This weekend (Friday and Saturday) was the National Hearts at Home conference, which is held in my hometown. This is a two day conference for moms to get together, attend seminars, learn about different ways to teach their children about God, hear parenting stories, buy books, clothes, jewelry, etc, all for great causes! There are several famous speakers (this year there was Gary Chapman, Jill Savage, Lysa, TerKeurst, and others). It's just an all around great weekend! For many years, Compassion has had a presence and a table at the event. I have had the pleasure of volunteering at this table for the last four years. This year was just as great as any other year!
(A picture I found from last year's conference. I didn't take any this year!)
I am a crazy person (haha) and I signed up for every available shift that I could. So basically, that means that I worked the table for 18 hours in two days. I just hate to miss a minute of it! I love talking about Compassion, sharing their ministry, showing my binders full of letters and gift photos, and photos of when I met Celeste. It's so great to see people take the first step into sponsorship.
My favorite story of the day was one woman who came up to the table, holding four packets. This had been happening periodically throughout the weekend, as people found remaining packets from the packet pass on the floor or laying around and brought them back. Then we realized that this woman had taken four packets from the packet pass and filled out all the information. She was sponsoring four children at once! They were all from the same project in Ethiopia. I asked her if she had other sponsored children and was growing her family this year. She said, "No, I actually hadn't heard about Compassion until I saw the presentation this morning." I said, "Wow! You're really jumping in with both feet! That's great!" She responded with, "Well, God told me to!". It's amazing to me that somebody can hear about Compassion for the first time and less than an hour later sponsor four children at once.
God sure was on the move in Illinois this weekend!
We started the weekend off with 390 packets. We only boxed up 37 to send back to Compassion! 72 of them went "missing" after the packet pass, but we assume that many of them will be taken home and sponsored. We had 281 new sponsors by the end of Saturday night, with hopes of getting over 300 with the packets taken home. That's awesome!
At least 281 children were released from poverty this weekend!