn’t that the epitome of it??

    Haha! Praise Jesus that He lets us share His light and joy with little treasures like these. You can tell she’s just bubbling with it! I also sponsor a little 8 year old girl, Suzana through Compassion in Nicaragua. I dream of some day visiting her too. You are SO blessed!

    Love & blessings,

  40. 140
    Melissa says:

    Joy is reading this post with tears streaming down my face knowing that you are bringing God glory by loving on sweet Stefanie and her family. You are changing this little girl’s life forever!

  41. 141
    Judy Cook says:

    Thank you for sharing your visit. Makes me want to plan a trip to India to see my sponsored little girl. God bless and keep you. I sponsored my Shena after reading of your or Melissa’s visit to India. Thanks for all you and your family does for the Kingdom of God. We are blessed to be able to share with you through this blog.

  42. 142
    Heather says:

    Now that is some joy. I think this is my favorite post of yours, wow. We just sponsored a 6year old boy in Uganda. I pray we can nurture a relationship with him like you have with Stefanie.

  43. 143
    Kelly Jo says:

    Am I emotional today or what? That was awesome thank you. I have a whole new meaning of JOY! Seriously that was a great post!!!! I’m going to write my girl a letter!

  44. 144
    Patty says:

    Thanks so much, Amanda, for sharing your trip in photos – I am just bawling! My precious little Compassion boy lives in Thailand, so I don’t know if I’ll ever get to meet him in person – I love him so much. I feel so blessed to have a small part of this wonderful organization!

  45. 145
    Jennifer Brand says:

    Your post moved me to tears! God is really using you in your “retirement”. Keep writing, He is using your words to touch so many people.

  46. 146
    Angela says:

    Thank you so much, Amanda, for sharing your experience. I’m crying just reading about sweet little Stefanie. It’s so heartbreaking to think of the numbers of children stuck in such poverty.

    Compassion is such a great organization. It’s wonderful to read about the difference that they’re making. We have a precious sponsored little girl in the Philippines. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to meet her in person. She’s such a great girl. Thanks again for sharing.

  47. 147
    Kim says:

    Oh Amanda! That post just made me cry!! What beautiful pictures of how God has blessed these children through Compassion.
    What joy that you got to meet your child and could pray with her in person!
    I just love knowing that I can sponsor my 2 boys until college and pray that one day I will get to meet them in person.
    God bless,

  48. 148
    Renee Swope says:

    Amanda, you are so radiant with JOY in this post and others!! You look so beautiful. Your love for Jesus and the people of Guatemala is so obvious.

    I’ve been praying for you during your whole trip and coming home, but just now getting to read all your posts. Wow, Amanda, these are amazing!!! I know it took so much courage to go but I see through your photos and words it was exactly where God wanted you to be, not only to invite us along but to bless you for your willingness to go.

    I love Compassion Intl! We have sponsored Meseret for 14 years through Compassion in Ethiopia and were able to meet her last fall and visit the Compassion project there when we went to adopt Aster. Your posts make me want to sponsor a 2nd child, too. Maybe it should be a little boy from Guatemala!

  49. 149
    Laura says:

    While you were in Guatamala I was on a cruise to Mexico on a plush cruiseliner. You, without question, had a much better trip. Without a doubt. Yes, I am thankful for the 10th anniversary trip with my kids at home and time with my husband (that’s important) but when I think of Compassion it feels almost wasteful. God gave my hubby and I that trip, though, so….no guilt.

    But, thank you so much for sharing your trip. It is wonderful to see what sponsoring a Compassion child does for the child, the child’s family and the person or family sponsoring that child. Whew. I’m about to have myself a big ‘ol cry. Whew. We sponsor some Compassion kids. I hope my kids get to meet “their” children some day. I hope I get to meet mine. Even if I do not….I am grateful to see first hand how God can use my family’s means to change a child’s life. The first time we were able to send a Christmas/Annual donation for one of our Compassion family they sent pictures of all that they were able to purchase. I’ve never been happier in my life to see how money was used. It was beyond cool. Such a blessing that God can use me in the U.S. for a child 1/2 way around the world. Whew. Off to cry.

    • 149.1
      Amanda says:

      Laura, thank you for ministering to your Compassion child’s family. God bless you and your husband and children.

  50. 150
    Groovewoman says:

    Amanda, I am blown away and am so touched by your story & the pictures of your first meeting with her! It was such a special moment, thank you so much for sharing it with us. This definitely needs to be scrap-booked for your kids and Stephani to read one day.

    โ™ฅ you,

Leave a Reply

To receive a daily digest of comments on this post, enter your email address below: