Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A Plea for Compassion

Today, 16,000 children will die from hunger. Today, 1,500 children will become infected with HIV. Today, nearly 5,000 children will die from diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation. These statistics reflect the devastating reality of poverty—and they can be overwhelming.

But today, you can help turn these numbers around.

Compassion International exists to rescue children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty in Jesus' name. Through sponsorship, Compassion links you with one child who needs your help. You build a relationship through letters and prayers, and for $32 a month, you can provide for that child’s health, educational and social needs. Most importantly, you provide the opportunity for your child to hear and respond to the gospel of hope and salvation through Jesus Christ.

A few months ago, I read this story from Compassion president Dr. Wess Stafford. It expresses beautifully why I believe in the ministry of Compassion. He writes:

I have been with Compassion a long time, so beyond all the research and the data, it’s wonderful to see the difference Compassion’s ministry has made in real lives. Recently I was in Uganda and after a church service I met two delightful young adults. They had both been Compassion-sponsored children and when they grew up, they married each other. They now have a beautiful, healthy baby girl and they let me hold her. I gazed at that tiny life in my arms, then up at the proud, beaming faces of her mom and dad. Instinctively I asked, “Does this child need a sponsor?” I will never forget the tears that welled up in her young mother’s eyes. “No,” she said confidently. “We are able to care for her.” The young father added, “Poverty stopped with us!”

Now the tears were on my face. I could barely contain my joy. Success means you don’t have to sponsor the children of sponsored children—they truly have been “released from poverty in Jesus’ name”! Multiply that young father’s response over 55 years and by the 1.5 million children Compassion has helped, and you get a clear and resounding answer to the big question, Why do we do what we do the way we do it? Because it works!

To put the cost of sponsorship in perspective, check out this post I wrote last year about what $25 buys you in Kenya. If a birthday gift goes that far, imagine what $32 a month can accomplish!

Our church recently commemorated Compassion Sunday, and Compassion sent me ten packets for children needing sponsors. Five of the children found sponsors, but our small church is reaching saturation level. I have five packets left. I really don't want to send these beautiful children back to the waiting list!

Dharshini - age 5, India
Thavir - age 6, India
Hugo - age 7, Brazil
Sifa - age 6, Kenya

Chebet - age 9, Uganda
Can you help? Please consider this opportunity to put your faith in action by caring for children who are precious in God’s sight. If you're interested in sponsoring one of these children, or would like more information, email me: amykannel [at] hotmail [dot] com. Thank you!

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