Without Change and Innovation Ministries Die

Kenyan man in traditional dress with hand on head

When was the last time you saw someone in your life who may have been the right person for a job, but who lacked passion and creativity?

Continue Reading ›

There are Only a Few Things I’m Passionate About

Aaron Hale holding young Tanzanian boy

There are a few things that I am passionate about that I will never move away from. My relationship with God and my family, music and the plight of children in poverty.

Continue Reading ›

Comfort the Afflicted and Afflict the Comfortable

We must ignite passion for children in poverty, to the glory of God. Nobody is garbage.

Watch Comfort the Afflicted and Afflict the Comfortable and subscribe to Compassion YouTube for more stories.

Continue Reading ›

What Is Your Passion in Life?

What fuels the passions burning inside of each of us? Mine stir up when I see images or hear stories of children in East Africa.

Four years ago, a life-changing documentary ignited a fire in my heart that’s been gathering fuel ever since. This “Invisible Children” documentary follows the journey of child soldiers in northern Uganda, an area where we have child development centers close by.

I sponsor a beautiful child in Uganda named Emmanuel, and children Emmanuel’s age are vulnerable. Partnering with nonprofits like Compassion and Invisible Children, I try to use every sphere of influence I have to tell the story of the children in Uganda. The children who are pulled from their beds at night to join the rebel army. The children who are forced to shoot their parents and family members in order to survive. The children who are forced to fight a war older than they are.

But I – we – must do more than watch a documentary or read an article and think about it. My best friend says, “Words without actions mean nothing.”

So I ask you: What is your passion in life? And how can you fan the flames of that passion?

My guess is that if you’re reading this, you’re passionate about children … or poverty, which is why we love you. And that’s why you’re making a difference in the lives of little ones around the world, including ones in Uganda.

But I wonder: Can you take it a step further?

Maybe as you’re reading this, you’re thinking … “I need to . . . .”

What exactly is it that you’re thinking? 🙂

Don’t hesitate. Do it!

Jesus is remembered for extravagant love. What do you want people to remember you by?

If I were to die tomorrow, I would want everyone to remember that I loved Africa deeply. That my heart burned for a land so far away, yet so close that it haunted my dreams and stirred in me something I never dreamed possible. That I fell deeply in love with a group of children who were forced to kill in a rebel army.

And mostly, I would want people to keep fighting so that someday, those children will be free – and the children we serve at Compassion are released from poverty.

During my recent trip to East Africa, a leadership development student said to me, “We hear your prayers and we want you to know … we are not asleep. We are awake.”

He reminded me that through your support, more than 1 million children across the world have come alive and been released from poverty. How will you and your passion come alive today?

Continue Reading ›

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?”

a child packet for a child waiting for a sponsorI 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. (more…)

Continue Reading ›