One Million Changed Lives

Ali Anderson, one of our ambassadors to the future,* shared this prayer at our 1 millionth child celebration last Friday. We thought we’d share it with you, along with another video from the celebration.

“For nothing is impossible with God.” – Luke 1:37 (NIV)

Most Holy King,

We stand before You right now in complete awe. In awe of who You are, of what You have done, and what You are doing.

group of men and women gathered in a church

Thank you for being so visibly present in the circumstances of today. We are so humbled by Your greatness and by Your presence in our lives. You are the Creator of the heavens, the orchestrator of the orbits, and the breath of life. (more…)

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Lifted Up

Jang Mi-Ran is the world’s strongest woman. Able to snatch, clean, and jerk better than anyone else in the business, this South Korean woman can lift 718.7 pounds . . . leaving her competition in the dust.

woman holding a craftBut Jang is made of more than just muscle. This weightlifter has a heart for the small, the weak, the poor, and she is using her fame to help children in desperate situations.

Jang Mi-Ran is a long-time Compassion friend, but today she is the face of sponsorship for the 1 million children we help.

Fellow Blewussi Kpodo was one of the world’s most vulnerable children, but now he is in the hands of the strongest. She says, “It really is my honor . . . This moment makes me forget every difficult moment of my life I went through.”

Though Jang did not grow up in extreme poverty, she knows what it means to struggle, and she understands the power that God has to rescue.

“I was a girl who was very depressed because of my appearance. However, the factor [my appearance] that I thought the weakest became the factor that I think the strongest.”

Jang is able to stand up to weightlifting giants from around the globe with confidence, but she was not always so courageous. In fact, she was once the wallflower.

“It is miracle that I am standing right here and speak in front of the people because I was the timid girl who didn’t like to be in front of the people. It’s all because God is with me.”

woman wearing gold medal and holding rosesShe has broken world records and is laden with gold medals, but Jang is humble. And despite the adoration she receives from her fans and the media, she is tentative to embrace their praise.

“Recently I had difficult time because people started to think me as a superwoman who is doing well in everything only through the image that shown through media. In fact, there are more things that I am not good at than things that I am good at.”

Whether good, bad, Olympian or amateur, Jang is making a difference in this world by speaking up for those who can’t speak for themselves. Her life is an encouragement to children everywhere to find their identity, strength, and hope in God.

“I have strong faith that God would never leave me alone.” And she will be able to encourage her sponsored children to believe that same message. “I believe that God can do impossible things when I pray.”

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From One Child to 1 Million Children

Watch One Child and subscribe to Compassion YouTube for more stories.

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One Child, Each Child, Every Child Is Special

As you know, we recently announced our millionth sponsored child. Now, I won’t tell you a lot of random facts about 1 million.

Like how long it would take you to count to 1 million (14 days).

Or how much 1 million dollar bills weigh (2,204 pounds).

Because as important as 1 million is, and as huge of a milestone as 1 million sponsored children is, it’s really just about one child.

And a few weeks ago, I got to meet that one child — Fellow Blewussi Kpodo. He lives in a dusty community just outside of Lomé, Togo.

Fellow’s whole family had come out for our meeting. His father stood proudly, his arm on the shoulder of his oldest son. Fellow’s two older sisters darted in and out of the house, covering their faces and giggling at the sight of my pale skin. His younger brother made himself at home in my lap.

All the while, Fellow watched the commotion with his solemn brown eyes.

I stared at his eyes when he wasn’t looking. Fringed with dark eyelashes, I wondered at what they had seen.

They had watched his father battered by grief when Fellow’s mother died five years ago.

They had filled with tears when the headmaster sent him home from school because he didn’t have his school fees — again.

They had stung with smoke as he bent over the small fire he prepared every evening for his sisters to cook cassava and dried fish for dinner.

And now, those same eyes sought out mine.

“He has a question for you,” explained the interpreter. I nodded. “He wants to know if you know his sponsor.”

I grinned at Fellow, and for the first time a smile reached his eyes.

“I don’t know her,” I explained. “But I know that you are very special to her.”

And in that moment, everything else faded away. Fellow wasn’t one of a million children. He was just one.

One child.

One sponsor.

One more step toward changing the world.

group of people with child smiling

“The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.” – Pablo Casals

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Our 1 Millionth Child

It is my great privilege to introduce you to Fellow Blewussi Kpodo, our 1 millionth sponsored child! Fellow is 8 years old and lives in Togo with his father, two older sisters and one younger brother. And he now has a very bright future! 🙂

And who better to stand alongside this precious little one than the world’s strongest woman? Fellow’s sponsor is Jang Mi-Ran, a long-time Compassion supporter and Olympic gold medalist weight lifter from Korea.

smiling boyfemale weight lifter

So, the strongest woman in the world is now sponsoring one of the most vulnerable children in the world!

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