The night started off a little rocky. I was supposed to be there at 4:45, but I got lost in the city. I drove WAY past the street I was supposed to turn on. I mean, I drove for so long that I ended up back on the highway towards St. Louis and I didn't want to go to St. Louis. Well, I turned around and found the street. It was close to 5:30 when I got there, which was still a half hour before the concert started.
I met some wonderful people, especially a woman named Susan, who I ended up talking to the entire night. She has a daughter my age, and also two adopted children. She was so great to talk to. It's always nice when strangers click for one day, even knowing they may never see each other again.
During the first half of the show, I went into the auditorium and caught a few songs by the band Mikeschair, which was really good! I've heard a few songs by them every now and again, but seeing them live was really enjoyable.
I got to particpate in my first packet pass! I've volunteered at other events, but I've never done a packet pass before. It was a blessing to hear Matthew West talk about Compassion and share stories about his sponsored boy in Haiti. Watching the video of him and his band in Haiti was very touching. So touching, in fact, that later, people were coming to the table asking to sponsor children from Haiti. Guess what country we didn't have packets for? Yeah...you guessed it, Haiti. Oh well.
Then, Matthew West and his band sang a song and people raised their hands if they wanted us to hand them a packet. I only handed out a couple, but from what I can tell, both of those people sponsored the child they were handed, which I think is really cool. If it was me, I feel like I would take the child I was handed as a sign that God wanted me to sponsor them. I talked to a woman on Facebook who felt like that. She told me they little girl was in her hands and she just felt like that was the child for her. What a blessing!
During the intermission, the table was absolutely SWARMED with people interested in sponsoring a child and a lot of people who had questions about Compassion. I absolutely love when a Compassion table is busy. It feels like all the waiting around during the event was actually for a meaning. Nothing feels worse for me than having nobody come up to the table. Anyway, I would like to share some of the stories that stuck out in my mind with you.
A very nice Chinese family came to the table, after receiving a packet in the packet pass. They returned the packet and told me they would really like to sponsor a child in China, close to where their family lived. When I told them that Compassion does not currently work in China, they walked away from the table a little bit. I could hear parts of their conversation and I heard their son, who had to have been around 10 or 11 years old say, let's just sponsor the boy they gave to us during the concert. The family came back to the table and ask for the packet they returned to be given back. A handsome boy from India found a lovely sponsor family!
A woman came up to us and told us that she wanted a boy with a December 6th birthday. She shared with us that her son had passed away and that was his birthday. I made it my personal mission to find a boy with that birthday. I literally sat on the floor behind the table and looked through every single one of those 300ish packets. I found one child with a December 6th birthday, a little girl. The woman said that the girl was beautiful, but she really wanted a boy. She then looked over the packets, chose a boy she said reminded her of her son, and sponsored him. Just like that. Wow. God sure does move.
At the very very end of the night, a woman and her mother came up to the table. She shared with me that her husband is from Colombia and she wanted a child from the city of Bogota, where he was from. We found several boys who matched her description. After much deliberating, and convincing her mother that she had to back her up when her husband complained about the sponsorship. Funny. But, all in all, she chose a very sweet little boy, one who was the same age as her son.
I love working Compassion events! I always feel God working in huge way. 27 children were sponsored that night.