Extreme poverty is a massive, complex problem. There are so many issues to address--infrastructure, water, sanitation, hygiene, public policy, justice...all of those circumstances are important. Yet, as Compassion VP Scott Todd argues:
"…the heart of overcoming poverty lies in developing people, and with people development you get the most impact during their childhood. Compassion’s program contains the core components of really good child development—it’s comprehensive in a child’s life, it provides long-term involvement, and it points kids to the only true source of hope, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“When the tactical value of all these things really hit me, I understood that this Compassion thing that I was already involved in wasn’t just a cute thing to do to help out a kid. A Compassion sponsorship is actually a profoundly strategic approach to dealing with poverty. You enter into children’s lives with the message that ‘you matter,’ you introduce them to Jesus, you give them protection and opportunity, and then you watch them flourish. Then those kids grow up to be the kinds of people who change their nations. When the poor themselves become the solutions to the problems they face in their societies, that is sustainable development. So for me, the simple and practical step toward tackling poverty is to sponsor a child through Compassion."
I’ve been a sponsor with Compassion International for nearly 16 years now, and it has been a beautiful gift. What a privilege to receive letters and photos, to watch Leni grow up and graduate from the program, to hear about Bahati’s dream of becoming a doctor, to have Providence tell what she bought with the birthday gift we sent. What a privilege to be a vessel of grace and truth and love to these children, to encourage them and point them to Jesus.
You see, it’s not just they who are poor. I, too, am poor—to echo Psalm 34:6, “This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.” Steve and I are not Compassion sponsors out of guilt or a sense of duty. It is our joy to extend hope to children in need because in a spiritual sense, we know what it is to be poor and needy and then to be rescued and given hope. We count it a privilege to reflect the image of our Savior, who, though He was rich, for our sake became poor, so that through His poverty we might become rich.
Sponsorship costs $38 a month—an investment of about $1.25 a day. Some of you would hardly miss that kind of money; for others of you, it really would be a significant sacrifice. But it provides opportunities for your sponsored child that most of the world’s poorest children never see. We have so much to share--not just our financial resources, but our love, our prayers, our letters. And I’m confident you’ll find that it truly is more blessed to give than to receive. The effects of your generosity will ripple through eternity.
Our church recently celebrated Compassion Sunday, and I received packets for 16 children. My church stepped up and sponsored nine of them! That means I still have seven left--seven precious children who need someone to come into their lives and say, "You matter. Jesus loves you, and I care about you. You have hope!" Orlin ... Bright ... Ariane ... Dorvensky ... Mohammed ... Immaculee ... Jonathan. Real people in need of real help and hope.
Could they be waiting for YOU? I would love to find sponsors for every one of these little ones before their packets expire and they go back onto the waiting list. If you're interested, leave a comment below with your email address, or email me at amykannel [at] hotmail [dot] com and I will get you set up.
I hope you’ll consider participating in this ministry of releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name. I believe in Compassion and I'm thankful to participate in the important and beautiful work they're doing.