What I’ll Be Reading This Week {Compassion}

Compassion-International-Philippines-2011

Today, a group of bloggers (several of whom I consider friends!) boarded planes to fly across the world. Literally. Emily, Tsh, Kat, Stephanie and Lindsay are headed to the Phillipines with Shaun Groves and the Compassion team. Over the next several days, they’ll report what they experience and share their amazing journey with us.

Put that way, it sounds so simple. But I know it’s not.

While I may not know the details of how this trip’s bloggers were chosen or the mile-long to-do lists they each faced as they packed their bags and left their families this week, I know that an enormous amount of prayer and thought and preparation has gone into this trip. And I know that God has Big Plans for moving and changing and calling countless readers, friends and followers this week.

This morning on Twitter, I wondered if it was possible that Emily or Tsh had packed a little piece of my heart in their bags as they travel to the Phillipines. No, I don’t imagine either of them packed a “Flat Mary” in their bags (Although, I’ll be honest: I wouldn’t mind if they did!), but by being willing to share their stories via social media, everyone on this Compassion trip is – essentially – taking us along with them.

I’m so thankful for that, and I can’t wait to see what they have to teach us and how God is going to use it all. Here are a few links for you, if you’d like to follow along, too!

Will you follow the Compassion Bloggers trip to the Phillipines this week?

Compassion Bloggers Visit Guatemala

Today I’m at the beach with my sisters from (in)courage. (More about that SOON!) But not everyone will be here. Lisa-Jo and Ann are in Guatemala, meeting hundreds of children who are served by Compassion.

You can support them – and the others on this Compassion Bloggers trip – by praying for them, reading their blog posts and sharing their words in all your social networks. Here are a few details:

Pray for:

  1. Safety
  2. Their families at home
  3. Finding the right words
  4. Adjusting when they return

Links to check out:

Have you been on a mission trip before? Tell us about it and how it affected you.

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Help Haiti LIVE

Edited to add: The LA show has been cancelled, per Shaun Groves. And the Nashville show is almost sold out. So get your tickets now – or plan on logging on from home! (Thanks for the update, Jessie!)

A few weeks may have passed, but Compassion International hasn’t forgotten about Haiti. Not even close.

One month following the 7.1 earthquake that struck Haiti, an all-star cast of musicians is gathering for “Help Haiti Live,” a two-city ticketed concert event taking place on February 27 to benefit Compassion’s Haiti disaster relief fund. The concerts will be ticketed and also streamed live at HelpHaitiLive.com.

Check out this list of performers:

  • Alison Krauss & Union Station (featuring Jerry Douglas)
  • Amy Grant
  • Big Kenny
  • Mat Kearney
  • Jars of Clay
  • Rebecca St. James
  • NEEDTOBREATHE
  • Brandon Heath

Cool, right? These musicians and a to-be-announced special headliner will participate in two concert events, live from Los Angeles at the historic Wiltern Theater and at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium. All talent and production fees have been donated, along with streaming services (Livestream.com), allowing proceeds to go toward Compassion’s disaster relief fund.

Tickets for each event will range in price from $25-75 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com and all Ticketmaster locations. And if you don’t happen to be in LA or Nashville this weekend, you can watch the whole thing online for free. (Or for a donation. Your choice.)

All net proceeds from Help Haiti Live will go to Compassion International’s Haiti disaster relief fund. All money raised in response to the Haiti earthquake will be used immediately to re-equip Compassion’s local support structure and to provide for the immediate needs of Compassion-assisted children and families.

Compassion has been meeting the physical and spiritual needs of Haitians for more than forty years and will continue to serve them in this time of extreme need. Already Compassion International has supplied more than 15,000 families with clean water, food, blankets, temporary shelter, medical supplies and counseling. Donations will lay bricks, feed, educate, clothe, heal and rebuild Haiti for many months to come in Jesus’ name.

So, what are YOU doing this Saturday night?

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Compassion, Twitter and a Thanksgiving Carnival

Have you been reading the Compassion Bloggers about their trip to El Salvador? If you’re still wondering if Compassion could really make a difference in a child’s life for just $38 a month, watch this video. It’s long, so follow these directions (courtesy of Bryan Allain):

1. Press play to start the video streaming and then pause it.
2. Come back a minute later and start playing the video at the 3:45 mark.
3. Watch the video for the next 6 minutes and let your heart be moved.

Catalyst 2009 Compassion Moment from Catalyst on Vimeo.

You can sponsor a child today. Also, we’re all invited to a live video chat from El Salvador with the Compassion Bloggers TONIGHT, (Wednesday, November 11) at 9 p.m. CST at http://www.livestream.com/compassion.

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On a lighter, way less important note, have you seen the commercials for Windows 7? The ones where people are saying that the new system was their idea? I love the way, in their memory, each person looks much more attractive than they do in real life. Because, come on, who doesn’t do that?

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Do you get this Twitter thing?

For the past 18 months, I’ve been blogging and using Facebook and Twitter. I’ve also been researching social media for my job, reading so many articles and how-to guides that at one point this past summer, my brain really felt like it might explode.

In that year and a half, I’ve read how-to manuals, to-do lists, top 10 mistakes you’re making, top 20 things you must do if you don’t want to look like a jerk, top 4,000 you need to follow on Twitter and more. I’ve read helpful articles, boring articles, funny articles and redundant articles.

But the most helpful thing I’ve read lately? Allison Worthington’s e-book, Smart Girls’ Guide to Twitter. It’s thorough and easy to read, and written in Alli’s “girlfriend speak” instead of “techie speak.” Allison is the founder of Blissfully Domestic, she blogs at Mrs. Fussypants and is a self-proclaimed Twitter-aholic. Her book is 140 pages long (would you expect anything less?) and costs $19.95. Click here for more details. (Disclosure: If you order the book from this link, I will earn a commission.)

I won’t say that I’m an expert on Twitter now. Um, no. (You can follow me @givingupperfect and see for yourself.) But I’m learning, and this book has made it a lot easier to sort through all the info clutter and figure out some simple steps to get better.

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Well, that was absurd, let’s eat dead bird!*

Last but not least, it’s time for another Giving Up on Perfect carnival! Next Friday (November 20), we’ll be Giving Up on a Perfect Thanksgiving. (Stay tuned for a button. I’ll try to get it up later today.)

Have you ever forgotten to thaw out the turkey? Made the pumpkin pie without the most important ingredient: sugar? Had to break up a huge family fight over a football game? Or, how about this: do you have any Thanksgiving traditions in your family? What’s your favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner? And do you get up super early the next day to shop?

I want to know all about your beautifully imperfect Thanksgivings – good, bad, beautiful, ugly and everything in between. Link up your post next Friday. And don’t forget to comment – you don’t want to miss this giveaway!

*Home for the Holidays

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That’s my long list of stuff. What’s up with you today?

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Compassion Bloggers Trip: El Salvador

UPDATE: I just read that a hurricane hit El Salvador over the weekend, killing 91 people and certainly affecting the Compassion Bloggers trip. Please pray.

On Monday, Compassion is taking four bloggers to El Salvador, where they will witness firsthand the ministry that Compassion International has in the tiny Central American country. You can travel with them through stories, pictures and videos on their blogs.

But wait! Before you click over and subscribe to these blogs, you should know that reading about this trip might just break your heart. It might even change you forever. But if you think you can handle it, head on over to join their journey. I guarantee you will not regret it.

Heather Whittaker (from Whittaker Woman)
Kelly Stamps (from Kelly’s Korner)
Molly Piper (from The Pipers)
Shaun Groves (from, well, himself)

Why are they doing this, anyway? While I don’t know each of their individual reasons, I imagine at least part of the rationale for leaving the comfort of home for the great discomfort of a foreign land and incredible poverty is the same reason I sponsor a child and why many of you do, too.

When you sponsor a child, you are linked with one particular child who will know your name, write to you and treasure the thought that you care. He or she will pray for you often and write to you. Your tax-deductible contribution of just $38 a month connects your child with a loving, church-based child sponsorship program that provides food and clean water, medical care, educational opportunities, life-skills training, and most important of all, your sponsored child will hear about Jesus Christ and be encouraged to develop a lifelong relationship with God.*

Wanna help? Here’s how:

1. Pray.

  • To see the names and faces of the bloggers going, visit the Compassion Bloggers Trip page.
  • Pray for their families they’ll leave behind, their spiritual and physical and mental health/stamina, their ability to take in a lot of information quickly and experience a lot of emotions and find the words to write about it all.

2. Twitter.

  • Please send your followers to the trip’s page using this link: http://bit.ly/CBElSalvador
  • Tweet any specific posts you’d like to pass along using the hashtag #cbes
  • If you ask your followers to sponsor a child, please use this link: http://bit.ly/ESKids

3. Facebook.

  • Shaun Groves created a widget for Facebook pages (works on Myspace and blogs too). It displays pictures, videos and posts from our trip as they become available.
  • No need to know what the heck a widget is. Just go to http://bit.ly/4euihb and click “Facebook” to add this widget to your Facebook wall.
  • Or hit the “share” button above and choose “Facebook” from the options.

Do you sponsor a child with Compassion or any other organization? Would you like to get involved today?

*From Compassion.com.