About Me

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Abingdon, Md, United States
Works as the Sponsorship Director for Remember the Children,serves as the Volunteer Coordinator for Compassion International in Md, Va and DC. Avid Disney lover (OK- I am a kid at heart!) but my focus is reaching out to the lost and least of these. My heart belongs to our sponsored children in Romania and Honduras.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Does Sponsorship Work?

The following was my contribution to the Remember the Children website blog. I am now on staff part time there developing the child sponsorship program.




This is a question I am often asked and it is one that you really need to discover on your own. Sponsoring a child is not just a financial commitment but rather an investment in God’s Kingdom. We are called to after the “least of these” and children are the most vulnerable. They are often left without hopes or dreams. Sponsorship is a means where we can change that.

     Through sponsorship, you are coming along side of one of our strategic servant partners and offering assistance in providing social, economic and spiritual resources to help a child have a future. These children often feel that no one cares for them and by connecting them with a sponsor they begin to experience hope and self worth.

     I have been a child sponsor for over twelve years. I was a good sponsor in sending in my commitment and writing letters. However, it was not until I actually met my first sponsored child that I saw the difference that I was making. When we met she took one look at my wife and myself and burst into tears. They were not sad tears but tears of joy. Every time I looked into her eyes that day I saw the love she had for us and for what we were doing in her life. Through this experience I saw the love that Jesus has for each of us and I knew we were making a difference. My life had changed.

    I am a believer in child sponsorship and I desire to bring that same joy that I have experienced to others through the sponsorship program of Remember the Children. The children in Romania are the future of the developing church. By engaging them first we then can begin to reach their families and finally the communities. That is our impact model. We currently have two sponsorship programs underway with a third in development. We are working in Satu Mare where we are partnering with House of Hope. Here 25 orphans are being cared for on a daily basis. One of my sponsored children lives there and I got to meet him one night. Besides all of the hugs the one thing I remember the most was when I sat down to tie my shoes he jumped in and tied them for me. He just kept looking me in the eyes and smiling as he did so. My heart melted at that moment. We are also partnering with a church in Chimeghiu that has an after school program for the children in that area. They are reaching out and being a light in a rather dark community. Over the past two years I am seeing the difference that the church is making and know that through the sponsorship program the children will begin to see the transformational love of Jesus.   Shortly we hope to have the program in Santandrei where we will be offering opportunities to the Roma/Gypsy children of two villages. Already plans are developing to build a community center where we can begin to reach out to those families.

     I encourage you to pray about making a difference in the life of a child. Find out for yourself if the program works and join with us. Our program is relational and it is not just about the dollars. It is about encouraging and offering hope to a child and it is my testimony that sponsorship does not just change one life but two. Would you be willing to make that investment and discovery?


Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Update to the Update!

~Roma Village~
Well it is official! We are going to build (or at least start) a church/community center in Santandrei. If you refer to the previous posts things were changed at the last moment and our previously planned Christmas Eve offering was now going to be going to this purpose. This was something near and dear to heart. Two years in a row we were going to be supporting Remember the Children with their mission in Romania.

Let me preface this and state that Christmas Eve offerings are always special. They always go 100% to where the funds are directed to. Our typical Christmas offering is usually around 20-22k. We have helped numerous groups such as Southern Mexico Missions, CMF and Blood Water over the past few years. Last year though we raised 26k to help build a camp in Romania with RtC. Supporting the same mission two years in a row is unique and it would be interesting to see how people respond and what God had in store.

So after all the beans were counted guess what? No really take a guess. ( Pause for response)

When Josh (our lead Pastor) stood before the congregation with the announcement I literally jumped out of my seat and cheered in the middle of church. Willing hearts had give...$42,000.00. Wow! More than expected and double the normal. People got it! God is moving in Romania. It was estimated that the building that we want to see built between the two villages would be around 60-70K. Fork provided almost 2/3 of that. The rest will come but it will easy to bring people alongside when they see something like that. The people previously shunned from local Christian churches will be able to hear the Word in their own place of worship.

(NOTE: THE LAST TWO MONTHS HAVE FLOWN BY. I STARTED AN AMAZING WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY AND A NEW JOB~ MY NEXT TWO POSTS WILL COVER THAT . STAY TUNED! )

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Update from the Previous Post ( or see below)


As promised here is the official announcement regarding the Christmas Eve offering. As mention below this placed a joy in our hearts and is great news all around. We had hoped to build a church in the gypsy village and now this will be coming to fruition:

From Cole Willig (Worship Pastor at Fork Christian Church)

We love that, as a church, we get to send out 100% of what is brought in through the Christmas Eve Offering. This year we have an opportunity to partner with Remember the Children and Daniel Bagosi and Claudia Bagosi to help fund the construction of a church building for the Roma Gypsy people of Santandrei, Romania.


If you would like to partner with Fork Christian Church, but cannot give in person on Christmas Eve you may give online: https://forkchristianchurch

Monday, December 21, 2015

Finding Christmas

     I must admit to being in a funk for the past two weeks after returning from Romania. It gets harder each year coming back to the states. It is tough leaving behind friends and relationships when you know it will be a year before you can return. It is hard coming home to all that we have when you have seen those with so little. It smacks you in the face when you see the commercialism that Christmas has become in the states. Over there at least there seems to be a deeper meaning to Christ's birth. I certainly was not looking forward with a lot of excitement to the coming holiday. My attitude was "lets just get this over with". However I will declare that yesterday at church I found Christmas for this year. 


     I can't really go into a lot of specifics at this point until everything comes totally together and everyone is properly notified. ( I will post the update when everything is completed) However, I can tell you enough for you to understand my JOY. Part of the softening of my heart began Friday night as I attended a live nativity. That was cool and brought the story more alive. Next Karen and I spent two nights working with Remember the Children at a local church. They had built a replica of a gypsy home to allow people to walk through and learn more about the ministry. 
This just allowed me to reflect and relive my trip to Romania with them. Serving with RtC was softening my heart a bit more. 
Finally on Sunday morning my heart was fully opened. Each year our church, Fork Christian, gives 100% of the Christmas Eve offering to a ministry. Last year we were able to raise money for a camp in Romania. This year the plan was to give the offering to a group looking to establish a church in Frederick, Maryland. Of course we could not easily ask our congregation to again give to Romania. Ministry dollars should be spread around. Two years ago after our first mission trip to Romania we had a dream that God has put on hold. Now know that God has perfect timing and his own plan. Late last week the church leadership was notified that the Frederick project was going to be placed on hold. This creates a dilemma that must be quickly addressed. The church can't collect funds for something that will not be happening anytime soon. They prayed for God to bring something to the forefront and quickly. Enter our worship pastor who threw out an idea. This is where I cannot get too specific with details but the idea was prayed over and accepted. On Sunday it was announced to the congregation the problem that had occurred and the solution. Let me state that with the announcement many of us were overjoyed that dreams and prayers would be answered. 

     I found my Christmas in many ways. I know that on a personal level my joy is back because a dream is being answered. [Best gift ever] I also feel blessed that my church and its leadership truly have a heart for the least of these. Finally I know that the real meaning of Christmas is alive and will be lived out in many ways through this Christmas offering. I am always so blessed when I see God's hand in things. It is always about His timing and His will.  I hope you too will find your Christmas this year! Blessings <><
 
 
 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

TIME FOR A REBOOT!

I must apologize to my blog here. It sits and waits for me to expound on my thoughts. It waits patiently for me to come back and breathe life into it. I have been neglectful and as result it has suffered. Honestly I have an index card filled with topics that I think about and wish to share. However the pace of life often stops me from really sitting down and just sharing. This blog started just prior to my second visit to Honduras. It's purpose at that time was to share my journey and ministry. Six years have passed and though my focus is the same my ministry has expanded. As I have grown the blog has diminished.

    I did refocus several years ago and changed the blog from Sharing Compassion to Sharing Compassion and Misc Stuffs as I felt that more described what was coming from my heart. It is time again to reboot. Compassion is and will always be my ministry. I believe in Compassion International and it's mission. Much of my focus and volunteer work is with them. However God has now called me to include another ministry. That is Remember the Children and their work in Romania. I have been to Romania now three times. We sponsor several children in Satu Mare through RtC. I feel that God is both growing me and calling me to more.

     As a teenager I wanted to be a minister, I wanted to preach. We are all called to be ministers in our field by God and this blog serves as my pulpit. I minister in many ways and as I grow this blog I hope to share more of my miscellaneous thoughts throughout the future. As my focus is growing I have change my twitter handle from Luvs_Honduras to Luvs_Compassion. I think that too describes me better. So read along and follow along. I believe that God has called me to a relational ministry and I hope to expound on that. Blessings <><

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Remembering Romania ~ Part 1: David and Geta Olcean

This is the first of several posts remembering our time in Romania (Impact Romania 2014) and my reflections. 

    On my first trip to Romania in 2013 one of my favorite memories was that of a church we visited around mid-week. It had been a very long day of visiting several churches and I remember we were tired and hungry. We were already running about two hours behind schedule when we pulled up to a church in Ciumeghiu. We got off of our van and walked into an amazing environment. As we entered around 200 kids started clapping and cheering us in. Talk about energizing! Any thoughts of how tired we were or hungry were gone. We were totally loved on. All I remember is the thought that these kids had been sitting here for over 2 hours waiting for us to show up and they were still energized to see us. Wow! 

     Fast forward to this year. In one of those God moments (as I mentioned in the prior post) we would not be handing out Boxes of Hope but one of our focuses would be partnering with this same church in a community outreach. This church is led by an amazing pastor named David Olcean. Three years ago this was basically a "dead" church in a gypsy village. The local Orthodox church shunned those that would dare to visit there. David started a discipleship group during the week in the community and encouraged people to attend the church on Sunday. Each week he would check back and ask if they had gone. It was then that he found out that often on Sundays the church was not even open. Called by God he started ministering there and the church has grown. He is now working there full time with the help of Remember the Children. One of the things that I found amazing was that several years ago when the children came there were only a few. Then there were 30 and then there were 100. In 2013 it was close to 200 hundred!!! I am not doing the story the justice it deserves but David with his wife Geta are pouring their heart into this community to make a difference. It is amazing. 


    
      It was David's idea to host a community concert as an outreach event. Their choir produced a CD. As part of the outreach our team walked the streets of Ciumeghiu knocking on doors, handing out the CD and inviting them to attend the concert. In jest I mentioned I now know how Jehovah's Witnesses must feel when they walk neighborhoods. We were ignored, had doors slammed on us but some took the time to listen and thank us Americans. I will mention that it was pouring rain that day but we went out with hope in our hearts. At 3 o'clock the event started and our role would be to hand out tea and cakes to those that came. Well wouldn't you know it- God showed up BIG TIME!. The sun did not come out but it stopped raining for those two hours. People showed up (more than David even dreamed I think) and listened to a concert and a message. The outreach was more than a success. 

    Both David and Geta have a heart for the Lord and the community. It is a dark community that the light is being brought into. As I write this they have purchased the home across from the church and are rebuilding it. They are not just ministering to the community but are now going to be a part of it. One of the amazing things is that our church is going to help partner with them. They have dreams of rebuilding a summer camp for the gypsy children and we are in prayer for that. Our Christmas offering is being devoted to this community through Remember the Children. I encourage you to keep David and Geta's ministry in prayer. Pray for their safety, the growth of the church and that God will be present in that community.
 

Friday, December 5, 2014

God's Plans ~ Not Ours



      I am writing this on the bus as we head to Budapest, Hungary having spent a week in Romania with an amazing team. This was my second trip back there for the Christmas season. Our church partners with Remember the Children to bring hope to those that have none. Our specific purpose is to give out shoe boxes (Boxes of Hope) to orphans that are packed with essentials and fun items. It is their Christmas gift. Last year was so encouraging that I had to do it again but this time with my wife.

     In my previous post I had mentioned how there were some issues with the container and getting it over to Romania. This has never happened before with RTC to this extent. As of the end of our week it had not yet shown up at the drop point. It has made it to port but has not yet been delivered. So we had no boxes. Our team was perhaps a little disappointed but regardless we had the opportunity to do something even more incredible.  We had the chance to experience what God had planned from the very beginning without any reservations. If we had any covenant as a team it was to be flexible and to do what God wanted us to do. Our work would be for Him and His glory.

     The most amazing thing we did was to serve in the community of Ciumeghiu with Pastor David and his wife Geta.  I will devote a specific post to that outreach story within the next few days. However for now it is enough to say that God showed up big time and what David had prayed for was exceeded. We truly were the hands and feet of Christ. I think we were more blessed than the church there.

     The second part of the week we moved to Satu Mare. There we worked and visited with orphans. To just be able to give a hug and play with them was more than enough. A Box of Hope would have been nice but I believe we poured more into the children by not having those boxes. I will again post more to that story in another post.

     As we head back home we do so with hearts filled to the brim. I am sure our hearts would have been filled either way but without those boxes we were blessed beyond our expectations. We got to experience more than originally planned and we got to do God’s work more than we thought we would. We certainly learned that when God is allowed to work His plan through us then we can make an awesome difference.