10000-children Have you noticed the “international” component of who we are? Compassion International.

Part of that internationality is that we work in 24 countries throughout the developing world … uh, 25 countries (you know about Togo, right?)

And the other part of that internationality is that there are 11 countries that form Compassion’s Global Partner Alliance. These are the countries where you, the sponsors, come from.

For the most part, the blog is written by Compassion U.S. staff with great contributions and insight coming from staff in the developing world. But there is more to us than those two perspectives.

Today’s post is written by Irene Kao, digital marketing specialist, in the Compassion Australia office.

Our plan is to have our global partners contribute as frequently as possible to help expand your perspective on who we are and how we work, as well as connecting you with sponsors and donors throughout the world.

Take it away Irene!

I’m a Compassion Australia employee and I’ve seen poverty firsthand. But three weeks ago, for the first time in many months, I started thinking seriously about sponsoring another child.

It’s not because I haven’t been confronted by poverty in the past. During my short-term mission trip to Uganda in February 2008, I came face-to-face with children who were born into desperate, heart-breaking poverty. I saw that without outside support, they were spiritually dead, physically malnourished, emotionally depressed, economically destitute, and socially rejected.

It’s not that I haven’t witnessed the powerful, positive impact that Compassion’s programs are bringing to poor communities around the world. I had the privilege of visiting the homes of Compassion children in Entebbe, Uganda. Seeing the little that they have was not only confronting for me but also a humbling experience. But despite the underprivileged lifestyle they still lived, they now have a life filled with hope …

I sensed their heart-felt gratitude towards their God-given Compassion support. Their Compassion support was a ticket that’d help them break free from the chains of poverty. Seeing children set free from poverty in the name of Jesus have been, for me, holy encounters with the heart of God.

Am I a child sponsor? Yes. Have I considered sponsoring another child? To be honest, sponsoring another child isn’t on my immediate agenda.

As a Compassion employee, releasing children from poverty has become a part of my lifestyle. I’m also constantly exposed to compelling facts and footage geared toward challenging me to do something about poverty. I’m conscious of how in the course of working in the ministry, I need to make sure that I don’t become desensitised to the brutal reality of poverty. And I believe that God orchestrated a series of events at Hillsong Conference 2008 to help me re-examine my heart and my actions, and to align them with His.

For me, Hillsong Conference 2008 focused on a running theme of God’s heart for His children, His church, and His desire for us to live a life of love. Our natural response to knowing His love would simply be to share in His love. On the third day of the conference, I sat in the Acer Arena along with 17,000 conference delegates as Compassion Australia presented its 10,000 Children campaign video.

Through Pastor Brian Houston and Pastor Darlene Zschech, the audience was transported to the slums in India, where grandparents shared their struggles to raise their abandoned grandchildren, where the struggling next-door neighbor of a mother of two shared his desire to help his less fortunate neighbor … if only he had more income. The video came to a close with a young sponsored boy expressing his heart-felt gratitude towards God and his sponsor.

I was heart-broken … and a mess. Thankfully, I wasn’t alone.

It was as if a veil were lifted from all of our eyes as 17,000 people were, together, exposed to the violent effects of poverty. At the same time, a sense of responsibility arose from within the arena. We were anointed to make a difference in a way I’ve never sensed before.

10,000 Children campaign video from Hillsong Conference 2008

Conference delegates trickled through the Compassion tent during the rest of the conference. People thought seriously about making a sacrifice to see more children released from poverty, or to find someone else to help. A fellow colleague shared his experience working at the Compassion tent:

“The thing that impacted me the most was the number of complete strangers who threw their arms around me purely because I was wearing the Compassion jumper. Also, the number of young people, many of them students, who despite their difficult financial positions wanted to sponsor children. Inspirational!” –- Marcel

In moments like this I’m reminded that at the heart of this ministry is the heart of our God. It also reminded me that even though I didn’t enter into the ministry expecting people to love me for it, I have been affirmed countless times for simply doing what God has called me to do.

But I need to be reminded of that passion God’s given me for the cause (ever so often), and to remind myself that I’ve been empowered to act out love in His name. We can’t end world poverty on our own. But as Pastors Brian and Bobby Houston said, “We can’t do everything … but we must do something.”

Share the 10,000 Children campaign video on YouTube.

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11 Comments Add a Comment
  1. Chad Summers
    Jul 29, 2008
    at 4:54 pm

    That video was a bona fide tear-jerker. I give a great shout-out to Compassion Australia for getting 10,000 Children Sponsored in 10 Days. With God’s help, it will happen.

  2. Jul 29, 2008
    at 7:58 pm

    This is really excellent — it’s so exciting to hear about the Hillsong conference, because the last time we spoke, you were headed to the conference and we were praying about it. What a great report — and God bless Compassion Australia!

  3. Jul 29, 2008
    at 8:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing your heart. I will pray that those 10,000 children do get sponsored in 10 days. God can do it. He just asks us to be faithful.

  4. Vanessa Phillips
    Jul 29, 2008
    at 11:55 pm

    It was so powerful to witness the video associated with with post. The grandparents were a call to heart for me. These people are doing everything they can to help themselves, and they deserve our help too. I have been thinking about sponsoring a child, and your blog couldn’t have arrived at a better time. I’m going to strike while the iron is hot and sponsor online now. To do the same, visit Compassion’s site: http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/waystosponsor/all_children.htm

  5. Heather
    Jul 30, 2008
    at 1:56 am

    I myself am thinking of sponsering another child also.God can do anything and will work miracles but His people must listen to Him.I hope everyone who sees this video has their heart bashed in2 tiny pieces for these children!

  6. Jul 30, 2008
    at 2:20 pm

    Hey cool! I actually linked to the video in my post yesterday called 10,000 lights (here: http://compassiondave.wordpress.com/ ). I must be psycho…um, I mean psychic.

  7. Aug 7, 2008
    at 5:17 pm

    Thank you for all your encouraging comments! It’s such a privilege to be united in a cause with men & women as yourselves around the world. Sponsorships are still coming in! You never know what God has done & will continue to do in the hearts of the conference delegates & those that see the video! :) Way to go, Compassion supporters!

  8. cherlene robson
    Aug 20, 2008
    at 5:15 am

    Hi, Irene it is lovely to know that God has been using you and blessing you through your experience and through your work.I believe God has special plan for you in your future.

    I am please that our church New Vine Baptist has recently entered into partnership with Compassion to reach out to the village in Indonesia called Kapang.

    Bless you Irene

  9. Mike Stephens
    Apr 2, 2009
    at 1:56 pm

    Thanks for the post I looked at Compassion Australia and learned a little about their history and they had a Q&A where I learned some new things!!!

    Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners Christ died for us!!!”

  10. Apr 2, 2009
    at 4:20 pm

    Hey Mike! That’s the bible verse I needed to hear! Thanks! Glad you’re finding the FAQs helpful :)

  11. Celestin Estherline
    Jul 27, 2010
    at 3:41 pm

    That’s the true Compassion of God working,moving in human.

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