When my agent asked me if I wanted to speak on behalf of Compassion International two years ago, I was intrigued. I’ve always loved their work, and our church has a project in Nicaragua.
But you know how these things go – we had a couple of conversations, but it never really went anywhere. Yes, we sponsored a child, but I didn’t really have a story that was compelling for audiences about Compassion and the idea of supporting kids.
About six months ago, I hired a new booking agent, Julie. Julie has a huge heart, is super talented, and oh – she used to work for Compassion with their Artist Program (working with speakers and musicians.)
So I told Julie about my desire to work with Compassion – and she set up the call. The call that changed it all…
When we talked with Nate with Compassion, he said yes, we’d love for you to speak on behalf of Compassion. Then he asked, “Do you already have a Compassion child?” When I told him that yes, we sponsored Roger in Nicaragua, Nate suddenly got very quiet. Finally he asked, “What are you doing November third through seventh?”
That’s when Nate invited me to go to Nicaragua to meet Roger and see the work that Compassion was doing there. Then Nate asked, “Do you want to go?”
And my first thought was “Um – NO!”
I’m not ready.
I need to speak Spanish first.
I need to lose more weight first.
I need to be in better shape.
I need to write more letters to Roger.
I’m not ready.
But good thing I didn’t say that out loud.
What I did say was, “Let me talk to my husband and pray about it.”
In other words, I did the Jesus-y stall tactic.
As much as I feared going. (“What if I held other people back? What if I got sick from bug bites like in Japan and had to be hospitalized again? What if…”) What I realized I feared more was not going.
Not doing what so clearly felt like a divine God-only opportunity.
Not doing what I knew I wanted to do, but feared.
So we said yes.
My Roger (my husband) is also going. We are taking the typhoid meds, we are learning very bad Spanish, and we are shopping for shoes and T-shirts for little Roger, who we get to meet in just over a week.
Fear almost kept me from the God-adventure of a lifetime. But I refuse to let fear have a foothold in my life. Fear is the one thing that will keep me from saying yes to God. I want fear to have no room to get comfortable in my life.
She and her husband Roger are the parents of four young adults in San Jose, CA. When she’s not dating her husband or hanging out with her puggle Jake, Kathi is speaking at retreats, conferences and women’s events across the US.