How Do the Poor Describe Poverty?

A survey conducted in Niger by the Office of the Prime Minister asked the poor of that country to describe poverty. Their answers included: dependence, marginalization, scarcity, incapacity and restrictions on rights and freedoms.

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5 Ways to Build a Relationship With the Child You Sponsor

The relational aspect of sponsorship is not just important in getting people to become sponsors. It is important throughout the sponsorship journey because love is best shown in a relational context.

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Building Healthy Partnerships

Examples of healthy partnerships abound in the world around us. Let’s take a look at eight dimensions of healthy partnerships from a ministry perspective.

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A Strong Partnership Is About Relationships

Partnering between the resource-rich part of the Church and the resource-poor part of the Church is not something particularly new or noble. It is just what we should do. It is simply what Paul asked the early Church to do.

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Relationship: An Art of Awesome Worship

Imagine! There is a big donor conference to raise millions of dollars to further God’s kingdom. Jesus has been invited to chair this conference. A donor announces a donation of 100 million dollars, but the Master is not impressed.

The people around wonder why He is not cheering up! The Master says to the donor, “Go with your money till you restore your relationship with your business partner; then I can receive this gift.”

It is not uncommon for us to claim we love God, whom we have not seen, yet we cannot get along with the people we can physically see, reach, and touch. To Jesus, this attitude is hypocritical.

We need to get the unity of the body of Christ right before we can do any meaningful art of worship and service to the Master.

Nature has destined the termite to exhibit the concept of self-destruction. Termites have the natural inclination to eat each other up in times of hunger. The devil would be happy to see us do this to ourselves.

Paul admonishes us about this in his writing: “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other” (Galatians 5:15).

The growth of this ministry, like any other organization, comes with complexities and strains that affect our relationships with one another. We need to demonstrate the attitude we see in Jesus’ prayer in Matthew 6:12 — “Forgive us our sins as we forgive others.”

God’s blessing for us will depend on our ability to bear with one another in love and see ourselves as one body performing different functions (Roman 12:4).

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. —Matthew 5:23–24

Prayer: Lord, make us all one.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nyarko Twum-Barimah works as a Partnership Facilitator Supervisor for Compassion Ghana.

Read all the One in Spirit devotionals.

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The Spiritual Discipline of One Word

The words we get each year are foundational words. They build the altar upon which we worship Christ, in word and action. They have relevance every year of our lives.

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In One Word, 2011 Will Be About …

The words the Holy Spirit shares with us require us to “step up.” This discipline is not something to do on a lark because it sounds fun. It requires a commitment. It’s something that requires you to lean into the Lord and to step up and assume responsibility for the talents He has given you.

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Why Do Child Development Centers Close?

We partner with more than 5,000 churches worldwide to implement our sponsorship program. And last year, 95 centers closed, about 1.7 percent of the centers open at the time. The number of child development centers that close each year varies. They close for a variety of reasons, and each case is different.

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Poverty is a Lie

“At its very core, poverty is a mindset that goes far beyond the tragic circumstances. It is the cruel, destructive message that gets whispered into the ears of millions by the enemy Satan himself: ‘Give up! You don’t matter. Nobody cares about you. Look around you: Things are terrible. Always have been, always will be. Think back. Your grandfather was a failure. Your parents couldn’t protect or take care of you. Now it’s your turn. You, too, will fail. So just give up!'” — Wess Stafford

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Child Sponsorship Is About Relationship Building

“Sponsorship is not about the money you give but about the lives and relationships you build.” This is not just a clever thing to say. It’s a profound statement that I learned from the children themselves. I’ve seen that our children are more concerned about building their relationship with you than the help they get.

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More Precious Than Gold

More precious than gold Being involved with Compassion, both as an employee and as a sponsor, has allowed me — and sometimes forced me — to consider things that I used to not give a whole lot of attention to.

One of those things garnering more of my attention lately is the many blessings God has given me.

It’s not that I’ve never thought about my blessings before. I’m very thankful for everything God’s given me — family, friends, food, shelter, clothing — not to mention the many “extras” that we as American Christians get to enjoy.

Working at a ministry, however, has helped me to focus on the greatest blessing — other than the blessing of His Son — God has given all of us. That blessing is people.

Ministry is first and foremost about people. It’s about building relationships that will last an eternity. It’s about sharing with people the good news about the ultimate relationship with their Savior.

I, like most people, have no problem thinking about the family I come home to everyday as a precious blessing from God, but here is where my time with Compassion has challenged me.

My family isn’t just my wife and two kids anymore. My family now also includes my sponsored child, Kimberly, who lives in Guatemala.

Kimberly may have started out as a monthly “feel good” payment, but many letters, pictures and prayers later, she has become — like family — more precious than gold.

There are always competing items in any household budget, but Kimberly, like the rest of my family, has no competition. She has, for me, become as important as putting food on the table for my family.

Although balancing a budget is never easy, many are facing even more difficult choices as jobs are being lost across the country. Yet those who find themselves in difficult situations like this are still making the decision to invest in people and not give up on their relationships.

This article, The Not-for-Profit Surge, in Christianity Today talks about one widow’s decision to continue sponsoring three Compassion-assisted children in these difficult financial times. It also talks about how even in tough times, Compassion is doing better than most people would expect. Praise God.

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One Word

“Seven years ago, I started the simple discipline of picking a one-word theme for the upcoming year. That is right — one word. Not a phrase, not a statement, just a single word. And to this point, it has been nothing short of life-changing.”

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