September 09, 2014

Not Too Soon for Christmas

What does a Christmas celebration look like for our sponsored children? Do they have special Christmas traditions with their families? Do they decorate their homes with Christmas decorations? Do they attend special Christmas services at their churches? Because it can take months to get a letter to your sponsored child, it’s not too soon to write about Christmas now!

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2013

Memories of Christmas in Tanzania

Christmas is the season to visit relatives far and close. As for Christians, many tie marriage knots around Christmas. Other church events, such as public declarations of Christian faith, also called confirmations or first communions, take place around Christmas.

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2018

What Gift Does the Child You Sponsor Get at Christmas?

Each year more than 1.9 million children in Compassion’s programs receive their very own Christmas present through the Christmas Gift Fund. For some children, it’s the only gift they’ll receive all year. And there are only a few days left for you to make sure the child you sponsor – and every child we serve around the globe– receives a handpicked gift just for them!

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2016

They Do Know It’s Christmas

It was a perfect December day to listen to Christmas music. I was out running errands, driving in a light, winter snow. A lesser known Christmas song filled the car – “Do They Know it’s Christmas?” I’d heard the song on the radio before. But this time I paid attention to the lyrics. And what I heard stunned and saddened me.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2017

10 of the Most Unique Christmas Traditions Around the World

Christmas traditions vary from family to family as well as culture to culture! Travel the world with us as we explore unique, quirky and wonderful Christmas traditions across the globe!

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2010

Celebrating Christmas in El Salvador

To celebrate Christmas in El Salvador means to mix a variety of traditional Christian beliefs and adopted Western customs.

Christmas for El Salvadorans still carries a strong meaning that brings families together. Despite the gangs on the streets and the red, green and white flooding the environment, Salvadoran people try honor the true meaning of Christmas — the birth of Jesus.

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2014

Valerie’s First Christmas

I was about 3 years old in my earliest Christmas memory. I had chickenpox, and because I was quarantined, my stepfather dressed as Santa to cheer me up. I don’t remember the gifts I got that year, but I remember feeling so special that Santa had made a house call to visit me. That memory surfaced recently when I read the story of Valerie, a little girl in Togo. Valerie’s first Christmas memory happened last year — because it was the first time she ever celebrated Christmas.

Continue Reading ›
September 09, 2017

You Foster Generosity When You Give a Christmas Gift

What if your Christmas gift did more than just bring joy to one child? What if your one act of giving helped foster generosity in an entire city? This is the case for a small island community in Indonesia. Through your gifts, Christmas giving became contagious!

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2011

Celebrating Christmas for the First Time

In the community Bonheur Ville (Town of Happiness), wonderful praise music could be heard. The Saksida Assemblies of God Church was jubilant because they were celebrating Christmas for the very first time.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2008

Christmas in Colombia

The main room is decorated with Christmas posters. Children are laughing and talking. One can feel the atmosphere of Christmas, the musicians do not stop singing, while children finish eating dessert.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2014

Christmas Around The World

Traditions of dancing, singing carols, pageants, parades and nativity scenes fill our holiday season with joy. Uniting us with family, friends and church communities as we remember the birth of Jesus Christ. Enjoy these beautiful photos from our friends celebrating Christmas around the world!

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2015

5 Fun DIY Christmas Cards

Glitter and paper and string, oh my! Check out some fun do-it-yourself ideas for Christmas cards you can send to the child or teen you sponsor.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2010

What Is Christmas Like for an Unsponsored Child?

“They wonder why they don’t get a letter or a card. Of course we explain the situation to them and tell them it’s because they don’t have a sponsor, but that’s not enough for a child. This is something that makes unsponsored kids feel very sad and even discouraged.” — Yovi de Racines, Secretary of Camino de Santidad Mission

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2013

Christmas in Burkina Faso

“When nights are cold and dawns much colder,” says 14-year-old Ozias, “When there is freezing wind, when our skin cracks and always looks dirty, when our mothers insist that we use lip balm, and when we do not have to wake up early for school, then we know it’s Christmas season!”

Continue Reading ›
September 09, 2012

It’s Not Too Early for Christmas

I know it may seem a little early, but now is actually the perfect time to get your Christmas gifts and letters in the mail to your sponsored child.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2009

Christmas in Haiti

In Haiti, Christmas is widely celebrated by Christians and non-Christians alike as a holiday with non-religious aspects.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2018

How to Not Waste $50 on Unwanted Gifts This Christmas

People in the U.S. spend about $16 billion on unwanted Christmas gifts each year. Gifts that are discarded, donated or re-gifted. Instead of spending our generosity on things people don’t want, how can we be more intentional with our gift giving?

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2018

Merry Christmas! And Thank You From Kids Around the World!

You’ve given millions of kids in poverty the best Christmas! So, Merry Christmas to you! And a million thank-yous from kids around the world!

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2011

Christmas Gift Giving Fun in Nicaragua

Wind carries the sounds of songs and shouts of joy from the Hermon Baptist Church that can be heard from a block away. There is a celebration, a Christmas celebration for children of the Fe y Esperanza Student Center located in Managua, Nicaragua.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2013

Christmas in Ghana

In Ghana, Christmas is a special occasion for both Christians and non-Christians, with celebrations revolving around large family gatherings and feasts

Continue Reading ›
January 01, 2011

Child Survival Program Celebrates the True Meaning of Christmas

María lives in the La Victoria Alta neighborhood, a place with limited access to public transportation and public services. It is one hour away from Quito’s downtown area, a place where the cold weather is so intense that people feel chilled to the bone. María is one of the hundreds of mothers who cry at Christmas time.

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2017

3 Helpful Ideas for Your Christmas Letter This Year

It’s Christmastime for the Compassion Letter Club! Don’t face your writer’s block alone. We’ve got you covered with these helpful ideas for what to write to the child or teen you sponsor this year in your Compassion Christmas letter.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2014

A Christmas Miracle

A woman came running to our business and amid uncontrollable emotions and said, “I have seen some abandoned bags at a bush near our house and I think it may be the things stolen from you.”

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2015

3 Things I Learned at My First Compassion Christmas Party

Celebrating Christmas at a child development center in El Salvador means giraffes, bumblebees and donkeys! And in the midst of the carols and wrapping paper, God taught me so much about His heart for the poor — and my responsibility to His children.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2009

Christmas in Indonesia

One might think that celebrating Christmas in Indonesia – the world’s most populous Muslim nation – can be a problem. Even though 90 percent of Indonesia’s 220 million people are followers of Islam, it does not mean that Christmas is not celebrated.

The biggest signs of Christmas (i.e. the traditions of the Western festive season), can be seen in the malls. Most of the major stores in the larger cities like Bandung have huge Christmas trees, and restaurants tend to put on some manner of Christmas fares.

For example, the big stores have had their Christmas decorations up for weeks in anticipation of cashing in on the season. Naturally, hotels and malls cater to visitors by erecting Christmas trees ornately decorated, and “Merry Christmas” signs. Shopping hours are extended, and the seasonal specials jump out of nowhere.

There is a Christmas tree in every mall, and a man dressed in a Santa Claus suit and a white beard can be seen giving out presents to the children. It is the same in the other cities like Jakarta, where all the major department stores join in on the festive season.

One of Compassion’s partner churches in Bandung is Immanuel Baptist Church. Christmas decorations have been in place since the first week of December. A plastic Christmas tree stands by the front entrance door to welcome all the visitors; its snow-like glitter and many small butterflies on the leaves delight the small children.

Yes, the church entrance had been decorated with an artificial Christmas trees replete with pristine snow-like glittery ornaments and small butterflies – standing unaffected by the boiling tropical heat.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2010

Christmas in Nicaragua

The festive decorations and music create an atmosphere of celebration. Bible verse competitions are held among the different ages. They also have a piñata, party jumper, delicious lunch and a short devotion by the pastor. Distributing the much-anticipated Christmas presents is the final highlight.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2012

Christmas Ornament Life Lessons

Many people in Mexico are highly dedicated to crafts, but in the hills of Veracruz, there is a group of adolescents who have dedicated the last couple of months to the delicate craftwork of making glass Christmas decorations.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2010

Christmas Tradition and Celebration in Colombia

Officially, Christmas begins on Dec. 7 when Colombian people celebrate Candle Day, an important festivity in which kids and adults join at night to light candles in the streets and windows. Offices and homes are decorated with lanterns and candles that welcome the holiday season. They are also accompanied by fireworks.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2014

The Year I Gave Homework for Christmas

I’m a big reader. As a child, I had books hidden away everywhere — in the cushions of the couch, tucked under my brother’s car seat and stuffed into my pillowcase. So when I was about 10 years old, I decided I would buy every person in my family a book for Christmas. I pored over the Scholastic Books order form and found books for my parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins. I wrapped them and carefully placed them under the tree. On Christmas Eve, when we exchange gifts with my extended family, I was so excited to watch everyone open their gifts. There was one problem, though. Not everybody likes to read.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2014

Our Video Christmas Card To You!

Who doesn’t love getting Christmas cards? The sweet family photos, the stories from your out-of-town friends, the glittery paper creations. Filling the front of your refrigerator with a colorful collage of those you love. Even though you can’t stick this one on your fridge, we want to tell you – our family and friends – that we wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2010

A Christmas Card Drive of Epic Proportions!

We’d like to make a way to send hundreds and thousands of words of encouragement to kids who really need them in this season of Thanksgiving. That’s where YOU come in! Well you, DaySpring, and Compassion International.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2011

Celebrating Christmas in Sri Lanka

Stage lights were flickering and decorations were sitting proudly on the stage. Inigodawela Child Survival Program staff members were rushing to and fro trying to get things completed in time to start their Christmas program.

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2013

Christmas in October

It’s just the beginning of October, but mail to our sponsored children takes time to arrive, which makes now the time to be thinking about the Christmas letter you send to your child.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2016

How Do You Make Christmas More?

Wait! I know what you’re thinking after reading that title.

“She’s going to tell me Christmas is too commercial. And that I need to remember that Jesus is the reason for the season.”

You obviously don’t know me.

I love Christmas. I love twinkly lights and decorating sugar cookies and candlelight services and presents. I love presents. I’ve already started my Christmas shopping — NOT because I’m organized but just because it’s so much fun!

How Do You Make Christmas More?

This Christmas, I’m not going to encourage you to do less. The opposite, in fact. You should make Christmas more! Not more stuff. But more love. More joy. More Jesus.

Which moments during the holidays make you feel happiest? Bring you joy? Help you feel most in line with how Jesus taught us to live and care for one another?

How Do You Make Christmas More?

Is it the Christmas cards? Handwrite special notes for people you love (including the child you sponsor)!

The baking? Make a basket of cookies to share with that person in your life who feels alone this year.

The gift giving? Consider giving a gift from Compassion’s Gift Catalog — not only will you honor a loved one, but you’ll also provide a life-changing gift to a child in poverty.

How Do You Make Christmas More?

So go forth, and Make Christmas More this year! And let us know how you do it!

Use #MakeItMore on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter to share your ideas for how you spread the joy of Jesus this Christmas season.

And follow all the inspiration as we post your great ideas and more to our Make It More Pinterest Board. Be sure to tag us and we’ll share your great ideas to inspire others!

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2011

A Safe Place for Christmas

This Christmas I want to thank you for all you do to make possible our “fifty-five-hundred-plus” safe places for children. A refuge from the street…from abuse…or from just being ignored.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2011

A Big Christmas Thank You!

Your generosity is not only a blessing this Christmas but all year long. Today, as you celebrate the birth of our Savior we hope you feel the depth of His love and gratitude — and ours — for the ways you have cared for these little ones around the world.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2010

We Wish You a Very Merry Christmas

With undying gratitude to our Heavenly Father for seeing us through the year, and to you, sponsors, donors, and friends of Compassion, for your prayers, love and support in 2010 – Merry Christmas from Compassion International!

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2012

The Perfect Christmas Gift

Have some difficult people on your Christmas shopping list? You could get them a gift that has a shelf life…or you could give them a gift that lasts forever!

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2008

Christmas Angels

Christmas angels Merry Christmas!

On this day we hope you feel the presence of our Savior as we celebrate His grand love and His perfect will to move us closer to Himself.

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”
Matthew 1:23, NASB

Also, we thought you might like to see some children in Colombia celebrating the birth of Jesus. These photos were taken at a child development center Christmas party by Edwin Mendivelso, Compassion Colombia field communications specialist.

Take a look at these angels!


Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2008

Christmas Memories

It was Christmas morning, and I lay impatiently in my bed awaiting the sound of my parents stirring downstairs. We’ve never been the kind of family that wakes up and rushes to the living room to tear into the gifts before we have properly washed the “eye boogers” out of our eyes (disgusting I know, but hey . . . the truth is ugly sometimes). We tend to be a little more reserved about the process. 

We sleep in, which for our family is until about 8:15. We shower and dress for the day, as we usually spend the afternoon with extended family, and we often debate about what we want Dad to make for breakfast. It’s usually his world famous omelets. If you think I’m exaggerating . . . well, I’m not. They’re insane. 

This one particular Christmas, though, held one very unique gift, wrapped in a beige envelope and delicately placed in between the branches of our tree. There were actually two envelopes; one had my brother’s name on it and the other had mine, written in my mother’s elegant penmanship. 

Curious as to what could possibly be in something the size of a letter and thin as paper, my brother and I opened them slowly, simultaneously. 

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2011

How About Some Free Christmas Music?

Folk Angel is offering free Christmas music downloads to Compassion staff and supporters. Downloads are available through December 22, 2011.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2008

If I Could Spend Christmas

If I could spend Christmas with my sponsored child . . .

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2015

The Best Christmas Lyric I’ve Ever Heard

Oh weary soul, we live in a world that is broken. So very broken. It’s disheartening. If I’m honest, sometimes it feels so overwhelming I feel paralyzed to do anything. And it’s the holidays. Lights are up and my days are supposed to be merry and bright. Yet in this season of the world, what is there to be merry about?

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2011

How Do You Include Jesus in Your Christmas Giving?

It’s all too easy to let the traditions and festivities overwhelm the only reason I have anything to celebrate: The gift of the Prince of Peace, baby Jesus.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2010

This Christmas, Tell Your Story and Give the Gift of Hope

I’m guessing that since you read this blog, you also have a Compassion story. A story about what caused you to pick up a Child Packet or visit Compassion’s website and sponsor a child who lived in poverty. Maybe you have a story about why you have continued to sponsor your child even in the midst of an economic recession, or why you have chosen to sponsor more than one child.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2013

Merry Christmas!

On this day we hope you feel the presence of our Savior as we celebrate His grand love and His perfect will to move us closer to Himself.

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”

– Matthew 1:23, NASB

nativity

The artwork was drawn in 2003 by Elaine Vidal, a 10-year old sponsored child.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2011

God Loves a Cheerful Giver

One of the things my wife and I decided early on in our marriage was that we wanted Christmas to be about more than getting — we didn’t want wish lists to be the focus.

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2018

Joy to the World: The Anthem YOU Can Share

Christmas is near — giving us peace, cheer and bringing much joy to the world. But its greatest gift is something special that we just have to share!

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2009

It’s Christmastime in El Salvador

December is a magical time in El Salvador. Right after the last September rains and the windy days of October and November, a cool breeze and fresh spring-like days fill the atmosphere, announcing that the dry season (usually called “summer”) is here, and suddenly everything is green, red and full of lights. It is Christmastime.

For Compassion El Salvador and for our partner churches, Christmas is more than just an evening service on the 24th. (That is right, in El Salvador, if you ask anyone about Christmas, they will answer without hesitation “December 24th.”)

For our church partners, it is an opportunity to remember the birth of Jesus, but also why He was born on Earth. It is a great opportunity to bring families together, and share the love of God with the children and their families. It is a time for blessing, spiritually and materially.

In the towns, bright, conspicuous winter sale banners contrast with the green and red decorations and the white paint that imitates snow on the showcase at the local mall. (It does not snow in El Salvador, but since the culture is so Americanized, there cannot be Christmas without snow.)

The aisles of the supermarkets and department stores are filled with pine scent and artificial trees on sale. If you ever come and visit El Salvador in December, it does not matter if you are from the United States, Canada, France or Australia, you will know … it is Christmastime.

Children in other countries and conditions might dream about the latest action hero or the most beautiful and fashionable doll. The children at our centers think a little bit differently. Not because they do not like toys, but because there are other needs to be fulfilled.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2011

A New Take on a Lifetime of Birthdays

It seems fairly common for those of us with December birthdays to grumble a bit about our birthdays being overshadowed by the holidays. We grumble about birthday presents being wrapped in Christmas paper or being designated for “birthday AND Christmas.”

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2012

When Gifts Fail, Giving Still Wins

Christmas shopping can be filled with pitfalls — shopping injuries, re-gifting and the brick-hard fruitcake, just to name a few. As you navigate the holidays this year, laugh at the giving fails and rejoice in gifts of hope.

Continue Reading ›
February 02, 2011

Skills for Life: Hand Sanitizers, Christmas Decorations and Spaghetti

“Our objective is that before (the sponsored children) leave the center, they should have something to fall back on for their daily living,” said Liza, child development worker and youth facilitator for Paglinang Student Center. “Not all of them can go to college and not all of those who do make it to college can land a good-paying job.”

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2008

Presents for the King

The church was packed with 200 children and their parents, celebrating the pre-Christmas program with the Compassion child cevelopment center. When the host announced the opening of the program, the room burst with clapping.

Laboni was there with her sister Sraboni. Everything around Laboni was entirely new for her. She belongs to a Christian family, but in their lives Christmas is just like every other regular day. There has been nothing very special about Christmas except going to church in the morning.

But after Laboni and her sister got registered at the child development center, everything around her has been changing in a positive way. The meaning of Christmas has also changed.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2012

What Makes Gratitude Overflow?

There is something special about giving a gift to a child who rarely receives gifts. Most families in developing countries don’t have the extra funds to buy gifts like bubbles and Dora dolls.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2018

Fun and Free Ideas for Entertaining Kids Over the Holidays

Entertaining kids over the holidays can be a struggle. So much time, so little to do! But this list of creative and totally FREE activities will make your Thanksgiving and Christmas fun and memorable!

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2010

The Words We Carry

Your words are not just printed ink on paper. When I think of the cards I see a weapon that will be used by God. I see hundreds of hammers, in the shape of letters, shattering the lies of poverty. I see the grip of discouragement falling away from the children Jesus watches over.

Continue Reading ›
April 04, 2014

Giving a Gift to the Child You Sponsor: The Whys, Whats and Hows

You have a few different options for sending a monetary gift. Each year, you can send $10 to $50 as a birthday gift, $10 to $50 as a general gift, and $25 to $1,000 as a family gift. You also have the option of donating any amount, we typically suggest $20, to the Christmas Gift Program on your sponsored child’s behalf.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2017

What Gift Would You Bring to Baby Jesus?

The students of Elim Student Center in Taboso, Indonesia, share about the big Christmas celebration they have at the church every year, the gifts they received from their sponsors, and even what they would have brought baby Jesus if He had been born in Taboso. Their delightful stories are guaranteed to remind you why this really is one the most wonderful times of the year!

Continue Reading ›
March 03, 2019

40 Questions to Ask in Your Letters for Every Season of the Year

Do you sometimes find yourself in a letter-writing rut? Need some inspiration for writing letters to the child you sponsor? Look no farther than your calendar! Here’s a list of questions to ask your sponsored child based on seasons and holidays.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2012

20 Days About Giving

Let’s talk about how the next 20 days are going to be different than normal for each of us. Let’s talk about the joys, rewards, effort and difficulty involved with giving. And let’s raise $20,000 for children in need this Christmas.

Continue Reading ›
January 01, 2014

Why Do My Sponsored Child’s Letters Seem So Impersonal?

Questions about letter writing are the most common ones I hear in the contact center. Many sponsors call or write us because they are frustrated with the quality of the letters they receive from their sponsored children.

A few days ago, I spoke with Judy because she was upset that her sponsored child, Carlos, doesn’t answer the questions she asks in her letters. She was also frustrated because she had just received a letter wishing her a “Merry Christmas” … in June!

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2013

Give a Gift in Jesus’ Name

This Christmas, what if, instead of giving gifts that break, expire or get used up, you gave a gift that will last forever?

Continue Reading ›
February 02, 2017

5 Reasons to Write Your Child – No Matter What

When I was a little girl, I had an Aunt Joan who would always send me cards. Every holiday I would peek into the mailbox and see her familiar handwriting on that heavy white envelope. She sent a Christmas card. Birthday. Easter. Fourth of July. No holiday went by without a letter from Aunt Joan. And each one made me feel special. Loved. Remembered. Encouraged.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2014

One Word To Lead 2015

Time used to dance slowly for me. I remember my creeping countdown to Christmas break. Spring break. Summer…The beginning of our lives was marked with seasons broken up for us, with rest. Then there was college and marriage and all the responsibility that piles itself high. It feels like a new kind of time that believes you’ve exchanged wonder for a number. An age. I’m wide eyed in disbelief that it is almost 2015. This year, I’ve told too many people that I am 26. When in fact, I turned 30.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2014

Why Giving Tuesday Matters

When I was a teenager, my mom and I used to go shopping on Black Friday. Well … she would shop. I would usually end up sprawled on the sidewalk in front of the mall, reading a book and waiting for her to finish buying gifts for our family. It should be noted, though, that my mom didn’t necessarily enjoy these dawn excursions with a whiny teen. She did it because she loved us, and she wanted Christmas to be special. Our family wasn’t wealthy, and she saved all year to buy those gifts — to demonstrate in a tangible way that she knew us, knew what we liked. And that she loved us. And even the malls couldn’t interfere with that mother’s heart.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2011

How Can A Soccer Ball Inspire Dreams?

Who gets those soccer balls you give through the Gifts of Compassion Christmas gift catalog? How does a soccer ball make an impact on a child in poverty?

Continue Reading ›
January 01, 2011

Thank You for Defending the Cause of the Weak

As a sponsor your whole relationship with us is one of focusing on others. But during the Christmas season your commitment to the children and families we serve is always magnified.

Continue Reading ›
September 09, 2014

4 Easy Ways to Give

There are simple ways you can make a difference in the life of a child who lives in poverty. In addition to sponsoring a child, here are four easy ways to give to Compassion that you might not have thought of!

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2016

Want, Need, Wear, Read: Compassion Style

The idea is simple. You give your child (really, anyone in your life you might be inclined to “over give” to) something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. And that got us thinking. We could do our own 4 Gift Challenge! But with the Compassion version, you could give those gifts to children in poverty.

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2009

The Give With Love Club

In Thailand, Christians make up less than 1 percent of the population in a predominantly Buddhist country. But every Thursday evening a small group of Christian university students gather together to worship and glorify God at Naresuan University.

During this time of praise and singing, Maneenoot and Ittipol from the Leadership Development Program observe their college friends who attend this small group. Some students walk in casually, and others enter in a hurry, rushing from their previous class. A handful of students sit by themselves nearby.

The hearts of Ittipol and Maneenoot are crying out to bring back all the lost souls to their heavenly Father’s kingdom.

In 2005, a group of Leadership Development Program students decided to join together to form a group in order to fellowship and support each other while attending Naresuan University, located in Payao province.

Continue Reading ›
September 09, 2009

Does Giving Gifts to Our Sponsored Children Make a Difference?

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.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2012

Modern-Day Wise Men

The wise men in the nativity came to honor the God-child. You, our sponsors are modern “wise men” who come to honor the God-image in each child.

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2018

How Often Should You Write to the Child You Sponsor?

You just wrote your first letter to the child your sponsor. Now what? When can you send your next letter and how often should you write to him or her?

Continue Reading ›
June 06, 2012

The Power of Words and Actions

There are hundreds of women’s groups who meet each fall, spring, and summer for bible studies, and with such little extra time and effort, they can take their faith into action, being the hands and feet of Jesus in this world.

Continue Reading ›
January 01, 2012

Paper Angels All Year Long

The actions of the Christian community serving the poor are what show them there is something truly different about this Jesus… something that is, in fact, life changing.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2011

What Action Will You Take for the Poor?

Do you ever feel so overwhelmed by the issue of poverty that it stifles your ability to act?

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2008

Nativity Set Giveway

Yesterday, we introduced you to Chantal, a 9-year-old girl from Rwanda.

Chantal is a beneficiary of our Highly Vulnerable Children (HVC) initiative, and during the Christmas season the vulnerability of these children parallels the extreme vulnerability that our God entered into on Christmas Day.

It’s a vulnerability portrayed in homes throughout the world by the nativity. And this Christmas season, we’d like to share with you a reminder of God’s love and sacrifice for us all.

This handcrafted Rwandan nativity set is as fragile and vulnerable as many of the children we serve. And it’s available to one randomly selected reader who answers these questions for us.

On December 18, we’ll randomly pick a winner from the comments we receive.

Thanks for participating, and Merry Christmas!

nativity-set-rwanda

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2010

Delivering Hope

Sponsored children receive letters from their sponsors. Unsponsored children do not.

Andrea, one of the Compassion workers and our translator, told me that the only time there is a true distinction between a child who is unsponsored and a child who is sponsored is when letters are handed out. It’s a little bit like the unsponsored children are wearing scarlet letters.

Continue Reading ›
February 02, 2009

A Picture of Poverty

Picture of poverty I recently got back from India where I was with a team of people interviewing children and their families so we can share their stories and photos with you – Compassion sponsors.

At almost every home we visited, the families were so excited to receive us that they put together mini-feasts. At most homes we were given tea with milk and sugar, and many of them cut fresh coconuts for us, served with straws. I’ve never eaten so many coconuts in my life.

Others would serve us fresh cashews, bananas or pasayam, a sweet cardamom soup. Visiting four families a day, I was more than stuffed and a bit overwhelmed by the generosity. One of these families hadn’t even eaten the day before.  

For the interviews, the children typically put on their best clothes, the outfits they got for Christmas from their sponsors.

They were so proud to look their best for us and for their photo shoot. This was a very big day for them. The neighbors would lean over the fences and stop in the streets trying to figure out what three white people with a boom mic, camera and video camera were doing in that place. It was often hard to interview over the hoots and comments of the neighbors.

We would take their portrait photos in their best outfits, and as we tried to get photos of them doing their typical chores around their house, we would ask them to put on what they might usually wear. They would come proudly out in their second-best outfit.

This was occasionally somewhat humorous. For example, one very sweet, very incredible 14-year-old girl was trying to pump water in her beautiful new and bejeweled salwar kameez she’d gotten for Christmas. The fuchsia scarf kept falling off her and into her bucket, which I could relate to, having unsuccessfully tried to keep my own scarf on all week.

You can see how it might be difficult to get pictures of what a typical scene might look like, with 20 neighbors shuffling in the background and the families in their Sunday finest, some even with special makeup for the day. And how it might be hard to get pictures displaying the need of the family. These families are excited to be profiled, and of course want to put their best foot forward. What girl wouldn’t want to put her best outfit on, rather than her scrubby clothes, for a very exciting international photo shoot?

I bring this up because I sometimes hear, “Those children in Compassion photos don’t look very needy.” And it’s true. Many of the sponsored children stand out among their neighbors. For one thing, they’ve been taught to comb their hair and brush their teeth at the child development center. They’re also potentially the only ones on the block who received a nice new outfit for Christmas.

But besides these obvious differences, the dignity of the child and the family comes first for Compassion. Chuck, the incredible photographer I was with on this trip, respects the 14-year-old girl’s desire to look her best. He doesn’t ask her to please replace her bright new outfit with the older one with holes in it. He captures her beauty and dignity as she would want to be seen by the world.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2017

This Is What Happens When You Give Livestock to Families in Poverty

Have you ever wondered why livestock are in the catalog every year? How could something we associate with a petting zoo really help release children from poverty? We were hoping you would ask! These stories will show you how a goat, a chicken and a cow changed the lives of three families we serve.

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2017

5 Easy Ways to Encourage Kids to Fight Poverty

I often wish I knew more when I was younger. I wish I grasped that even though I was young, I could still make a difference. It doesn’t take living in a country with extreme economic disparity for children to begin learning about poverty. Here are five easy ways you can encourage your kids, no matter their age, to become poverty fighters!

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2013

Provide a Lifetime of Hope for a Child in Poverty

What if, instead of giving gifts that break, expire or get used up, you gave a gift that lasts forever?

Continue Reading ›
March 03, 2012

What is the Most Interesting Thing Your Sponsor Has Told You?

The things you share in your letters may sometimes feel like every day news to you but your words encourage, motivate and provide tangible evidence to a child living in poverty that they are loved.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2011

The Last Days of an HIV-Positive Child

Eva always had a smile for everyone, including strangers, but behind her radiant smile raged a monstrous battle. Opportunistic diseases attacked her daily.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2010

From Tragedy, Make Something Beautiful

How many of us have managed to escape tragedy in some form or another? All of us, at some point, struggle through heartaches and experience moments that threaten to tear us apart. But there’s something else that is also true.

Continue Reading ›
September 09, 2009

Christian Blog Video Sitemap

Current as of October 15, 2014

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2011

Can I Send This Gift to My Sponsored Child?

Our correspondence team receives many gifts from sponsors for their sponsored children that can’t be sent to our country offices. What items can be sent to your sponsored child through the mail?

Continue Reading ›
September 09, 2011

An Improved Way to Write Your Sponsored Child

Compassion is rolling out a new and improved way to send some love to our sponsored children! This all-new online letter-writing tool allows you to create bright and beautiful messages with 33 different background templates to choose from.

Continue Reading ›
July 07, 2012

Sponsor Letters: Gifts From the Heart

For children in Togo and around the world, a letter from a sponsor is a source of great joy. Most children see letters as gifts from the hearts of their sponsors.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2009

Always Picked Last (Extreme Poverty Style)

Imagine a world where you grow up with a mommy and a daddy and live in a nice warm house with your family.

You have your own bed, and sleep each night with a full belly. You go to school, and in the afternoon you go to sports practice on a green grassy lawn that is safely guarded from speeding cars and other dangers.

Imagine a world where your toys are bought from Wal-Mart, and you get a new Christmas, Easter and birthday outfit every year.

That’s not very hard to imagine … is it? Most of us grew up in that setting — or one very similar.

The situation that is hard to truly grasp is living in the circumstances the children in our sponsorship program live in.

We’ve seen the pictures; some of us have had the chance to see poverty firsthand. The reality the children in our sponsorship program live in is mostly the opposite of ours.

While some children are blessed with both parents still living, many live with other family members or older siblings. They eat one meal a day *maybe*, and play with toys that they find in the trash dumps outside their wood-walled, tin-roofed, one-room shanty.

So imagine how it brightens a child’s day when he or she goes to the child development center and receives a letter from you — the sponsor.

Now imagine a child who doesn’t have a sponsor. When all the children receive letters at the center, one never comes for this child.

This child, Carlos from Colombia, was registered into the sponsorship program in April, 2008, and has never — I repeat NEVER — had a sponsor.

What questions do you think run through his head when he attends the center during letter-writing and receiving time? What would run through your mind?

“Wait!” You say. “Doesn’t the sponsorship program still provide Carlos everything he needs? He is registered, after all.”

Let me see if I can explain.

Continue Reading ›
June 06, 2008

Inside the Letter-Writing Process: Ghana

Letters from sponsors come in to the Ghana office through the Global Ministry Center (GMC) in Colorado Springs. They come in mainly by DHL, but a few letters also come in through e-mail.

When these letters are received they are sorted out and entered into the computer system to track that they were received. They are then distributed into pigeon hole mailboxes created for every church partner at the country office.

Continue Reading ›
April 04, 2016

3 Great Letter-Writing Ideas for the New Letter Delivery Process

Starting this month, Compassion is implementing a new sponsor letter delivery system that will speed up the amount of time it takes to receive a letter! These exciting changes mean some changes to what can be delivered.

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2011

Sponsored Children Love Your Letters!

Sponsor letters can do more than money, because they build a relationship between child and sponsor. These letters are not just pieces of paper; these letters are filled with love, affection, emotion and inspiration for children.

Continue Reading ›
September 09, 2008

One Million Dollars

If I had one million dollars to use in the fight against poverty, I’d . . .

Continue Reading ›
February 02, 2017

The Passionate Heart of a Volunteer

Every volunteer has a story. A story behind the moment God placed the desire in his or her heart to move from spectator to participant. Having attended Compassion-partnered events as both a volunteer and a staff member, I’ve had the opportunity to hear our volunteers’ stories and witness the personal impact they have.

Continue Reading ›
July 07, 2016

5 Ways to Build a Relationship With the Child You Sponsor

The relational aspect of sponsorship is not just important in getting people to become sponsors. It is important throughout the sponsorship journey because love is best shown in a relational context.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2015

They Told Me To Leave Him By the River

When his brain started to swell to the point that 5-year-old Joseph couldn’t hold it up or even walk, a local spiritualist told Afua to leave him by the river to be claimed by a river god. That’s when the local church stepped in.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2012

Living in Honduras: A Day in the Life of Alejandro

Like most boys his age, Alejandro enjoys playing soccer with his friends and always has time to play with his little brother. He looks forward to continuing his education and one day he wants to become a doctor to help the people of his community.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2012

Seven Ways to Give of Yourself — In Every Season

Instead of focusing solely on places to send our money, let’s take a look into ways we can give of our time, money, and talents—in every season.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2012

The Power in a Name

While the significance of a name may not carry as much weight as it previously did in Western culture, one’s name is still the most distinguishing characteristic an individual in a developing country clings to.

Continue Reading ›
May 05, 2012

The House a Family Gift Built

Joyce is a single mother of seven living in Tanzania. She describes life before our ministry saying, “To have full day meal to us would be a miracle worth celebration.”

Continue Reading ›
April 04, 2012

Of Bugs and Mountains

Precious children pointed and screamed at hundreds of bugs swarming to the lights. Even though orphaned or abandoned, these Rwandan children found joy in the beauty and simplicity of the bugs.

Continue Reading ›
March 03, 2012

Could You Eat Like Your Sponsored Child for a Week?

The Hopkins family decided to plan a monthly sacrifice challenge throughout 2012. For the month of January they sacrificed in the area of food.

Continue Reading ›
January 01, 2012

Ministry Highlight: East India

We began our ministry in East India in 2002 with the Child Sponsorship Program. In 2006, the Child Survival Program began, and the Leadership Development Program followed in 2009.

In just eight years of ministry, we have had a great impact on impoverished urban areas and poverty belts in East India. We have also networked with other agencies to bring together resources and raised awareness about child issues in the local churches.

Country Director

D.G. Jebaraj joined us as the East India Country Director in 2004. Before coming to the ministry, Jebaraj worked in various positions at World Vision for 13 years.

His last position there was as National Tuberculosis Coordinator.

Jebaraj holds a bachelo’rs degree in English and a master’s degree in social work from Madras Christian College and a master’s of philosophy from Annamalai University.

He is currently pursuing research on the effect of sibling rivalry in sponsorship programs toward community transformation. This research is being done through the Oxford Center for Mission Studies under the University of Wales.

Implementing Church Partners

Implementing Church Partners are local churches in East India with whom we work to deliver child development programs and frontline ministry in the field.

  • Spiritual Climate
    East India is dominated by Hindus and Muslims. Throughout history Christians have been persecuted in India. In spite of this, Christian mission work continues to be carried out by committed missionaries. There are laws that exist that were created to provide support to minorities, but churches in India do not get adequate support from them.
Continue Reading ›
January 01, 2011

Not Guilty: Using Your Blessings for Good

No, it’s not fair that I was born in America instead of Africa. It’s not fair that I enjoy abundance while billions endure extreme poverty. But gosh dog it, I will not feel guilty for it. Moving forward, I resolve that it will empower me to work harder on behalf of those I care for so deeply.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2009

A Typical Day at a Child Development Center in Brazil

A typical day The weather is cold, and it is hard to get out of the bed. It’s 7:30 in the morning on a typical day, and despite his wanting to stay under the blankets, Renan has an appointment he wouldn’t miss for anything.

Lilian, his young mother, enters the colorful room. “Wake up!” she says.

The children’s bedroom used to be the family’s kitchen before the improvement they made after receiving a Christmas gift from her son’s sponsor: a new floor and new paint on the bedroom’s walls. The children decorated the room.

Renan stands up and starts making his bed. The boy goes to the bathroom and brushes his teeth — just like he was taught at the child development center where he is enrolled —  and combs his hair.

He carefully puts on his student center uniform before leaving home with his older brother Jean, who also attends the center. The church gives each of the children a T-shirt to wear.

Continue Reading ›
February 02, 2009

Long Time No… Read?

So, it’s been a while, and in case any of you had wondered where I had disappeared to, I am back to fill you in on the latest happenings in my neck of the woods. Considering it has been over a month, I have a lot tell you, so buckle up. *que Top Gun  theme song*

Last time we spoke, it was the week before Christmas and I had just made the move from the Web Team to Donor Services. While I am still under Curtis, I am also working closely with two powerhouse women that I want to introduce you to. 

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2008

Compassion on National Public Radio

Earlier this month, I told you about how through the creativity of one of our donors, many children have been able to participate in Compassion-assisted programs throughout the world. Since then, the story of Mike Foster’s Junky Car Club in Southern California has taken on a life of its own.

National Public Radio (NPR) will be airing a story about the car club on their Christmas morning program each hour at 10 minutes ‘til the hour. I hope you can catch the segment when it airs because I’d appreciate hearing what you think.

And while you’re at it, let NPR know as well.

Merry Christmas!


Find your local NPR station.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2008

Yellow Leaf Spirits

Yellow leaf In the high mountains of Northern Thailand lives an extraordinary tribe who have no written history and whose way of life is disappearing with the forests.

They knew only how to survive in the deep jungle, building homes from fresh banana leaves. They would sleep on the leaves and use them as a roof to protect from the rain and dew at night.

If they could not find food in the area nearby, they would move on deeper into the forest. They would wander in the forest, staying together in small groups. Education, a house, and clothing were of no value to them, as they had no use for these things living in the forest.

The isolated tribe was also afraid of strangers. If they met any outsiders, they moved away immediately, like spirits. They lived like this for centuries, the last nomadic tribe to survive in the northern forests of Thailand and Laos.

Continue Reading ›
May 05, 2014

How Are Children Told That They Have Been Sponsored?

Once a child is fully enrolled in our sponsorship program, each of our partner countries begins working to link the child with a sponsor. Watch what it’s like for little Keylin in Nicaragua as she receives the news that she now has a sponsor.

Continue Reading ›
May 05, 2018

What Can I Share in Letters to the Child I Sponsor?

Ideas for writing the child or teen you sponsor are a very popular topic on the Compassion blog, on Pinterest, on Facebook … pretty much everywhere. Here are some great things to try … as well as avoid.

Continue Reading ›
March 03, 2015

You Asked, We Answered: Facebook Q&A

We recently held our first impromptu Facebook Q&A Session. All your questions answered in one place on one spontaneous Friday afternoon. Here are some of the most popular questions – and a few of our favorites.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2010

What’s Stopping You From Writing a Letter to Your Sponsored Child?

Compassion couldn’t make it any easier on us. They mail us the paper, the envelopes, the ideas. They also have a fantastic website, which allows us to donate more money online and submit letters electronically. What’s my problem?

Continue Reading ›
April 04, 2009

Become a Child Advocate

Become a child advocate

“Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” —  Proverbs 31:9 (NIV)

In the movie Pearl Harbor, Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle surveys a group of pilots who have stepped forward to go on a dangerous mission. In response to another officer’s concern about the mission, Doolittle determinedly says, “There’s nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer.”

Later, one of the volunteers addresses the crux of the matter: “We’re the tip of the sword.”

It’s true. We —  both sponsors and Advocates —  are on the cutting edge of the fight against poverty, and we’re not giving up this battle!

I’m writing this post to ask you to join me as a member of Compassion’s Advocate’s Network. That’s it! Plain and simple.

This is my story of Compassion. It’s long but only because I love being the “tip of the sword,” and want to share every ounce of my joy and love with you.

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2008

The Day Finally Came

Today’s post is written by Steve K., The Leopard at the Summit, member of the blog on child poverty hall of fame and latest addition to our SpotLINK focus on you, our readers.


The other day I received my first letter from my sponsored child — six-year-old Richar, from Peru! I picked up the mail late that night and there it was — a business-sized envelope with a see-through address window, and “Message from Your Sponsored Child” in blue letters on the outside. Woo hoo!!!

This represents the first step in making it real for me. There is this little boy on the other side of the equator that I’m communicating with. Other Compassion blog posts that I’ve read have been written by employees of Compassion, sponsors of 89 different children ;-), or by people who have been sponsors since they earned their first paycheck. I’m the new kid on the block . . . dancing with the letter in hand, cooler than Jordan, Jonathon, Joey, Donnie or Danny could ever hope to be!

The letter is written in Spanish, and the translation is typed in English. (It is funny to see both versions because I know a little Spanish and can see a few details that have been left out in the translation, and I see that there are differences in Peruvian Spanish that I haven’t heard before.)

In addition to the letter, I received a picture of Jesus with four little children that my child so neatly colored. Guess what’s going on my refrigerator until the paper turns yellow?!?

A “tutor” named Maria Angelica (that can’t be her real name, can it?!?) helped him write the letter, and his name is written on the picture. His first name is printed, and his last name is cursive. I wonder if he only did his first name. So cute!

And before I wrote this blog post, I wrote Richar via Compassion’s e-mail page. It’s true, I care more about him than all of you put together! ;o) (BTW, I like to put the little “winky faces” in letters and e-mails to show I’m joking or kidding . . . I tried to explain to him that is what I did in part of the letter — he and Maria might have no clue what I was talking about and just think I’m a crazy 38-year old American man that sends him letters!) ;o)

In addition, to the reply letter, I sent him a Christmas gift/contribution. I hope I get to hear what he gets with that donation. I know the local program could pick out what he needs or wants better than I ever could.

For a newbie, this is a fun first step (by step) . . . I feel like I’ve got The Right Stuff! (If you don’t understand, good for you . . . I’m an American child of the ‘80’s!) ;o)

Continue Reading ›
August 08, 2008

My Sisters Are Sponsored. What About Me?

In the courtyard, Mariam’s sisters, Assanata and Zourata, are preparing to leave. They both have weekly appointments that they would not miss for anything in the world. They are registered at the Assemblies of God Central Church of Koudougou Child Development Center.

Mariam always awaits their return so she can taste the food that her sisters bring home, and she does not fail to learn the songs that they sing as they return.

Continue Reading ›
February 02, 2019

Learn from President Bush How to Make an Impact on a Child’s Life

You don’t have to be a world leader to have a big impact on a child’s life. Hear the touching relationship between a young boy in the Philippines and President George HW Bush.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2018

5 Important Gifts Nobody Buys – and Why YOU Should!

Learn why these five gifts from the Compassion Gift Catalog that are the “least popular” are so very important to the children and families we serve.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2016

Top 10 Instagram Posts of 2016

Instagram is full of faces. Faces of kids. Of families. Of sponsors. Of people. These faces reflect pain and joy and hope. And I think that’s why I notice them – because life is filled with pain and joy and hope. When I look through Instagram, I see a reflection of life. Here are Compassion International’s top Instagram posts of 2016.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2016

What Does the Bible Say About Giving?

Why do we give? What is the purpose of giving? It should be no surprise that the answer is wonderfully simple and unimaginably complex, all at the same time.

Continue Reading ›
May 05, 2016

The Counterintuitive Surprise of Generosity

When nine-year-old Julia saw a handmade flyer at a local coffee shop posted by a farmer looking for loving homes for his new puppies, she begged her parents for a dog. When she and her parents visited the owners, they all noticed the small farmhouse and the frugal lifestyle of the farmer and his family. The family, struggling to operate a small family-owned farm, clearly did not own much.

Continue Reading ›
April 04, 2016

5 Useful Tips to Get the Most from the Compassion App

Many Compassion sponsors are finding our iPhone and Android app to be the fastest path to write the child they sponsor, make a payment or send a gift, contact our call center for support, and stay up to date with their child’s life.

Continue Reading ›
May 05, 2015

How to Write a Letter from the New Compassion App

To be honest, sometimes it is hard to find the time or energy to sit down, find a pen, think about what to say, and then write out a letter to my sponsored child. What should I write? What do I ask him? How long will it take me? How do I log on to my account again? There can be so many questions to answer before the letter is even written, and in our busy lives and digital culture, writing letters can be a time-consuming task. But we know that our letters connect us to our sponsored children and that they are the main way we are able to communicate our love and care for them.

Continue Reading ›
May 05, 2015

Top 5 Pinterest Ideas for Letter Writing

It’s the second anniversary of our Second Friday Letter Writing Club! And we want to celebrate by sharing our favorite Pinterest ideas from the last two years. Wonderfully fun and beautiful ideas to include in your letters to your sponsored child!

Continue Reading ›
September 09, 2014

How to Write Your Sponsored Child from Your Phone

Update: Download our app from iTunes or Google Play to make writing a letter from your smartphone even easier!


You’ve been snapping a bucket load of pictures of your kids as they head back to school. Standing on your front porch. In front of the bus. By the flagpole. They’re beginning their new yearly adventure and it’s a tradition to chronicle it.

It’s also a great opportunity to share your world with the child you sponsor. Right after you take that adorable photo of your little one, you can send it off in a letter to your child across the world … right from your phone! It’s easy!

Here’s how to write your child from your phone:

1. Open a web browser on your phone and go to www.compassion.com. Tap on “My Account.”

how to write dotcom

Continue Reading ›
February 02, 2014

A Trip of Small Miracles

My trip to meet the children I sponsor actually began in 1955. That was the year my parents-in-law loaded up two toddlers and flew to their new home in Siguatepeque, Honduras.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2013

The Ripple Effect of the Toggenburg Goat

For centuries, large gatherings and special celebrations across Africa have called for goat meat. In rural Ngaamba, Kenya, this is especially true. That’s why introducing a new breed of goat to this community brought about such remarkable change.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2013

What’s in Your Wallet?

Kimuna will always be in my heart, but I’ll also keep the photo in my wallet where I’ll be reminded to pray for him continually and where I’ll keep the perspective I would not have gained without him.

Continue Reading ›
September 09, 2013

Don’t Be Afraid of the Differences

Kelsi spent the last year living and working in Nairobi, Kenya, and constantly fought guilt. She felt guilty for being “different.”

Continue Reading ›
July 07, 2013

Compassion Alumni Becomes an Entrepreneur Success Story

People love and respect David. Almost everyone calls him when they need veterinary services for their animals. Neighboring villages also seek out his help.

Continue Reading ›
July 07, 2013

But Then, We Had Compassion

Irene and her country, once torn apart by the evil of genocide, now rise from destruction with songs of praise.

Continue Reading ›
June 06, 2013

The Cost of Being a Sponsor

Our release cost the Father His only Son by the way of His broken, holy, sacrificed body. Release costs. It always costs.

Continue Reading ›
January 01, 2013

12 Cheeseburgers

Christian artist Jon Bauer watched a group of boys tear open bags of garbage to forage for food. He got up from his meal, went to the counter and ordered 12 cheeseburgers.

Continue Reading ›
January 01, 2013

Our #ItsAboutGiving Contest Winners

Last month, we took some time to examine the different nuances of giving. And this is what stood out to us. Enjoy!

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2012

How Do One Sponsor’s Letters Offer Support?

In the Philippines, godparents are not blood relatives, yet they are looked upon as second parents. Through letter writing, one sponsor has earned that position in the life of her sponsored child.

Continue Reading ›
August 08, 2012

The Ongoing Journey of a New Sponsor

While their sponsored children may not be physically here with them, they have already taken root in the hearts and home of the Cone family.

Continue Reading ›
July 07, 2012

Let the Child Sponsorship Journey Begin…

Sami Cone’s children wanted to be a part of a sponsored child’s life, but not just any child, a child their age that they could start to relate to on at least some level. They wanted to feel like they were making a difference. They wanted to learn how to put feet to their faith.

Continue Reading ›
June 06, 2012

Cook with Compassion: Tres Leches Cake

Some believe Tres Leches Cake originated in Nicaragua, although it’s enjoyed throughout Central America. If you have a sponsored child in Nicaragua or anywhere in Central America, try out this cake for a tasty treat — maybe on a night your family prays together for your sponsored child.

Continue Reading ›
February 02, 2012

Cook With Compassion: Rellenitos

Rellenitos is a Cook with Compassion dessert submitted by Claudia de Ramirez, a ministry Tours and Visits Specialist in Guatemala. Rellenitos are plantain donuts filled with an ingredient you may not expect.

Continue Reading ›
February 02, 2012

Ministry Highlight: Colombia

We began our ministry in Colombia in 1974 with the Child Sponsorship Program. In 2005, we started the Leadership Development Program.

Continue Reading ›
January 01, 2012

Where Is Gratitude in the Midst of Death?

How do you give thanks in the midst of overwhelming grief?

Continue Reading ›
January 01, 2012

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.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2011

Does This One Come in Blonde?

Research on why people give to charitable causes is never very flattering to the donors. According to one study, when we give we’re often not motivated by philanthropy or logic, but by our feelings.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2011

Ministry Highlight: Guatemala

We began our ministry in Guatemala in 1976 as a family help program run by missionaries. The Child Sponsorship Program started in 1980, and the Leadership Development Program began in 1997.

Continue Reading ›
September 09, 2011

What Does the Aroma of Christ Smell Like?

Whenever our words or actions cause others to experience the love of Jesus, we leave an aroma redolent with life.

Continue Reading ›
September 09, 2011

Ministry Highlight: Peru

Compassion began its ministry in Peru in 1985, when the Child Sponsorship Program was started. In 2003, both the Child Survival Program and the Leadership Development program began.

Continue Reading ›
August 08, 2011

Ministry Highlight: El Salvador

Our ministry in El Salvador started in 1977 with the Child Sponsorship Program. In 2009, we implemented both the Child Survival and Leadership Development programs.

Continue Reading ›
August 08, 2011

Ministry Highlight: Thailand

We began our ministry in Thailand in 1970, when the Child Sponsorship Program was started. After 40 years of ministry in Thailand, our ministry is now well known by the majority of evangelical churches in the country.

Continue Reading ›
April 04, 2011

Do Dreams Come True?

Fides was seven months pregnant and living in a rented single room with her husband and their two children. The Child Survival Program offered to help her with her pregnancy so that she could deliver safely.

Continue Reading ›
April 04, 2011

Easter in Guatemala

Guatemala, a country whose whose religion is chiefly Roman Catholic and Protestant, is deeply rooted in local traditions, making the celebration of Easter a colorful and massive one.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2010

Crackers or Mud?

Recently, I read about how the poor in Haiti have to mix mud in their food to make it go further. Mud. They mix it with flour to make a few more biscuits or simply fry it up with cooking oil or lard and salt to give it a bit of taste. Imagine a mother having to scoop up mud just to have something to feed her hungry children.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2010

Haiti in Realtime: What Defines ‘Non-Violent’?

The streets are still filled with debris, smoldering tires and overturned cars. Few cars can pass, so transportation is limited to motorcycles and feet. There are still pockets of violence throughout the city, but it’s so much quieter today. Quiet enough for me to think. Which can sometimes be dangerous.

Continue Reading ›
March 03, 2010

Music as an Instrument to Release Children From Poverty

Music has long played an important part in Indonesian culture. The Indonesian jofa is one of the most common traditional instruments and it is used in every occasion or celebration.

In Watuliney, a small village in southeast Minahasa, Indonesia, most of the people love music. Those who are able to play the  jofa also like to teach it to their children to perpetuate the musical tradition, but that opportunity does not come to all children. Most schools don’t provide a program for music. The parents who work as farmers can’t afford to buy the instruments for their children or to pay for the music course.

Because of his passion to preserve traditional culture, Adri, the coordinator of Silo Student Center, proposed to provide the jofa for children at the center. He believed that the children in his center had the talent and willingness to learn music.

After receiving a positive response from the church, Adri immediately checked the price of a jofa and ordered some made from a substitute material.

“We changed the material to plastic pipe. We call it jofa. Jofa is the basic instrument that has same tone as the original clarinet.”

Continue Reading ›
March 03, 2010

Child Sponsorship: Why Do Children Leave Our Program?

At only 5 years of age, Michelle had to say goodbye to one of the places she loves the most: her child development center.

Continue Reading ›
January 01, 2010

Bringing Christ to Buddhist Villagers

Bringing Christ Mai-treejit Sawang-dandin church is located in Sakon Nakorn, a region in northeastern Thailand. It is commonly known as the barren region. Numerous people of all working ages move here to work in the big city, where they can earn a decent income to support themselves and their families.

Noppadol and Ladda Surin were a young couple who had just graduated from Bible school and had come to serve God in this area. The first time they held a Sunday service at Mai-treejit Sawang-dandin church, there were only five members in the congregation.

As they walked away from the church grounds after the service, they could see the large Buddhist temples that surrounded the community and the church. They silently prayed,

“What can we do to bring salvation to the people in this community?”

“The villagers considered Christianity a western religion, and building in-depth relationships with them was initially very difficult. Another major concern was that the villagers were strong Buddhists, and there were temples existing in every village,” explains Pastor Noppadol.

About 98 percent of the communities in Sakon Nakorn are Buddhist. Every morning it is common to see villagers waiting along the road in front of their houses to make merit by putting food into the bowls of Buddhist priests  as they collect their alms for the day.

In every Buddhist ceremony, the community gathers together to celebrate  for the entire day, much in the same way holidays such as Christmas are celebrated in western cultures. Everyone in the community participates in helping and preparing for the ceremony weeks in advance. The community’s collective effort ensures the ceremony is a success.

In this environment, the church needed some help to reach out to the poor and bring glory to God. Compassion provided the solution.

Continue Reading ›
May 05, 2009

Mother’s Day: Every Day of the Year

What’s your mother’s name?

With Mother’s Day coming up, I’ve been reflecting on how much this question really matters. It’s not that a mother’s name is particularly important unto itself; it’s more that the name embodies a woman, a woman with a unique story, a woman who no matter what story she lives every day is deeply connected with her children (and maybe even children that she has not physically given birth to).

Continue Reading ›
April 04, 2009

A Sponsorship Story for Ordinary People

We are the Brasile family from Hamden, Connecticut: Thomas and Esther. We have two daughters, Larissa and Leah. We believe in the ministry of Compassion International. This story is written by Esther.

Continue Reading ›
January 01, 2009

Haiti News: Changing Children Within a Community

Growing up in Haiti, Milord was no stranger to need. In his rural home of Petit-Goave, where the average income is barely more than $1 a day, he experienced poverty personally and saw how it affected those most vulnerable, women and children. It became his personal dream to impact his community for good.

When he moved to the city and became part of the Capitol Development Center, he became the leader of the youth club … and decided he wanted to become the leader of the entire child development center so he could help make an impact on his community.

Milord was so committed that he, once a Compassion-sponsored child himself, achieved this mission when he became the director of the Capitol Development Center. He is honored to minister to 450 children through the child sponsorship program and 90 children and caregivers through the Child Survival Program (CSP). His mission is to bring them spiritual, socio-emotional and economic change.

Milord has now been successfully working as the center director for eight years. He became director just several years after graduating from the program himself, having studied social work and theology at the university.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2008

A New Season, A New Position

I love this time of year. There is something about November to New Year’s Eve that is simply magical.  Everything about the smell of the air, the smell of the kitchen, and the smell of grandma’s perfume intoxicates my senses and consumes my soul. And oh yeah, I get to celebrate my birthday!

Like I said, I really, really like this time of year.

But, for all of its constants and familiarities, this time of year also brings about change. I’m getting better at accepting it . . . but I still don’t like it. 

Change means that things that you have always known to be, things that are comfortable because of their consistency, suddenly become different. As in, they are no longer the same. Big and small, professional or personal, things evolve. 

For example, my job.

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2008

Mistaff Meets His Sponsor

Stories and photos By Consodyne Buzabo, Compassion Uganda field communications specialist


An air of anticipation and excitement hung over the Muzahura Child Development Center on the morning of August 26, 2008. While any day at the child development center is always a day the children look forward to each week, this day was going to be extra out of the ordinary.

Special guests were coming to visit. On this day, 13-year-old Mistaff had a mixture of trepidation and expectancy coursing through him. Questions swirled through his mind. “What would they think?” “What do they look like?” “What will I say?”

On this bright and sunny day, Mistaff was waiting to meet his sponsor for the very first time.

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2008

How Drug Running Affects a Community

Like in any place where drug smuggling is done, a strong clandestine support structure is needed. A list of packers, sellers, messengers, gunmen, guards, lawyers, policemen, drug-storage-home owners and front men are supposedly kept on payrolls, and the financial benefits are still enough to make the capos richer. Gualey is no exception.

Continue Reading ›
September 09, 2008

Wess Stafford Goes to Washington

This is the story of how our beloved president, Wess Stafford, traveled to Washington D.C., rubbed shoulders with the mighty and powerful and still managed to return home the same humble man that we adore.

Continue Reading ›
July 07, 2008

Halftime Report

I’ve reached the halfway mark and it’s finally starting to get good. Why is that? Why is it that whenever I really start to fully understand and enjoy where it is that I am and what I’m doing, the end seems to be a mere few feet away?

The past three weeks here at Compassion have been some of the sweetest times in my life. As cliché as it may seem, I feel as though I have found myself. Or better yet, I found the Lord. Not to say He was hiding, but I feel as though my eyes have been unveiled and my heart has been opened to see and experience Him in a new way.

As with any halftime, the focal point has now turned from offense to defense. We have successfully created an idea that I think will be huge hit and now we need to find a way to defend it against the onslaught of logistics, financial resources and all other realistic killjoys. This is where it gets interesting.

Interesting also is the possibility of staying here at Compassion. I have recently applied for several positions which I am praying the Lord will make available.

Continue Reading ›
May 05, 2008

Non-Traditional Family Traditions

Many of Compassion’s sponsors are young families. Our family fits that category with children 9, 6, 5 and 2 years old. Not only do we want to help little ones overseas, my wife and I want our own children to realize the hope-stealing effects of poverty. We want our kids to understand poverty to a point where they’re compelled to do something about it both now and later.

Do you think this way? What traditions have you started in your own home to cultivate an understanding of what the poor go through in the developing world? We’re just starting out, and I know we can get more consistent, but here’s a glimpse of what we do:

  • I made an 8-by-10 print of this picture taken by Tonny Tunya. It’s in our dining room. Occasionally, we pause to see whatever we’re facing through the bright eyes of these children whose playground is a garbage dump in Indonesia. At best, our conversations are speculative. But there’s truth in these talks, too. And our perspective is refined bit by bit.
  • Several children stand happily on a large pile of trash at the city dump where they look for treasures.

  • When we sit down for a meal and make the effort to think about Karen, our sponsored child in the Philippines, and her family, our gratitude to God for the food in front of us grows deeper.
  • We’re moving in the direction of connecting each one of our kids to a different sponsored child. They’ll get to minister and be ministered to through sharing words of hope, art and prayers. Who knows? Maybe our kids will be some of the few of their generation to have a true pen pal.
  • I’m memorizing verses about children and the poor and my son is helping me. I hope that these scriptures sink in for him, too, and that seeing his dad take the time to do this would inspire him.

I’m sure there are many other ways to teach children about poverty through day-to-day life. I’ve heard of kids initiating fund raisers and families who rethink gift-giving at Christmas. Some of these families have even gone on one of Compassion’s sponsor tours to see it all with their own eyes.

Would you take a few moments to share your traditions? It’s OK if you don’t do them 100 percent of the time. None of us do. But we want to. And it’d be great to learn from others. The kids need it. Ours and theirs.

Continue Reading ›
April 04, 2008

With God All Things Are Possible

Hey! I have new photos of Amisi. I was so blessed to meet him on my trip to Uganda last month.

Amisi coloring

He’s such an ambitious child! As soon as I gave him his new coloring book, he was on a serious mission to get every page colored.

Amisi eating ice cream

I bought him some ice cream, but he wasn’t crazy about it at first. He’d never tasted anything so cold. Once it melted though, he became a fan.

I was told the outfit he’s wearing, along with his shoes and socks, were purchased through the Christmas Gift Program.

Amisi and Robyn

Amisi is so full of life and joy. It’s hopeful to know he’s receiving health care, food and educational opportunities. And most important — he’s learning about God’s love. To be just a small part of this is such a blessing. Even though he’s only 5 years old, I pray he remembers my visit through the years and knows that I adore him.

During my visit, I also gave him a banner that says, “With God, all things are possible.” As he grows up, I hope he clings to this message. I can’t wait to see how God works in his life. He may be living in a poverty-stricken African village now, but with God, the possibilities for his life are endless.

Have you visited your child? I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment and tell me!

And if you have any photos, add them to our Flickr group. Be sure to include brief descriptions and I’ll share some of them here in a few days!

Continue Reading ›
April 04, 2008

Why Me, God?

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.

Continue Reading ›
March 03, 2008

10 Questions With Mike Hinckfoot (Part II)

Yesterday, Mike gave us a lesson on what Compassion’s Leadership Development Program (LDP) is about. Today, he talks about his vision for LDP.

Mike with Ben, a Compassion Kenya LDP student


6. What are the goals of the LDP for each student who graduates?

The LDP is an outcome-driven ministry. Everything we do focuses on our goal of seeing students graduate and serve their communities and the world at large. A young person who graduates from Compassion’s Leadership Development Program demonstrates:

  • Personal commitment to the lordship of Christ
  • Good health practices
  • Personal and professional skills to be economically self-supporting
  • Positive self-worth and healthy relationships
  • Servant leadership

7. Can you tell me about an LDP student who you believe embodies the goals and spirit of the LDP?

Lillian grew up in the care of an aged peasant father and two brothers. They lived each day as it came, knowing that a day to day existence was the best way they could live. As a young child her home was trees, made up of old limbs, cardboard, and scrap metal. She was brought up in a small tribal community based on a patriarchal model, which does not place a premium on educating girls. Women in her village do not dream. They are viewed as insignificant, with little hope for the future than to live in poverty and to raise their children in the same conditions.

But with the help of the Child Sponsorship Program and her sponsor, Lillian saw the first seeds of hope flourish. She became the first in the family to graduate from high school. Now, through the LDP, she has become the first and only girl in her village who has achieved the distinction of being accepted into a university.

With the knowledge Lillian is gaining from the LDP program and her studies, we believe, and with her determination, she will become a school teacher and instill these same dreams and hopes into other young children. In spite of all the hurdles, Lillian breaths life and energy and hope. Lillian has a “can do!” heart. She truly believes God will provide all.

8. Tell me what the LDP graduates are doing now.

Since 1996, more than 600 students have graduated from the program. Based on our most recent contact with our graduates, we know that:

  • More than 80 percent are employed.
  • About 72 percent of graduates are employed within their field of study within six months after graduation.
  • Approximately 99 percent are actively involved in a leadership role within their church.
  • Around 65 percent are currently mentors themselves.
  • About five percent are Child Sponsorship Program sponsors, and more are sponsoring siblings to attend school.
  • More than ten are missionaries to other countries.

9. What is your vision for the LDP?

Our vision is that one day, the country offices that we work in become partner countries. That one day, Compassion Uganda will raise up sponsors, where they are a part of our ministry just like Compassion Italia, Compassion Canada or Compassion Netherlands. And we envision that our leadership development students, that one day a student could be the president of his or her country. An awesome parent, a man or woman of God… a loving spouse. A young person who could be a teacher or a lawyer, walking with the Lord — a leader in the church; an elder, maybe a pastor, impacting family, church, community, nation, and in so being, transforming our world for Jesus Christ. That is the Leadership Development Program.

10. What is your favorite LDP memory?

It was 2 a.m. at a LDP retreat, and I was packed into a small room with 20 LDP guys (no ladies), laughing at goofy jokes, making fun of one another, engrossed in stupid guy humor, singing Christmas carols loud and off-key, praying for miracles — to release the captives and rebuild nations — and not superficial wants. And I knew without a doubt these young men will transform their nation for God’s glory.

Read all of the posts in the 10 Questions series.

Continue Reading ›
February 02, 2008

One Man’s Crawl Space, Another Man’s Castle

What shapes your perspective on poverty? Are you ready to have it shaken up?

Continue Reading ›
February 02, 2016

What Can I Mail to the Child I Sponsor?

If your love language is gifts, this is a hard one for you because you want to be able to send material items along with your letters to show the child you sponsor that you love them. Today, I am going to share with you five things you can mail with your next letter.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2015

Count Your Blessings

November is the time of year that many people contemplate the blessings they have in life. This month’s Second Friday Letter Writing Club theme focuses on gratitude and blessings.

Continue Reading ›
August 08, 2010

How to Make Your Financial Contributions Go Further

When you set up a regularly occurring and automatic direct payment plan (e.g., Automated Clearing House (ACH), bill pay or credit/debit card), you save us at least $1 on each transaction. It’s a significant amount when you consider that many of the children’s families we serve survive on less than $1 a day.

Continue Reading ›
February 02, 2015

Just Yes.

Yes changes lives. Yes can change a child’s life forever. Yes can change eternity.

Continue Reading ›
April 04, 2014

Your Sponsored Child’s Most Prized Possession

Here’s a photographic look at what some children around the world consider their most prized possessions. And it’s not their toys.

Continue Reading ›
March 03, 2014

The Importance of Names

Names are important. They have power. They define us. They’re more than a bunch of letters grouped together to sound pleasant to the ear. Names are more than a convenience allowing us to talk to each other. Names are a gift from God. They contain His power. They define things. They define us.

Continue Reading ›
January 01, 2014

Ideas for Fun Items to Send to Your Sponsored Child

Feeling low on creativity about what larger mail pieces to send? Here are some really cute ideas for things you can send your sponsored child.

Continue Reading ›
September 09, 2013

“My World Turned Upside Down So I Could Live Right-side Up.”

Carolyn’s sponsorship story started almost 20 years ago after hearing a ministry presentation. The name of her first sponsored child was Danny and he was from Honduras.

Continue Reading ›
January 01, 2012

An Inside Look: Correspondence at Compassion

Since implementing the new online letter writing tool, we receive about 7,000 web letters each day compared to the 1,000 or so we received daily before the tool was implemented.

Continue Reading ›
February 02, 2011

Where’s the Poverty?

The presence of dignity doesn’t equal the absence of poverty.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2010

Got Any Great Fundraising Ideas?

We have this spot where we can share our fundraising ideas and experiences. Bake sales, aluminum can drives, Compassion parties, golf tournaments, lemonade stands — this is the place to bring it. If you’ve organized an event already, please share what you did. What worked? What didn’t work? What would you do differently?

Continue Reading ›
August 08, 2010

How Young Is Too Young to Sponsor a Child?

Compassion has sponsorship booths at hundreds of events across the country, throughout the year. Some of those booths are at events specifically for teens. Working in the contact center, I sometimes speak with parents whose teen sponsored a child at one of these events.

The parents are often concerned that their teen will not be able to see the commitment to fruition. Sometimes the parents are upset that we would even allow their teen to sign up to be a sponsor.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2008

One Word

“Seven years ago, I started the simple discipline of picking a one-word theme for the upcoming year. That is right — one word. Not a phrase, not a statement, just a single word. And to this point, it has been nothing short of life-changing.”

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2018

How Are Your Compassion Letters Delivered?

The journey of how Compassion letters get to and from the children you sponsor is sometimes one of adventure. In cases where a local church partner is isolated, Compassion staff sometimes have to go the extra mile — literally — to get your loving words into the hands of the eagerly waiting children.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2017

Top 5 People We’re Grateful For (Hint: One of Them Is You!)

We have a lot to be thankful for here at Compassion. We get to work with amazing kids all around the world. And we also have the best partners in that work! In no particular order, here are the top five people we couldn’t do ministry without!

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2017

My Favorite Thing the Child I Sponsor Wrote Me Was…

A few months ago, we shared with you just how encouraging your letters are to the child you sponsor. This month, we want to flip that. We asked you, on Facebook and Instagram, how the child you’re investing in has encouraged YOU. Here’s what you said!

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2016

When Will I Receive a Letter From the Child I Sponsor?

Because letters may have taken two to three months to be delivered in the past, something needed to be done to help us deliver letters more efficiently. If we could speed up the time that it takes for a letter to be exchanged back and forth between supporters and children, it would also enrich the relationships between them. For several years we prayerfully worked to bring this vision to fruition. Then in April 2016, we began using a new system designed to help us deliver letters faster than ever before.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2015

How Is My Money Used Each Month?

$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?”, and “Where is the money going that isn’t going to the children?”.

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2015

Foster Development, Not Dependence

Development is what Compassion is about. We don’t want to give a handout; we want to do the things that will truly help a child become a self-sustaining, responsible adult.

Continue Reading ›
July 07, 2014

30 Adorable Things Kids Say in Their Letters

Every once in a while, the things the kids we sponsor have written to us make us pause, laugh, and thank God that we get to be a part of their lives. Here’s a collection of the most adorable things the kids have written to us.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2012

He Became Poor

Dignity is still so important, even in such dire conditions.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2012

The Simple Art of Love

Jesus came in simple form: a baby, born into a poor family, in a stable, without all the bells and whistles. He ministered in the same way, befriending the unlovely and telling stories people could understand.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2012

It’s About Giving

Let’s paint a complete picture of giving this holiday season and see what we come up with. Let’s see if what we uncover helps connect us more closely to Jesus and helps make giving a part of our everyday lives.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2012

I Cancelled My Sponsorship

The problem with “the burn” Brianne experienced from all the social injustice hype in college was that she only let it burn her, not brand her.

Continue Reading ›
July 07, 2012

Where Do You Want to Go? The Compassion Blog “Rethunk”

This blog post has one purpose: to refine the vision for the Compassion blog. That might mean we simply affirm what the blog’s purpose has been for the last few years. Or it might mean we come up with something new. Either way, now is the time to tell us what we should focus on.

Continue Reading ›
April 04, 2012

What Does Your Sponsored Child Want to Know About You?

How many of us sit in front of a blank computer screen or piece sheet of paper wondering what to share with our sponsored child? What do you say or not say?

Continue Reading ›
March 03, 2012

A Sponsor’s Letter: From Gayle to Her Child

A lot needs to happen before a sponsor like Gayle can receive a letter from her sponsored child. In this video we see the sponsor side of the sponsor-child letter-writing journey.

Continue Reading ›
February 02, 2012

Ministry Highlight: Rwanda

We began our ministry in Rwanda in 1980 with the Child Sponsorship Program. In 2008, we started the Leadership Development Program, and the Child Survival Program followed in 2010.

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2011

Place Your Order for Better Blog Posts Here

I’m asking for your help in determining what gets published here. I will use your comments to request specific blog posts from our field communications specialists and from other staff around the world.

Continue Reading ›
September 09, 2011

How Do I Share Holiday Traditions With My Sponsored Child?

We often get questions in our contact center regarding different holidays. Things like, “What are some holidays that are special to my child?” Or, “To be sensitive to my child’s culture and customs, are there things I shouldn’t talk about?”

Continue Reading ›
September 09, 2011

Sponsorship Means Fewer Grande, Three-pump, No Water Chai Tea Lattes

Three great tragedies – death, separation, poverty – all in one week. I was down for the count, lost and overwhelmed. The world was too filled with grief, and my contribution wasn’t going to make a dent in it.

Continue Reading ›
January 01, 2011

In One Word, 2011 Will Be About …

The words the Holy Spirit shares with us require us to “step up.” This discipline is not something to do on a lark because it sounds fun. It requires a commitment. It’s something that requires you to lean into the Lord and to step up and assume responsibility for the talents He has given you.

Continue Reading ›
January 01, 2011

The Truth Is … I Don’t Sponsor a Child

Not a soul on my work team has told me I need to sponsor a child, but it’s become the elephant in my private room now that I’ve seen how passionate – I mean truly passionate – Compassion employees are about releasing kids from poverty in Jesus’ name.

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2010

Can My Sponsored Child’s Siblings Be Sponsored, Too?

Our goal is to assist as many children and families as possible. In order to do this, we allow three children per family to be enrolled in our program.

However, the child development center staff is able to change that allowance to one or two children — based on the community’s needs. Particularly in Africa, one child registered per family tends to be the limit.

Continue Reading ›
June 06, 2010

Our Business Model Is Out of Date. Help Us Innovate.

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.

Continue Reading ›
May 05, 2010

A Skeptic’s View on Child Sponsorship

Child sponsorship A friend of ours in Facebook, Sara Campion, brought this Relevant Magazine article to our attention yesterday. It starts off with some questions we hear quite a bit.

“Do you ever wonder what happens to that $35 you donate every month to a child sponsorship organization? Are you a little skeptical that the money you give is actually going to sponsoring a child instead of a mismanaged nonprofit? If that’s you, I’m with you. A couple years ago, I had convinced myself the money I was giving each month wasn’t actually reaching the child whose picture I had picked out years earlier, so I canceled my sponsorship. It turns out I was wrong, and it hit me like a ton of bricks two years later.”

Read the entire article at Relevant Magazine.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2009

Only One Season for Giving?

Season for giving Is there ever a wrong time to be generous?

The last two months of the year have traditionally been known as “the season of giving.” Whether it is the good cheer of the holidays or the appeal of potential tax deductions, the year’s end seems to prompt charitable giving . . . This year, I expect that end-of-year appeals will feature a double plea for generosity. Not only will they rely on the tried and true annual “season of giving” sentiment, but they will also likely include some version of the nearly ubiquitous theme:

In these tough economic times…

Now more than ever…

In today’s climate…

. . . But what are we really saying? If we are saying that this is the season for giving or that current economic conditions merit increased generosity, aren’t we implying that giving is unnecessary at other times of the year or when the American economy is strong?

Read more at newsweek.washingtonpost.com

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2009

Why Can’t I Communicate With My Sponsored Child Via Facebook?

Because we want you to have the best relationship possible with your sponsored child, and your questions are reasonable ones, we are currently considering a few technology-driven options to help you connect more directly with your child.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2009

Using One Word to Fight Your Personal Spiritual Poverty in 2010

Do you talk with God? Or do you talk at Him or to Him? How much of your prayer life, your conversations with God, is about you? You talking. What you want or need. What you think should happen. When you’re listening, are you interested in what’s on God’s mind? Or are you really just listening for God to talk about the subjects you choose?

Continue Reading ›
August 08, 2009

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Bloom where you are planted

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

When I was asked to write my first post for this blog, I sent an e-mail to my family and friends joking, “Apparently my ability to drone on and on, (and on), about Compassion International and child sponsorship has gotten back to the organization. I have been given a public forum at last!” I have no doubt there was some good-natured snickering around many computer terminals in Iowa that day.

Let me put it this way. If you know me, AT ALL, you know I sponsor children — you know how I feel about Compassion — and you know that I think child sponsorship is one of the best possible ways to help children in poverty. It is a regular topic of conversation for me and I am known for it.

Jesus told us to let our light shine before men. We are not to light our lamp only to put it under a bushel. If someone who had been a friend for a long time suddenly came to me and said, “I had no idea you believed in Christ!” I would feel that I had not done my job as a Christian. If my faith was so absent in my daily activities that there was no outward sign of it, what would that say about me as a follower of God?

I feel exactly the same way about my ministry with Compassion. And that is what I consider child sponsorship to be — my ministry. What kind of a ministry would it be if I told no one about it and gave no one the information that would enable them to participate? To minister is to tell others — to share the good word! Why would I keep it quiet?

So my challenge to everyone today is to BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED. Think about how you can share your Compassion ministry, wherever it is you may be.

Not all of us are great orators. Speaking in front of a crowd of more than 10 would probably give me a rash or hives of some kind. Not all of us are good at the “hard sell,” so I’m certainly not suggesting you go door to door. But I know there is some way that is immediately available to you to put Compassion out there, front and center.

Compassion advocates, can you offer some suggestions on how the average sponsor can share Compassion with others?

Sponsors, is there something unique you have done to get the word out to family and friends?

Has anyone taken advantage of the free brochures, posters, etc., that Compassion offers? If so, how have you used them?

Please share…

And thank you!

Continue Reading ›
July 07, 2009

Ask a Moody Scholar

We trust that as regular readers of our blog, you’re familiar with Michelle, Tony and Richmond — our first three Moody scholars. So we’ll forego the explanation of who they are and get right to the point.

Each one of them is going be in Colorado Springs very soon. And they’ll actually all be here at the same time, which is a rare occurrence.

What this means to you is that we’ve grabbed a sizable block of their time so we can serve as a proxy interviewer on your behalf, kind of like we did with the Ask Wess series of blog posts. But this is going to be captured on video.

Let us know what questions you have for them as former participants in Compassion’s sponsorship program and Leadership Development Program graduates, students at Moody Bible Institute and emerging Christian leaders, and we’ll get you some answers.

We wanted to do this whole thing live, but the tool we are looking to use isn’t cooperating — at least for now.

We’ll choose the questions we ask from what you submit today and tomorrow.

P.S. If you’re new to the blog, you can learn a little bit about Michelle, Tony and Richmond by using the tags below “read these related posts.”

Continue Reading ›
July 07, 2008

Iowa, Flooding and the Global Food Crisis

Early in the morning of June 11, after months of heavy precipitation, the Cedar River poured into the streets of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The water quickly swallowed the city.

  • 1,300 city blocks disappeared.
  • 24,000 people were evacuated.
  • 83 of Iowa’s 99 counties were declared disaster areas.
  • Nearly every river in Iowa flooded that week.

iowa-flood

As I watched the floodwaters rise, my 4-year-old turned to me and said, “Mama, I think we need to get on the ark!” Had there been an ark in the vicinity, I may very well have gotten on it.

In the end, we Iowans are going to be just fine. The prayers of the nation have been with us, and we thank everyone for that. Help has arrived from all corners — from churches to government agencies. So many people have mobilized to get us back on our feet. We know it will be a slow process but, as a community whose roots are in farming, we have learned to be patient — patient with the growth of our crops, patient with the regrowth of our city.

But the impact of the floods on the world community is yet to come.

Iowa is the number one producer of corn and soybeans in the United States. It is estimated that 1.3 million acres of corn and 2 million acres of soybeans — roughly 16 percent of our grain crops were destroyed. (1) And this disaster is just one of many that decimated global crops in 2008.

So how does this impact the global food supply? In a nutshell, it means higher prices and a shrinking supply of food.

For countries in the developing world, this is a cataclysmic combination. In regions where people are already spending 80 percent of their salaries on food, the prices are going to get higher.

If 100 percent of a family’s income goes toward food, how then do they afford clothing, shelter, medical care and an education for their children?

And when the price of food eclipses what a family is able to earn, who in the family goes without? Parents, grandparents, children? How does one make such a decision?

As Thornton Wilder, the author of Our Town, once said: “I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for….”

We must stand together in the fight against poverty and hunger.

If you have a heart for flood victims, consider sponsoring a child in Haiti, Mexico, Bangladesh or Indonesia. These are countries that experience regular flooding, often with much loss of life, and an infrastructure that makes it difficult for families to recover.

You may also consider a donation to the Disaster Relief Fund. In the event of a natural disaster, Compassion provides food, blankets, shelter and replacement belongings to children and their families.

Please do what you can.


(1) Iowa State Farm Bureau

Continue Reading ›
July 07, 2008

Why We Can’t End Poverty

I realize that what I’m about to post isn’t going to be very popular. But I’m willing to post it because I hope it will start a healthy discussion.

Here it is: Over the past few years, I’ve heard this phrase come up literally dozens of times at missions conferences, ministry events, churches, on blogs, etc. The discussion turns to poverty and inevitably someone says “this is the generation that can end poverty.”

I don’t know if I believe that. In fact, I’m not totally sure Christians are called to end poverty. Before you go looking for handy throwing stones, allow me to explain:

First, let me say that I do believe there are enough resources in our world to take care of everyone. There’s enough food. Enough water. Enough materials for shelter and clothing.

But to make sure everyone gets their fair share, it would mean an end to greed and corruption. It would mean a massive shift in human nature. I don’t think this generation, or any other, can accomplish that.

Secondly, I don’t know of any scripture that says we are called to end poverty. We are called to fight injustice. We are called to be a voice for the voiceless, look after the orphan and the widow. But I don’t know of any verse that says we are expected to end poverty.

And third, I wonder if saying that we can end poverty is contradictory to what Jesus told us:

“The poor you will always have with you…” –Mark 14:7 (NIV)

Granted, a lot of people misuse that quote. They use it as an argument against doing anything about poverty: “We’ll always have poverty, so it’s fruitless to try to fight it.”

That’s not the point I’m making here. What many don’t know is that Jesus was actually quoting a passage from Deuteronomy. That original scripture goes on to tell us what we’re supposed to do about poverty:

“There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore, I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.” –Deuteronomy 15:11 (NIV)

Notice that the command is not to “end poverty” but to give. To share. And when a command is given, obedience is what’s expected.

I don’t think we’re called to end poverty. I do think we’re called to be obedient to God’s command.

It’s about taking care of those who are less fortunate. I think it’s about making sure that no child ever starves to death for lack of food, or dies from a preventable disease. It’s about making sure no one has to drink unsafe water. It’s about making sure everyone has a chance at life.

When we come together to fight poverty, God’s glory shines. And isn’t that what we’re called to do after all? Be reflectors of His glory?

My boss reminded me of the old ad campaign, McGruff the Crime Dog. Remember his famous catch-phrase? “Take a bite out of crime.” Not END crime … but take a bite out of it. I think we can take a bite out of poverty. I think we can stop some of the injustices. I’m just not sure we can end it.

Okay. Now you may grab your stones.

Continue Reading ›
March 03, 2018

How Long Does It Take for My Letters to Be Delivered?

Let’s be honest, getting a Compassion letter is such a joy that we all – children in the program included – want our letters to arrive quickly! But what goes into the process of getting letters to and from sponsors and how long does it take? We asked the folks who have the answers!

Continue Reading ›
February 02, 2018

Where Do Children Keep Their Favorite Letters From You?

After a sponsor composes those special words. After traveling through cyberspace or snail mail. After translation and delivery to the Compassion center. After getting placed into the eagerly awaiting hands of a student …. Where does that love-in-a-letter actually end up? Rather than tell you, we’ll let some of the students show you where they keep all their written treasures from their sponsors!

Continue Reading ›
January 01, 2018

Your Important Letter Questions Answered by Those in the Know!

We’re asking the very people who process, deliver and read your letters the questions you’ve always wanted to know. What are your letter-writing questions?

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2016

Ghana Traditions: Culture, Customs, & Society

Until its independence, Ghana was known as the Gold Coast. It was renamed Ghana, meaning “Warrior King,” to reflect the ancient Ghana Empire that flourished in West Africa during the 10th century.

Continue Reading ›
August 08, 2016

What Impact Does Giving a Family Gift Have in a Child’s Life?

After his accident, Biswanath lost all his expectations for life. He couldn’t find a job due to his weak leg. He struggled to provide for his family and began selling marijuana. The dark side of life grabbed him.

Continue Reading ›
July 07, 2016

What Children Really Want to Hear From Their Sponsors

Even sponsors who have been writing for years still ask, “What should I write about?” Well, instead of us giving you ideas of what to write this month for the Second Friday Letter-Writing Club, we decided to share from a trusted source what children really want to hear from their sponsors and the importance of letter writing.

Continue Reading ›
July 07, 2014

The Power of Words

When we write to our sponsored child, our words are often the very thing that help create future dreams. And sometimes those dreams are to be just like us.

Continue Reading ›
June 06, 2014

Share Your Letter Writing Ideas: #compassionletter

Over the past year, on our Second Friday Writing Club board on Pinterest, many letter writing ideas have been pinned on how to make wonderful paper items for our sponsored children that can be mailed. You can join in the creativity by pinning and sharing your fun and inspirational ideas with #compassionletter!

Continue Reading ›
May 05, 2014

It’s Your Birthday, and I’ll Write If I Want To

Leave a comment if you want to join us in finding birthday-related items we can share with our sponsored children.

Continue Reading ›
April 04, 2014

Will My Name Be Called Today?

Not every child in class is called up front to receive a letter. Some are handed a Bible verse on a small piece of paper that the center staff prepared for them. Children know the difference, and although they value the encouragement most of them hope they’ll receive a letter soon.

Continue Reading ›
March 03, 2014

Your Sponsored Child’s Photo: What Does It Tell You?

I’ve taken many calls from sponsors about the pictures of the children they sponsor. “Why is he wearing such nice clothing?” “Why is she not smiling?” “His newest picture doesn’t look like the boy I sponsored. Why?”

Continue Reading ›
January 01, 2014

You Can Copy These Sample Letters!

For sponsors who know the importance of letters but aren’t good with words, all the encouragement to write can bring on the guilt. Feel guilty no more – here is a solution for you!

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2013

How to Share the Importance of Clean Water With Children

Through facts, ideas and special water challenges Jill shares the importance of safe drinking water with the children at Vacation Bible School.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2012

20 Letter-Writing Prompts You Can Use

Children don’t always have the skill to carry on letter “conversations.” Giving them information about ourselves is a good place to start.

Continue Reading ›
September 09, 2012

Discovering a Piece of Ministry History

Poking around the ministry archives, a commercial recording from a famous ministry spokesperson was discovered. Who do you think it could be?

Continue Reading ›
September 09, 2012

I Still Have You

In a world where texting, tweeting and re-tweeting have become all but the norm, four simple words delivered the “old fashioned way” humbled one sponsor: “I still have you.”

Continue Reading ›
June 06, 2012

What Can One Surrendered Life Do?

Darcy Creech got involved with Compassion in 2010, part of a full-life transformation that followed years as an A-list party girl in her well-heeled community. She was adored by friends for her pizzazz, flamboyant life, and dazzling business success — the very things she now says left her with a bankrupt soul.

Continue Reading ›
April 04, 2012

A Compassion Alumnus Gives Back to His Community

We came to Rwanda with nothing and found that our family members in Rwanda had been killed during the genocide. Life was difficult because we were starting a new life in a new country with nothing — and we didn’t have hope for the future.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2011

Ministry Highlight: Ethiopia

In 1993 we began our ministry in Ethiopia with the Child Sponsorship Program. In 2004 we started the Leadership Development Program and in 2006 the Child Survival Program.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2011

The Spiritual Discipline of One Word

The words we get each year are foundational words. They build the altar upon which we worship Christ, in word and action. They have relevance every year of our lives.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2011

Ministry Highlight: Nicaragua

We began our ministry in Nicaragua in 2002, when the Child Sponsorship Program was started. In just seven years of ministry, we have served over 30,000 children in Nicaragua.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2011

Living in Manila: A Day in the Life of Jessa

Nine-year-old Jessa lives in a tiny hovel situated within a crowded squatter community in metro Manila. She wakes up at 4 a.m. and it is still dark at this time of day. But inside Jessa’s home, it is always dark.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2011

Ministry Highlight: Ecuador

We began our ministry in Ecuador in 1974, with the Child Sponsorship Program. In 2002, we started the Leadership Development Program and in 2006, the Child Survival Program.

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2011

Changes to Our Letter-Writing Process

To help you feel more closely connected with your child, we’re implementing four changes to our correspondence process in the next year.

Continue Reading ›
September 09, 2011

The Real Ministry of Child Sponsorship Lies in Letter Writing

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.

Continue Reading ›
May 05, 2011

A Precious Perspective

One sentence from a little girl an ocean away immediately and forever changed my perspective.

Continue Reading ›
February 02, 2011

Who Translates Your Letters?

The Honduras Compassion office receives an average of 15,000 to 18,000 letters per month. The handling of so many letters and packages requires a well-trained correspondence team. This group of people takes their job seriously and knows well how to manage the pressure of receiving so many letters. Every one of them is an expert in every process and committed to keeping up the good work.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2010

Rural Life in the Philippines

Due to poverty, many children drop out of school to work in sugarcane plantations. Here, they are exploited and forced to work long hours for meager pay. Negros Occidental has the highest magnitude of poor families in the country, mostly concentrated in rural areas. About 33 percent of the population lives on less than $1 a day.

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2010

Tell Us Your Story!

There are pivotal moments in human development, defining moments that shape long-term self view and identity. Those pivotal moments must be won by truth and not by “the lie.”

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2010

Child Sponsorship Is About Relationship Building

“Sponsorship is not about the money you give but about the lives and relationships you build.” This is not just a clever thing to say. It’s a profound statement that I learned from the children themselves. I’ve seen that our children are more concerned about building their relationship with you than the help they get.

Continue Reading ›
September 09, 2010

Any Last Words?

Grab the last letter you received from your sponsored child and share the closing sentence with us.

Continue Reading ›
September 09, 2010

Write Your Child the Second Friday of Every Month

Members of the Virtual Child Sponsorship Letter Writing Night group in OurCompassion have committed to write letters to their children on the second Friday of each month. The group provides letter-writing ideas and/or craft projects to use as a theme when writing.

Continue Reading ›
August 08, 2010

Purple

Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolizes wisdom, nobility and ambition. It communicates wealth and extravagance. But it’s also the color of dignity – something you’re helping give to children in poverty.

Continue Reading ›
August 08, 2010

How Valuable Is a Little Encouragement in a Person’s Life?

Now a successful man who owns a large egg-selling business, Wolly Towoliu was once known as a little boy who had a very bad attitude. Wolly liked to hit his friends, sometimes even with stones. His mother once even said, “It would be better if you just went to the forest. I can’t stand any more of your attitude.”

Continue Reading ›
July 07, 2010

The Fear of Sponsoring a Child

sponsor a child Can you relate to any of this?

“Most of my reluctance to Just Begin Already with sponsoring a child, though, has boiled down to fear. It’s easy to look back across the years and consider the times I’ve had my phone, electric, or gas turned off when money was a struggle. Easy to replay old conversations with bill collectors and lawyers and remember how my stomach used to squeeze uncomfortably when the phone rang. Easy to recount old wage garnishments. Easy to recall years that I’ve spent $1000 or more on overdraft fees in a never-ending cycle of appeasing creditors and trying to beat the bank.

“Easy to paint the possibility in my mind that if I make a commitment like this, maybe I will let the child down, and it will not be a matter of my discomfort, but of his or her life or death.”

Read the entire post, From Cornerstone: Sponsoring My First Compassion Child, at wrecked.org.

But don’t just read and comment over there. Let us know if there were other fears you had to overcome before you took the step to sponsor a child. Tell us if there are fears you’re fighting right now when thinking about sponsoring a child.

By doing so, you can help make this post a relevant and valuable resource for people who are thinking about helping a child in poverty.


UPDATE: July 5, 2012 – The original post is no longer available on the Wrecked.org website.

Continue Reading ›
June 06, 2010

Is Compassion a Trustworthy Organization? Are You Being Duped?

Accountability. This word has so much meaning. In this fast paced and cynical world, many people have lost trust in nonprofits. It’s actually very sad, but I understand why.

How many times have you heard about the misuse of funds hindering an organization’s effectiveness, or greed compromising decision-making and values? Regrettably, I think we all have heard it too many times.

Continue Reading ›
June 06, 2010

Give a Cup of Cold Water

Around the globe there are many “little ones” who follow Christ, yet who are easily oppressed, powerless and defenseless. It is within our ability to care for them in tangible ways, extending simple offerings to meet needs and ease suffering. The promised reward for doing this is not an obligation, but a free gift from God for our obedience and service.

Continue Reading ›
June 06, 2010

What Should I Do if My Sponsored Child Contacts Me Via Facebook?

If you are contacted by your sponsored child outside of Compassion’s portals (e.g., by phone, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), please don’t respond, even to say “I’m sorry but I can’t talk with you in this manner.” And please let us know about the contact.

Continue Reading ›
May 05, 2010

Critique Our New Blog Design

The time has come — and some would say it’s way overdue — for our blog to get a new look. But not just a new look, a better design — one that is more intuitive to navigate and makes it easier for you to find the older content you’re interested in.

Continue Reading ›
April 04, 2010

What Is It Like to Meet Your Sponsored Child for the First Time?

How would you describe meeting your sponsored child for the first time? Can you sum it up with one word?

If you can, please do. If you can’t, please use all the words you need.

Continue Reading ›
April 04, 2010

How Do Our Sponsored Children Survive in a “Ghetto Zone”?

ghetto zone Chilibulo is a parish located in the southern zone of Quito, the capital city of Ecuador. This area doesn’t have much economically because jobs are scarce. A walk along Chilibulo’s dusty and poorly paved streets highlights the lack of progress.

On the sides of the streets there are little houses made of bricks and cement. Some of the homes are not fully constructed and others are old; the colors of their walls have long faded. Many families live here because they have unsteady jobs with low salaries. Most of them are informal merchants or bricklayers.

Chilibulo is also considered a “ghetto zone” due to area gangs and the high rates of delinquency.

This is the place where Mario and his wife, Martha, brought two children into the world.

Continue Reading ›
April 04, 2010

Tell Me How to Do My Job

This blog is meant to be an authentic and sincere communication tool with you and for you. It’s not supposed to be about us talking at you.

I strive to make this blog relevant to your sponsorship experience, and most of the time with what I publish, I’m just guessing. Your interests, situations, questions, familiarity with Compassion, etc. offer up quite a challenge when it comes to finding the proper balance between our desires for advocacy and getting more children sponsored and what I imagine your desire to be:

“Help me feel closer to my sponsored child!”

It’s important to everyone on our Web team that you get what you want, that you feel more connected with your sponsored child because of what you read here. If you perceive this blog to be a one-dimensional commercial about how great Compassion is, then we are failing you.

Please use this blog post to let me know what content you want more of and what you want less of. Let me know what information you aren’t getting that you wish you were getting.

I’m asking for your help in determining what gets published here. The comments you leave will allow me to make specific requests for blog posts from our field communications specialists and from the staff serving in Colorado Springs.

Thanks.

Continue Reading ›
March 03, 2010

This Blog is Going to Kenya

Kenya blog We’re traveling with the Compassion Bloggers on their latest trip to see our ministry in action, Mar. 4 -10, and our goal is to help you feel a little closer to the children you sponsor, even if you don’t happen to sponsor a child in Kenya.

While we’re in Kenya, we’ll be looking to blog about the hows and whys behind the work our church partners and country staff perform. We want to give you that “Sponsorship 201” experience, something to complement the stunning, inspirational and tender stories our traveling companions will be delivering, and something that builds upon your existing relationship with us.

We’ll be visiting these four child development centers, and these kids, who are waiting to be sponsored, are registered at them. If you sponsor one of the children, it’ll make this blog trip much more meaningful for you. You’ll get a great look at your child’s world without having to leave the comfort of your home.

  • KE-301, Kawangware Child Development Center
  • KE-355, Mathare Community Outreach Child Development Center
  • KE-611, Kabuku St. John Child Development Center
  • KE 555, Olturoto Child Development Center
  • KE-630, Good Shepard Isinya Student Center
  • KE-727, Jericho Child Development Center
  • KE-737, Kiserian Child Development Center

See you in Kenya.


Follow all of the Compassion Bloggers Kenya blog team on Twitter.

Visit compassionbloggers.com on a daily basis to make this journey through the words, pictures and videos of the other Compassion Bloggers.

Continue Reading ›
January 01, 2010

Child Development Centers Affected by the Haiti Earthquake

Haiti earthquake UPDATED: Mar. 6, 2010This downloadable PDF lists all the child development centers in Haiti and categorizes each center as: not directly affected, moderately affected or significantly affected.

Six child development centers and one child survival program previously designated as not directly affected have recently reported several children and siblings of sponsored children as having been injured in the earthquake. They have also reported many houses that were damaged.

These centers are now considered moderately affected.

  • HA-260
  • HA-272 and HACS19
  • HA-602
  • HA-670
  • HA-796
  • HA-811
Continue Reading ›
January 01, 2010

Haiti Earthquake Update

UPDATED: June 30, 2010 at 1:45 p.m. (MT) – Out of more than 22,000 children affected by the earthquake we are still in the process of locating around 350 children. We are continuing to contact sponsors whose children we do have specific information on.

Our church partners continue to search the tent cities daily to locate the rest of the children. In addition, regionally based partnership facilitators continue to search the countryside to find children who may have relocated outside of the city after the quake.

Classes have resumed in nine of the eleven universities where our Leadership Development Program students are enrolled, 62 students are attending class again. However, 26 of our students for various reasons (sickness linked to the earthquake, stress, trauma, formal interdiction from some parents, etc.) have not returned to school.

Our leadership team is proceeding with the repairs of our three-level office building in Port-au-Prince. Repair work is expected to go until the end of July. A local firm is responsible for the repair but an expert from Engineering Ministries International is in the field for the work supervision.

Two psychologists have been hired for a six-month contract to design a plan to help meet the psychological needs of our registered children, siblings, relatives and church staff members.

Our initial objective for addressing the temporary and transitional shelter needs of our beneficiaries was to provide tarps to 4,000 families in the urban areas, and corrugated metal sheets, wood frames and nails to 2,000 families located in the rural areas.

So far, we have distributed 4,237 tarps to complete the tarp distribution activity. Some families were given two tarps based on need. Also, more than 1,300 families received corrugated metal sheets and wood frames in rural areas. Another 700 will be served as soon as possible.

About 8,000 registered children and 7,000 siblings and parents were seen through our mobile medical clinics. Malaria and typhoid tests have been given to patients who also received medicine, if needed, or are referred to the hospital or a health center for follow-up.

As most of our child development centers also have a school where many of the children attend, our plan to provide transitional meeting places until the damaged centers can be rebuilt is providing school equipment to replace some of what has been lost.

The Haitian government has reopened schools and extended the school term by through August. Most of the schools are allowing children to go home at noon because of the extreme heat, to minimize the amount of time the children are kept under the tarps and canopies.

We are processing letters and gifts for all child development centers in Haiti. If you send a gift, please do not specify how it should be used. It is very difficult for our Haiti staff to follow through with the request.

Until further notice we are not conducting any travel to Haiti (e.g., sponsor visits, individual relief efforts, tours, vision trips, etc.).

All of the affected child development centers have resumed activities, meeting under tarps or tin roofs. All of the significantly affected centers are meeting three times a week.

Although the full scope of regular activities is not currently taking place at child development centers and child survival programs significantly affected by the earthquake, affected church partners are continuing to conduct camps to help address the psychological, physical, nutritional, and cognitive needs of our registered children, as well as the mothers and the babies participating in our Child Survival Program (CSP).

In general, our church partners will host these camps until the development centers are rebuilt or activities can be relocated to a safe indoor location.

Camp activities focus on five areas:

  • occupational therapy including art, sports and games
  • cognitive therapy including earthquake and natural disaster education
  • group therapy for children under 8 years old
  • individual therapy for children over 8 years old
  • immunization against polio, measles, tetanus and hepatitis A

For the CSP camps, two to three Child Survival Programs are grouped together for efficiency, depending on their geographic location.


  • Download a PDF listing all the child development centers and child survival programs in Haiti and categorizing each center and program as: not directly affected, moderately affected or significantly affected.
  • Was My Sponsored Child Affected by That Crisis? – A blog post that explains our crisis reporting process
  • Pictures from Haiti taken by Compassion staff and contractors
  • Images showing the approximate location for the earthquake’s epicenter in relation to our child development centers in Haiti
  • Heart for Haiti, a group to connect and pray with people who sponsor children in Haiti
  • See what is typically inside a disaster relief kit
  • Subscribe to country-specific crisis updates, prayer requests and stories for each country where you sponsor a child
  • Purchase a Compassion Help Haiti t-shirt
Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2009

What Are You Doing, God?

The night before, we had prayed that God would do with us what He would. That we would be open and available to what He wanted to do for us … to break our hearts on this trip.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2009

Does My Sponsored Child Really Need My Help?

In all the time and through all the experiences you’ve had with Compassion, have you ever questioned whether the child you sponsor really needs your help?

Have you ever seen a photo of a Compassion-assisted child and thought, “That kid doesn’t look poor. Does he really need Compassion?”

If so, you’re not alone. Those thoughts even enter my mind – The Poverty of ME.

I have a preconceived notion of what abject poverty in the developing world should look like, and it doesn’t involve a DVD player, television or refrigerator.

My preconception doesn’t mean the child isn’t in need. It just means that the child doesn’t seem to be in the type of need that I feel as rewarded in fighting, when compared to other children’s needs.

To me, this is the same thing I face when I look at all the other needs in the world I’m not helping with — the homeless in America, the persecuted church in China, etc.

I can’t help with everything, so I have to make judgment calls based on something, and sometimes that something happens to be appearances.

So in light of this,

Would your child’s easy access to e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, etc. affect the level of poverty you perceive your sponsored child enduring?

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2009

A Clean Drinking Water Lesson

The availability of clean water can be taken for granted in developed countries such as the U.S. or U.K. For people in Bangladesh, however, clean water can be scarce.

Watch the clean drinking water video and subscribe to Compassion YouTube for more stories.

In many remote places in Bangladesh, people may never drink clean water. They suffer from waterborne diseases, which are adopted into their lives as normal.

Flying over Bangladesh, you see hundreds of rivers and canals covering the country. But most of these water sources are badly polluted and not safe for drinking or other uses.

So not only is it difficult to provide food for everybody in this impoverished country, it is even more difficult to ensure safe drinking water for the people of Bangladesh.

Haydarnashi Child Sponsorship Program has had a problem finding clean water from the very beginning. The cook had to carry drinking water for 142 children every day. He also had to carry the water for daily cooking.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2009

Was My Sponsored Child Affected by That Crisis?

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

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2009

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.

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2009

Emotional Appeals for Sponsorship: Right or Wrong?

When you watch the Catalyst 2009 do you feel it was manipulative? Is it all right to ask people to give, or act, in the middle of experiencing an emotional moment?

Nathan Creitz, author of ChurchEthos: “a blog that encourages thinking Christianly about the habits and customs of the Church and about our reputation with the unchurched,” says:

This video is worth watching for two reasons:

  1. To see God’s love at work through His people and to see the powerful story of Jimmy and Mark.
  2. To see how NOT to use such a moment to advance an agenda.

What do you think? Do you agree?

Let us know after you read Nathan’s entire blog post at ChurchEthos to get the context for his opinion.

Continue Reading ›
September 09, 2009

Committed Love Moves a Sponsor to Ecuador

Committed love Allen Charles Graham is single, but he understands the meaning of the word “commitment.” He started sponsoring children in 1989 when he lived in the United States, working at a TV network. Currently, he lives in Ecuador and is the Training Director at HCJB Global Voice radio station.

“This was something I always wanted to do ever since I looked at the advertising spaces in some magazines.”

Allen had the opportunity to take a closer look to the blessing of sponsoring children when he came to Ecuador for the first time back in 1989 as a “working visitor” for HCJB. He was assigned a prayer partner, who happened to sponsor an Ecuadorian child.

When the prayer partner visited his sponsored child at the coastal city of Guayaquil (260 miles from Quito), he came back and he showed pictures to Allen and shared about that experience.

That was when Allen received that special motivation and knew he was going to commit to sponsor a child as soon as he went back to the United States.

Actually, that was one of the first things Allen did when he was back home. He looked for a Compassion ad in a magazine, cut the invitation to sponsor a child, filled it out, and sent it including this note: “I prefer an Ecuadorian child.”

“In September 1989 I received a package with the information of a boy, Marcos from Guayaquil.”

This boy, the first child he sponsored, was 10 years old.

Surprisingly, a couple of months later in 1990, Allen received an invitation to give some lectures at the English Fellowship Church in Quito. Of course, he took the opportunity to visit Marcos.

So in July of that year, Allen met Marcos in Guayaquil. Marcos was 11 years old by that time, and he just talked and talked all the time.

“I didn’t speak Spanish and Álvaro, the translator, couldn’t translate fast enough all the things Marcos said.”

Sign language and, most of all, the language of love … hugs, tickles and smiles, let Allen and Marcos establish a strong friendship bond. When they were saying their good-byes at the airport, Marcos said, “I will pray a lot for you to come back to my country.” … And God did answer his prayer!

Allen was called by God to move to Ecuador as a missionary. In March 1992, HCJB accepted his application and later that year he traveled to Costa Rica to learn Spanish.

August 19, 1993, is a day Allen will never forget since it was the day he arrived in Ecuador after a special call by God. He was not just willing to be a missionary with HCJB, but was yearning to see little Marcos again, for Marcos had stolen his heart, and God had listened to Marcos’ innocent prayer.

Since that time, Allen has sponsored a half dozen children. He is currently sponsoring two children — a girl in Ecuador, Mariuxi, and a boy in Bolivia, Pedro.

From all those children, Marcos is the one who left a very deep imprint in the life of this communicator highly committed to children.

At the present time, Marcos is 30, and this sponsor/sponsored-child relationship has evolved almost into a father-son relationship.

Continue Reading ›
September 09, 2009

Funny Things Kids Say

What puzzling, quirky, amusing things have your sponsored children written in their letters to you?

Continue Reading ›
July 07, 2009

10 Questions With Kenia Servellon

1. How long have you been in your current position with Compassion El Salvador, and what is your job?

Two years. I am a supervisor within the Sponsor Donor Services department.

2. What are the main responsibilities of your position?

es-fieldstaffinterview3I make sure the sponsors have up-to-date information about the children. Not just the letters, but also new cases. I keep the biannual report updated. I make sure that pictures and information are high quality and are sent on time.

3. What is an average day like for you?

Continue Reading ›
May 05, 2009

Write to a Child

What is a child correspondent and why is letter writing so important that correspondents are necessary? Isn’t financial support enough?

Continue Reading ›
May 05, 2009

I Write My Sponsored Child

Write child It’s been a month and a half since we last “halfed” it. Do you remember what to do? 🙂

I write my sponsored child because . . .

Continue Reading ›
May 05, 2009

The Impact of Letter Writing

More than four years have passed since Haminton (age 11) wrote, with the teacher’s help, the first letter to his sponsor. His relationship with his sponsor has grown over the years as both of them share their heart and experiences through their letters.

Continue Reading ›
April 04, 2009

The Lowdown on Reciprocal Letter Writing

As with many aspects of our ministry, we have a set of standards for the letter-writing process. When I talk about “standards,” what I mean is certain expectations that we’ve given to every church partner. However, as with anything involving fallible humans, this does not guarantee it will always happen.

Continue Reading ›
April 04, 2009

I Pray

I pray As a stay-at-home mom of three girls, ages (almost) 6 and under, my To-Do lists are never ending. Yes, you read right — list(S). When I don’t get them done, which is quite frequently, I feel lazy, discouraged, and just plain ole’ not good enough.

Thankfully, I am aware that Satan is just trying to deceive me again. So I turn to the One who can get me through those feelings — God.

Sometimes those lists gets smaller, my energy goes up, and I’m not so discouraged if everything seems to not get done in time.

And sometimes it doesn’t. Boy does Satan love what happens next — I doubt myself and God. Did He hear me? Am I not good enough in the eyes of my heavenly Father? Maybe I ticked Him off (by snapping at my kids, the dogs, and my husband) and he’s giving me the silent treatment. Hmm … Perhaps I didn’t pray the right way?

Then I really start to wonder: If Satan is trying to deceive me, then you can bet he’s trying to deceive those who are truly suffering: those without food, medical attention, water, clothing, the list goes on and on.

Just a little background as to why I think this.

I have always felt that my sponsored children’s faith was stronger than mine. They have so much hope. They seem to always be positive and thankful. I figure that Satan would try to deceive those who have a stronger faith.

Why?

Because whenever something goes “wrong” for me, I start to complain:

My daughters and I had ear infections awhile back and our doctor is an hour and a half away. I complained.

Or, my husband had to work late and I had made dinner to be ready for him when he got home. I complained.

Or, “Mr. Fast and Furious” speeds past me, but I am the one who gets pulled over by the policeman for going 5 miles over the limit. I complain.

I know I should be giving thanks to God that we have a doctor, my husband has a job, I have food to prepare, I have my own mode of transportation, and that He will hold other people responsible for their actions.

It seems like even though my sponsored children are living without basic necessities, they’re so thankful for what they DO have. They know what it truly means to be without — they see God working in big ways, because they have so little.

Whereas, since I have more and live with so many more opportunities, I don’t see (or it’s harder for me to see) how God is working.

So, I pray for those who know what it is like to suffer. I pray for my sponsored children.

One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 54:17 – “No weapon formed against you shall prosper.” I pray that my sponsored children will be protected from any weapon — sickness, hunger, thirst, violence, loneliness, discouragement, fatigue and deceit. That those weapons would crumble into dust as my Savior protects them.

After praying for THEM, my lists don’t seem all that important. In fact, my focus has, more often than not, turned toward another piece of paper, one that will contain the words to build up my sponsored children’s self-esteem and to help them battle Satan’s lies. I write my sponsored children and assure them of God’s infinite love, of how special they are, and how proud I am of them.

Interestingly enough, I find that as I write those words, God speaks to my heart as well: God loves you, He hears you, and you are His beloved.


Visit the Clarke family website.

Continue Reading ›
March 03, 2009

Child Sponsorship: It’s a Family Affair

I realize that God wants me to look at my sponsorship of Evelyne from a whole new perspective. My goal now is to win Evelyne’s entire family to Christ.

Continue Reading ›
March 03, 2009

Where Do You Sponsor a Child?

Over on another blog post – Are My Letters Really That Important? – several sponsors have started trying to connect with other people who sponsor a child in the same child development center(s).

Until we have a better way to help you with this – which we are working on and we think you’re gonna love! – let’s make this post the home for making connections.

Continue Reading ›
February 02, 2009

Sponsorship in Six Words

in-six-words It’s said that Ernest Hemingway once wrote a story in just six words.

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

And called it his best work.

In the spirit of Hemingway’s brevity, and maybe with little help from the Holy Spirit, can you sum up your sponsorship experience in six words?

Here’s what we came up with.

Thought I gave. But I received. – Tim Glenn

Now poverty isn’t just a word. – Becky Tshamler

Random pick doesn’t seem random anymore. – Chris Giovagnoni

Black smiling eyes. World beyond myself. – Amber Van Schooneveld

They focus up. I’m distracted down. – Meredith Dunn

My child shows me Him. – Brianne Mullins

Abundant life for kids in poverty. – David Dahlin

Continue Reading ›
February 02, 2009

Letter-Writing Ideas

One-on-one sponsorship is set up to give each of us the opportunity to shepherd and encourage the children of our world. We need to be there for our kids. We parents know how quickly our children grow up. Well, the kids you sponsor grow up just as fast! Don’t waste the opportunity to connect with them — to know them.

Continue Reading ›
January 01, 2009

Cognitive Dissonance Theory, Wealth and Poverty

As humans we like consistency. We are uncomfortable holding to contradictory beliefs and actions, and will try to minimize our discomfort, creating a balance between our thoughts and our actions.

Continue Reading ›
December 12, 2008

Sponsor Letter Photos

Right before Thanksgiving, I was rootin’ around in our digital asset management library and saw some child photos I absolutely had to share. Photos of children reading letters from their sponsors.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2008

Cultural Change in the Maasai Community

The Maasai community has been rearing cattle for years, all their known lifetime and history.

In fact, there is a joke that goes around Tanzania about how the Maasai people claim that all the cows in the world belong to them, and the Maasai have the duty to return the cows to their natural home, in the Maasai community, which is why in the past there has been cattle rustling in the community.

Continue Reading ›
November 11, 2008

Our First Blog Contest

We’ve been wanting to do this for a looong time now, and it’s finally here — our first blog contest!

It took some time to hoodwink someone into donating a prize, but we finally found Amber.

fight-poverty-hope-livesWell, we knew where Amber was the whole time, so the truth is that we finally thought to ask her to donate autographed copies of her two books, Party Divas and Hope Lives.

What’s the gist of the contest?

  • Write a blog post describing how “hope lives” in your life.
  • Link back to this post in your post.
  • Leave us a comment, including a link to your blog, so we know you’re participating.
  • If you don’t have a blog, you can still participate. Just tell us how “hope lives” in your life by commenting on this post.
  • We’ll choose three finalists.
  • You’ll pick a winner from the three finalists.

Simple. Right?

Oh, one other thing. Write your “hope lives” post by Tuesday, November 11. Voting will be between November 12 and 15, with the winner announced on Monday, November 17.

Hmmm. Guess that was really three things. 🙂

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2008

Kamrul Receives His Cycle Van

Kamrul Kamrul received the cycle van you bought him! He received it eight days ago.


It was another hot afternoon at Suagram, and Mukta ran to her grandmother’s house. “Granny! Granny! Come out.”

An elderly woman came out; Mukta said loudly, “I am going to have a cycle van tomorrow. Now my father will drive my own cycle van.”

Her grandmother asked, “Who is giving you a cycle van?”

The 8-year-old girl replied proudly, “My Compassion center!”

The next day was very special for Mukta, her father, Kamrul, and their family. They were going to have a brand new van, as a gift from Compassion sponsors who read the U.S. blog.

Kamrul and his family dreamed about having their own cycle van for years. Although they considered Compassion as the great opportunity for their daughter’s development, they never thought that their dream of a cycle van could come true through the Compassion center. However God had a different plan for this family, and He used Compassion to bring blessings to them.

I reached Suagram Child Development Center at 8 a.m. Kamrul was there, waiting for me. He grabbed my hand and said, “Thank you so much, for what you did for us.”

I replied, “Don’t thank me. Thank Almighty God for his grace and thank the sponsors who made it possible.”

Kamrul said again, “I praised God thousands of times. Me and my family prayed for the sponsors and their families, that they could live a long, healthy and happy life.”

We went to the marketplace called “Ghaghar” to buy the cycle van. The child development center manager was also with us; he ordered the van the previous week. It was a nicely built cycle van.

The center manager was checking the cycle van, but I was observing the reaction on Kamrul’s face. There was a deep satisfaction and peace.

The center manager paid the bill and asked Kamrul, “Are you happy?”

He answered, “I couldn’t wish for more. This van will change the condition of my family.”

Kamrul took us on his new cycle van as his first passengers. He was driving faster than the previous time I rode his van. I thought there might be two reasons. The new cycle van was excellently made, and at that time Kamrul was the happiest man on the earth and wanted to fly.

We reached his house and paid him. Kamrul strongly refused to take money from me, but I was able to make him understand that he should take it as his first income from the van.

At his house, Mukta was waiting for us. As soon as Kamrul parked the van, little Mukta hopped on the van. She stood on the van and silently made us believe that it was her van.

Kamrul and his wife Rehana were getting busy to entertain us. The center manager tried to stop them, but Kamrul answered, “We couldn’t be able to give a treat to our beloved sponsors. So please let us entertain you with coconut water on behalf of the sponsors.”

Coconut water is a special drink in the rural areas; only special guests are entertained with coconut water. Kamrul and Rehana prepared and served coconut water to us. It was one of the sweetest and most refreshing drinks I have ever had.

Kamrul, Rehana, Mukta and little Sihab (Mukta’s younger brother) were sitting in front of us, and we were talking outside their house. A few neighbors also joined us.

I described to Kamrul and family about how our respected sponsors provided them the van. Kamrul shared his feelings:

“I am so pleased and amazed by the greatness of the Compassion sponsors. I struggled a lot with my family. Not even my own brother and sisters took care of us, but these people from thousands of miles away are thinking of our benefits.

This is amazing!

Now I can earn my own living and don’t have to pay the van owner daily. If I can work everyday then I won’t have any problem to maintain my family. At least I can buy food everyday for my children.

Please thank the sponsors on behalf of me and my family. Also tell them that their love is blessings for my family.

May God bless them and their children everyday!”

Rehana said, “Now my husband can work more freely. Hopefully we would overcome our difficult periods. Thanks to all the Compassion people and staff who made it possible for us. They think about us more than our own relatives.”

Mukta was having fun on the van. She said, “This is my van, and I will let my father drive it.”

Kamrul was laughing and replied, “Yes dear, it is your van.”

Mukta thanked all the sponsors in her own words and said in Bengali, “Amake van kine debar jonno tomader sobaike onek onek dhonnobad.” It means, “Many thanks to all of you for buying me this cycle van.”

Kamrul took his whole family on the van and had a fun drive. Later he picked up Mukta from the project on his van and took her home.

The gift amount was 10,200 Bangladeshi taka. The cycle van cost 9000 taka, and with the remaining 1,200 taka, the Compassion center bought a new pair of shoes for Mukta, a mosquito net, and two pillows for Kamrul’s family — things Kamrul and Mukta asked for.

It was a big day for this family. The satisfaction on Kamrul and Mukta’s face reminded me of the Grace of our heavenly Father.

Special thanks to all the sponsors who considered Kamrul as their own brother and Mukta as their own niece.


Today’s post is a followup to the August 7, 2008 post, A Day in the Life of a Bangladeshi Cycle Van Driver.

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2008

Chosen Ones

I chose my sponsored child . . .

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2008

Do Things Differently

If Compassion did one thing differently, I think it should be . . .

Continue Reading ›
October 10, 2008

I Share Compassion

I share Compassion . . .

Continue Reading ›
September 09, 2008

I Gave a Gift

I gave a gift to my sponsored child and . . .

Continue Reading ›
September 09, 2008

The Best Thing

The best thing my sponsored child shared with me . . .

Continue Reading ›
August 08, 2008

At the Compassion Mexico Office

omarWe spent this morning at the Compassion Mexico office. After a brief introduction and welcome by Omar, the country director, our group of 30+ sponsors broke into three smaller masses, in order to get a little more intimate with the different ministry areas.

First stop for “el grupo de Giovagnoni” was Ministry Services. We had a presentation from Cesareo in Finance. It was about the funding process for money to be granted and distributed to a child development center. It was in Spanglish. Cesareo said that, not me.

Next stop on the office tour, Sponsor Donor Services (SDS).

Here’s the 411 from the folks in SDS, with a little bleed over from Program Implementation, the stars who work with our church partners.

  • Compassion Mexico has 129 child development centers in eight of Mexico’s 31 states. They help about 20,000 children.
  • 79 percent of the 20,000 children are sponsored. 21 percent are waiting for sponsors.
  • Chiapas is the poorest state in Mexico and has been for the past 20 years. It’s where most of Compassion Mexico’s work is done, and it’s where we’ll be until Thursday. Chiapas borders Guatemala.
  • Last fiscal year, July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008, Compassion Mexico processed 23,000 letters from sponsors.
  • The staff estimates that 45 percent of sponsors write their children and the remaining children don’t receive any letters.
  • In the last fiscal year, Compassion Mexico processed 51,000 letters from its children to their sponsors.
  • Around 80 percent of Compassion Mexico’s sponsors are in the United States.
  • The average number of children in a Compassion Mexico child development center is 160.
  • Compassion Mexico expects to register another 5,000 children during this fiscal year.
  • The Compassion Mexico office opened in 1976 and does not currently work with the Child Survival Program or Leadership Development Program – only Child Sponsorship and Complementary Interventions.

And here’s some additional info bling strictly from Program Implementation.

  • The children in Chiapas are three times less likely to grow up healthy and to attend school.
  • 90 percent of children in Chiapas don’t attend school regularly. They work as laborers.

After we left the Compassion Mexico office, the rest of our day was spent traveling – by bus from Mexico City to the Toluca airport and then from Toluca by plane to Tuxtla Gutierrez.

Adios for now.

Hope you don’t mind that this post has been search engine optimized for the keyword Compassion Mexico.

Continue Reading ›
August 08, 2008

Should I Visit the Child I Sponsor?

Sponsor tours usually cost from $2,000 to $4,000, plus airfare to the departure city. Is that the best use of your money? What is the benefit to your child? Would it be better to use that money to: send a family gift, sponsor another child or donate to the Global Food Crisis fund?

Continue Reading ›
July 07, 2008

My Sponsored Child Taught Me

My sponsored child taught me . . .

Continue Reading ›
June 06, 2008

Poverty’s Shame

“For you, when you help take care of our children, is it easy for you, or is it a sacrifice?”

Continue Reading ›
June 06, 2008

10 Days, 14,000 Feet and 19 Children

Hello again. I’m about to take a trip to Bolivia, where I can meet many of the children that I sponsor plus several others too. I’m so excited right now!! I’m stoked. I think I spelled that right.

On June 27, I’m taking off from the Orlando airport and flying into Miami, where I’ll have to run and catch the plane to La Paz because I’ll have just a 45-minute connection window.

La Paz is the highest capital city (14,000 feet) in the world. I hope I’ll be able to breathe there. If I can’t, at least you’ll be able to say that my life ended on top of things. I’m just kidding. My doctor told me that I am capable of making this trip.

The flight will last all night. I’ll arrive in La Paz at 5:30 in the morning on June 28. I’m planning on staying up that day and then taking a look around on Sunday.

On Monday morning, I’ll meet my first child, Franz. He loves cars, so since I worked with some of the James Bond actors and actually cleaned the Aston Martin that Sean Connery drove in Goldfinger, I bought him an Aston Martin model, even equipped with some optional extras, like an ejection seat! I can’t wait to tell him: “Now, pay attention, 007. This is your Aston Martin.” LOL!

My dad sponsors two children in Bolivia, so I’ll be visiting with them as well. I’m planning to take lots of pictures and some video.

On Tuesday, I’ll meet with Dulce. I’ve sponsored her the longest, and she’s written me so many letters. She actually became a Christian about a year ago, and then several people in my church and Dulce prayed for her mom, and her mom also got saved.

Dulce’s dad is no longer with the family. She considers me her dad. And boy … am I a proud dad! (I almost stood up last Sunday in church when they had the dads stand up.) She’s been telling all of the children that she meets about the love of Christ! I’m so excited to see her and to talk with her about the Bible and to pray with her and her family.

Throughout the week, I’ll be meeting with all of the other children I sponsor in that area. On Thursday I’ll fly to Cochabamba. (“Coca-BOMB -uh.” My mom loves how that sounds.) On Friday, I’ll meet with Eliana and Isaias. Eliana wants to become a doctor and visit Los Angeles.

The following evening, I’ll fly to Santa Cruz, where I’ll meet with the last two of my children and a child that I recently found a sponsor for. Finally, the next morning, on July 6, I’ll fly back to the USA. I hope you will pray for me.

  • Pray that I’ll remain healthy and won’t run out of air.
  • Pray that the children will be encouraged and most of all will draw closer to God.

All in all, I’ll be visiting 19 children, 12 that I sponsor, two that I correspond with, two that my dad sponsors, two children that I just found one sponsor for, and one more that a friend of mine sponsors.

kees-twelve-children

Continue Reading ›
May 05, 2008

The Journey of One Letter

Have you ever wondered how your sponsored child’s letter gets to you? The long journey it takes from Tanzania or Thailand to Connecticut or California? There’s a lot more to it than you might think!

Samuel Llanes, Guatemala’s Field Communication Specialist, gives us a peek at the journey of one letter from Guatemala to a sponsor in Australia.

Continue Reading ›
May 05, 2008

Are My Letters Really That Important?

This is a sample of what the children I sponsor write to me. Although the words are different, they often have the same message.

Continue Reading ›
April 04, 2008

Who Writes the Compassion Blog? A Bunch of Marketing Cheerleaders?

I don’t think it’s possible to be authentic without being transparent.

By consciously withholding something or avoiding a subject because I fear a reaction – anger, rejection, judgment, etc., I’m not being authentic. I’m being manipulative.

Choosing what to share and what not to share is lying by omission, and it’s not being transparent or authentic.

What does this have to do with children in poverty and Compassion International?

  • You’re reading Compassion’s blog about child poverty.
  • A blog is media — social media.
  • Media is manipulative.
  • We want to get more children sponsored. More! More! More!
  • The blog helps us do that.
  • We’re afraid to say anything that will muck that up.

I’ve had conversations with employees who have said that “the blog is just a big commercial for Compassion.” And “the blog is too rah-rah, like it’s written by a bunch of cheerleaders.” Or GASP! Marketers.

I agree that our first two months have been filled with lots of feel good posts, and I know we can’t be everything to everyone, and I don’t think we have a problem yet; however, if you perceive the blog to be a one-dimensional commercial about how great Compassion is, as opposed to an authentic and sincere communication with you and for you, rather than at you and for us, then I’m wrong and we have a PROBLEM.

Am I wrong?

And what’s your perspective, meaning how involved with Compassion are you? Are you drinking the same Kool-Aid as us employees? Are you Super Volunteer or Super Sponsor … or are you just passing through?

How do we share anything positive with you without sounding like a bunch of cheerleaders?

Am I over-thinking this stuff?


If you’ve never commented before, please consider doing so now. You non-commenters have opinions too. I know you do.

Continue Reading ›