Thursday, May 16, 2013

Compassion International

Fernando.  Wilny.  Juan.  Yacouba.  Abdi.  Anish. Josephina.  Jhuvica.
 
These are our kids.
 
I pray for them each night.
 
I wonder how they doing.
 
Some are no longer children but are grown up and most likely raising families.
 
Some are following Jesus.  Thriving.
 
Some have gone to be with Jesus.
 
Some are lost.  Maybe dead.  We don't know.
 
These are our kids.
 
Each time we lose one, or have one no longer need us - we cry.
 
These are our kids.
 
For over 20 years we have sponsored children.  Children who then become 'our kids'. 
 
Over the years we have used different organizations - each with their own philosophies.  One of the organizations believed that fairness needed to exist in the sponsorship program so our money was pooled with other money and it kind of trickled down to our child.  Our first picture of him found him wearing rags.  Ten years of sponsoring him and our last picture found him wearing rags.  He didn't get to go to school because no one else in his village got to go to school.  His community got a well.  Some other things.  But our child did not truly benefit.  After he outgrew the program we stopped using that organization.
 
After 20 years and sponsoring different children through different organizations - our favorite organization....
 
COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL
 
This is our current little Compassion daughter.
 

 
 
This is our current Compassion son.
 
 
They are our kids!!
 
Four years ago I had the privilege of meeting our Compassion son.  I spent a day with him.  It was one of the coolest experiences of my life.  When we parted he asked me.... May I call you Mama and Papa? 
 
I cried.

 
 
Compassion's philosophy is one child at a time.  They don't try to save the world.  They just try to make a difference one child at a time. 
 
It works.
 
We have watched each of our Compassion kids grow and learn and gain in confidence.  We have seen each of them come to love the Savior that we love.  We know our money goes to support THEM.  We send them birthday and Christmas money so they can have presents and they GET their presents.  We know because they always tell us.  Each year we also send a money gift to the family.  Over the years our Compassion families have been able to buy simple things... like tables and chairs and mattresses to sleep on.  Clothes to wear.  Pots and pans to cook with.  Bags of rice and beans to ease their hunger.  One of our families was able to build a room addition onto their shack so that they could have their own room since they were sharing with another family.  Wow!  We get pictures of our families dressed in new clothes with bags of food around them.  We cherish those pictures because we know that our small gifts MEAN SOMETHING.  One year we even received a letter from our little girl's daddy thanking us.  Wow! 
 
Yesterday I read THIS ARTICLE and it warmed my heart.  It validated how we feel about our Compassion International sponsorship. 
 
When I was visiting our son's country I learned that Compassion chooses the poorest of areas and picks the children who have the greatest need.  Usually they only are able to sponsor one child out of each family but if a family is especially destitute - they take two children.  Our son's sister is also sponsored by another family.  That was how desperate his situation was.  I look at him.  I read his letters.  I see the changes that have taken place in his life.  I read the messages we receive from his mother.  I'm beyond grateful God has given us an opportunity to make a difference in his life.  He's growing into an amazing man of God.
 
He's our son.
 
Our little Compassion girl is our daughter.
 
Each night I whisper prayers for them and for the others. 
 
This side of heaven we won't really ever know what difference our little bit of sponsorship meant each month to our kids.  I don't need to know.  I know it makes a difference in their lives and I know that by sponsoring them - they have the chance of learning about Jesus and maybe breaking the cycle of poverty for them and for their family.... maybe even for their village. 
 
That makes it so very worth it!!
 
 
 

11 comments:

  1. We have a little compassion boy, too! I think it is such a cool ministry.

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  2. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for posting about Compassion! I have sponsored with them since 1999 and I'm fully addicted. They really help children. If you are ever interested, Compassion has a website for sponsors to connect with each other. The address is ourcompassion.org or ourcompassion.com . Either address will get you to the same website. Compassion works and it is a wonderful organization.

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  3. Love it! I too pray for my compassion girl, and am always so excited when I hear updates as she is growing and developing!

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  4. Do you have to be Christian to sponsor a child through Compassion International? Can you sponsor through this ministry if you are not religious at all?

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  5. We have a little compassion girl and I love getting her letters and hearing how she's doing. Today is actually her birthday. She is 6 yrs. old.

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  6. My first sponsored child (when I was still single) was from Compassion! For no reason other than opportunity, we now sponsor 4 kiddos from World Vision which also ranks up there with high quality/integrity organizations where the funds go directly to the child! If you haven't read Richard Stearn's new book, "Unfinished", go out and get it--it's as good as his other one "The Hole in our Gospel"!

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  7. Thank you! We love Compassion, too. One of the times we decided to sponsor a new child, I decided to pick the one I thought was the least likely to be picked. I found a young man who was 12 years old. He had the meanest scowl on his face. He looked like he was ready for a fight! We started sponsoring him and writing to him. The first two pictures really showed no difference, other than he was wearing clean clothes that actually fit him. But then the third picture, his face was relaxed and there was ALMOST a smile. We kept writing and praying. The next time I opened his picture, it took my breath away! This handsome man with a smile as big as Africa was staring back at me. I cried. Each letter has gotten more joyful, each smile bigger, though I don't know how that is possible. He is training to become a tour guide and is very good at it. Oh, the love of Christ, that can transform even the most forgotten! Some day I will meet my "son" in heaven and his smile will match the crystal sea!

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  8. I love Compassion, too! I started in 1988 when I was a student and the $18/mo sponsorship fee was pretty much my tithe for the month! LOL Since then, I've been able to tithe more of course, but still kept on sponsoring. I've really enjoyed it a great deal and I agree with everything you said about the organization! I haven't gotten to meet any of my kids yet, but I hope someday to be able to. Thanks for posting about this AWESOME ministry!!

    Missy

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  9. Thank you for writing this post. I had read an article about Compassion that my friend Alexis had posted on FB shortly before you wrote this post. Reading both helped nudge me toward looking into being a sponsor. After reading through Compassion's website and praying about it with my husband, we were delighted to sign on to sponsor a little 7 year old girl in my husband's birth country, the Philippines. I guess I just wanted to say thank you for putting this organization on my horizon and in my heart. :)

    Beth Basilio

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  10. I found Compassion International through your blog and went on to sponsor two little girls from Central America. Your blog makes a difference.

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Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!

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