A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a sweet person who reads my blawg pretty frequently. “You’ve seemed different,” she wrote, “since you got home from Africa. And I just want you to know that I’m praying for you.”

Oh, interpeoples. That email touched my heart right down to my liver.

Because I am different. There’s no doubt about that. But the problem is that I haven’t had any idea what to do with the different, so I’ve responded around by just sitting around and thinking about it.

A lot.

And just FYI: periods of great introspection do not exactly lend themselves to cranking out blog posts that pass for some semblance of witty, kicky fun.

Which has left me in a bit of a bloggy pickle.

And so, if I’m being completely honest, I’ve felt a little disconnected from the blog for the last couple of months. And I’ve given myself a hard time about the fact that I’m not exactly sure how to live and write in that tension, in that place where my heart aches for the despair and the poverty in third world countries while I sit in my central air conditioning and work on my laptop and drink diet Coke while I wait for my husband to walk in the door with a big bucket of fried chicken.

I’ve felt a little bit frustrated, to say the least.


A couple of days ago Alex and I were running some errands, and he asked me if we could go to Johnny Rocket’s for supper. I explained that we were cooking hamburgers on the grill that night, an announcement that was met with no small degree of displeasure. “BUT MAMA,” he said, “I LOOOOOVE Johnny Rocket’s. I think we should eat THERE.”

And even though I said I would NEVER do such a thing, I totally pulled the Africa card on my five year-old. I’ll spare you a repeat of my speech, but you can probably imagine the bullet points: children starving, children without meat, children without restaurants, children without choices where food is concerned, children who are grateful for God’s provision even if said provision doesn’t look or taste like what they’d hoped for.


Alex was quiet for a few minutes, and then he said, “Mama? Mama? I think we should say a prayer for those children in Africa. I think we should say a prayer for the children who don’t have enough food. Can we do that, Mama?”

And once I picked up my heart and put it back in my chest, we did just that. We prayed for those children.

There were a lot of things about that moment in the car that struck me. If you’ve ever loved a child, you could probably rattle off a list that mirrors mine. But the thing that absolutely blew me away is that Alex DID SOMETHING with the information I’d shared with him. He listened, he thought, he prayed. There was no angst, no second-guessing, no strategizing.

He didn’t wait until he’d had some grand vision or had configured some master plan. He just acted on what he’d heard. And he taught his mama a thing or nine in the process.

So today, I follow his lead.

Right now, on Compassion’s website, there are eight orphans in third-world countries who need sponsors. For $32 a month – which is about what it would cost a family of four to go out to dinner – you can take care of that child. Your $32 will provide medical care, vaccinations, school fees, nutritional needs and – THIS IS HUGE – give that child countless opportunities to hear the Gospel. Through your sponsorship of one of these eight children, you can rescue a child who doesn’t have a mother or father from poverty.

Tuyishime, Caroline (just sponsored! yay!), Adera, Natnael (just sponsored! yay!), Nairesiai (just sponsored! yay!), Selina (just sponsored! yay!), Nevine (just sponsored! yay!), and Asnaku (just sponsored! yay!) are waiting.

And I don’t know about you, but I think it would be pretty cool if we stepped up and changed their lives today.

Just click on their names if you’d like to help.

Thanks in advance for what you’re going to do.

And thanks, Alex, for the lesson.

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  1. Hi Boomama,
    I love your blog and have been lurking for about a year. I am not a particularly religeous person, but after having my own 2 daughters, I feel children really are closest to God. My girls (age 4 and 5) say the most amazing things without even really been taught more than what they learn at chapel in pre school.
    Your blog rocks…not matter how your heart is feeling.
    Rock on, sister!!!

  2. Boomama, you are doing exactly what you’re supposed to do. We may not being reading crazy wild posts, but we are reading posts that inspire and move and touch us. That’s why we heart you. AND you still make us laugh when you do the deep stuff.

  3. Stephanie says:

    I have no idea how long I’ve been reading your blog. I just know that I’ve always found your writing style very entertaining – and since Africa, very inspiring. Even though you sometimes may feel that you are not serving God as best you could, be assured that He is using you to speak to some of us internets who need to hear a word from Him.

    Bless you!

  4. The Lord has an amazing funny way of using our children for things such as this…

    xo ~K

  5. Tears.

    Thank you so much.

  6. I have a Compassion child at the moment, but when he graduates I’m going to request a girl orphan. I didn’t know you could pick orphans specifically…

  7. Thanks, sweet Alex, for the simple, child-like reminder that we are all to come to Him like children.

    Thanks, sweet Sophie, for the words from your heart to mine. Love to you, friend.

  8. For reminding us what is FIRST (you know – that priority thing we all seem to let fly out the window as soon as a phone rings) – thank you Alex – (please note I usually refer to your first born as Howard because I still chuckle about the mix up) for being wise beyond or because of your years – thank you Alex son of Sophie. Soph – cut yourself some slack – all you Uganda Bloggers have changed a buncha lives already and will continue to do so. If I could – right now I’d adopt more Compassion kiddos to go with the two we sponsor now – but we are going through one of those interesting valleys – you know – with the dark sides and not seeing the light ahead even though you know it is there. So – be good to yourself and hug Mister Alex for those of us who aren’t blessed with a giver of wisdom in the back seat.

  9. I LOVE your son’s precious heart. You are a wonderful Mom!!

    BTW, something I heard around church yesterday…long story short–Compassion is expanding here in Colorado! Now my first thought was that the reason they’d be expanding is because they have a whole lot more children they are helping. And in response in my heart I said, “Thank you Jesus for what you are doing for these children. Thank you for Sophie and her ginourmous heart. Thank you for Shannon and the others.” I just loved hearing that! Thought you would, too!

  10. I’ve been so touched my yours and Shannon’s stories about Africa, that our family “adopted” too. It’s such a blessing just to GIVE…to feel like maybe we’re helping a little.

    You’re doing more than you know just by sharing your story. You’re being used to help whether you know it or not!

    Want to meet “our little Africa girl” as my kids call her? Come see me here (she’s so beautiful!):


  11. Follow your Jesus, follow your heart! I’m trying to find that same balance right now (the tension between being funny and aching for the hurting) as I write and speak.

    Love your blog, love your heart. Always. When you’re witty, enjoying nature, hurting, filled with compassion, self-deprecating, fun. All of it.

    Praying for you!

  12. Sarah G. says:

    Oh, Sophie, now you’ve made me cry again. I’ve had the same talk with my five-year-old, too. Sometimes it is overwhelming trying to figure out how best to share the immense blessings God has given us in this part of the world. Thank you for this post. Thank you for the introspection and for doing somethig. I’m sure those kids will find sponsors because of what you wrote today. My own two Compassion kids are such blessings to our family. I hope whoever sponsors the waiting children you mentioned will be as blessed from their sponsorship as I’ve been from mine.

  13. This is just the post I needed today.

    I decided to stop thinking and DO something. I just sponsored a child.

    God Bless You, Sophie!

  14. Oh! I meant to tell you! A couple weeks ago, our family picked Maria from Mexico to sponsor. My older 2 girls are 7 and 5, and they looked at all the children forever.

    Finally picked Maria. She’s 3 weeks older than my oldest. Her name is similar to my middle daughter’s middle name (Marie). And she lives close enough that we might be able to visit her as a family some day.

    We’re getting rid of some debt and choosing another child in a few months, Lord willing.


  15. Sounds a little like re-entry stress.

    Re-Entry Stress
    By Nate Yonker

    Have you ever heard anyone say the following, “ I went on a mission trip and my life has never been the same. I just can’t get those people out of my mind!” This is a phenomenon called “re-entry stress. This is a very real feeling that people have after traveling abroad and seeing the poverty that most of the rest of the world live in. The following is an article I took off a blog a while ago. I could not explain it any better than this.

    Re-Entry StressThis is the process that you may experience upon returning home. Re-entry stress or reverse culture shock, generally is experienced to a greater degree the longer one has been in another country. Disillusionment with America and American Christianity play a part in any re-entry stress that is experienced.Initial ReactionsIf this is your first trip outside your home country you will be exposed to things you have never experienced first hand before, such as the plight and poverty of many in developing countries. It is not uncommon upon returning home to become disturbed and even bitter toward America’s opulence and waste.When you return you will be excited to eat the “Big Mac and large fries” you have been craving. Your family and friends will be proud and excited to see you an you will experience a “high”. You have just conquered the unknown, been used greatly by God and you will be the center of attention. Soon, however, this “high” drops and re-entry shock may begin.Following are a few examples of possible reactions you may experience. Be prepared to deal with life back home in light of your new experience. All short-term ministry/missions workers will experience some degree of re-entry stress.1. Self-concept – Any life-changing experience can cause you to re-evaluate who you are in light of the experience. Questions about the meaning of life and its direction may be a part of the re-entry process. You may decide never to go outside the United States again or you may discover that there is a call on your life to ministry outside the United States. Questioning life can be good, but the uncertainty of the answers may cause some stress.2 Value Change and Choice – Clashes between you and those to whom you return may occur in several different areas, such as material possessions, family life, racial prejudice, national priorities in ecology and politics, and Christian community conflicts.You may face the problem of integrating what you have just seen with what you see around you at home.
    Your eyes may be opened to the shallowness of Western Materialism and you may want to react by telling others they are wrong to own so many “things”, eat so much food and waste so much.3. Expectations – You will have had many expectations for your trip about the culture and language differences, the new and exotic country and God’s purpose for you making the trip. However, you may not have expected the reactions you may encounter when you return home. You may find that you feel like a stranger now in your own country. You may have expected your family and friends to be as excited as you are about your experience and become hurt if they show little or no real interest about something that has made a tremendous impact on your life. Realize that many will just not be able to understand what you have been through. This seeming lack of interest can reinforce in you an opinion that American Christians are just not interested in the rest of the world and are simply lovers and pleasers of self. You must guard yourself from becoming resentful toward family, friends and American Christians.4. Sense of Loss – You may experience a sense of loss over new-found friends and places or from being disconnected from the rest of the team. Your recent experience is not the nitty-gritty reality of everyday life. Being in a strange country, away from all familiar cues and the security of familiar faces and places can facilitate a tendency to become extremely close to fellow team members an when you return home you may experience a sense of void. It may take sometime to readjust to your life as it was before your trip. You may also feel a loss of purpose and self-importance. God has just used you greatly to minister to the needs of others in a different country and when you return this purpose may seem somewhat lessened.

    For those of you who have been on a mission trip, you are nodding your head in agreement right now. For those of you who are getting ready, or thinking about going on a trip, you are most likely questioning whether this can happen to you. For those of you who know someone who has been, or is going on a trip, you might be understanding them, and what they are going through a little better

  16. You are a great combination of funny, inspiring and compassionate. I believe Jesus had these qualities as well.

    I don’t see a thing wrong with that. Nope, I don’t.

  17. There is nothing more powerful than prayer. It’s the only thing that reaches to the heavens. Your son is a smart little fella. Kids see thing in an easy light don’t they? They keep it simple.

    Thank you for your humbling words-may we all do the same.

    God gives grace to the humble.

  18. Your blog touches me everyday. Between your wit and humor and your absolute love for Jesus. You have ministered to me and spurred me on. I really want to participate with Compassion, your trip really inspired me. Please pray for this decision because although I am married to the most amazing man EVER, he is not a believer like you and I. I haven’t pushed the issue. I just keep praying about it, knowing that God will show me the way. Please pray with me. Thanks.

  19. I can certainly understand how must be feeling. It would completely rock my world. Just reading the accounts (which I did not want to do but could not help myself) changed me.

    Yay for Alex. And yay for you. You are doing a good job, and I know you are not done yet. :0)

  20. We just got our first letter last week from our Compassion child, Rung, who lives in Thailand. We probably never would have sponsored a child if it had not been for the incredible words and pictures that you and the rest of the Africa blogging team shared with us all. You may never know, this side of heaven, the true “difference” you have made. You were obedient, stepped out of your comfort zone and continue to share your heart with us. We can’t change the entire world, but we can start in our little corner and that’s exactly what you have done. And I thank you for that!

  21. I have long enjoyed your blog, Shannon’s blog, ragamuffin soul, etc and loved when y’all went to Africa. I read everyone’s blogs everday and frequently ended up crying.

    Since then, I’ve been telling myself that I am going to get off my rear end and sponsor a child. But I kept putting it off.

    And then I read this post. And I immediately went and sponsored a beautiful little girl who was born the day after my older son. (A fact I discovered after picking her picture out of all the Ethopian girl pictures…)

    Thanks for the kick in the rear, delivered ever so gently.

  22. And then I wiped the tears from my eyes and realized I spelled Ethiopian wrong.

    Lack of ability to spell check thankfully won’t impact my ability to make a difference in the life of little Misigana.

  23. You know what? You just tell it like you feel it and we’ll read it over and over again. And we’ll probably give you a big old high five in the comments, too, because it’s just what we needed to hear.

    So there.

  24. You know, Sophie…maybe God has given you such a wide audience for a reason. He is the one that prompted this heart change in you, so my thought is: “to whom much is given, much is required”. So, spill it. Give us what’s on your heart. Witty and kicky have it’s place (I personally would be insane without it), but maybe now it’s time for deep to call to deep. Just my $0.02. Thanks for this post…:)

  25. Aw Boo. I think you’re still processing the whole trip. I enjoyed reading the re entry piece up above…makes a lot of sense.

    We have a new sponsor child as of last night. A beautiful little girl in Bolivia the same age as our youngest dd. We are so thrilled to be a part of her life..

    Blessings to you and your sweet little Alex,

  26. Kids can teach us amazing things!
    I too have been changed since your trip and keep telling God – use me in a bigger way!
    It makes me want to do so much more when there are millions with nothing.
    Thank you for the reminder.
    God bless,

  27. I would have been worried if you hadn’t changed.

    It’s amazing to see God providential work in the blogs from the Africa trip, not only yours but the other as well.

    How amazing it is that God would allow you, the team, and all of us, with whom you have shared your knowledge, joy, (and yes!) tears and heartache?!!. In ways that you, who has been in the heart of Africa, cannot begin to understand.

    I hate that you are struggling, but the truth is that through our struggles the Lord is holding our hand and changing us. Which is so incredibly exciting!

    We have sponsored two children through Compassion over the years. I inherited Sakda (who has long since aged out) when I married my husband. And 13 years ago, as a wedding to gift to each other) we “adopted Giseel from the Dominican Republic.

    One of the things your trip reminded me of is that Giseel is real. Flesh and Blood. So far away, yet in Christ, as close as my heart. I had been slacking (big time) in correspondence. Your trip and has helped me to remember that it isn’t about writing a check every month, but fostering relationship!

    I hate that you are struggling, but how awesome is it that God is using you to grab the attention of others who really can make a difference, physically and spiritually for others!

    Hang in there!

  28. It sounds as if you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. You’re real, you’re struggling, you’re the you that God is changing, molding, loving, using. Whether he leads you through your heart or your child, the most important thing is that you’re following, one foot in front of the other.

  29. I was reminded this weekend of your trip when I finally watched some of Idol Gives back and I couldn’t quit crying when I was watching the clips of Africa.
    I have been to dozens Christian Concerts where they promoted CI and I never signed up UNTIL you went to Africa and I knew it was time. And so did my mom. And so did a lot of other people. So you may think you didn’t do anything and you are just home eating fried chicken not changing the world – but there is a little boy named Richard in Nicaragua who is having a good meal today and getting new clothes and going to school because you inspired me to give a little money to help him.
    thank you!!!!

  30. Thank you for being so honest and real. It’s refreshing to hear your heart.

    Praise the Lord that He not only makes us new, but different at the same time.

  31. Please don’t feel like you aren’t doing anything. You are telling the world about Compassion. And you are doing it in your own way…with cute shoes, fried chicken and Diet Coke, and humor.

    God will lead you and guide you. And it sounds like he is speaking to you through your son.

    You are wonderful BooMama! I think we all puffy heart you!

  32. I know God’s been working on your heart for some time… and I can totally understand how difficult it could be to balance the humor of everyday life with the “horrors” of a third world country…

    The only thing I can suggest is continue waiting on an answer from God on how He wants you to use the thoughts and emotions that you have rolling around in your heart and mind. I’m certain — totally confident — that there is a way that you can balance both and still make an impact on this world we live in! You are so talented, and I know that there God has brought all this into your life for a purpose. It’s already bubbling over in Alex… you are doing an excellent job at teaching him to have a heart for others, and that is so important!

    Still praying for you, my dear.

  33. Just had to share that I just sponsored 8 year old Robin from Bangladesh. I followed the links from your post, and was sent to a main page with many sweet faces staring back at me. His photo had a red heart at the top, and after searching the page I read that he had been waiting for a sponsor for more than 6 months. I clicked on his picture and his birthday is just a few weeks after my oldest’s. He likes soccer and listening to music, just like my 8 year old. In his picture, he was wearing some blue flip-flops that resemble some my son has. I considered waiting and praying about it… but then, I just read on someone’s blog last night that sometimes we say we’ll pray about it and it’s just an easy way of saying “no”. Do I really have to pray about helping this child who has so little when I have so much? No, I was prompted to help him today. Thank you Sophie (and Alex) for stirring my heart.

  34. I just wanted you to know that I linked to this today.

  35. This is one of the best posts you’ve ever written. I like you funny, yes. But this I like this in a different way altogether. Thanks.

  36. This post is so touching, BooMama. I know that through your writing I have started to consider (and pray for) the plight of our less fortunate brothers and sisters, and we are looking into sponsoring a Compassion child — all thanks to you.

    One thing I had to ask:

    “And just FYI: periods of great introspection do not exactly lend themselves to cranking out blog posts that pass for some semblance of witty, kicky fun.”

    I dunno…I REALLY enjoyed this post. Do you think there’s any chance God could be using the popularity of your blog to share your transformation of heart with a wide audience? Again, I’ve already been touched deeply by your trip to Africa and subsequent thoughts. I totally have no idea, of course, I just thought I’d throw my little half-baked thought out there for what it’s worth.

    I could be biased, though, since the entire subject matter of my blog is an attempt at writing witty, kicky posts after long periods of introspection about conversion of heart (emphasis on the “attempt” part). :)

    You’ll be in my prayers. Keep up the good work!

  37. Hey sweetie,

    I wish that I was as open to what God wanted to do in my heart as you are. Your willingness to be available and willing continues to bless so many, starting with your baby boy. That story absolutely wrapped up so neatly in a package all that I think God is trying to do.

    Remember, it’s like ripples on the water. It spreads, it increases and we never know the breadth of what will happen now or in years to come because of it :)

    You know you hold a special place in my heart. I’m praying that God continues with what He has started, and give you some measure of comfort and clarity.

    And, by the way, please check Nairesiai off the list. She is now a part of our family.

  38. I have two comments. (I think. But I might think of three or four by the time it’s all said and done. Just a warning.)

    First, you *have* done something. Your blog and Shannon’s blog are what inspired me to sponsor a child. I’m sure I’m not the only one you’ve inspired to do this. Thank you.

    Second, God recently had to remind me that, um, I’m NOT God. I was praying and telling Him that I felt so helpless – there are so many issues and people in the world that need help. Where do I even begin??? And then He hit me with this revelation – because I can’t solve ALL of it, I mistakenly think that one little step in the right direction isn’t enough and I give up on trying to do anything. (It’s that old perfectionist thinking at work – if you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all!) I was reminded that I don’t have to solve all of the problems – I just have to be willing to step through the door of opportunity when God swings it open.

    Which, in my opinion, is exactly what you did when you went to Africa. God opened a door, and you bravely (yes it was brave, and don’t you even argue about that!) walked through it. And even in your little rant to Alex, you caused him to stop and think, and you planted a seed. And you found out something really special about his heart to pray for people.

    I couldn’t help but give a response to this and try to encourage you a little. I love reading your blog and appreciate that you share the ups AND the downs with us. None of us have it all together, and it’s encouraging to me when we can all admit that fact to each other. :-)

    (((((hugs from Indiana)))))

  39. Sophie, I have to say “ditto” to what my daughter, Kelly (Kelly’s Korner), said in her comment to you! I had heard of CI but never really KNEW about it until you all went and blogged about it. Now we have a precious 5 year old son in Nicaragua who I plan on seeing in September. God did it but He used you as His eyes and voice to speak to me! Thank you!

  40. You spoke to my heart. Thank You.

  41. Not only do I love reading your blog (came here by way of Beth Moore’s blog) I also love reading the COMMENTS on your blog. And for any who are like me, I wanted to quote Erin from Indiana above who said, “God recently had to remind me that, um, I’m NOT God. I was praying and telling Him that I felt so helpless – there are so many issues and people in the world that need help… because I can’t solve ALL of it, I mistakenly think that one little step in the right direction isn’t enough and I give up on trying to do anything. I was reminded that I don’t have to solve all of the problems – I just have to be willing to step through the door of opportunity when God swings it open.

    Amen. You are a wise woman, Boomama, and it appears that you attract wise readers (present company included when I let the Holy Spirit have his way.*wink*).

    I have a Compassion Child through Compassion Canada – have had for about 5 years now. I should get another one (I don’t mean to make them sound like shoes) since I do waste at least $35 a month, and then lament that I’m “not doing enough for God”.

    You just keep letting the Holy Spirit work… and you keep talking out loud to us about whatever it is he tells you. :)

  42. Selina has been sponsored! You have done well today!!! You are a good and faithful servant.

  43. God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called.

    You’ve spoken and told so many people about this wonderful company and what they do for children. I don’t think you could have done it any better.

    It must be hard sitting there realizing that we take what we have for granted without malice or intention.

    You’re a wonderful woman, Sophie. God IS using you. He spoke to me through you.

  44. Made me cry…and think…and pray.


  45. Just wanted to give you a *smile* and a *hug*

  46. I clicked on Selina, and she’s been taken too. Good work, BooMama! Eight more kids sponsored. YAY! :-)


  47. Sweet boy, sweet mama, and a very sweet reminder. Thanks, Sophie! And thanks helping us ALL to be different because of what we have learned and felt from your experience.

  48. Out of the mouths of babes . . .absolutely precious. A lesson for us all.

  49. Not to infuse any amount of pride, but you should see if Compassion can give numbers for how many kids have been sponsored through/from the “Bloggers Saving Children ‘Round the World”. Just a quick reminder for ya of the immediate response from others because you answered the call to head over to Uganda!

  50. It’s amazing what you can learn from your kids -Thank you Lord for the lessons adn the purity of heart. If I could only get back to that place.

  51. What a good lesson from Alex to remember!
    you said:
    “periods of great introspection do not exactly lend themselves to cranking out blog posts that pass for some semblance of witty, kicky fun.”
    You don’t ALWAYS have to be witty and fun (although I’m pretty sure it’s seeping from your pores~ you are a funny, funny southern gal!) Share you’re heart with us! We’re listening and would love to see what the Lords laying on your heart.
    I understand the struggle, though. I post silly things to stay away from serious heart issues on a regular basis!

  52. Been reading for awhile, Sophie, but never left you a comment. God is using you in such a mighty way. Isn’t that cool? He saw your humble heart and hysterical sense of humor, and said, “That’s my girl”. I’m sure He is fine with the diet Coke thing. He knew just what He was doing when He pierced your heart for the oppressed. What an awesome servant you are! You inspire me.

  53. BooMama,
    I think that God is moving to open our eyes to the truth of His children in Africa. His disciples only had two loaves of bread and Jesus used it to feed the multitude. He is looking for real servants willing to stand for Him, to be His hands and feet, to place what little they have before Him, allowing Him to move. I have been lurking on your blog since before your trip, God has been moving in my husband’s and my heart to move to Uganda. Thank you for allowing it to stir and change you, to be real, and to tell America the truth. We can hear your passion, and more importantly, your little man can see it. I remember Beth Moore saying once she reached a point that her mom didn’t like her ministry. She wasn’t as funny anymore, and spoke too much truth. But she had to move the way that God laid on her heart. I am thankful she did. Anyway, you have like 4 billion of these to read. Blessings to you!!

  54. I say if the Good Lord in His wisdom has seen fit to bless you with central air and a husband who brings home buckets of fried chicken, you should say a prayer of gratitude, and ask yourself if it isn’t possible that you’re exactly where you need to be right now. Seems to me that He has arranged for you to do exactly what you love while still helping in a MAJOR way. So before you go makin’ any rash decisions,( which could potentially deprive me of endless hours of joy, I might add) please take a minute to think about how many TENS of people are hearing your message, and adopting these blessed children! People who would not have had a clue, had you not been doing what you have such obvious God-given talent for. You’ll be in my prayers, Boo!

  55. Christine says:

    This weekend I had the privilege of hearing Miss Beth in San Diego and she said something I’d never heard before – “Impression without expression leads to depression”. That resonated with me in such a huge way – it applies so perfectly to a ministry I’m involved with right now that’s lacking focus. It struck me as I was reading your post that Africa made such a huge impression on you and maybe now you’re having trouble with the expression part. But please don’t think that event was just a pebble dropped in a pond that’s fallen to the bottom and been forgotten. You dropped a boulder into the life of a whole lot of people and it continues to ripple even if you can’t see or feel the results. Know that you have made a huge impact on a lot of people as a result of that trip, myself included. I do hear you when you say that you don’t feel that your life has changed enough as a result of that life experience, but there are a lot of lives that had nothing to do with that trip other than their bloggy connection to you. We have been changed in innumerable ways because you stepped out in faith and educated us a ton!

    And God bless Alex for his sweet heart…I just love spiritual insights from little kids. My four year old dazzles me sometimes with the level of her insights. Maybe that’s why Jesus was so keen on the little ones…

    Blessings to you Sophie!

  56. What you are DOING is fabulous! Imagine all the children that would never have been sponsored if you didn’t make that little trip and bring your laptop?? Oh, and thanks for the little reminder that PRAYER WORKS too.

  57. Just got here after a loooong day and POOF! all 8 are sponsored. Praise God!

  58. This is what I love about kids, so sweet, so innocent, and so loving and giving. Your son certainly taught us all a lesson with his words of wisdon today. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story and also for getting all 8 of those children sponsored.

  59. Thanks for the encouragement. During our family devo. tonight, we picked 4 compassion children to sponsor. We hope to take each of our children to the country of the compassion child they sponsored, before they graduate from high school . Thanks for sharing .

  60. You know, every night before bedtime, my kindergartener prays for all the children in the world…every time. He’s precious.

    He also wants to change his Webkinz password to Boomama. I kid you not! If he sees your blog up on the computer, he’ll read every word of it. He’ll laugh and he like to see Alex on here, too. He’ll say, “He’s my size!”

    Anyway, just thought you would like to know you have a pint-size fan! :)

  61. You are so beautiful, standing in the gap for these little ones. (Ez 22:30)

  62. I’m new to your site and I love this post. I will never be the same after one trip to Haiti.It’s been several years but I think about the people many times per week probably. I felt so worthless and miserable while I was there, but it was there that God began growing the seeds of a passion for missions that is emerging now. However, my re-entry was so bumpy, I thought I would die. And I am not being over dramatic. I really appreciate the information in Brenda Yonkers comment, too. I can identify. I am excited to read all that you have to share!

  63. What you are going through is normal and good. Wouldn’t you rather be conflicted than to go through all that and be unchanged, unscathed?
    But yeah, it’s hard to know what to do. I don’t think kid lectures are all bad, but even better would be to go back sometime–and take Alex with you! I’m totally serious. For a while there, our kids (living in Africa) thought we were really rich! I loved that. Unfortunately, they’ve kind of lost that perspective now, but on some level they haven’t forgotten it.

  64. I just really like you.

    I can’t wait to go and be forever changed like you have.


  65. Since we sponsored Onesmus, I feel different. I can’t even imagine if I had actually went to Africa.


  66. I have never met you, but I just love your heart! Hugs!

  67. Today, you changed the lives of 8 children just because you woke up and posted a blog.

    Change is good. Never easy.

  68. I sponosored our 1st child while y’all were gone on your trip….all of you told the real story so amazingly. It went straight to this comfortable momma’s heart. So…we got us a girl in Uganda named Sofia. And…when I got our 1st 5 yr old letter from her….BIG OLE TEARS!

    How can we not? We have too much.
    Blessings Boo.

  69. “And I’ve given myself a hard time about the fact that I’m not exactly sure how to live and write in that tension, in that place where my heart aches for the despair and the poverty in third world countries while I sit in my central air conditioning and work on my laptop and drink diet Coke while I wait for my husband to walk in the door with a big bucket of fried chicken.”

    You live, because you know you’ve changed the lives of children. How many of us read your blog, but never leave comments? If you counted JUST the children that have been sponsored and lvoes that have been touched, because YOU posted a blog post – the number is large. If you add to that the ones you’ll never hear about, because their “Compassion-parents” don’t have their own blogs or leave comments, it could well be into the hundreds.

    My family is now sponsoring two children, and we’ll sponsor more when we (as another commenter put it) “come out of this valley” we are currently in.

    So that’s my family (of four), plus the two children, plus their families – and there alone you’ve touched the lives of almost twenty people. Changed their lives forever. And I’m just one reader.

    God will bless you for using your circle of influence to His glory, and not your own. You are in my family’s prayers as you continue your journey of adjusting to life after Africa.

  70. For totally different reasons, I’m also living in that space where my life has been totally changed, and I’m not sure what to do about it yet either. I have to believe that God is in the midst of it, and He will show both of us exactly what we need to do.

    Yeah for you — all those beautiful children sponsored from one post!!!

  71. Good Job BooMama. That lil’ boy gets it. And its because you and DH have set the example to care. Kudos to you.

  72. You have changed more lives than you know, before and since going to and coming home from Africa. I love your funny blogs and your more serious blogs, mostly because you are sooo real.

    Thanks BooMama.

  73. AMEN, thank you Alex and BooMama!! :) I just wrote a post since it’s our Compassion little boy’s birthday…so little means so much…and it’s so simple to join in the wonderful work that God is doing through Compassion! Thanks for this post! Keep obeying when He says talk you talk and when He says move you move…it’s as simple as that. God bless your day!! :)

  74. I *heart* Diet Coke also.
    And I *heart* you and Howard!


  75. Keep doing what you’re doing. If your blogging needs to change because you’re changing, follow God’s lead.

    Look what you’ve done already. You bless your readers, you challenge us and now you’ve even led people to sponsor orphans.

    Americans spend $40 billion each year on weight loss programs and products. Every day 24,000 people in the world die of hunger-related causes. There’s something wrong with this picture. I’m struggling to figure out what to do about this. (And I’ve just linked to your post because I’d forgotten about sponsoring an orphan.) We who have much need to do more other than wish we could lose weight while God’s children are starving elsewhere.

    Bless you!

  76. My 16 year old daughter introduced me to your blog.
    I have to say that my heart feels the same about the children living in poverty. I havent been to a third world country but I do have a mothers heart. We are a single parent, homeschooling, mama college attending, what this country calls below standard living family….we are proud to be a part of our sponsor child from Compassion.
    I am not saying this to guilt trip anyone by my testimony—I am proud to change the life of a little boy who wouldnt know Jesus or eat a real meal any other way.
    Wish I could sponsor more children.
    Anyway, there are many ways my family could use that $32 each month that would make our life *easier* but instead I give it so that a little boy in Peru can *have a life*….namely eternal life.

  77. It was great meeting you today. I, too, am awake so I thought I would check this out, again. I am in love with AFRICA, too. I wished we could have talked some about this. However, when I returned the first time from spending a summer in Niger, I was a mess. I bought my nephews shirts as souvenirs. When my oldest one said he didn’t like it, you would have thought he just stuck me in a microwave and melted me. I went off and broke down. He didn’t know — so many people just don’t know. Yay for you and Alex that you know and then also DO!