What Is the Opposite of Poverty?

A group of children sitting on the ground

Our ministry often refers to the “opposite of poverty.” And, you might think that we are referring to wealth. The opposite of poor is obviously rich, right?

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How Do You Determine Need Versus Want?

two boys riding donkey on a dirt road

How do you find the balance between what you want and what you need? Especially when it comes to your kids, whom you and the grandparents and aunts and uncles want to shower with good things?

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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?

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Returning Grace

Story by Barb Liggett, Global Strategy Office Intern

When those with nothing are given enough, they will give back to those who have nothing. This is a foundational belief of Compassion as an organization, and nowhere does it resonate deeper than in South Korea, which is unique as a partner country because of its former status as Compassion’s original field country.

Compassion South Korea CEO Justin Suh articulates that, “As Koreans who got help from the outside world in the past, it is time for us to give to the other side of the world.”

Not only do they give back to the world, but they have a few lessons to teach about engaging communities in the fight against poverty.

This June marked Compassion South Korea’s third annual photo exhibition. The purpose of this year’s exhibit was to thank sponsors and donors for their commitment to the ministry. An array of pictures was displayed highlighting the impact a one-on-one relationship with a sponsor has on a child living in poverty.

Compassion South Korea staff explained that their photographer, Hur-ho, from South Korea’s advocacy network Friends of Compassion, “captured the ordinary lives of the sponsors in a positive light,” demonstrating that sponsorship is for anyone that believes in the importance of children, not just for the elite and religious few.

The photo exhibition was not only a creative and original way to promote Compassion but also succeeded incredibly in gaining public support, resulting in 1,400 new sponsorships! It occurred at an opportune time, just days after Compassion South Korea was featured in a documentary by the National Broadcasting Channel that raised 4,000 additional sponsorships.

Given these numbers, it is no surprise that Compassion South Korea grew in sponsorship by 74.7 percent in the last fiscal year.

Events like this add to the astronomical growth that South Korea has been experiencing. Justin Suh expressed about the photo exhibition that “We would like to thank the Lord for the blessings,” he said. “The staff of Compassion South Korea was busy, yet we were grateful for being able to experience the miracle that God has made possible.”

The Korean office continually demonstrates a driven attitude and strong work ethic which allows them to impact more children around the world each day. Another explanation for Compassion South Korea’s tremendous growth brings us back to its history.

The apostle Paul speaks of their attitude in 1 Corinthians 1.28-29, “He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things — and the things that are not — to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” (NIV)

South Korea received God’s grace and love through Compassion years ago, and the last thing they are doing now is boasting. The effort Compassion South Korea put into the photo exhibition and the extent to which God blessed it reiterate Paul’s words and Compassion’s belief that when grace is extended and received, it is returned in kind.

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The Poverty of ME

Last week, I was in Mexico. On a sponsor tour. And I saw the deepest, darkest poverty of my life.

But I didn’t have to travel to ME, the abbreviation we use when referring to Mexico, to see it. I only had to look at me.

I was in Mexico for the wrong reason. I didn’t go for the children, to become a stronger, more passionate voice for them. To serve them better. To serve you better. I went because I like to travel. I went for me.

There certainly are solid business reasons for me to have gone on the trip, but I didn’t get out of my own way long enough to realize them. I hate that.

How do I redeem the opportunity God gave me and that I squandered? (more…)

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