We serve a God who cares deeply for the marginalized in society. The Bible is filled with holy calls for justice and compassion. But sometimes this call seems so colossal, we don’t know where to begin. But when we understand how we’re wired, our journey in helping those around us can become much more robust and tangible.Continue Reading ›
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.Continue Reading ›
Have you considered how much you mean to your sponsored child?
Matthew never stopped smiling as the children swarmed around him and wanted to shake his hand. Even though he was not their sponsor, the children were thrilled to meet the very first sponsor to visit their child development center.
Sponsorship isn’t about us as sponsors trying to save these children; it’s about us working together to save each other.
Child protection is something we take very seriously. We know that 99 percent of you would smother your sponsored child with love, prayer and encouragement. Regrettably, it’s the few bad apples we have to be careful about. Allowing a sponsored child to travel to his or her sponsor’s home increases the risk of abuse or exploitation dramatically — a risk we cannot take.
Each of your sponsored children is uniquely yours. You may not know the reason exactly, but that child was chosen by you for a reason. And you were chose for for that child.
There is nothing in the world like visiting a Compassion-assisted child’s home. Absolutely nothing. Nothing can prepare you for the sights, the sounds, the smells. Most of all, nothing can prepare you for the beating your heart is about to take. It’s like you got in a fight with the Holy Spirit. And every time, the Holy Spirit leaves you limping and bruised and, thankfully, a better person for the battle.
How would you describe meeting your sponsored child for the first time? Can you sum it up with one word?
If you can, please do. If you can’t, please use all the words you need.
This week, I witnessed one of the most precious moments I’ve experienced since working at Compassion. I’m traveling as a writer with about 25 sponsors on a Sponsor Tour in Guatemala. On Monday, a few of us visited Chico’s home.
Chico is an adorable 9 -year-old sponsored child. He and eight other family members live in one house with no electricity. His mother, Miriam, does what she can to support her family.
“I work all day, every day to take care of my children. I make tostadas and sell them. Since their father left me, it’s up to me.”
Making and selling tostadas brings in about $10 a day.
While we interviewed the family, Laura, a sponsor from Virginia Beach, Va., asked Chico if he knew Jesus. After our interpreter, Carlota, asked Chico the question for us, she started to cry. I couldn’t figure out why.
Carlota explained that Chico’s answer was no, but that he was ready to invite Jesus into his heart. He had heard about Jesus at his development center, but hadn’t committed his life to Him yet. So, right there in the middle of their kitchen, Laura led Chico in a prayer of salvation.
She explained to Chico that when someone invites Jesus into their heart, angels in heaven rejoice (Luke 15:10). She told him, “The angels are having a big party for you, Chico, right now.”
Chico’s smile at that moment will stay with me the rest of my life.
If you’re part of Compassion’s ministry, you were a part of this moment.
Pastor Korogo has been a pastor since 2002. He officiates as junior pastor in the central church of the Assemblies of God Church of Ziniaré, 30 kilometers from Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.
In 2008, when the church began partnering with Compassion, Pastor Korogo was recruited as child development center director because of his long-standing experience in the ministry among the children of his church.
The development center has 220 registered children who take part regularly in center activities. Like all the other centers in the country, it is located in an area where poverty is visible in people’s daily lives.
The great majority of the population does not have access to drinking water or electricity. When someone in these families falls ill, he is cared for with indigenous methods, as families can’t afford medical care or drugs at the pharmacy.
The child development center is located in a community that is nearly 70 percent Islamic. The largest mosque in the city is 10 meters from the church that shelters the center. This proximity sometimes makes it difficult for Muslim children to effectively take part in the center activities.
In 2006 my wife and I went on a sponsor trip to the Dominican Republic. Before our trip, we thought we knew what Compassion did, but our understanding of the ministry fell far short of what we saw.
When I came home from that trip, I signed up to be a volunteer. I made coffee mugs with photos of my sponsored children on them, and I spoke of the kids often.
“Hey Patterson, you know those kids that you’re so fond of? ”
“I think we should sponsor one of those kids as a shift.”
I explained to Norm that a typical child sponsorship is under $40, but then I told him about the Leadership Development Program. I suggested that if we were able to get 12 firefighters together, we could sponsor a Leadership Development Program student and it would cost only $25 per person each month.