In her first couple of years as a volunteer child advocate, Vicki strongly encouraged a couple of enthusiastic sponsors to join the Advocate Network.Continue Reading ›
Sponsored children need to know that we love them and pray for them; they need our encouragement to do well in school and at the center, and to remember that Jesus loves them very much.Continue Reading ›
The monthly cost of sponsorship requires sacrifices — eating out less often, engaging in recreational activities less frequently, and so on. But we make other, less recognized sacrifices, and they do cost us something.
If you can afford to sponsor a child but, for any of several reasons, know that you will not correspond faithfully, please do the part that you can do and ask Compassion to find someone to do the other part.
The question of whether child sponsorship is about us or the children we sponsor generates a lot of discussions. Should we hold on tightly to the things and people we cherish or should we hold on loosely?
One of my earliest lessons in the importance of our gifts came from Tausi (Tanzania). I began sponsoring her soon after her stated birth date (which later proved to be wrong, but…) and immediately sent a gift of $25.
About a year ago, I wrote aI received from God into Compassion’s ministry as a Child Advocate. There was then and is now no room for confusion or doubt.
But at some level, I apparently thought a clear call to ministry meant that God would go before me, opening many doors and leading me to pastors and ministry leaders who would be receptive, all resulting in hundreds of child sponsorships, every year. Well, dozens, anyway.
But that has not been my experience, which has left me variously puzzled, frustrated and often discouraged. What does a clear call or direction from God, mean, then, if not that the ministry will be fruitful? (more…)
We all know that on the night Jesus was arrested, Peter denied knowing Him, three times. But thankfully, Peter’s story does not end there.
In John 21, following His resurrection, Jesus asked Peter, three times, “Do you love me?” And each time Peter responded, Jesus called him to ministry: “Feed my sheep.”
Like Peter, I have been broken by sin, I am being healed by grace, and I am called to feed Christ’s lambs. Those of us who sponsor children know that Compassion’s whole ministry is about “feeding” Christ’s sheep.
I have heard numerous times that each child is said to have a sphere of influence of about 30 people, and I love knowing that every time a child is sponsored, perhaps 30 people’s lives will be impacted for Jesus Christ!
Compassion International as a Part of God’s Plan for My Life
For about 35 years, once I first heard of such a possibility, I wanted to sponsor a child. But for most of that time, I simply could not afford even $10 per month.
About mid-2001, watching a commercial on TV for another organization, I realized I could finally afford to do something. But through which organization? Who could I really count on to use the money for the child’s benefit? Could I trust any of them, and how would I know? Having no answers, I did nothing.
I spent all of 2002 praying for God to show me what area of ministry He wanted me in. Almost every Sunday, I heard, “Find your passion and use it!” “Hmm…where can I get a ‘passion’?” I couldn’t have found a passion in me with a flashlight or a search warrant. So I prayed, and I waited.
Two weeks before Christmas, I walked out of church on a cold, gray day in a mood to match. I walked down three or four steps into the fellowship area and began to pass a row of ministry tables. Above and behind the first one was a banner saying something about Compassion.
I kept walking, but my inner skeptic wanted to know: “What are we being ‘compassionate’ about, today?”
I turned, looked down at a sea of packets, each with a photo of a child; the world stopped, along with all sound and movement around me. I knew what these packets represented.
I stood there, saying half under my breath, “I can do this! I can do this!” About the fourth time, a Voice inside said, “Yes, you can do this. This is it!”
A warmth started at the top of my head and flowed over me and through me, right down to my feet. I took home two packets, unsure about one child.
That afternoon, I went to Compassion’s website to look at more children. I didn’t realize how many photos they kept on there, and I quickly felt overwhelmed. “God, I can’t sponsor them all!” soon changed to “God, we’ve got to find sponsors for these kids!”
About the fourth time (what is it with four times?!), I heard, “Yes, we do!” Then I realized the “This is it” meant more for me than “merely” sponsoring. And I do not mean to minimize the importance of sponsoring!
So, as is true of so many advocates, if not all, I came into this ministry with a clear calling. There have been times when I have needed to remember that, when church doors refused to open, when people walked by the tables with hardly a glance, and I wanted to use a 2×4 on their heads to get their attention. (Thank God, I’ve grown past that!)
But let me mention some of the things that continually reaffirm the rightness of Compassion in my life, and as a real ministry in this world. (more…)