Enjoying a compassionate trip down memory lane

Posted Online: April 19, 2013, 2:40 am
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By Claudia Loucks, cjloucks@qconline.com
GENESEO -- A trip down a compassionate memory lane awaits a Geneseo Spanish teacher Sunday.

Molly Reel will share her memories and hope to draw more support for Compassion International, a Christian child-advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults.

Sunday, April 21, is designated as Compassion Sunday, she said. It's designed to give people the opportunity to learn more about how they can make a difference in a child's life, a chance for people to be a part of God's work and a chance for people to learn about Compassion International's ministry.

Forinformation about the ministry, visit compassion.com.

"Six years ago, I was sitting in church in Colorado on Compassion Sunday," Miss Reel said. "A former sponsor child from Africa spoke about what Compassion meant to her and how it changed her life.
"I was so impressed with her and all the challenges she had overcome in her life. Her love for the Lord and her sponsor family really touched me."

It inspired her learn more about Compassion, she said.

"I got on the Internet that night, looked up Compassion, and, within 30 minutes, found my little girl, Yennifer from Guatemala. Yennifer's picture caught my eye and I just knew she was the little girl I wanted to sponsor."

Miss Reel met Yennifer last year through a Compassion International trip.

"I have watched her grow up through her pictures and letters, and I wanted to see this young woman in person," Miss Reel said. "The day we spent together is a day I will remember for the rest of my life. I couldn't stop smiling and she couldn't stop smiling. Her personality and mine matched perfectly."

While in Guatemala, Miss Reel met Jorge, 6, who she also decided to sponsor.

When she saw all the Guatemalan children waiting for sponsors, she knew she "had to do something.

"These children deserve sponsors, too," she said. "I specifically chose three little boys from picture packets for my brother, sister and college best friend."

In September, Miss Reel also will support the ministry as a "Team Compassion" member at the Quad Cities Marathon.

"Through Team Compassion, I can raise money for their water projects or other needs, but I have chosen to try to find more families to sponsor children," she said. "I hope to find at least one sponsor for each mile I run."

The 26.2-mile marathon will be held Sept. 22.

"I was so excited to find three more kids' sponsors after my trip last summer that the thought of finding 26 sponsors for 26 kids makes me so excited," Miss Reel said.

Compassion International, headquartered in Colorado Springs, was founded by the Rev. Everett Swanson in 1952, when it began providing Korean War orphans with food, shelter, education and health care, as well as Christian training.

It now helps more than 1.2 million children in 26 countries.

It reminded Miss Reel ofMatthew 18:5, which states, 'And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.'"

Birth date: June 15, 1980
Hometown: Congerville, Illinois
Education: Bachelor's degree from Iowa State University, Ames; master's from University of Denver, Denver.
Experience: High school Spanish teacher for 10 years.
Favorite Scripture: Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." "I am a planner and try to 'plan' everything, so I need this verse to remind me that I am not in charge and to give me a peace that God has my plans under control."
Favorite Biblical character I'd like to meet: "Ruth."
Hobbies and activities: "Traveling, reading, running, watching sports, water skiing, snow skiing, visiting friends and family."
Note: A Compassion Child Sponsorship costs $38 a month for children to be educated, be healthy, learn about Christ and learn self-confidence and social skills. Money for Christmas and birthday gifts also may be given through a sponsorship, but is optional.


Local events heading

  Today is Saturday, Aug. 2, the 214th day of 2014. There are 151 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Because of the National Fast, no paper will be issued from this office tomorrow.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Attracting considerable attention is a sunflower stalk 15 feet high and still growing in the yard of Dr. C. Speidel on 23rd Street in Rock Island.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The municipal bathing beach proposition came up again at the city commission's meeting and a proposition passed, provided that a locker room be constructed at the foot of 7th Street for the accommodation of the bathers.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans for erecting a $14,000 warehouse to replace the frame structure at the rear of the Augustana Book Concern were announced.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Hours for tours of the new Deere & Co. Administrative Center on John Deere Road will be changed, effective Monday.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Tuesday night at the Great Mississippi Valley Fair in Davenport the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band gave its fans more than they possibly could have expected. The band took the stage at 9:07 p.m. and didn't leave until 10:40.

(More History)