Technology in Developing Countries

How does my sponsored child’s family have cell phones, TVs or access to Facebook when they are struggling to meet basic needs? This is the kicker – the question I get over and over. The simple answer is that families in developing nations do not view cell phones and other technology as luxury items. They view technology as a needed tool for survival. And they can acquire these tools for much cheaper than we think.

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How To Use Your Facebook For Good

Have you ever thought of how to use your Facebook for good? You can share encouraging posts. But here’s a way you can use it to change a child’s life!

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How to Be an Effective Social Media Slacktivist

We shout at the world from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with indignation. We share our opinions and links to news stories we think everyone needs to see. We change our profile pictures in support of the victims. Anything to say to the world: I care. This. This matters!

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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.

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Sharing a Moment in Time

How long does it take to change a child’s life? Just. One. Minute.

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What Is Geotagging, and What Does It Have to Do With My Sponsored Child?

As a child advocacy organization, we believe that children should be kept safe and protected in all situations, including online.

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Our Business Model Is Out of Date.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of The Barna Group, recently told an assemblage of more than 100 Compassion employees, “Your business model is out of date.”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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Christian Fasting: Running the Race

Christian fasting In October, my crazy friend, Marc, and I will be running a marathon! To build the stamina to run 26.2 miles we started training months ago. I underestimated how much of my time and energy this consumes. We meet early mornings, usually around 5 a.m., for long runs.

Some mornings, it’s rainy. Or cold. Most mornings, my bed feels so cozy and the thought of hitting the pavement sounds ridiculous! However, I know in the end, the discipline will pay off when we cross the finish line.

In order to keep our minds off the pain of running, Marc and I usually talk about a number of our favorite things, but rarely do we talk about spiritual disciplines. Although lately I’ve been thinking a lot about fasting, which is weird since training for a marathon means I should probably be eating more food. 🙂

However, there are a number of different ways to fast – with refraining from media outlets and food or specific drinks being quite common. But regardless of what the fast is about, they all make me uncomfortable. I told this to Marc, a relatively new Christian, and his response stunned me.

“Well, I don’t understand fasting. Jesus Christ died on the cross for me, and in return, I’m supposed to give up Starbucks? Seems like we’re missing the point.”

Whoa! Instantly, I was humbled.

When I fast, I usually chose something that won’t necessarily bother me too much… like abstaining from Starbucks or Facebook. Marc and I discussed the issue of fasting for the next couple of miles. We compared it to our marathon training.

I realize that much like my marathon training prepares my physical body for the task ahead of me, Christian fasting is a discipline for the soul. By fasting, I make a conscious decision to sacrifice comfort to draw closer to the heart of Christ. Fasting allows us the privilege of sharing in His suffering.

After a couple of miles, I realized that maybe my problem with fasting is that I was missing the point all along. As with all things that are difficult, such as fasting or marathon training, there is also so much joy to be found.

May we challenge ourselves today to pray about a way we can experience the discipline of Christian fasting, and in doing so, enter into the presence of our God.

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Social Media Marketing

Hi. I’m your Compassion internet communications specialist. I specialize in being especially excited about web stuff.

Do I have fun on occasion? You bet. Is most of it work? Always, and did I mention that saving kids from poverty is my commitment? No? Well, there you go.

Recently I was sent by Compassion to the Forrester’s Consumer Forum which is a think-tank of an organization in the marketing industry.

Forrester speaks precisely about ways companies can target trends and future ideas for getting a product or organization into the eyes of the public through social media.

Some serious marketing research takes place. Seriously.

I was there to learn from the experts about social networking techniques for the internet.

Now I see those wheels turning. Compassion’s trying to be trendy? Compassion looks at the future of the marketing industry? Compassion sees a child as a product?

Well, sort of.

What I discovered in the forum is that huge corporations are dishing out millions if not billions to give their products a pleasing experience that you can relate to.

A pleasing experience with toothpaste? A pleasing experience with credit cards?

How about the experience of sponsoring a child?

I am proud to say that Compassion is doing exactly what it should, from a social media perspective, to help children in poverty.

We are giving the world a true experience of a child sponsorship.

Through churches, through word of mouth, through the internet, through this blog and through our social networks such as Facebook, Myspace and Twitter,

Compassion is changing lives.

Yes, the world is changing and we at Compassion are changing with it, and that’s a good move, right? That’s a healthy choice you can agree with, right?

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