10 More Reasons to Write Your Child

For many of us, the letters we exchange are the closest we’ll ever come to our sponsored children. And even though we may understand the impact of our letters, it is still difficult to actually make the time to write a letter. That’s just reality.

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Cook with Compassion: Zucchini and Poblano Soup

While making zucchini and poblano soup, Becky got in touch with her inner celebrity chef and took some creative license with the recipe. Which means — she winged it!

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10 Motivating Reasons to Write Your Child

Out of 3,500 letters from our Project Facilitators, we compiled a list of 10 of the most motivating reasons to write your child.

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You Are Not Helpless, You Are Empowered

One of Satan’s favorite tactics is to make you feel impotent. To get you to believe that no matter what you do, it won’t make a difference.

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Redeeming Haiti

No one in their right mind would call the earthquake that hit Haiti a good thing. It was utterly devastating. And yet still there is good.

Because of the earthquake’s destruction, Haiti is now having to start with what feels like a nearly clean slate. The [corrupt and inefficient] government was toppled. The [inadequate] school system was destroyed. Proof of [unjust] land ownership is now virtually impossible. The [enormous and unbridgeable] gap in economic status was decimated, putting government officials in tents next to poor slum-dwellers.

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The Healing Power of the World Cup

Haiti, which is still digging out from the catastrophic earthquake that struck in January, did not qualify for the 2010 World Cup. But the Haitian people badly need a team to root for to lift their spirits, and most are cheering for the powerful Brazilian team.

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Fewer Children Are Dying

Good news from the government is pretty rare. Good news in the media is even more rare. So when I read this headline the other day, I smiled: “WHO sees good progress on UN health goals for poor.”

According to a recent study by the U.N.’s World Health Organization, good progress is being made on health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

  • Fewer children are dying.
  • The estimated percentage of underweight children under 5 has dropped.
  • New HIV infections have declined.
  • Existing cases of tuberculosis are declining.
  • The world is on track to achieve the MDG target on access to safe drinking water.

Let’s just pause for a moment to let this sink in. We are making progress. Let’s celebrate this!

Of course, this doesn’t mean we can slow down in our fight against global poverty. If anything, seeing progress should motivate us to work even harder. And, as has been mentioned around here before, eliminating extreme poverty is just a matter of priorities.

The annual income of Christian American churchgoers is $5.2 trillion. The amount of money needed to end global poverty is about $74 billion a year. … Basically, 1 percent of our annual income a year is what is needed to end extreme poverty.

So the question is, what are your priorities?

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At My First Graduation, I . . .

graduation-memories I knew our Leadership Development Program has graduations. I knew our Child Sponsorship Program has graduations. But I had no idea that our Child Survival Program (CSP) has graduations, until I saw this precious little gem…

The kids obviously take the graduation ceremony very seriously. (Or maybe they’re simply concentrating on holding such a large diploma.)

I distinctly remember my first graduation ceremony … 6th grade. I marched across the stage to get my diploma and then gathered with my class on three tiers of bleachers and sang “Country Roads” by John Denver. Even after 21 years I still remember every word to that song. I wonder what these CSP graduates will remember about their graduation.

How about you? What do you remember about your first graduation? Anything interesting?

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I No Longer Sponsor a Child

You know the scene in any coming-of-age movie when a teenage girl is about to go to her first dance and she appears at the top of the stairs and her parent (usually a widowed father) stands there with tears in his eyes and a huge lump in his throat, totally entranced by his daughter’s newly uncovered beauty? That’s how I feel.

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Was My Sponsored Child Affected by That Crisis?

In a perfect world, here’s how the process would work:

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On Letter Writing: Would You Rather … ?

The topic of letter-writing always sparks lively discussions. It even seems to spontaneously come up in posts on other topics.

So seeing as we genuinely value your input (and OK … I admit … in an attempt to stimulate a discussion), I hereby pose the following question to you:

Would you rather receive more general letters from your sponsored child more often or more detailed letters on a less frequent basis?

Discuss.

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Give Up On Serving the Poor?

Serving the poor I read a blog post the other day that I want to share with you. It’s titled Why I Stopped Serving the Poor, and it was written by Claudio Oliver of Curitiba, Brazil. His grandparents founded the Salvation Army in Brazil.

“Without exception, rich and poor have the same conviction that what they need is something that the market, money, the government or some other agency can offer them.”

I don’t remember how I stumbled across his post, but I do know it rocked me to the core. And it’s a pretty timely subject since Saturday is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

“The only way to remain with the poor is if we discover that we are the miserable ones. We remain with the poor when we recognize ourselves, even if well disguised, in him/her who is right before our eyes. When we can see our own misery and poverty in [the poor], when we realize our own needs and our desperate need to be saved and liberated, then and only then will we meet Jesus and live life according to His agenda.”

Pretty much every word I read resonated deeply within me. It was refreshing to hear a Christian talk in such a counter-cultural way about poverty.

“Jesus doesn’t have any good news for those who serve the poor. Jesus didn’t come to bring good news of the Kingdom to those who serve the poor; he brought Good News to the poor. He has nothing to say to other saviors who compete with him for the position of Messiah, or Redeemer.”

The thing that struck me most was the author’s humility. He speaks about his own journey with a transparency that gives credence to his words.

“Over the years I’ve discovered that the very position of serving the poor from a commitment to “liberate” them, has been filled with a sense of superiority.”

I have been racking my brain for days trying to come up with a way to get you interested enough to read the post. After many abandoned attempts, I decided to just take the direct route.

You should read the article, Why I Stopped Serving the Poor. I promise … it will be worth your time.

“I have given up on serving the poor. I’m going back to encountering the poor and finding myself in them.”

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