My husband and I do not have any kids, yet if you came to our house and you didn’t know us you may think we did — we have lots of photos of us holding babies, we have boxes of kids toys around the place; we have a playpen, a highchair that attaches to the table, packets of baby food, and lots of baby wipes.
We do not have any kids, but we have a scrapbook full of pictures and updates we have collected from our twins, documenting their toddler years. We do not have kids, but we have had to say goodbye to our son as he graduates and goes off to achieve exciting new things in the future. We do not have kids, but we have artwork drawn by little hands decorating various surfaces in our house.
God has not given us any biological children yet, but he has given us children in many other ways — ways which have deeply enriched our lives. We have eight amazing nieces and nephews, including one living in the same city as us.
We have had a baby boom at church and working in the crèche means I get to develop bonds with many of the little ones, as well as their parents, but what I want to focus on for this article is the blessing of all the precious little ones (and not so little ones!) that God has brought into our lives through sponsoring with Tearfund New Zealand, a partner of Compassion International.
How God used Compassion to unite hearts across the globe
It was November 2, 2013, when our hearts were captured by the first little one who would join our Compassion family. Her name is Chinaidine. She had the saddest looking eyes we’d ever seen — not all of the children on the website looked sad, some looked happy, mischievous, bored, or unsure, but Chinaidine looked like someone without hope, which is something a four year old should never look like! Through Compassion she receives the ability to go to the Compassion centre near her house for several hours every week. There she receives love and nurturing, meals or snacks, tutoring, medical care, and most importantly gets to hear about the God who made her and loves her so much!
She isn’t the only one to benefit though. We benefit from being able to build a relationship with her, by watching her grow and being able to be used by God to spread his love and compassion throughout the world. She is not just a name on a page or a photo on the fridge to us, she has a part of our heart and she is one of the ways God has provided children for us to love so far.
Since then, God has expanded our Compassion family and in his great kindness has provided an abundance for us so we can pour it out onto others.
Don’t delay! Start your family today!
Being blessed with biological or adopted children is wonderful, but if that is not happening for you right now there are still many ways to start your family, whether single or married and no matter what life situation you are in.
One of the wonderful things about being a Christian is that your immediate family isn’t the only family you get to have! God gives us many avenues through which to have family — some may be blessed with nieces or nephews, others may be blessed with the ability to foster, or sponsor a child — or a few! Others may be blessed with the opportunity to be a mentor to those younger than them. EVERYONE is blessed with being part of the body of Christ and being able to fellowship with other believers as part of the family of God!
God placed us in his family for a reason — so that we can love and support each other and encourage each other in the faith. God has provided so many wonderful ways for us to be connected to others and has equipped us with the skills and gifts and hearts to enable us to do it—we just need to be open to these opportunities and take them when they come along.When we open our eyes to God’s picture of family I hope we can all agree that it is definitely a good idea to start a family even if you’re still single!
Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
(Colossians Chapter 3, verses 11–17)
Jessica McPherson lives with her best friend and husband, Eoin, and their family of rescue animals in Christchurch. She loves reading, writing, photography and scrapbooking but most of all sharing God’s love and truth with a hurting world. Jessica is particularly passionate about encouraging children and building them up in gospel truth.
Jessica McPherson’s previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/jessica-mcpherson.html