July 10, 2012 in Simple Compassion
Image: Jill’s Blog – Daily Bread
I am honored to be here today, sharing with you about a ministry that has impacted my life in so many ways. We all know poverty exists. Too often we like to turn our eyes the other way and pretend it’s not there. We wish we could do something to make it go away, but the enormity and complexity of it is overwhelming.
If you could rescue one child from extreme poverty, would you do it?
If you could have a significant impact on the life of one person living in extreme poverty, would you step up to the challenge?
I do not have enough power or influence to change the plight of all those living in poverty. Neither do you. But I do have the power and influence to change the life of one child (tweet this), and that’s what I want to talk about.
I first heard about the effects of poverty and my responsibility as a Christian when I was in college. It was then that I heard about the ministry of Compassion International, and the possibility of partnering with them through child sponsorship.
(Here is the link. Loved this video. Praise God so much is being done!)
Compassion International is a Christ-centered, child-focused, holistic development ministry that works in 26 of the most impoverished countries in our world. By working through the local church, Compassion’s programs provide physical, educational, social, economic and spiritual help to children and their families. Their goal is to release children from poverty in the name of Jesus.
As a college student, I stepped out in faith and sponsored my first child, Judith in Kenya. As we began developing a relationship through letters, I realized her life was being greatly impacted by sponsorship. In one letter she reported to me that she used her birthday money to buy a blanket so she could sleep better at night, and also bought chickens so her family could have eggs. Hearing this did something to me and I realized that her life was not the only one that was being changed.
God began to change me and open my eyes to His heart for the poor.
“Suppose a brother or sister is without warm clothes and daily food. If one of you says, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” – James 2:16.
Image Credit: Jill Foley
One of the things I love most about Compassion’s child sponsorship program is that my whole family can be involved in ministry together. As a family we pray for our sponsored children and their families. We read and write letters together. As a home educating family, we have taken a global approach to our learning and try to learn as much as we can about the countries and cultures of our sponsored children. We all have “birthday buddies” and it gives extra meaning to our birthday celebrations. (Birthday buddies means your child shares a birthday with a sponsored child)
In August 2010 I traveled to Peru to see Compassion’s ministry there, and in January 2012 my husband traveled to Nicaragua to meet Josseling, whom we’ve sponsored for 9 years. These recent trips opened our eyes to a hurting world and have ignited a passion in us in terms of advocating for these children. We are grateful for opportunities to share in the work God is doing through Compassion.
After 18 years of involvement with Compassion, I can verify that this ministry works. In her final letter to me after six years of sponsorship, Judith wrote…
“If I look back into my life, I’ve very much impressed and comforted of what good you have done in me. Your help has shown light in my life. I’m educated. I never knew in my life I would have such kind of education compared to my family’s poor standard of living. Jill Foley, though we shall no longer more communicate, I will never forget you. I will keep on remembering you in my prayers because what you have done in my life is great. May the Lord Jesus give you prolonged life. May you live to be remembered.”
God is using the ministry of Compassion International to change lives. If you want to sponsor your own child, simply go to Compassion’s website and begin browsing through the profiles of children who are waiting.
You can make a difference in the life of one child.
Do you sponsor a child too? (if you are reading RSS join us in the comments)
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