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.

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.

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Live With Integrity

Integrity is not common.

“But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” – Matthew 7:14, NIV

To live with integrity means:

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Beauty From Ashes

beauty-from-ashes If you pick up a dictionary and thumb your way through the pages to find the word “genocide,” this is what you’ll read: “The deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular race or ethnic group.”

We have that word in our vocabulary. And somewhere, at some point in history someone said, “What name will we have for the deliberate mass killing of people?” We needed a word for it because such a thing was taking place.

It completely unravels my nerves, but not as much as my ignorance does. In a lot of ways evil, for me, is something I have heard of. Something I have learned about. But for so many it is a memory, an experience. Some of those people live in Rwanda and have come intimately close to witnessing pure hatred.

My lack of knowledge took a back seat in college when I truly began to discover so many horrific events that I had heard of at one time, maybe on the news or seen as a headline, but was never thoroughly introduced to what had taken place.

I watched documentary after documentary, movies based on true events, read history books … I was like a sponge soaking it all in, attempting to wash away my ignorance, trying to grasp how such things had even taken place.

How can we be so capable of such evil?

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Cherish Family

We cannot do global child development and neglect our own families. God would not be honored if we poured ourselves into the world’s children and neglected our own.

“If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?” – 1 Timothy 3:5, NIV

Listen to Mark Hanlon, Senior Vice President of Compassion USA, talk about the importance of cherishing our families.

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The Meeting You Missed

QMU. Town Hall Meeting. Ever heard of  ‘em? No? Allow me to fill you in then.

QMU stands for “quarterly ministry update,” and, as you may have guessed, it happens once a quarter. Crazy. At least one representative, from each team within each department goes to listen and report the latest on Compassion stats for the fiscal year. 

I took it upon myself to attend last week’s meeting on your behalf. So I would like to take this time to report that . . . God is crazy good. 

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Something to Get Excited About

Meet Jeffry. He lives in Nicaragua. He is our one millionth registered child.

A registered child is different than a sponsored child in that the registered child doesn’t have a sponsor . . . yet. Once the registered child gets a sponsor, that child is a sponsored child. Makes sense, right?

The registered children are the ones whose pictures you see on the sponsor a child page at compassion.com and in the child packets at concerts and other events, such as Compassion Sunday.

The registered children are the children who are waiting to be chosen by a sponsor and who the Unsponsored Children’s Fund assists until that sponsor comes along.

The Unsponsored Children’s Fund bridges the gap between registration and sponsorship. It allows the registered child to have all the same benefits as the sponsored child.

We don’t have one million children waiting for sponsors. Jeffry is the one millionth child concurrently registered. More than 850,000 of those children already have sponsors. And since Compassion began in 1952, nearly two million children have been part of our programs.

That’s a little context for this post that Mark Hanlon, Compassion’s senior vice president of sponsor and donor development, submitted from Nicaragua yesterday.


It was like so many other Compassion child home visits I’d done before (and in my 28 years at Compassion, I’ve done a few!), but this one seemed to hold a bit of extra anticipation and excitement for me.

I happened to be in Nicaragua two weeks after we had registered our millionth child for the very first time. It turns out that this millionth child is a little 3-year-old boy in Nicaragua.

The office staff there was so excited, and they set up a home visit for me to meet little Jeffry.

It was kind of strange because Jeffry had no idea what a historic milestone he is in the history of Compassion.

In fact, when I got there with several of the Compassion Nicaragua staff and some of the center staff, he was totally overwhelmed. Too much attention by too many grown-ups all at once – and he did what many normal little 3-year olds do – he covered up his eyes with his hands (a la “see no evil”) and pretended we weren’t there!

When his grandmother (who is his caregiver since his mother now lives in the U.S. and couldn’t take him with her) tried to get him to take his hands away from his face, he ran away crying.

That was OK. We shifted our focus to the grandmother and asked her questions about the impact of having Jeffry registered in the program at the church.

She talked about the hope and a future she had for Jeffry to get through high-school and maybe even go to university.

She expressed concern over his health and the health of her husband who has diabetes.

She talked about the challenges of supporting a household of 17 adults and children in her dirt floor, cinder block structure in the heart of economically challenged Managua.

Her husband (the diabetic) and her three sons work hard as day laborers – when there is work – and they have terrible difficulty in making ends meet. She wanted better for her little grandson, Jeffry.

Then it struck me that this visit indeed was like most other visits I’d done. Parents (and grandparents) worldwide want the same thing for their children – a better future than what they have.

Mark Hanlon and Jeffry

It didn’t matter one bit to Jeffry or his grandmother that he is Compassion’s millionth child. What did matter is that they now have some hope.

And now, I really was excited to be there! Not because I got to meet the millionth child in his home, but because I got to see something that Compassion gets to be a part of with the local church every day. Releasing a motherless child, living in extreme poverty, living with 16 other people, from poverty in Jesus’ name.

Now that’s something to get excited about!

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