Today I am submitting the blog post I had hoped would never see the light of day. With our hearts aching, Compassion has begun the process of ending our operations in India.
If nothing changes in the next couple of weeks, our last day of operation in India will be March 15.
Months ago, the Indian government began blocking funds from reaching our field offices and church partners. Without those funds, we can no longer pay our staff or provide resources to our church partners and the children they serve. Please know that we have tried everything within our power to resolve this issue with the Indian government. But to date, all of those efforts have not resolved the matter.
As we navigate this difficult moment in Compassion’s history, I am flooded with emotions. I am heartbroken for sure, over the 147,000 babies, children, young adults and mothers who will no longer receive the benefits of Compassion’s program. I am distraught over the partnerships with 589 churches that will come to an end. I am concerned for our 127 staff members who have committed their careers to helping the poorest of the poor in their own communities.
And yet, I continue to have great hope for India.
I have hope because I know that, even after Compassion has left, those 589 Indian churches that are passionate about caring for children will still be there. They will continue to do what they can to serve families throughout their country. Compassion’s model has always been to lift up the local church so she can better serve her own community. We trust those churches grew stronger through years of partnering with Compassion, and they will take that strength and grow it to meet the unique needs of the communities they serve.
I also have hope for the future because I have met some of these precious Indian children, and I have witnessed their resilience. I deeply believe that nothing — no government, no politics, no principality — can stop the work of God in a child’s heart.
And I hope with all my heart that Compassion’s work isn’t entirely finished in India, the country that’s home to one-third of the world’s poorest children. God has called Compassion to release children from poverty and I don’t believe He’s excluded Indian children from that calling. I don’t know what our service in India will look like in the future, but I’m confident we will continue to follow God’s leading.
I’m honored by how you, our sponsors, have faithfully walked beside us through this trial. You’ve prayed. You’ve fasted. You’ve written your congressperson and you’ve spoken on behalf of Compassion through your social media channels. I am in awe of our Compassion family – tens of thousands of people from all walks of life who banded together on behalf of children we may never meet in person. That is powerful! That is humbling.
I want to assure you that Compassion has broken no laws in India. We have been and remain committed to abiding by the laws of every country where we serve. You may have seen reports from Indian media accusing Compassion of forcing children to convert to Christianity in order to receive the benefits of our program. That, of course, is simply not true. We partner with local Christian churches to extend the love of Jesus in very tangible ways, but we never required a child to convert to Christianity to benefit from our program. To do so would violate the dignity, freedom and grace that Jesus so freely gives each of us. Our church partners deliver Compassion’s holistic child development program to children in need regardless of race, religion, caste or creed.
Despite this heartbreaking situation in India, please know that Compassion’s ministry is still flourishing. We are continuing to serve more than 1.8 million children in 25 other countries. Our partnerships with more than 6,700 churches in those countries are as strong as ever. And our commitment to answering God’s call to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name is unwavering.
Thank you so much for your support through this difficult season. I’d ask that you please continue to pray for the children of India. Pray also that God will continue to equip the Church in India and that she will rise up to care for the vulnerable. Pray too for India’s leaders — that they would be willing to speak directly to us about this situation so we may come to a mutual understanding that benefits the children of India. And, finally, please continue to pray for Compassion, that new doors of ministry would open even as some are closing.
Watch a message from Jimmy Mellado, President of Compassion and Silas Balraj, Vice President Asia Region
If you sponsor a student in India, thank you for your unwavering support and for investing in his or her future. The seeds you have planted will continue to grow. We will be in contact with you to outline next steps as well as provide information on how to pray for and possibly send a final message to your sponsored child in India.
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My heart aches for this! A few months ago I was burdened for India, the Lord placed a load in my heart for the precious people in this country! I even had a dream, the elephant is a revered animal there, and in my dream a very ancient elephant, adorned with typical festive ornaments, broke the chain that kept it captive and kicked an iron sphere like the one in the Indian flag( Samsara) God will bring a breakthrough in India!
My wife and I were sponsoring a little girl in India (over the last 4 years) and just found out about this. We have begun sponsoring another child but we are wondering how we might write the girl that we were previously sponsoring a letter. I hope that the window for doing so has not closed? Would it be possible for us to obtain a mailing address and send a letter ourselves?
Eric, I am so sorry that you just found out that we had to leave India and have lost your precious girl. We communicated the situation with India over the last year to sponsors through physical mail and email, but it sounds like you may not have seen those. Regrettably, the time has passed to be able to write a final letter to her, and we are not able to give out the addresses of the centers the children attended for privacy and safety concerns. I am sorry :(.
Really sad. We place this situation in God’s hands. He will make a way where there seems to be no way. God bless the work you are doing everywhere.
I am new to the program and just selected a little girl from India. The next day I saw that things were shutting down there. I have not even received a packet yet. Will I need to select a new child?
I am so sorry for the confusion! You are correct. We did have to completely stop our partnership with India last month, and regrettably, we had a glitch in our system the other day and it made some of our India children available again. I do apologize for our error. Please give us a call when you have a moment and we will be happy to fix your account for you.
Our phone number is 1-800-336-7676. We are available to serve you Monday through Friday, 7:00 A.M. to 5:30 P.M., MT.
Have a blessed day,
So why cant funds be sent direct to the compassion workers thru western union or moneygram? I am constantly bombarded by scams trying to get me to send them moneygrams to india. Just saying.
Paul, thank you so much for your heart for children! We appreciate your desire to help those in need in India. I sincerely apologize that you have been contacted and asked for money. Regrettably, since Compassion cannot provide control or oversight in these scenarios, we don’t recommend sponsors connect directly or send money to pastors of our former India church partners. Each sponsor should weigh the mechanisms and possible risks involved in any international giving.
I was sponsored by CI here in India throughout my schooling. Very sad with the turn of events. Now, It’s time we took this up ourselves now.
I have recieved the letters with the sad news. My sponsored child is in Bangladesh. I know Bangladesh is neighbor to India. Is Bangladesh considered part of the shut down also?
Tammy, please rest assured that this closure is only affecting children sponsored in India. Your sweet kiddo in Bangladesh is not affected. Thank you for the love and support you give to your kiddo. Have a blessed day!
Would you please let me know where I can find this video alone, to share. Thank you.
Hi Shirley! I’m so sorry; we do not have a version of this video that is share-able by itself. To share this video, you will have to share the blog. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
My husband and I have sponsored a child in three different places for about 14 years now. We are so blessed by their letters, and know in a very small way we are making a difference. Please pray that the officials in India see the light and change and let Compassion back into India.
My husband and I prefer not to have a child selected for us as a replacement to our sponsored child in India. When we’re ready again, we would prefer to select a child ourselves, an older child. Our sponsored child in India was a 16-year-old boy that we had sponsored for 10 years. You sent us information that you had selected a 5-year-old girl as his replacement. This will not work for us. Please make the change on our account. Thank you.
Susan, thank you so much for letting us know. I have noted your account that you will not be taking on another child at this time and made this new girl available for another sponsor.
Just mailed in my final letter to Avala. We’re so heartbroken about this but we’re trusting in God’s sovereignty. I read a letter about the options we have for our sponsorship payment. Is there a link available on the website to make those changes?
Judy, regrettably, there is no link to make those changes. Please feel free to let us know (by posting here or emailing [email protected]) what changes you would like to make and we would be happy to take care of them for you.
I am beyond sad to see our sponsorship of Subithia have to come to an end. I too would like the chance to chose another child to sponsor, and not have one automatically assigned to me. I will do it in honor of the young woman that I have to say goodbye to.
I have made the adjustment on your account to show that you would like to choose your own child in honor of your young lady. Please note that you will no longer see Subitha on your account and you are welcome to select a new child as soon as you are ready. Thank you for your heart, and for taking such great care of your kiddos!
Have a blessed day!
As of 3/15/17, I have not received the final letter stationary, please mail ASAP
Good afternoon Mr. J Witt,
I apologize that you still have not received your final letter stationary. You should have received an email today with a .pdf version that you can print. If you did not receive this, please let us know and I will happily email that out to you. Thank you for taking the time to write that letter, I know it will make a huge impact on your kiddo!
Have a blessed day!
Curious question… If Compassion is able to get back into India in the future, will we be able to sponser our child again? My heart breaks when I think this is happening to an 8 year old girl. Bimala was my first sponsored child. She opened my heart to love someone so deeply. My heart grew to sponser another girl in Indonesia. I know I’m not ready to let Bimala go. She will always be in my heart.
Kristina, we cannot thank you enough for the incredible impact your sponsorship of Bimala has had in her life. Please rest assured that, should we return to India in the future, you will have priority in sponsoring Bimala again. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to return in the future, and we cannot guarantee that your sweet Bimala will be re-registered in the Compassion program. May God bless you and comfort you through this sad event. Thank you for your prayers!
I am not sure we will receive the special stationary from our mail forwarding service in time. Please email me a copy. Our precious Jeeva has sent us almost 70 letters since we began sponsoring him in 2007. This is heartbreaking, and your encouraging words remind us that God loves these children even more than we do. As hard as it is, we must trust them totally to His care, following them with our prayers. Thank you
Hi Lindsey, we are sending out an emailed copy of this stationary on the 20th just to make sure everyone has the ability to write one final letter.
Thank you for your kind words and encouragement! We appreciate your continued prayers!
Could I please get a copy of the special final letter stationary emailed to me? I am a correspondent sponsor for a child in India – and I would very much like to send a final letter to him!
Hi Liz! As you requested, I just emailed you the stationary. God bless you!
I am heart-broken about India’s decision to stop Compassion’s good work. Please, e-mail me a copy of the letter to send my last loving thoughts to my sponsored child. I am traveling and will not get to my mail on time. When is the last date to send the letter? Is there a way to send on-line now?
Hi Gina! I have emailed you a copy of the stationary. There is no way to do this online, but you do have until March 31st to get the letter back to us.
I have not received anything in the mail, nor was I notified that the last letter I sent online would not be sent to my child in India. I also read in the comments that Compassion was going to pick another child to be sponsored. Where is this information coming from? At this time, I am not looking to sponsor a child through Compassion. what is happening with the money that sponsors have kept sending that was to be used for our child but was not?
This information has been outlined in the letters that we have been sending out to keep our sponsors updated. However, we did want to give our sponsors some time to write a final letter and focus on their India children for a little bit before asking for another sponsorship right away. We know that most of our sponsors will want to bless another child, so we are trying to make that process as easy for them as possible. You will receive an email that is coming out on the 20th, and this will have all this information outlined for you. However, since you know that you will not be sponsoring another child at this time, I did go ahead and make a note of this on your account so that another child will not be offered. Please know that if you decide to sponsor with us in the future, we would be blessed to partner with you again!
Additionally, a recent letter that was sent out explained the choices you have with the funds we were not able to send to India. Basically, you are welcome to do anything you like with these funds. If you do nothing, your funds will go into out Critical Needs Fund. This will go toward helping children in the program who need something that is very urgent. But again, this is totally up to you! If you would prefer these funds be used for something else, please let us know and we will be happy to make that change!
If we failed to respond, have the funds already been shifted to the Critical Funds account or is there still time to designate where we would like them to go?
Hi Chris! It is not too late to designate these funds. How would you like them applied on your account?
I am so pleased to know that my February Compassion letter will not have to be the final one to my child in India. I look forward to receiving the PDF letter, and although heartbreaking, I know God will give me the words to say to a young man we’ve come to love like our own! I also know that God will make a way when there seems to be no way!
I just send a final letter on line, but read that it will not be sent. Can you also send us the stationary for a final letter or tell us know to do that?
Hi Kimberlee! You should actually receive a letter with the final letter stationary in the mail very soon. We will also be sending an email reminder with the pdf of the stationary to every India sponsor on the 20th this month. Thank you so much for taking the opportunity to write one last letter to Sowjanya. I know it won’t be an easy letter for you to write, but God will give you the words to share with her!
Is it possible to send a final letter to a sponsored child in India electronically? Living in Australia, I do not always receive the mail coming from Compassion USA in a timely way, so I may not receive the final letter stationery. Thank you for your help.
Hi Sheri! You will not be able to send a final letter to your India kiddo online. However, I went ahead and emailed you a copy of the final letter stationary so that you can print your own copy, and send that out so that you do not miss the deadline. I sent this to the email on file, if you do not receive this, please let us know. Happy writing. 🙂
hello Shannon, could you please also send me a copy of the stationary for the final letter? I have misplaced the one I received in the mail.
No problem, Laura! It is on its way!
I have sponsored a child in India for 8 years and am heartbroken to lose her. I received in the mail today Compassion’s 3/1/2017 letter regarding the closing of the sponsorship program in India. On page 5 of the letter, where it talks about “Stay a sponsor”, it says that I will be sent information about a new child to sponsor. I do want to sponsor a new child, but wonder if it is possible to choose the child myself? Also, I received stationary to write a final letter to my child. This will be a difficult letter to write, but I very much appreciate the opportunity to do so.
I am so sorry that you are feeling the affects of having to close India. I completely understand how hard this is, as I also sponsor a little boy in India. But you are right, having the opportunity to write a final letter will help all of us feel a bit of closure and I hope that all of our sponsors take advantage of this!
Also, you are absolutely more than welcome to choose a new child instead of allowing Compassion to choose one for you. I have made the correct changes in your account to ensure that you will not be assigned a child by Compassion, and this will allow you to choose your next sponsored child online, or give us a call and we can assist you with this over the phone. Just let us know if you need any help with this! 🙂
I would also like to choose a new child instead of being assigned one. Can you make those changes in my account as well? Also, when will the changes go into effect?
Kathy, we understand that nothing could ever replace the loving relationship you have with Swapna, and we are so grateful that you would like to sponsor another child. I have placed a special note on your account for us to not send you another child to consider. To choose your own next child, please log into your My Account on https://www.compassion.com. Once logged in, you may go to “Sponsor a Child” and choose a new child to sponsor. After selecting your new child, you will be asked “What prompted you to sponsor a child today?” Please select the option “India Sponsor – Selecting my next child” in the drop down box. Thank you so much for your loving heart to bless another child.
Good morning, Christina, we also wanted to choose our own child and did so earlier this week. I did not see the question about what prompted us to sponsor a child, but I put a note in the special instructions box that our new sponsorship was replacing our lost India sponsorship. Our new child is not showing on our account yet, and I know you guys are overwhelmed, but if you think it would be prudent to note our account that we don’t want another child automatically assigned to us, I would appreciate it. Thanks so much.
Hi Jill! I am not seeing this new child pending on your account yet, so I just want to double check that everything is working correctly. Do you happen to have the child number for the new child you selected? If you made a note on the account, this will kick out the sponsorship for someone to see that note manually, which may also be the case of why they are not showing quite yet, I would just like to double check for you. In addition, just in case, I did make a note on your account that if any of your children ever do finish the program, that you will be selecting your own child instead of having us add one for you.
Also, when I receive her child number back, we will do everything we can to get this all set up so that you may send a birthday gift! 🙂
I hope this is helpful!
Is there a way that we as individuals can help support a church in India?
Hi Jill! We appreciate your heart and desire to continue to bless children in India. Regrettably, Compassion cannot provide oversight or direction on sending money to local Indian churches. Therefore we do not recommend this. Each sponsor should weigh the mechanisms and possible risks involved in any international giving.
So sad to hear about this, even though my sponsored children were not from India. Just asking out of sheer curiosity, are there any plans to go into new countries in the future, especially now that India no longer will be a part of Compassion?
Hi Kate! The loss is something I think all of us as Compassion sponsors can feel and understand. We haven’t made any plans yet on if or how the ministry will move forward with new country prospects. It takes years to set up and establish a relationship with a new country and churches within that country.
So…so sad to hear this news. Pray and Hope God will reveals his divine plans for a better one
I am glad Compassion has addressed the “grief” part. I keep crying and wishing I had written more. I kept thinking it really wouldn’t happen and that of course I can keep writing. If they can get that one “final” letter it would mean so much. Although it will be hard to write, I want her to know she will be lifted up in prayer long after the letter.
Cindy, the letters you have written to Anusikha will continue to encourage her and remind her of your love for many years to come. You have blessed her in more ways than you may ever know, and the Lord will continue to have His hand upon her life.
I have sponsored Siva Sankar Reddy Pedakanti for seven years he was 9 years old and is now 15 go on 16, to say this is heart broken go’s with out saying. I will continue to pray for him until, I die. I lost my 29 year old son William last year and know to lose Siva is too much. But I will ask God to make a new way in to India to help all this children and adults in need.
Renee, my heart breaks for you. Please know I will personally be praying for the healing of this hurt :(. God is not finished with India, and your sweet boy, Siva, has received so much love and encouragement from you and the staff at his center for the past seven years. That will not be forgotten.
I am glad to read here that we will be given a chance to send a last letter to our children there. However, I would love to see an example sentence of how to compose such a letter so that it doesn’t appear to the child we are saying a very sad goodbye, but one of encouragement and love for them? Can you help? Also- is it only a letter, or will one last gift be accepted?
You may have already written your letter, but if not, I have Romans 8:35-38 displayed on my office wall…begins Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love?…” I sent that in my final letter, Telling her the recent events won’t stop God’s love or work in her life, nor will it stop my love or prayers.
Leah, we are providing final letter stationary to sponsors of India children and will do our absolute best to deliver the letters. If you’d like some ideas, what I have done in my letter to my boys is reminded them that my love has not diminished. I will still be praying for both of them as they continue to grow into the godly young men the Lord is molding them into, and I made it a point to call out the godly character I have seen in each of them throughout the time I have been their sponsor. I’ve also been praying different Bible verses over them that God has brought to my mind and included them in my letters. I know this goodbye is hard. It’s excruciating really, and there are many tears being shed. It’s ok to grieve the loss. Regrettably, we are not able to send gifts to the children anymore because we aren’t able to send funds of any kind into the country.
Hi Sarah, I phoned two days ago and talked with a Compassion representative about my sponsored boy in India, Madi Kama. The representative told me to write a final letter and encouraged me not to delay. “Write it soon,” he said. I sent my final letter yesterday, 3/7/17, electronically on the Compassion website. Will he still possibly receive it? I asked the CI representative about the info I would receive in the mail and he did not indicate there would be special stationery for the final letter. As of this writing, I have not received the packet in the mail.
Susan, I am deeply sorry that you will no longer be able to sponsor your sweet boy Madi Kama :(. I apologize for any miscommunication our part. The only letters that we will be attempting to deliver to the children will be final letters written on the official stationary we are sending in the mail. Regrettably, the final letter you sent electronically will not be sent to Madi Kama. I’m so sorry that you will need to rewrite your final letter to him, but maybe this will give you the opportunity to make sure you have said all that is on your heart for him. Please rest assured that you should receive this letter including the stationary in the mail soon. We cannot thank you enough for the incredible impact your sponsorship has made in your boy’s life. God bless you.
If I have not received any last instructions or special stationary, can I still get a letter off to my sponsored child in India? Will it still get there at this late date?
On a separate note, I want everyone to be encouraged by how mighty our God is and how He is still in the miracle business. The last financial gift I sent to my child in India was received by him as confirmed through a thank you letter he wrote that I recently received. It was truly touching to know that God is still watching out for these children despite the road blocks the government in that country seems to be throwing up in the way.
Never lose hope and keep praying for your children and the country.
Our God is still very much in the miracle working and prayer answering business!
Hi Julie! We are sending this stationary on the 10th, so you’ll receive it soon after that. Please do make sure you write the final letter on that stationary and return it to us as soon as possible. Thank you so much for sharing your sweet words of wisdom for our sponsors! God is absolutely still in control and has mighty plans to use this for good.
I am feeling pain regarding this ….. I assure my prayers ….. may god having plan bigger then this
In 1999, I picked up my first child sponsor card at a Passion conference event on my college campus. I thought it was a young boy in India, but it turned out I misread the packet and I had become the sponsor of a young 8 yr old girl. It was a welcome surprise, as “J” and I went on and spent 15 years corresponding with each other, sharing stories growing up as an Indian born in America, hearing about each other’s families, up until she left for college.
Many have told me that it is rare to sponsor the same child for that long. We were all blessed by it, and now she is living out a great calling on her life thanks to Compassion.
I cannot thank “J” and Compassion enough for the love they filled in my heart. I cannot wait to reunite with her and the other Indian children in the kingdom to come.
“The Lord will repay the years the locust have eaten.”
I don’t know what is the God’s intension, why the Indian Government block the wonderful Ministry in India.
What is the benefits?
Very sad ….
With tears I write this.So terribly sad.My heart feels so much for those priceless beautiful children.Plus all the many sponsors who will be heartbroken.I pray that our wonderful Heavenly Father will bless you all and comfort you in all ways.
Even from my country of Australia I feel love for you all.So many many Compassion people will feel exactly the same.Gods Word says ‘Weep with those who weep.’We are for you.
May the Lord God,your Heavenly Father bless you even more.May He provide every need for you all.In Jesus name I pray.Amen.
Very sad. Can anyone point me to where the stationary for the final letter to our child in India can be found? Or will it be mailed to us? Thanks.
Hans, you will receive the stationary for a final letter in the mail shortly. Thank you so much for loving and supporting a child in India! We are so honored to partner with you!
When I see that video really few minutes I don’t no what Iam doing. It’s a black day in compassion India history. But still I believe that our God can change impossible to possible. Still he is on the throne. His gracious hand is moving in India. Don’t worry
Just wait for miracle. Amen.
Amen, Lavanya! We trust God today! We know that God is still on the throne and will bring good even from this! We will keep praying without ceasing.
Amen. I couldn’t agree more, Terri! So sorry to hear this much-needed ministry in India has to shut down because it will affect so many needy people (children and adults alike). Praying in accord with you for a rich harvest; we know God’s Word and the Holy Spirit will always overcome adversity. Hallelujah indeed!
‘No one can stop the work of God in a childs life’ What beautiful hope filled words.As tears swell up in my eyes I feel so very sad for Compassion India.For all those most beautiful prescious children,the lovely beautiful Compassion people.Words are hard to say but,in Jesus ,I love you all.All Compassion people love you.We are all family,one with Christ together and forever.
I love you all very very much.Lord bless and keep you forever safe in His loving beautiful arms.
Dave, thanks for the love and prayers! We are honored to partner with you!
I had a dream last night that my wife and I adopted a little boy from India! Wow… I’m not sure what the Lord might be saying… we are praying for you and the lives that have been touched and changed in India.
We are one of those families affected by this and it breaks our hearts. We’ve sponsored a young boy for two years and now it’s all over. Tears started falling when I read that we will get one final, FINAL!!!! chance to write him but there’s no guarantee he will receive the letter. I’m at a loss for words, really. I pray and hope that our sponsor child will never forget how much Jesus loves him and how much we love him and his family, and that someone there, hopefully will be able to continue to teach him about Jesus. Thank you, CI for always giving us the newest updates whenever possible throughout this last year, and for everything you have done in India since you began there.
Mandy, we are so heartbroken here at Compassion over this situation. 🙁 That said, we are incredibly grateful for all of the love and support you have given to your precious boy in India over the years!
As I watched this video, tears began pouring down my cheeks as my heart breaks for the children and families affected by the decision of India’s government concerning the ministry of CI. I pray that the seeds already planted will reap a harvest of blessing in India for God will build His church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it! Hallelujah!
YOU KNOW, I AM VERY GLAD THAT WE WERE, AT LEAST, ABLE TO DEMONSTRATE THE LOVE OT GOD TO ALL THE LESS PRIVILEGED FAMILIES BACK IN INDIA. WITH THE AMOUNT OF TIME THAT C.I HAD TO INFLUENCE LIVES THERE, THERE WAS A MANIFESTATION OF THE THE LOVE, AND PROVIDENCE OF THE GOD IN A WAY THAT DEMONSTRATES JAMES 2: 15 – 20 FALL ALL WHO WERE INVOLVED.
THANK YOU SO MUCH GUYS, AND LET’S CONTINUE TO BE THE LIGHT WHEREVER WE ARE; THAT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY.