Monday, May 11, 2009

Acquire The Fire

Saturday was the day of the Acquire The Fire event in Oakland, and JT was joining me at the Compassion table. We always have a lot of fun when we staff the tables together. Not just because we get to hang out and joke around with each other, but because events like this always seem to put things into perspective for us in regard to matters of faith and what's really important in life.
When we arrived the other advocates were busy helping people with their forms. But we slipped right in and started helping out. After a few moments things slowed down and we got to talk to everyone. Below you'll find a picture of myself with one of the other advocates (on the left - whose name escapes me) and one of our gradutes from a Compassion program in Uganda (center).

His name is Alex, and he's here in the US studying to become a pastor. He also got to speak at the event to encourage everyone to consider sponsoring a child. He is one of Compassion's many success stories. It was great getting to spend some time with him before he had to leave to catch his flight back to Oregon - where he's going to college.
Before he left we made a rather amusing discovery among the child packets. The two children in the picture below have the same exact outfit on. Hmmmmm.....

Actually, this is not very uncommon. During my advocate training I learned about this, and Alex spoke of it happening in the program where he was. Many children don't have clothing to where for the pictures they have taken. So they will either borrow something from one of the other children, or else the church will have clothes for the children to wear for their pictures.
But the best part of the story is that shortly after we made this discovery, two young ladies came up to the table to sponsor kids. One of them wanted to sponsor the little guy on the left and when we showed them the outfit, her friend decided to sponsor the little guy on the right. So both of them have been sponsored by a couple of friends. Pretty cool, huh?

I also made sure to get a picture of JT so he'd have it for his page.

He was Twittering through most of the event. He had a running count going at first, but it was too busy for him to keep it up. Instead, he took notes and we kept track of how many kids were being sonsored so he could tweet about it. He also got an interview for his podcast with a young man who's school class had decided to sponsor a child through money that they raise in their school store.
I love the fact that JT makes these events a part of his podcast. It exposes his entire audience to the minsitry of Compassion when they might not already know about what we do. So he's actually helping me with my ministry.
We had arrived sometime around 12:30 in the afternoon. And we had agreed to stay until 7:30 in the evening. Our original shift was supposed to end at 5:30, but one of the advocates who was supposed to relieve us had a death in the family. So we wanted to stay to make sure that there was enough help for the event. By the time we finished our shift there were about 108 children sponsored at this event. That's awesome!

Also, on our way out, I stumbled upon this sight.

I just got a big kick out of seeing this girl carrying the two mannequins while the guys were pushing the cases on wheels. She was a good sport about it, though.

And very pretty, too...
Once outside, we faced our biggest challenge.

That's a lot of steps for two big fat guys! And there are more than just the ones straight ahead. There's a whole other set off to the right before we got up to the parking lot where my car was. But we survived the climb and made it out of Oakland without incident.
We were both starving by the time we got out. So we opted for a chinese buffet before calling it a night.

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Blogger One Wink at a Time said...

Very enjoyable post, Michael. I think it's so awesome that you and your friends give so unselfishly of your time for such a great cause.
The girl with the mannequins... The first picture I thought (and it could just be my constant gimp state of mind lately) were two people helping the center person walk. Gah!

(kind of strangely coincidental word verification- shintsm) lol

8:12 PM  
Blogger M+ said...

Thanks. It's something that I feel very strongly about. If more people were willing to give of their time for the causes they believe in, things might actually change in this world.

5:01 PM  

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