This Is Not Ordinary

“Nothing can seem extraordinary until you have discovered what is ordinary.”
― C.S. Lewis, Miracles

This is the sixteenth Compassion Bloggers trip. The very first was in 2008! Man, time flies.

Thousands of children have been sponsored since then because hundreds of thousands have read our posts from around the world. That’s amazing! But there is one problem…

We crave the novel, the unique, the surprising and there’s nothing novel, unique or surprising about these trips anymore.

We like to be shocked: Oh my goodness, I can’t believe this is happening!

We like to be awed: Wow! I’ve never seen anything like this!

We like to be heartbroken: Oh, bless their little hearts.

We even like to be angry: This is an injustice!

But the truth is, nothing is novel twice. And we can’t be shocked, awed, heartbroken and angry the sixteenth time the way we were the first time.

If we’re not careful we’ll get bored – yes, bored – with the extraordinary because we’ve already been there and done that before. Many times before.

And by “we” I mean “me” too.


His name was Elvis – that alone, in the middle of Kenya, is pretty amazing. But I wasn’t amazed.

I spent an hour or so with his family, in their home, asking questions, listening, taking notes so I could write about it all later.

Afterward a fellow blogger asked, “How was your visit?”

“It was good,” I said. “I mean, it wasn’t anything amazing. I don’t know if there was anything there to write about.”


Immediately I felt uneasy. Conviction? The cabbage we ate for lunch?

I corrected myself. Laying the sarcasm on thick at my own expense.

“I mean, you know, nothing amazing at all. Just another kid born into extreme poverty who has food to eat, shoes on his feet, his education paid for, clean water to drink, regular health checkups, a safe place to play. Nothing at all to write about there. Nope. Nothing amazing about any of that.”

And then the biggest eye roll. At myself. I deserved it.

Oh, God, forgive me for being unmoved by your every move down here. I miss the miraculous and I’m blind to the amazing.


Are you kidding me, Shaun? This is extraordinary!

It’s extraordinary because it’s not ordinary. Do you want to know what’s ordinary in Kenya?

44 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day. Those living in this extreme poverty are sick without healthcare, hungry without proper nutrition, hard-working but without jobs, willing to learn but without access to education, frightened and despairing without knowing that God sees them and loves them.

That’s ordinary.

But no child that Compassion International serves is living an ordinary life!

All 1.8 million of them are guaranteed five amazing, life-altering, awe-inspiring gifts: education, health care, proper nutrition, clean water, and – most importantly – a bible and the opportunity to hear about the extraordinary love God has for them.

Elvis family

“I’m so thankful,” Elivis’ mother told me. “He has shoes and can go to school.”

That’s extraordinary.

Release a child from the ordinary into the extraordinary with just one click right now. Sponsor a child.
Sponsor a child in Kenya through Compassion International

Don’t miss the posts from the rest of the talented bloggers I’m traveling with this week. Read them all at