See Red Over Malaria. Bite Back

brookgreen tulips See Red over Malaria

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Ah, they are seeing red over Malaria and coming after me. They are waking up and fighting back.

They hear and read and their hearts are broken; now that they know the pain I cause. I am a deliverer of death. And they are waking up to the heavy toll I take on this world.

I am flying scared.

The souls are waking up and they are fighting mad.

And my favorite weapon is poverty. Because with poverty I can make sure a child is unable to stay protected from disease. And with poverty, I can keep the medicine out of the reach of impoverished children.

And with poverty as my agent of death  I am delivering  Malaria,  killing 655,000 people a year. A heavy heavy toll  every  365 days.

There are 3.3 billion people in the world. And because of my lethal weapon I keep half of those at risk of contracting the disease.

But I hear the tide is turing. And I hear they are seeing red. And I see the tears they weep. And I know they are coming after me. And it is a war.
When lovers of the souls in poverty, and tender generous hearts who weep at the effects of poverty wake up,  I  will have warriors of hope coming after me.

And they are fighting mad. And they are biting back.

I, the mosquito and they the lovers of Jesus, who can fight poverty, Malaria and suffering, we’re at war.

We are in a battle. And it is life or death.

I wish they would all go back to sleep.

(As told through the eyes of the mosquito)
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Compassion is fighting hard against Malaria. Donations from us, the people of hope, the light bearers and the poverty haters, we can donate a little and help a lot.

Donations provide households with treated mosquito nets. And they educate and treat those who are vulnerable, those who are in the cross-hairs of mosquito borne Malaria.

Visit Compassion’s website here to learn more and to hear about ways to give. Click here to go there.
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Consider Pinning or adding this visual to your facebook page today, World Malaria Day. Bring awareness to this deadly disease. It is small but it what I have.
brookgreen tulips See Red over Malaria

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Joining Emily and my team of writers over at Imperfect Prose where we write about redemption. Let’s  help redeem the suffering Malaria causes.

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The Power and The Beauty of One

It runs through me like a current of the electric. Strong with awakening.

Powerful in its thrust and pulse.

And haunting like a metronome in its consistent cutting moves.

We can hear a message and it sounds like its cutting through clutter, the thick fog of a world’s static noise with its clarity.

In a season of waiting and working and wading toward Christmas how singular and powerful One is.

I see it repeated in my life like the multiplication tables of my childhood, again and again repetition brings understanding and memory and a lodging in the deep places. Where facts or is it truth should make its home and remain.

The power in One’s.

So my heart and my head just hear a singular message and it could be tucked away as many lessons are. Or it could be shared, as this one is.  But you always seem to be so generous with your one life in how you listen in love here.

I hear and feel the gentle whisper to give it wings. This picture of the power so often held by one.

There is strength and power in one. And it is made clearer in our Advent waiting for the celebration of the holy night into which Our Savior was born.

And God being God could have sent an Army, a battalion of Saviors. He could have sent triplets or twins or multiples to accomplish that which he so lovingly planned for our reconciliation to Him. We sinful, He holy.

But He sent His only Son. He sent One.

And so I look at His world and my world and this world through the lense of just how powerful one can be.

We have one heart, but two ears and two eyes. One heart keeps us beating breathing from birth to death. One.

And I look in the sky at a moon  by night and a sun by day. Day in and day out we are sustained by both. Singularly life giving, the sun its light. The moon and the tides and all that I don’t understand about the holy mystery of that.

The power in the heavens. By ones.

We women who are married live with the gift of one husband. And I think mine does the work of three or four men daily. And every day the beauty revealed,  the mystery grows  more holy and unfathomable.

The things accomplished through love in a family utterly amaze this wife of almost 25 years. And we have only just begun. Those things learned within a family are holy mysteries.

One family can teach us much about living.

The bride of Christ. One bride, one bridgegroom. The work to do on earth is large and ever looming. One and one. Just Amazing Grace.

After pouring out on the pages here words of offering as encouragement or hope or just art, the art found in weaving of words, I have often had one single comment speak into my heart…if only for that and for her it was all made worthy. It became something of value if it reached one heart of one woman or one man. One soul. A single solitary soul.

I write for One but often I am touched and blessed by one reader. And it is tender and merciful. I shake and shutter at the interaction between reader and writer.

And in this season of preparing for Christmas I am frozen in my ability to design and construct the proper expression of my love for family and friends. Numbed and deemed unable to decide how to move with a release of gifts and talents and money into the land of Christmas giving.

For my giving is an excercise in the imperfect  mirroring of love, as He gave everything, His one child. So we give.

And I know if I am wise I can impact the life of one with my giving. One child entangled in a cycle of poverty. One family, maybe with my giving.

It is inconceivable that I could really touch one, another with a gift. The unfurling of my meager offering. To love as Christ loved me.

That we all can, each one of us can.

And that one is enough, though it seems small. One is a good start. And one is important. And he can increase and multiply the power of Ones.

If God saw power,  life changing power at that ,in one, who am I to minimize the power in one gift, to one child, or one family. To another one in this world.

When I feel small and insignificant and frozen into inaction by the meagerness of my giving, I think on God’s ability to multiply my starting point.

The power of God to do big things with my small offering.

To inspire me to increase or expand. To take a gift and magnify its effectiveness.

If I let loose of my gifts, give them to Him, release and trust them to Him,  to use and heal and give hope, then I  give Him his rightful authority and power. To do with my oneness bigger things than I could do with any single offering.

To Him be the power and glory that are His, and may we release our singular offerings to His service, His glory and to  be used for His Divine choosing. For His purposes.

I am going over to the Compassion Christmas GIft Catalog. To ask Him how what I have may be used over there.

I need nothing. I want for nothing. My family and friends need and want for nothing, truly.

But maybe, just maybe, God can take my small offering and turn it into something much  bigger than I ever could.

On my own.

Alone. I haven’t  been the best steward of all He has given me. It would be wise to release more back to His hands for His use.

There I know they are in good hands.

There I know they will be used for His glory and His purposes.

He is the One who knows the need and has the power to redeem my ineffectual and just plain wrong choices on spending that which  He has lavished on me.

And by His grace, mercifully, He gives me another chance to give away.

One that I want to be used in love for good.

Like the one moon that shines bright, the one sun that sends rays of life giving light, the one husband who loves me and blesses me with his life, and the One Savior who was  born in a feed trough for me.

May God take my offering and make it holy and beautiful.

This one Christmas 2012.

Here is one place you can look when considering  your gift giving this year. I may see you over there looking around the pages of Compassion Christmas Gift Catalog.

Wherever you choose to give this year, may someone who is hurting and lonely and in need to blessed.

Merry Days of Christmastime to  each one of you, sweet readers.

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click the link below to visit Compassion International’s Christmas Gift Catalog:

http://www.compassion.com/catalog.htm?referer=128060

Linking with Laura and Ann today.

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And I Named My Dreams, I Named Them Big

This is Part 1 of a Series in my final blog posts for our month long blogger campaign for Compassion International.

This is one of the most difficult posts I have ever tried to write, but what follows is my heart and my words in a poetic voice, on the sights, sounds, and smells of poverty. Aligning my heart with a child in poverty. This is my voice as a child living in extreme poverty.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for grace.

The rumbles come in the night.
In my tummy.
They are funny like its talking.
Like its saying good night but it lasts for a long long time.
Like its saying hey, you forgot something.
Hey you forgot to say good night with warm food.
They talk to me every night.
It’s funny cause they sound like rumbling thunder
My tummy noise.
But it hurts too.
I named him, my tummy and tell him not to worry.
We’ll be fine.
And we’ll eat something and then you’ll stop your rumbling noise.
Its okay.
We’ll be fine.
I tell him not to rumble so loud, he might wake my sister.
And I say sshhhh. You might wake up my mommy too.
We’re nestled in a small small space.
It’s love. It’s home. It’s cramped. It’s mine.

And I tell my tummy to be brave and strong.
Tomorrow we have much to do and much to learn at school.
And I tell him to be brave and strong and at school he’ll rumble less.
Sshhh, we are learning.
Sshhh, we are praying.
Sshhh, we are singing.
Sshhh, we are working.

And in the night the crying comes.
But I tell my eyes, be brave.
I tell my tears, don’t roll.
I tell my heart, be still.
I tell my eyes, don’t cry.
I give my eyes a name and I say don’t be sad, my eyes.
Be strong and brave.
Tomorrow we have much to learn at school.
And I tell my eyes, be dry.
Sshh, don’t cry. You might wake up mommy too.
We’re nestled in a small small space.
It’s love. It’s home. It’s cramped. It’s mine.

And in the night the dreaming comes.
And I tell my dream, dream on.
I tell my mind, keep dreaming.
And I tell my heart keep dreaming, the hope-filled dream.
And I tell my heart dream loud.
Don’t be quiet.
Don’t be silent.
Don’t be shy.
Dream loud, my dreams.
And I named my dreams “Big”.
And tell my dreams I will share you with my sister.
I will share you with my mommy.
I will share you with my classmates at school.
We’re nestled in a small small space.
It’s love. It’s home. It’s cramped. It’s mine.

And in the morning new mercy comes.
And I say oh new mercies how you are welcome here.
And I thank God, for His new mercies every day.
I say Praise you God for your mercies and your love.
I say I will worship you God for your mercy is great.
And I name His mercies, I call them Jesus.
And I tell God I will tell my sister.
And I will tell my mommy of God’s mercy.
And I will tell my classmates of the Savior.
I will tell it loud and happy, strong and brave.
I will tell it full of joy and hope and faith.
We’re nestled in a small small space.
It’s love. It’s home. It’s cramped. It’s mine.
But Jesus lives here too.
And He is love and He is mine.

Remember, God told us to become as little children.

There is a link here to Compassion International if you’d like to learn more about child sponsorship.

Linking with Eileen, Jen, and Heatherand at Seedlings In Stone

And with Emily for Imperfect Prose

Dear God

Dear God:

The Greek or the Latin may have words which feel richer and more accurate. Loftier and deeper.

But I have what I have. And you know the me that writes.

Father you know the heart, this heart of mine that writes to you. You sent your Son to be born in a stable, a humble place for the birth of our Savior. But I want my words to be an extravagant gift, here, like Gold or something from a wise man.

To pour out a thirst for compassion and a hunger to help.

But my words in this letter are what I have today, like mana. Its my gift of worship and it feels small. Thank you for giving me the love for words, and especially Your Word. May the lines of this letter bless those that read.

You amaze, you always have and always will.

I offer nothing more than the deep mutterings of a heart that you broke, spoke into, caressed, shaped, molded, bent and formed. That beats and pumps beet red life, only because of your hand.

You need nothing but you desire me. Which is so humbling that I can hardly write or speak or think the thought.

You don’t need me, but you allow me to partner with you and you allow me to receive from you tender mercy blessings from seeing the world. Granting a bold peek, into how you may see things.

That you let my hand, my very fingertips, be a splinter in the plank of the bridge to children in poverty. Its a mystery I struggle to wrap my heart and head completely around. But you already know that. Because you know me so well.

You don’t need my $38 dollars to do anything. But you grant me the beautiful relationship with a child to be a fellow human traveller between hearts. You bridge the gap between the deep South of America and the hillsides of Peru.

And you bent my heart toward a child, Erlita, in the  hillsides near Lima,  in your perfect timing. This,  is a holy mystery to me.

It pains my heart to think I could have released $38 a month every month of my entire life. Because you gave me much. You always have.

I think that the cloud of abundance is a type of poverty for me. It is a fog that blurs the view to the important.

Thank you for patiently waiting for me to release my small contribution. Thank you for loving me while I white-knuckled my blessings.

Please Lord, show me ways I can partner with you daily. Please open the eyes of my heart to the everyday need. And make me pliable in your hands to release what I am and what I have to others.

Thank you for providing through the ministry of Compassion International while I sat in my comfortable poverty of abundance.

Praise you, that you allow me  to see  that abundant living is giving. Extravagantly. Even if it’s only $38 a month. Your holy multiplication of resources is always compounded greatly in your loving power.

I am simply amazed by you. Because in the mysteries of the holy, in how you move and work in our very lives, you used a child to bust open my heart a little more. And maybe over time, it will be busted open wide. So that all you want to go in will have a wide entrance.

Because when I think of the mystery of your ways, I see that Erlita will bless me more and change me more than I can imagine or fathom.

I was alone when I got the letter that she knew my name. But you were with me and saw that holy transaction. She knew my name and she knew she had a someone in her life. Lord, you saw that I have a someone in my life. A child I desperately needed. You gave us to each other.

He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done.

-Proverbs 19:17

Lord, please shape and change me, transform me through your child Erlita. She, a child, will change  a woman in the United States. She will change a heart to ache to give and love more like You. She is changing me.

You have changed my heart through children before. But, you know this about me.

The relationship between us is in your hands. Erlita and Elizabeth, and  all relationships which you move in and create, are in Your hands.

That you allow me to have the privilege of being a partner rattles me to the core with humble thanks.

Your child still,

Elizabeth

This letter to God is part of the September Blog Month for bloggers. We are blogging for Compassion International with a goal of stirring the hearts of over 3,108  NEW sponsors for children, in 30 days.

God is at work in His world. 837 new sponsors for Compassion Children have
stepped into partnership, with 2,271 wonderful hearts yet to move and work with compassion as a sponsor.

May I ask you to learn more? You may email me if you’d like, if you have questions.

But everything you need to know is at the Compassion International website for child sponsorship. You may not feel lead to be involved, but will you please take a moment to visit and pray over the children who need a sponsor. That is a gift of love. That is an extravagant gift from your heart.

Know that I am grateful for each of you in my life, in Christ’s name…ministering for His Glory….

Linking with Imperfect Prose , Thought Provoking Thursday, Faith Barista