A few months after we married, Wes and I saw a commercial about child poverty. We weren’t ignorant that such tragedy existed half a world away, but we were ignorant as to what we, two part-time janitors working their way through seminary, could do to help. We soon learned about Compassion International, a ministry that works in “the trenches” of child poverty, providing food, medical attention, education, and a witness of Christ’s love to needy children and their families. Through their website, we found Denis, a five year old boy in Uganda.
We signed up to be his sponsors, and for the price of one meal out a month, we began taking care of some of his most urgent needs. Within weeks of signing up, we received pictures that Denis had drawn, reports on his schooling from teachers who work with him at the Compassion center, and pictures of him. We were able to send him pictures, write him letters, and keep in touch with him, even as we moved overseas and back again.
It’s been six years since we became Compassion sponsors and began a relationship with Denis.
He now writes his own letters to us, full of stories about the sports he enjoys playing, lots of commentary on the antics of his brothers, and plenty of questions about Charlie. (I think he’s curious about how Charlie always manages to show up in family photos. Which, you know, is a good question.) Denis now looks to be twice as tall as he was when we first saw his picture online, but his smile is just the same. He ends every letter with a Scripture verse and a request that we keep praying for him.
We’ve been so impacted by our relationship with Denis and our experience with Compassion that we began sponsoring a second child in the spring of 2009. This is Sitota, a six year old girl from Ethiopia…
This past Christmas, we began sponsoring a third child, Princess, a five year old girl from the Philippines…
Keeping in touch with and praying for all three of these children has been a wonderful experience not only for Wes and for me but also for our girls, who are learning not only about needs around the world but also about other cultures. We have been exponentially blessed by being able to be part of these children’s lives, even from such a long distance.
I know I’ve told much of all of this before on the blog, but I mention it again because this Sunday our church is hosting a Compassion Sunday. What’s Compassion Sunday? It’s an opportunity for the people in our church and our community to hear about the ministry that Compassion does, to hear testimonies from sponsors and sponsored children alike, and to have the chance to impact the life of a child in need. We’re blessed this year to be able to present children needing sponsors through Compassion AND children needing sponsors through a similiar program called World Vision. Both are Christian ministries with great integrity that encourage sponsors not only to give financially but to invest time and care into the lives of the children they sponsor. We already have sponsorship packets available and profiles of specific children waiting and praying for sponsors.
It is my great hope and prayer that all twenty children our church has been given information on will receive sponsors this weekend. For the price of just one meal out a month, a child can have a world of opportunities opened up to them as they have their needs met, receive an education, and are able to hear about the love of Christ. The price is small — the impact is HUGE!
If you have a burden for children in poverty, please consider sponsoring a child. If you have a desire to give hope to those in great need, please consider sponsoring a child. If you want to change the world from where you are right at this moment, please consider sponsoring a child. I would be THRILLED to get you set up with a packet of information from Compassion Sunday (even before it begins!) so that you can get started. (And for those who might find it easier to do this online, you can find a child to sponsor by going to either of the links above.)
Thanks for reading, friends…