As a volunteer Area Coordinator for Compassion International, I routinely meet with people interested in becoming Child Advocates. The application process includes an interview which I prefer to conduct in person. It’s not required, but I enjoy meeting and getting to know these folks in person. Earlier this week, I scheduled an interview with a young man named Courtney who is an active duty Marine officer. We met early in the evening to accommodate his work schedule and young family. I am blessed with a flexible work schedule and wanted to make it convenient for him.
As the time to meet neared, a sense of inconvenience swept over me and I seriously considered canceling. I pondered the thirty-two miles over and thirty-two miles back. I hadn’t met him yet, so he wouldn’t mind, would he? I am a volunteer, after all, and what difference would a day make? Really, in the big picture, what difference could one little cancelation possibly make? Immediately realizing my self-centeredness, gave myself a quick “get off your butt” talk and headed out.
Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. Revelation 2:10
I met him at the worlds lowest cost office space; Starbucks. Their network of convenient meeting locations makes my job a lot easier. That, and there is typically a Jamba Juice nearby, which is, in my opinion, is a huge bonus. Courtney turned out to be an awesome young man and was quickly convinced he was going to make a great Child Advocate. I haven’t met his wife, Samantha, but my guess is they are going to make a huge Kingdom impact.
We spent about an hour getting to know each other. We talked about the history of Compassion, how the organization is structured and the commitment he had just made as a Level II Child Advocate. He seemed really clear on everything, so I asked the routine “do you have any questions?” question. He had one.
When Do I Get My Children?
“How and when will we get our twelve sponsored children?”
Confused, I backed up and explained his commitment as a Level II Child Advocate – six self-generated activities per year, a minimum of twelve new sponsorships to Compassion annually, one new church relationship during his tenure as an Advocate, and helping to staff Compassion events as necessary. He looked more puzzled than before, and now, so did I.
He simply said, “Before Samantha and I filled out the Compassion Child Advocate Application, we prayed about it for a very long time. We knew that sponsoring twelve children was going to be a big step for us, but we agreed that it is a commitment we were willing to make. I thought that’s what it took to be a Level II Advocate.”
I remain stunned and in awe of this young man; his dedication to our country, the example he and his wife are setting for their children, and most of all their pure and selfless faith.
I was speechless.
All I could come up with was, “Courtney, my friend, welcome to the Network.”
“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:17-18