The ABCs of Compassion - Individual

When I starting thinking about this series of posts about Compassion, I knew some letters would be a challenge to come up with an appropriate word for the letter. Take ‘I’ for instance…

International? Could work, but I just did a post on ‘Global’ which kind of means the same thing.

Invest? Sounds more like a financial term.

Integrity? Another one that could work.

Impact? Well…

Then, it hit me…Individual!

And why ‘individual’?

Each individual child registered into Compassion’s program is individually known, loved, and protected at their local Compassion center.

Compassion sponsored children in Mexico
Binders of registered Compassion children

Each individual Compassion child at every center around the world has their own individual binder. Entries are made in these binders for the registered Compassion children in four key areas: Socio-emotional, physical, educational, and spiritual development.

Copies of birth certificates, immunization records, health check-ups, copies of letters from sponsors, receipts of purchases for financial gifts from sponsors, profession of faith certificates…these are just a few of the items in the binders for each individual child.

And best of all about the word ‘individual’?

When you sponsor a Compassion child, you are the only sponsor for that individual child!

One individual sponsor for each Compassion child

If you are not a Compassion sponsor already, what is stopping you from becoming a sponsor today?

The ABCs of Compassion - Holistic

The next installment in my series on the ABCs of Compassion is the word ‘holistic’.

Why is it important that Compassion uses a holistic child development model?

Merriam-Webster defines ‘holistic’ as: “relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts”.

All of us have critical needs that need to be met every day.

We all need water.

We all need food.

We all need shelter.

We all need clothing.

We all need basic medical needs met.

We all need to know we are loved.

Imagine trying to survive without one of these basic needs and you will have a hard time. Period.

Compassion children in Colombia

Compassion realizes that children growing up in extreme poverty need more than just clean water and food.

Compassion realizes that children growing up in extreme poverty need to have their physical, social, economic, and spiritual needs met.

Holistic.

The whole child.

Compassion child in Colombia

When you sponsor a child through Compassion, you become a partner with the local church and that child’s family.

Your monthly sponsorship provides for the holistic needs of the child, their physical needs, their social needs, the economic needs, and the spiritual needs.

You are providing more than just clean water and food.

You are given the opportunity to pour into that child through letters and prayers to help them dream and have a bigger hope for their future.

Meeting your Compassion sponsored child is priceless

Speaking of global...

Taking a slight detour on my current series on The ABCs of Compassion to share about another non-profit that has taken things global.

Sometime after we started sponsoring with Compassion, I started reading blog posts from people who had opportunities to travel with Compassion. One blogger that I have continued to follow for the past nine years is Kristen Welch who blogs over at We Are That Family. This post about one day she spent in Kenya is probably one of the most powerfully written posts about how hope can be found in the middle of unspeakable living conditions.

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know” - William Wilberforce

I believe one of the reasons I have continued to follow Kristen’s journey is that she came home completely changed and did something.

Mercy House Global was started to give hope and provide sustainable jobs to women living in poverty around the world.

Currently, I subscribe to the Fair Trade Friday monthly original box which includes 3-4 Fair Trade items each month. The items in this latest box have to be some of my favorites!

Fair Trade Friday monthly subscription box

I was able to paint this batik print with the colors provided and now have a beautiful piece of art that was created by people in Malaysia.

Over the last nine years, I have read many books and watched many documentaries that have made me really think about how life is so different and challenging outside of our country.

Want to be part of changing lives? Be sure to explore the Mercy House Global web site and learn more about this wonderful ministry.

The ABC's of Compassion - Global

One definition for the word global is “relating to or embracing the whole of something, or of a group of things”.

Compassion has made it their mission to “release children from poverty in Jesus’ name”.

This is a big mission and goal, especially since there are approximately one billion children living in poverty around the world.

This Colorado non-profit is not working alone though. Back in the 1960s, Canada became Compassion’s first global partner. Now, there are fourteen countries who have come alongside the United States headquarters to work toward their global mission.

Compassion’s most pivotal work takes place in 25 countries where millions of children are growing up in extreme poverty. Through the local churches in these 25 countries, children are known, loved, and protected, and given a chance to dream and to have hope for their futures.

You can read a lot on Compassion’s web site about their amazing work around the world, but the thing I want to share about the topic of ‘global’ in this post is the headquarters of Compassion in Colorado Springs.

Lobby of Compassion International

If you are a Compassion sponsor, and you ever find yourself in Colorado Springs, I highly recommend you take the time to take a tour of the GMC.

The GMC is Compassion’s Global Ministry Center, basically their headquarters. On the tour you will learn more about the beginnings of Compassion and the important work that is happening around the world to “release children from poverty in Jesus’ name”.

The tours are free and are well worth your time!

I have had a chance to visit here a few times and I always learn something new about Compassion while I am there.

Have you had a chance to visit the GMC yet?

Spreading a Little Neighborly Love

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to share with my church family about my most recent Compassion Sponsor Trip to Colombia last month. Here is what I shared:

“Many of you know that I went to Colombia last month on a trip with Compassion International. Many of you prayed for me and our team of travelers. I want to thank you all for your prayers!

 So today, I want to share three things that stood out to me on this trip.

Playing with Snapchat filters at a Compassion project in Colombia



1.    The first church we visited in Bogota is a church that has been a Compassion partner church for some time. They are now at a point that they only have sponsored children that are ages 16 to 22. The day that we visited this church though, the church was filled with children of all ages. Because Compassion provided resources and training to the local church, they have become equipped to serve the children and their families in their community on a daily basis. Eventually, there will be no more Compassion sponsored children at this church and that is a good thing!

 

On the day we were there, I loved watching the kids that were taking some music theory classes and learning how to play the drums. This little guy in the video even played the drums during the worship service we attended the next day.



Reunited with Lina in Colombia on a Compassion trip



2.    On a sponsor trip, we have a day set aside that we spend the day with the child we sponsor. On this trip, we went to a park south of Bogota. This park is nothing like Disneyland, but most of these kids have never been outside their community. Since I met Lina on my last trip to Colombia four years ago, I was really looking forward to seeing her again! We had a really great day together, but at the end of the trip, while we were walking out of the park, she was prompted to talk to me. She told me she wants to study early child development, but her family does not have the money to put her through the schooling. After some time talking with her (through my translator) and encouraging her, I was able to talk with my trip leader and they are going to see if there are any funds available for Lina to be part of the Youth Development Program. This is a program set up to provide additional training and education past secondary school for Compassion sponsored children who qualify. I would love for you all to be praying that Lina is accepted into this program!

Before I share the third thing from my trip, there is another short video for you all to watch:



3.    The conductor of this orchestra is Juan. Juan grew up as a Compassion sponsored child in Colombia. He was able to go to school, he was able to have enough food to eat, he was able to learn about Jesus. Now he is a worship leader at his church, he gives music lessons, he was a translator on our trip, and he has been leading this group of musicians, who at the time of this video, had only been practicing together for a month. He was given hope and an opportunity.

Spreading a Little Neighborly Love


These Compassion children all are just looking for one person to give them the hope to escape the poverty they were born into. The opposite of poverty is not wealth. The opposite of poverty is enough.

 

If you have ever thought about sponsoring a child through Compassion, I would be happy to answer any questions for you and help you release a child from poverty in Jesus’ name. Thank you!!”

So what does all of this have to do with spreading a little neighborly love?

These brothers and sisters in Christ who I met on this trip are being the hands and feet of Jesus and helping more children know about the gospel and God’s love for them.

Sponsors around the world are being the hands and feet of Jesus by encouraging and praying for their Compassion sponsored children.

Some of you will read this and not be ready to sponsor a Compassion child.

Can I ask that you consider doing one thing this month?

Do you have $18 that you can donate right now?

Make a donation to Compassion’s Malaria Intervention Fund.

Over 50 years ago, your neighbor, here in the United States, might have contracted malaria and died.

Today, children in many parts of our world die from malaria.

A simple insecticide treated net can help provide protection from this deadly disease.

Will you spread a little neighborly love and make a donation today?