Monday, September 30, 2013

Compassion International: Gala in Haiti

Gami and I all dressed up, taken after the Gala
Guilbaud, National Director of Compassion in Haiti, presenting
an award to Wess Stafford for his years of service.
This past week Gami and I were blessed to be able to attend Compassion International's 45th Anniversary Gala.  Compassion has been in Haiti for 45 years, and we were blown away by the stories they shared.  The Gala made us feel like we were back at an important military event.  We dressed up for the affair and our fellow NVM staff stayed with the kids (thanks again guys!).  We listened to special music, stories from multiple people involved with Compassion, the testimony of the recently retired President of Compassion as well as the new President of Compassion, and watched a skit.  We watched videos and enjoyed a fitting celebration.  The event started at 6 PM, and we arrived shortly after that.  The location was beautiful!  I was also rather impressed that they provided ear-pieces for all English speaking guests to hear translations of all French speakers.  This was extremely helpful since we are studying Kreyol, not French!  The Gala lasted 4 hours before they closed in prayer and opened a buffet line to eat dinner.  It was 10 PM and we were all excited to see food!  The meal was classy, along with the wait-staff.  The evening was refreshing and enjoyable.  It was really nice to have something to get dressed up for and be able to sit and enjoy the testimony of what God has done in Haiti through Compassion.

Presenting the award to Wess Stafford
As I sat and listened, I wrestled inside.  I have loved the ministry of Compassion since I was a teenager.  I have not removed myself from the Compassion Advocate (volunteers who help find new sponsors) list.  I keep up with all that they are doing, and I was really hopeful that they would partner with NVM in our sponsorship program.  Yet, I learned a month ago that a partnership is not possible right now.  While this was upsetting, it also gave me the motivation to keep pushing forward.  I need to stay focused, because there is not another organization coming in to smooth out our program.

The new president of Compassion, "Jimmy"
So, while I sat and watched, I was jealous.  I wanted so badly to be working with Compassion.  Gami and I have said for years that our dream was to work with Compassion overseas.  Here we are in Haiti, and God closed that door.  So I admit, I was jealous of all they are doing and could share.  We hoped to work with an organization that has been around a long time and is doing an incredible job at their work!  God called us to work with an organization that is new and is still trying to work out kinks and figure out how to make everything run smoothly.  While NVM is doing incredible things, we are helping build the program instead of just fitting into an established program.  So, I was jealous.  Yet, the evening inspired me.  It inspired me to push harder, work more diligently, and keep my focus.  NVM can have an incredible Child Sponsorship Program, just like Compassion!  NVM can improve their malnutrition program as well.  We can improve so much of what we do.  After only 10 years of ministry, we ought to still have room for improvement!  So, as I wrestled with the jealousy and frustration, I was humbled.  God chose me to be here in this moment to help improve the sponsorship program for NVM.  He chose Gami and I to come to Haiti now, not to work with Compassion, but with NVM.  He wants us focused and diligent so that we can help bring Him even more glory here.  What a humbling thought!  So I left that evening, not feeling discouraged or frustrated, but blessed.  I know I am truly blessed to be here working in Haiti.  I am blessed to be able to look at the faces of hundreds of children and tell them I have someone in the USA who loves them and wants to know them.  I am blessed to truly have my dream job, even on the days that it feels quite the opposite.  So I continue my focus on blessings, and strive to do better, for one day NVM will have success stories of children touched by a sponsor who never realized what they were truly doing for that child!

A friend recently reminded me to "bloom where I am planted."  I want to challenge you to do the same.  Someone else always has more figured out and seems to do it all easier and better.  Yet, God has called you to where you are for a specific purpose.  It is humbling...He wants your diligence and your best in it!  Bloom where you are planted!  One day you will look back in amazement at all that He had planned!
~ Cathi

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