Finally, it was the moment I had traveled thousands of miles for. There she was, a cute little girl with curly hair, standing outside a crowded church. Someone said, “This is Genesis, your sponsored child!”
I still remember walking through the doors of the Global Ministry Center, Compassion’s headquarters, for the first time. An indescribable feeling came over me — I had arrived home. I knew that I wanted to work for children, see God’s kingdom come by upholding the cause of the oppressed, and build a bridge between different cultures that need each other. But, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that his plans for me included being a part of the Trips and Visits team at Compassion.
The Latin term “imago Dei” is one that I first heard in a college Bible study. I remember sprawling on the floor of our dorm lobby, rolling the funny words around in my mouth.
Imago Dei. Image of God. That phrase has meant a lot to me over the years. For an organization that works in 25 developing countries, each with its own cultures, languages and customs, it is so important to see the imago Dei in every church and child we work with. Simply put, we must always make sure we are honoring a child’s dignity.
Is poverty tourism just a harmless way to gain insight into what it’s like to live in poverty? Sidney Muisyo explains the underlying and deeply flawed messages that slum tours are based on and can further ingrain in us. He also explains how you can visit an impoverished community in a way that is mutually honoring and beneficial.
She’s not a politician or known worldwide. So why does this retired postal worker have three children in Uganda named after her and her husband?
Andrews had been holding onto a prayer in his heart since he was 6 years old. He asked God to make a way for him to meet the friend who had shown so much love to him and his family. Fourteen years later, his prayer was unexpectedly and spectacularly answered.
For years I traveled to the countries where this ministry serves children living in desperate poverty. I’d sit and listen to the children and their families’ stories. The gap between us seemed so wide even though we were sitting right next to each other. But then we’d share a meal. And the gap couldn’t stand up to this act of breaking bread.
As the Compassion Bloggers journeyed to local church communities across Kenya, one thing became clear to them: We’re not alone, we belong to each other.
Nine years and 14 trips later, thousands of kids are now sponsored. Hundreds of stories are able to beam brightly from the dark shadows of the world. This Thursday, the Compassion Bloggers head to Kenya on trip number 15 and here are three reasons you’ll want to follow along!
We cry together. We laugh. We share. And we work. Every day. And sometimes we have to go the extra mile. They don’t have to come but they are willing to do it. They have the calling to serve.
This week, we are in Bolivia with two young men who have a fiery desire to do the Lord’s will and share about releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name, Cole LaBrant and John Stephen Grice. And the whole idea was inspired by you!
It’s human nature to use generalizations. We compartmentalize information about the world as we view it through our own tinted lenses of experiences and interactions. And if we’re not careful, that compartmentalization can shape what we think about a group of people into a singular story.