The presence of dignity doesn’t equal the absence of poverty.Continue Reading ›
Child development specialists say that 18-year-old Emilda Soriano has the mental capacity of a 3-year-old. But this hasn’t prevented her from qualifying to represent the Philippines in track and field at the International Special Olympics in Athens, Greece this summer. Let’s raise the money to send Emilda to Greece.Continue Reading ›
When I wake up each morning, I usually feel angry. I’m not exaggerating. Three or four days a week I wake up with a sense that my soul is drowning, like I’m 300 feet beneath the ocean surface, on the fringe of complete darkness.
I can vaguely see a place without anger. I can vaguely see some light, but I don’t know how to get to it. I can’t swim. I can’t move.
Challenge is an aggressive word. It suggests victory … or loss. It implies a struggle and change, possibly forced change. Change creates uncertainty for people. And uncertainty breeds worry and fear.
Asking people questions about what they believe and why they believe it is challenging. It’s often deemed unacceptable. People feel threatened and get defensive. It’s uncomfortable. Should we do it?
David Kinnaman, President of The Barna Group, recently told an assemblage of more than 100 Compassion employees, “Your business model is out of date.” He didn’t suggest it. He declared it. As fact. He didn’t say it might happen in the future. He said it’s here. He didn’t position it as his opinion to consider. He delivered this “truth” directly, firmly and respectfully. It was refreshing.
Our ability to take ownership of our actions is a necessary skill in escaping any strain of poverty – physical, emotional or spiritual. Actions have consequences. It’s something God tried to show us through Adam and Eve.
$38 a month. That’s how much it costs to sponsor a child through Compassion, which is more than the price of sponsorship at other organizations. The difference sometimes leads to questions such as: What does my child get each month for $38?” (i.e., how are our programs run and what do we deliver), and “Where is the money going that isn’t going to the children?” (i.e., how do we spend your money).
How we go about fighting extreme poverty contrasts with how other organizations work toward the same goal. We fight poverty personally; whereas, many organizations fight communally.
I don’t mean that other organizations aren’t personally invested or committed to eliminating extreme poverty. I mean that a child focused, child development approach to fighting poverty is distinctly different than a broader community development approach.
If you find yourself calling Compassion a child sponsorship organization I have news for you. We are not a child sponsorship organization. We are a child development organization.
And child development isn’t just child sponsorship.
If I cared, I’d be more like Bono or Mother Teresa or even Wess Stafford — someone with influence and name recognition, someone with a story. If I cared, I’d do more, right? If I cared, I’d dedicate my life to serving the poor — as their champion, as their savior.