Giving Thankfully: Safe Streets

Most mornings, I head outside first thing for a walk around the neighborhood. It’s a great way to wake up, get some exercise and start off the day.

I love the crisp smell of the desert in the morning, and I enjoy seeing wild bunnies and birds throughout my walk. Sometimes I just listen to the sounds around me, and sometimes I listen to music through headphones.

I never worry about my safety beyond being aware of cars driving past. I am thankful to live in an area where I can walk alone without fear.

There are children all over the world who can’t do that.

A fellow Compassion sponsor was saddened when her child Eduar in Honduras wrote that he is afraid to walk to the Compassion center in his neighborhood. He’s also afraid to walk to church with his mother. He described hearing gunshots often and being fearful of being grabbed off the streets.

Eduar’s sponsor teamed up with Compassion to set up a fund to rent a bus in which the church pastor can transport the children to and from the center safely. The goal was to raise $2,000, and that goal has been met. Eduar’s sponsor took action, others joined in, and now the children in that center will benefit greatly.

You can read Eduar’s story by clicking here.

There are many Compassion children who live in dangerous areas. When browsing the web site of children waiting for sponsors, a blue V with a dot underneath at the corner of the child’s photo indicates the child lives in an area with higher risk of exploitation and abuse. You can help one of these children today by clicking here.

World Vision also works to help children living in dangerous areas. While the conflict in Syria has faded from U.S. news reports, it continues, and more than 1 million Syrian children have left their homes, becoming refugees in neighboring countries. As refugees, these children lack shelter, clean water and food.

You can read more about this desperate situation by clicking here, and you can make a donation to help these children by clicking here.

Please consider reaching out to help these children in hopes that they, too, can be thankful for safe streets one day.


Always Humbled

Children often have a way of communicating that cuts straight to your heart, brings tears to your eyes, and fills you with love. Sometimes it’s something they say, so innocent and perfect, and sometimes it’s as simple as a tight squeeze around your neck when you need it most.

I know this well because I have six children of my own. But what continues to amaze me is my sponsor children’s ability to affect me in the same way, across the miles and through their written words.

Now it’s not uncommon for my sponsor children to write me that they love me and they send me hugs and kisses or to thank me for being their sponsor. Those things always warm my heart greatly.


Roxana, 9, of Guatemala

I received a letter today, though, from Roxana, 9, of Guatemala, and it was exceptional in communicating love and friendship. There really aren’t words to describe it, so here is an excerpt:

“I always thank God that he has given me the opportunity to live and to be here with this family. And to have you in my life; thank you for your help. I love you very much. I sometimes dream about you that you are my friend and that I play ball with you just the way I do with my other friends and cousins… I love you very much, and I hope to see you someday.”

Here is a child who lives in poverty in rural Guatemala, and she is thanking God that she is alive, thanking God for her family, and thanking God that she has me, a stranger from another country, in her life. The lessons I learn from these children are priceless.

Oh, Roxana, I hope to see you someday, too, sweet girl.

One Thousand Gifts


Ann Voskamp begins her story recalling the tragic death of her toddler sister, who was run over by a truck in her driveway. She recounts the sadness and grief that overtook her family during that time.

Through this and other personal stories, Voskamp gives readers a look at events in her life that might lead anyone to search for happiness.

Instead, Voskamp accepts a dare from a friend to write down a thousand gifts from God to her. As she adds these gifts and blessings to her list daily, she finds joy and peace.

It is a captivating experiment because the reader begins to see that in a life full of thanks, there is not much room for the opposite.

Voskamp’s writing style is poetic, artistic and simply beautiful to read, and her journey is beautiful as well.

For more talented writing by Voskamp, check out her blog at