Compassion by the Numbers

For the past four and a half years, I have been serving as the Volunteer Coordinator for Compassion events in Northern California. In this role, I do a lot of behind the scenes activities to make sure that there is volunteer coverage at all events in Northern California where the Compassion sponsorship opportunity is being presented. This could be any number of events: conferences, concerts, Compassion Experience events, etc.

Our region can be extremely busy!

Over the last six months, I learned that we had 19 events in our region.

For these 19 events, we had 449 volunteers.

At these 19 events with these 449 volunteers, 1293 Compassion children were sponsored!!

What? Say that again!

Compassion children sponsored at events in Northern California so far in 2019

One thousand, two hundred, ninety three children!

That is basically FIVE Compassion centers of children!!

Compassion children in Colombia

But the thing I love about Compassion, it is not about the big numbers.

When one child is sponsored, it changes that one child’s life.

That child will have their basic needs met.

That child will learn about how much Jesus loves them.

And when that one child decides to follow Jesus, it impacts them for eternity.

When we look at the overall issue of global poverty, we can feel stuck.

Compassion is helping each one of us tackle global poverty, one child at a time.

I would love for everyone who takes the time to read my blog to sponsor a Compassion child.

Will you sponsor a waiting Compassion child today?

Colombia Day Five: Meeting Lina

The night before our planned Fun Day with our sponsored children, we received quite a surprise! Becca, one of our awesome trip leaders was praying at the end of our evening together at the hotel. She was kind of taking her time too. Imagine our surprise when we opened our eyes and saw a big group of children in the front of the was all of our sponsored kids!!!!! I immediately jumped up from my chair, my chair fell backwards, so I turned around to pick it up. By the time I stood back up and looked around, there was a beautiful young lady standing next to me. And I knew exactly who it was!!

Meeting my sponsored child Lina in Colombia

There are no words to describe this moment...none at all! How do you put into words the moment of meeting someone you have loved from miles away, someone you have prayed for, someone you have exchanged letters with, someone you never thought it would be possible to meet in this life?

We didn't have long to spend with the kids at this initial meeting, but it sure helped to alleviate some of the nervousness that we had been experiencing about the next day.

Our fun day with our sponsored children was spent at a water park near the coast of Barranquilla, Colombia. I really didn't take a lot of pictures this day because we spent a lot of time in the water! Lina had never traveled outside of her community, so she had never been to the coast of her country. This was her very first time to the Caribbean Sea!!

Angelica (the center director from Lina's project), me, and Lina loving our day at the beach!

Angelica (the center director from Lina's project), me, and Lina loving our day at the beach!

Me, Lina, and Mauricio (our translator)

Me, Lina, and Mauricio (our translator)

Even though we spent a lot of time in the water, we still had time to talk quite a bit.

I learned that Lina almost left the program before we started sponsoring her. Her previous sponsor didn't send her any letters. Angelica told me that when the letters we sent to Lina when we started sponsoring her made a big difference in Lina's life.

Did you hear that?

Letters...a few words written on a page to encourage a young girl who lives thousands of miles away from us.


The thing is though...not only have those letters made a difference in Lina's life...they have made a difference in my life.

Almost every month, I set aside time to write letters to our Compassion sponsored kids. I don't write really long letters.

But in each letter I share a Bible verse and remind these kids that God loves them.

Doesn't it make you feel good when someone reminds you that God loves you?

Maybe if my words don't convince you that child sponsorship works, maybe this will:

Are you ready to make a difference in the life of a child living in extreme poverty in Jesus' name?

Is it heartbreaking?

Yesterday, while volunteering at a Compassion table at an event, I was sharing with a potential sponsor about the opportunities I have had to travel with Compassion to Mexico and to Colombia.

Her initial response..."It must be heartbreaking."

I had to think a moment before I replied.

Heartbreaking? Yes...and no.

Which is exactly what I ended up telling her.

But as I was pondering her question a bit more last night, some of these thoughts were whirling around in my head and I just had to write some of them down and share them with you here.

Heartbreaking? Yes...because I see how little in material possessions those families need to survive.

Heartbreaking? Yes...because I realize how selfish we are.

Heartbreaking? Yes...because I stand in my home with all of the modern conveniences and wonder how those moms handle life each and every day.

Heartbreaking? Yes...because I wish I could do more to help.


Heartbreaking? No...because the smiles on the faces of the children and the many volunteers show me they are not just happy, but they are filled with that only come from knowing Jesus.

Heartbreaking? No...because I know that many sponsors around the world are making a sacrifice to make a difference in the life of a child.

Heartbreaking? No...because these children and their families are hopeful for the future.

Being filled with joy and having hope are not things I would associate with heartbreaking...would you?

And I would hate for anyone to start sponsoring a child because they felt sorry for them.

My hope and prayer is that many people will realize that a small sacrifice on their part makes a big difference for a Compassion sponsored child.

And as a sponsor, not only do you bring joy and hope to the life of a child, but you will be filled with joy and hope as you pray for and encourage the one child God has connected you with through the gift of sponsorship through Compassion.