Archives for: 2010 (subscribe)

Our president Wess Stafford recently spoke about the passing year at a Compassion chapel service. We hope you are as encouraged by his words as we have been.

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How many of us have managed to escape tragedy in some form or another? All of us, at some point, struggle through heartaches and experience moments that threaten to tear us apart. But there’s something else that is also true.

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While Patrick was working as an intern at a pharmaceutical company, he was asked repeatedly to pass a drug that had harmful chemicals in it. In fact, Patrick was offered 10 million Ugandan shillings — enough for him and his family to buy land and a new house.

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Siva practices Silambam with the utmost care and precision.

Indeed, Siva wears many crowns. And this young girl has yet another talent given by the Almighty. She is extremely good at silambam — stick fighting, a traditional south Indian martial art.

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Clearly, all is not well in this bath! Most of us don’t know what it’s like to bathe in a bucket. What photo caption can you come up with to describe what this poor child is thinking?

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With undying gratitude to our Heavenly Father for seeing us through the year, and to you, sponsors, donors, and friends of Compassion, for your prayers, love and support in 2010 – Merry Christmas from Compassion International!

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Officially, Christmas begins on Dec. 7 when Colombian people celebrate Candle Day, an important festivity in which kids and adults join at night to light candles in the streets and windows. Offices and homes are decorated with lanterns and candles that welcome the holiday season. They are also accompanied by fireworks.

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In the true spirit of Christmas, please remember that the wise men came and gave gifts to Him and not to each other. Our own personal fasts might be the best gifts that we could ever provide to God — the giving of ourselves through a focused time of prayer and devotion to Him.

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This work is imperfect because it involves people. Compassion is not program-focused (though program models are used) – it’s intensely, insanely, beautifully child-focused. And sometimes, all of the questions in your letters don’t get answered. Sometimes a child drops out of the program and you don’t get an explanation. Sometimes, you feel frustrated because you…

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Dec 20 2010

Christmas in Nicaragua

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The festive decorations and music create an atmosphere of celebration. Bible verse competitions are held among the different ages. They also have a piñata, party jumper, delicious lunch and a short devotion by the pastor. Distributing the much-anticipated Christmas presents is the final highlight.

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Due to poverty, many children drop out of school to work in sugarcane plantations. Here, they are exploited and forced to work long hours for meager pay. Negros Occidental has the highest magnitude of poor families in the country, mostly concentrated in rural areas. About 33 percent of the population lives on less than $1…

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Metro Manila, seen as a “land of opportunities,” has lured many people from different provinces to work and live here. About 35 percent of the families live in informal slum areas that are unfit for settlement, such as in low-lying flood plains, on riverbanks, near highways and railroads, and on dumpsites.

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We have this spot where we can share our fundraising ideas and experiences. Bake sales, aluminum can drives, Compassion parties, golf tournaments, lemonade stands — this is the place to bring it. If you’ve organized an event already, please share what you did. What worked? What didn’t work? What would you do differently?

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Just as artists on the stage have people working behind the scenes to make them shine, Felipe has a grateful heart toward one person who helped him shine: his sponsor, Barry. “If it wasn’t for him, his love, his letters, and his sponsorship maintaining me in the center, I’m sure that I would not be…

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Dec 14 2010

Delivering Hope

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Sponsored children receive letters from their sponsors. Unsponsored children do not.

Andrea, one of the Compassion workers and our translator, told me that the only time there is a true distinction between a child who is unsponsored and a child who is sponsored is when letters are handed out. It’s a little bit like the unsponsored…

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Dec 14 2010

Crackers or Mud?

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Recently, I read about how the poor in Haiti have to mix mud in their food to make it go further. Mud. They mix it with flour to make a few more biscuits or simply fry it up with cooking oil or lard and salt to give it a bit of taste. Imagine a mother…

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I think the volunteers at this center, the facilitator, the pastor and the director understand the importance of eradication. I know they rely on God for the victory, but I think your faithfulness and your commitment to your sponsored children is running poverty out of the minds and hearts of these children.

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The streets are still filled with debris, smoldering tires and overturned cars. Few cars can pass, so transportation is limited to motorcycles and feet. There are still pockets of violence throughout the city, but it’s so much quieter today. Quiet enough for me to think. Which can sometimes be dangerous.

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I thought I was imagining it at first. I do have an overactive imagination, after all. But I couldn’t mistake the chanting. I crept to the window, and as icy cold water from the air conditioner dripped on my feet, I heard the city exploding. Nothing had blown over. It had blown up. I lay…

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I saw people begging on the streets, just as I thought I would. But I also saw a young man, profoundly handicapped, sitting in a dark alley, pounding his head against the wall. That single image of brokenness, of pain, sits in my chest like a stone. Haiti somehow breaks my heart.

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This brand-new plant will supply, among other areas, the 21 Compassion-assisted centers in Manabí Province. These child development centers assist 6,394 boys, girls and adolescents. With the consumption of this water, the number of cases of parasites and cavities among children is expected to decrease from 80 percent to 50 percent.

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“I want to reach my dream. I want to become a doctor someday because I want to help people in this village,” says Nathan.

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One priority of the celebration is to present the gospel through the living testimony of children who are registered in different child development centers. One by one, groups from every center head up to the stage for a special cultural and evangelistic presentation, including messianic dances, mimes, choreography, and songs to exalt the name of…

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Ana says of her sponsor, “She is like a sister to me because she talks to me and tells me she’s coming, so I’m always waiting for her. I am very happy and thankful with God because she always sends me nice things and wishes me blessings from God, and she also sends me pictures.”

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Dec 3 2010

Life in El Salvador

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El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America. Located between Guatemala and Honduras, it possesses 21,041 square kilometers (about the size of Massachusetts) and is tropical, with an average temperature of 30° to 35°C (80°to 95°F). The land is mostly mountains covered with tropical rainforest, with its highest peak being El Pital at 8,957…

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