Compassion’s Blog Month

September is Compassion’s Blog Month, and it’s a good chance to read well-written posts by people who have a passion for children in poverty.

Each week, Compassion will assign a writing prompt to its bloggers, with the goal of finding sponsors for 3,160 children. If you are a blogger and would like to participate, just click on the photo.

ImageAnd if you just want to read what others are writing, please visit the following links:

Katie’s Post: A Conversation With My Childhood Self

Alicia’s Post: To My Child Self

Hannah’s Post: Talking to My Childhood Self

Breanne’s Post: Breathe.Pray.Try.

Kimberly’s Post: Time Warp…

Brandilyn’s Post: Mi Patitos, Mi Patitos

Amanda’s Post: Letter to my smaller self

Teresa’s Post: A letter to my younger self

Beverly’s Post: Letter to Childhood Bev

Miranda’s Post: Dear Me

Be sure to check back throughout the week, as I will continue to add more links to this post. You can read my first post for Blog Month, titled “A Letter to Myself,” on my home page.

A Letter to Myself

In 1983, most of my Sundays started out the same. I woke up, got dressed, grabbed myself a bowl of cereal, then hopped on my bicycle and pedaled off to the neighborhood church.

My best friend Diana introduced me to this church. She had moved to a new neighborhood recently and was attending a new school. I missed her terribly. But one day, I spent the night at Diana’s new house, and the next morning, a shiny silver bus pulled up and carried us to church. It was a church only blocks from my own house, and after that day, I was hooked.

The Sunday School teachers were so kind, and I really enjoyed learning and singing all of the songs. I got to see my best friend every week, too.

But my favorite thing of all was earning stickers for memorizing Bible verses. Some mornings I would memorize up to four or five verses before heading home happily with my new stickers.

When I found out I could earn my own Bible by attending church for 12 weeks in a row, I committed to that goal. I was so proud the day my name was called to go up in front of the gathered Sunday School classes and receive my brand-new blue Bible.

But one day, the unintended actions of a few pierced my happiness, and doubt began to trickle into my heart.

I had just arrived at church, and like I did every Sunday, I was chaining my bicycle to a bench outside because there were no bike racks. While I was bent over clicking the lock, I sensed someone watching me. As I turned my head, from the corner of my eye I could see a couple of adults in a small group, and they were looking at me and chuckling.

My fair, freckled face turned red and hot instantly. I may have been only 10 years old, but I knew when someone was having a laugh at my expense.

And that was the beginning of a year-long battle in my head. I continued to go to church most Sundays, but the joy I had once felt in being there was being eaten away by doubt and embarrassment.

I was different from most of the children going to church every week, and I knew it. But before the bike-chaining day, I had been able to ignore it. Now it was all I could think about, and the differences began to loom before me, stacking up like bricks in a wall that eventually would block me from going to church at all.

Most children did not ride their bicycles to church. They came in a car, and not only that, they came with their parents. I saw them holding hands with their parents as they walked to the Sunday School room each week. And I saw them leaving with their parents after church, happily detailing what they had learned in class or deciding where to go for lunch.

Their parents brought them to church each week, while mine were still in bed, sleeping off the previous night’s drinks.

And most children came to church dressed appropriately, while I was dressed in the only clothes I had. Jeans with holes and old t-shirts and ratty tennis shoes made up my wardrobe.

As the weeks went by, I began to make excuses to myself not to go to church anymore. And because no one at home cared if I went, it was easy enough to just stop. It was about two decades before I returned.

Knowing what I know now, there are a few things I would tell my 10-year-old self if I could. If I could write my 10-year-old self a letter, just like the encouraging letters I send to my sponsor children each month, I would pour love and praise into that unworthy little girl, and build her up so she wouldn’t even consider leaving church.

Dear “Younger” Kerri,

How are you? I pray that you are healthy and happy, and that God is blessing you every day.

I am so happy to receive your recent letter, but something in it worried me. You said you might not continue going to Sunday School because you feel so different from the other children there.

I want to tell you, I know how hard it is to feel different. Sometimes it can be so embarrassing and painful that you just want to disappear, right? I remember feeling that way. 

Did you know that your Heavenly Father loves you no matter how different you are? In fact, he loves you just as much as he loves the girls in their pretty Sunday dresses, and the boys whose mothers kiss them on the cheek at the Sunday School door. Those things don’t matter to him. He loves you.

Job 34:19 says, “Who shows no partiality to princes and does not favor the rich over the poor, for they are all the work of his hands?”

You will be a teen soon, and it is so important for you to continue your relationship with God. It is so important for you to have fellowship at church, where people can encourage you and teach you.

You are about to enter some difficult years, Kerri. I know those adults who laughed at you made you feel small and embarrassed you, but I am sure they meant no harm. They probably were impressed and surprised to see a child like you taking on the responsibility of getting yourself to church. Please don’t think badly of them or let that day ruin the many years ahead when you will benefit from a close and personal relationship with your Heavenly Father.

Please persevere, continue going to church every week, and pray that God will ease your feelings of discomfort and unworthiness. He will be there with you. And please write to me, and tell me what you are learning each week.

You are a special and unique young lady, and I send you lots of love.

I leave you with this verse:

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11


“Older” Kerri

Won’t you sponsor a child today and share the encouragement and love that is unique to your personal experiences? There is a child out there who will benefit greatly from your words.

Click here to sponsor:

Do Something

The last few weeks at church, as I sit in the pew wrestling my 3-year-old or pulling him off his 6-year-old brother before they come to blows, the message has been persistent: do something.

Do something. Reach out to the people around you. Love them and help them. Give of yourself. Reflect Christ to them.

The pastor reminds us that there are many ministries at the church where “doing something” can be accomplished. Some church members visit nearby nursing homes. Others collect backpacks for school children. The more adventurous travel on missions, both within the United States and internationally.

The choices of ways to do something seem endless, yet each time I consider one of these options, my responsibilities at this stage in my life weigh a little heavier on my shoulders.

As a stay-at-home mom who is homeschooling six children, from high school all the way down to preschool, and shuttling most of them to various activities each evening, I don’t have a lot of free time. The idea of adding one more item to the to-do list seems about as possible keeping the above-mentioned 3-year-old quiet through an entire service, or at least convincing him to sit in his seat rather rolling around under it.

So I shrug, sigh and go home feeling a little defeated, knowing that some day I’ll be able to do something, but it’s going to be a while.

When I arrive home, I fall into the usual Sunday afternoon routine of catching up on chores and making sure we’re ready to start the following school week.

Once those things are done, I usually steal a few minutes to answer some letters to my sponsor children. It’s not uncommon for me to have a stack of three or four letters waiting to be answered, and it’s something I love to do.

I love to hear from each of my sponsored children, and I enjoy writing back to them. It makes me happy to know that I can provide them some encouragement from so far away. Poverty tells them they are worthless, but I’m able to tell them they aren’t. They are so important that a person living in another country, whom they have never met, is willing to write to them, and send them stickers and soccer cards, and love them.

It occurs to me that I am doing something. The proof is in those letters. It’s in lines like this, from 9-year-old Roxana in Guatemala: “I put all of the pictures you sent me in a frame near my bed, that way I always pray for you and your family.”

And this, from 11-year-old Jhon in Colombia: “Thank you for your beautiful letters.”

And from 8-year-old Ritik in India: “Me and my family are thanking you from the heart that you have chosen me to support.”

From 19-year-old Favian in Guatemala: “Kerri, every time that you send letters to me, we read them with my family, and we enjoy them very much… I send a big hug to you with much love.”

I could quote endless beautiful words from these children.

So if you’re finding yourself in a busy phase of life like me, why not sponsor a child? You can make an impact right now in the life of a child living in poverty.

You don’t have to put it off because you have too much laundry, and baseball practices, and youth group activities, and whatever else is filling your life right now.

You can do something.

Just click on the following link to get started: