You Can, Too

One of my personality quirks is that if I do something / experience something / eat something / see something / hear something that impacts me in a big way, then I want the people around me to do / experience / eat / see / hear that same thing. It doesn’t matter if that thing is a CD or another country or a cute dress or a 2-piece dinner from Popeye’s – if I love that thing, then I want you to try it. Because I just KNOW that you’ll love it, too, and then we can sit around and talk about how much we both love it, and DO YOU KNOW HOW GREAT THAT WILL BE?


I’ve noticed that most of my friends seem to have this same personality trait, which explains why just last night my friend NK was shoveling part of her waldorf salad from California Pizza Kitchen onto a bread plate so that I could try it. She kept saying, “YOU HAVE TO TASTE HOW GOOD THIS IS,” and nothing would do until I sampled it (and sure enough: IT WAS DELICIOUS). It also explains why our friend Todd faithfully sends me links to great new music, and it explains why Travis brought us a bag of THE BEST BBQ potato chips we’ve ever tasted after he discovered them in Kentucky a few weeks ago. It explains why Sister has been known to call me from TJ Maxx when she runs across a particularly sassy fashion find and why Janie sent me a bottle of perfume after I mentioned that it smelled divine when she was wearing it.

Hi, my name is Sophie. And I’m surrounded by sharers.

When I got home from Uganda last February, I wanted every single friend of mine to go on a Compassion trip to Africa. I talked about it all the time. Aside from getting married and becoming a mama, it was the most life-changing, perspective-wrecking experience of my life. It wasn’t an easy trip – but oh, it was good. And even now, if you were to ask me about that trip, I would tell you that you should totally go, that you would love it, that it will be the best thing you’ve ever done, I PROMISE, JUST LISTEN TO ME.

A few weeks ago I spent an afternoon with Angie. We met at a Starbucks, and three hours after we sat down, I walked out of that Starbucks so jacked up on caffeine that the third toe on my left foot was the only part of my body not plagued by twitching. We covered about 259 topics during our conversation, but we camped out on the subject of Compassion for a good while. I told her a little bit about my experience and instructed her on the proper way to pronounce Shaw-awn. And for about ten straight minutes, I told her over and over again that SHE WAS GOING TO LOVE IT. It was going to MESS HER UP, and somehow, because God is faithful in ways we just can’t comprehend, she would treasure every single second of it.

So today? When I read her post? I pumped my fist in the air. Not because I wanted Angie to have the same experience that I had. But because I know that when she gets back home to Nashville, she’s going to tell every single person who asks about the work Compassion is doing in third-world countries all over the world. Because she’s seen the difference Compassion makes. And because seeing that difference? Is contagious.

But whether or not you ever go on a trip with Compassion, you can absolutely be a part of the work they’re doing. You’ll change a child’s life forever – and they’ll change yours right back. Your sponsorship ensures that a child can pay his or her school fees, it guarantees he or she will have access to nutritious food and it provides all the medical treatment they need. More than anything, though, your sponsorship means that someone will faithfully share the Gospel with your sponsored child – even in places like India, where less than 1% of the people are Christ-followers.

You can do all sorts of things with $32 a month: you can take a family of 4 out for a Mexican meal. You can buy 8 lattes. You can buy 4 paperback books. You can buy 6 magazines. You can go with your sweetheart to the movies and buy popcorn and drinks.

Or you can change a child’s life forever.

It’s probably not a big surprise, but I’m going to suggest that last thing.

Just try it. Really. Just try.

You won’t believe how great it is.

(Be sure to check out Keely’s photographs from the India trip – they are absolutely incredible.)

Edited to add: this post by Melissa is one of the best things I’ve ever read.

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  1. I am so excited to say I grabbed a little girl from India yesterday. I had found one the day before but hadn’t asked the man of the house-not that that stops me-but anyWAY. I forgot to ask him again and the girl I planned on was already snatched up. I didn’t want to miss out again so I just DID it after reading Melissa’s post. I knew the sponsorship cost the same as his gym membership so I told him it’s just like me joining the gym without the exercise! And think of all the gas money I will save not running back and forth. Yay! Her name is Umaben. We will lovingly refer to her as “Uma” cuz we’re all pop culture like that. (Now, go get the Denise Hildreth Savannah series I mentioned before because you will L.O.V.E. all 3 books)

  2. Sophie, I am so glad you are a sharer. Partly because you crack me up every single day. But more importantly because your sharing about Compassion (and Melanie’s and Shannon’s) has broken my heart and changed me. Thank you for sharing. Please don’t stop.

    Oh yeah, and I’ll second Leigh’s post above – if you haven’t read the Savannah books, get them now because you will love them so very much!

  3. I just sent a profile to my husband and said “I think we need her.” We’ll see what he says!

  4. My family has been sponsoring a little boy for a while now – all because of you and your trip.

    Thank you!!

  5. Oh- I so want to go! I’m trying to get the readership up so I can get myself over there! I love, love, love Compassion though- been doing it since I went to Amy Grant’s Christmas concert back in 1998.

  6. Love this post and I have loved reading their blog posts during their trip! We are going to sponsor a child from India, a boy and a girl. It’s been tough choosing and I wish we could do more! Great post!

  7. I read Angie’s post today and it is just amazing what Compassion is doing there. I went on a mission trip when I was 21 and came hope telling everyone that would listen just how incredible it was and how they needed to go too. It will change your life just as Compassion changes their lives.

    On a sidenote…were those chips Grippos by any chance? If so, we buy them by the box here and I’d be happy to fix you up!

  8. Every day I am more in awe of the work Compassion is doing and I am proud to be a tiny cog in that big wheel.

  9. Thanks for sharing :)
    My son sponsors a little boy his age (7) and when my daughter turns five, we’ve told her she can sponsor a little girl – we want our kids old enough to write the letters to the children!
    I love your blog and read it everyday!

  10. That’s exactly how I feel — and I haven’t even been on a Compassion trip.

    (By the way, as a fellow sharer, do you ever find yourself sharing in the opposite direction? “Oooo! Smell this milk! It’s BAD!” “This diaper is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen. You have to come see it!” … I guess that’s why we blog: so we can share, and fellow sharers will accept our sharing.)

  11. It’s amazing to think that $32 a month can do so much for these children, and most of us wouldn’t really miss it. These bloggers are some great writers, aren’t they? Talk about going into the ugly cry every single time…

  12. *raising right hand* My name is Kelley and I’m officially a Compassion blog stalker thanks to you & Melanie.

    Instead of working (shhh! don’t tell), I’m reading about India and looking at the photos taking in every. single. cotton-pickin’. thing. Why? Because I want to be able to write to my sponsored child, Sarath, what I was able to see!

    I feel good about doing it.
    Very, very, good.

  13. Yes. I am loving to see what God is doing through Compassion and the teams!!

    And you know what?! Please don’t laugh. Oh, OK, you can laugh. My Chris changed the way I see my screen on my computer, so I can see the edges better (’til our laptop has a new fan). So here I am reading your post (I don’t use a reader), thinking I had gone to another blog and had chosen that blog–not recognizing it is your blog. So I’m reading and thinking, “Wow, she’s beginning to sound a lot like Sophie.” And….hmmm…it WAS SOPHIE! OK, laughter may ensue.

  14. First – so that I don’t seem totally shallow, let me say that I recently began sponsoring a child from Kenya because of you and BigMama.

    Now – to my real question – what were the chips? I live in Nashville now, but I grew up in KY and go there frequently. I need to know what you had from my beloved bluegrass state!

  15. I am exactly the same way….sometimes even a bit over the top (I have actually done the EXACT same thing with one of the CPK salads…drove my friend cah-RAYzee till she tried it)! I have been reading all of the Compassion posts this time around (I am new to the world ‘o blogging and have never experienced the stories LIVE). I am inspired, in awe, and changed.

    Today we are signing up to sponsor a child…..and you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be driving all my friends cah-RAYzee to do the same thing!

    Thank you for being an inspiration to me and so many.

  16. Well, at least you warned us you were linking to Angie this time. (*smile*) (*sob*)

  17. votemom says:

    iternational mission trips are truly lifechanging.

    mine was russia. 5 times i’ve been there. and 2/5 of my children were born there. adopted into our family, and, Lord willing, eternally into His.

    go people. go.

  18. Angie’s post today was awesome.

    But I’m hung up on the fact that I wish I could have been at starbucks drinking coffee with the 2 of you! :-)

  19. We are sponsoring two children through Compassion with our youth group. It is something the kids decided they wanted to do last year at camp, so as you can imagine, often times it is our family doing the sponsorship rather than the kids, but it is soooo okay. ‘Cause with my family…$32 will barely get us Mexican food at Taco Bueno, but the $64 is like when we eat at On The Border and splurge for a large queso and invite the daughter’s boyfriend, so it all works out! We are thrilled to live beyond our borders…so humbling and rewarding at the same time. Thanks for sharing.

  20. I can’t wait until I’m able to sponsor children. I’ve wanted to for sooo long and even if I’m not able to support them with my money right now,atlest I can support them with my prayers. Oh,and Sophie,for goodness sake girl,next time you get together with Angie, take me with you!! :)

  21. I just had to share, BooMama…. The other night after I left you a comment saying I wish I could sponsor another Compassion child, my husband started a conversation something like this:

    I think we could be spending this certain money a different way.

    I said – Yes. I have the best idea.

    I was blown away. I never would have brought it up, based on the situation we are in and I’m 100 times more excited that it was him that brought about the conversation!

    I hooked it up today and I can’t wait to see who God picks for us! (We wanted a random child that has been waiting a long time from East India. Okay – I guess that’s not random, but it sorta kinda is a little bit.)

  22. So so true that seeing God’s heart for the poor absolutely, positively changes our lives :-)

  23. I’ve been following along on the Compassion trips since y’all went to Africa. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us.

    And I know that this wasn’t the main point of the post:

    But Grippos? Were the BBQ chips Grippos?

  24. Sounds like a good cause.

    Can I also say, I completely identify with your first paragraph. I am that way all the time. So much so, that every time you write something that makes me laugh I send it to my best friend Kat because I know she’ll love it too!

  25. Hi Sophie!
    My name is Mary and I’m a sharer.
    I know some of my friends secretly hope that I wouldn’t share so much. I wear people out with my suggestions and ideas.

    I thank you for continuing to get the word out for Compassion. God is doing some amazing stuff!

  26. Kristen says:

    Our family signed up to sponsor a child last year after reading your posts while you were in Uganda. It has been a joy to sponsor our Dennis for the past year! Even our almost 2 year old daughter has a picture of Dennis in her ‘purse’ and knows he lives in a place called Africa. Not only am I looking forward to continuing to send/receive letters to/from Dennis, I’m looking forward to teaching our daughter (plus one more on the way!) about why we’re doing this. You know, to be the hands and feet of Jesus!

  27. I think I drive people crazy with my sharing. You know…they are just staring at you and don’t say anything! Ha!

    After last nights live chat…I’m just sick…messed up…my heart is a mess. And, I’m here in comfy home TN. What in the world????

    This trip has changed me. Again…I’m here in comfy home TN. How are they gonna get back and cope???

    I’m just praying like crazy for God to help me be so greedy and selfish and prideful and to just do something with me.
    USE ME!

    Love ya girl!

  28. Oh My gooooodness, I can totally relate. I love to share things I love with everyone and anyone….but my husband doesn’t understand it. I wish he appreciated this trait rather than get annoyed by it!

  29. I just sponsored a little boy from Ecuador this morning! I am so excited and can’t wait to get the packet on him!!!

  30. I am so happy to hear how people have adopted children because of your story. I have sponsored a little girl from Bolivia for 5 years and it has been an amazing experience.

  31. Julie says:

    Off topic! Just got home from a mini-vacation with my husband. Had to let you know you and Big Mama went with me. I put the last podcast on my ipod, and laughed all the way!! It was like a conversation I have with my sister or best girlfriends. So many times I wanted to share ‘my two cents’ worth. Like I totally thought the water chesnut was just a chesnut they soaked in water…and thanks for the cookbook recommendations.

    Keep up the fun!

    And I haven’t read all of the above post, but my 8-year-old daughter REALLY REALLY REALLY wants to sponsor a child, and how can I say no to that? So it will be sacraficing some lattes, but that is a good thing.

  32. love this post!

  33. We sponsor through a different program, but I do have to say that I think it’s great that you are advocating this to the public. There is nothing better than making a difference in a child’s life.


  34. aunt pippy says:

    Were those BBQ chips from KY called Montgomery Inn BBQ chips?! Because I live in WI now and oh, how I miss those chips! LOL

    On a more serious note, we decided to sponsor a child….b/c I was riveted by your experience and Shannon’s. Thanks for sharing!