Turning Point

February 26, 2008

Many months ago, I was surprised to learn that a couple from our church were going to adopt an Ethiopian orphan. An international/interracial adoption was so far outside my personal realm of possibilities that I couldn’t comprehend why they would even consider doing such a thing. My attitude about missions trips and other international gestures of Christian compassion has always been one of, “Well why go all the way over there when you can do the same thing here?”

But then I started listening and learning. I interviewed them for the church newsletter. I sent them ten questions — it was easy to come up with a list because there was a lot of stuff that I didn’t understand and wanted to know more about. Each question was answered with unwavering certainty that they were doing God’s will, and that there was a child in Ethiopia who was meant to be a part of their family.

I watched video clips that they shared of children in Ethiopia who have so little and need so much. My heart ached for those children. I can vividly remember that in one video, a boy was given a pair of shoes and his reaction of unbridled joy. He was more pleased with those shoes than most kids are on Christmas morning.

Oddly enough, I started feeling led to go on a missions trip somewhere. Me! The girl who won’t leave home without lipstick! Can you believe it? I don’t see any opportunities to do that looming on the horizon, but if it ever becomes a possibility, I won’t run and hide from it as I once would have.

Recently, Compassion International took two of my favorite bloggers, Shannon (Rocks in My Dryer) and Sophie (Boomama), on a bloggers’ trip to Uganda. I read their blogs with so much interest during that time! Each day I felt more drawn to doing my part.

The couple in our church who are adopting frequently refer to James 1:27 (Religion that God the father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.)  I tried to say, “But…” and every objection or rationalization trailed off in silence.  There is no excuse not to take that Scripture to heart.

How, then, could I sit here in American comfort and do nothing?

I signed up to sponsor a child through Compassion International. Her name is Feteya, and she lives in Agaro, Ethiopia.



She has the exact same birthday as Sophia. Like most five year old girls (mine included), Feteya likes to play with dolls and play house, but the similarities between her and Sophia end there.

Sophia is in school and already knows how to read. Feteya is not in school. Sophia has plump round cheeks and eyes that sparkle with mischief and happiness. Feteya’s cheeks are sunken; her eyes are haunting. She looks like someone who has experienced too much hardship at a young age. Sophia wears cute outfits from Gymboree; Feteya wears clothes that are at least a size too small. Sophia is never allowed to go anywhere by herself; Feteya is responsible for running errands for her family. Sophia lives in an area where the biggest health risk is an occasional outbreak of the flu; Feteya lives in an area where the biggest health risk is AIDS.

I’m paying $32 a month to sponsor Feteya. Most adults in her community earn just $9 a month. That’s how much difference you can make for just $1 a day.



  1. I signed up to sponsor a child through Compassion International. Her name is Feteya, and she lives in Agaro, Ethiopia.

    Praise be to God.

  2. […] 26, 2008 · No Comments This afternoon I received a wonderful letter from the girl I sponsor through Compassion International.  It said: Dear Julie […]

  3. […] made the decision to sponsor a child […]

  4. […] from Ethiopia February 23, 2009 I recently received a Christmas letter from the Compassion child I sponsor in Ethiopia.  It was much shorter than the last letter I received, but once again she let me know that she was […]

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