Monday, February 18, 2008

Have a little Compassion

Sponsor a child online through Compassion's Christian child sponsorship ministry. Search for a child by age, gender, country, birthday, special needs and more.

According to Webster compassion means a sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it. The second part of that definition really struck me as there are often things I would say that I have compassion for, but rarely follow through with the desire to do something about it. Fortunately, there are people out there who do genuinely have compassion for others and are passionate about doing something about those who are less fortunate. And those awesome people are called Compassion International. According to their website: "Compassion International exists as a Christian child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults." I don't know about you, but to me that seems like a momumental task. I mean, don't we as parents strive for the same thing for even our own children? I know I get overwhelmed and I am fortunate to live in a country where food, water, and basic living needs are easily met. I cannot imagine the time, effort and finances required to accomplish this in a child who has the deck stacked against them.

I first became involved with Compassion through my husband, Phillip. Phillip sponsored his first child in the early 1990's and was able to maintain his sponsorship up until that child became an adult and graduated from the program. He then decided that he immediately wanted to sponsor another child and that's where Jennyfer comes in.

The great thing about Compassion is that you and your sponsored child are encouraged to get to know one another by writing letters and sharing information. We have received all sorts of pictures and letters from Jennyfer, and it is always a joy to receive a letter from her. Jennyfer lives in Columbia with her mother and father, and two siblings. She enjoys singing and art, and is an avid Bible reader. We first began sponsoring Jennyfer when she was very young and in the beginning her letters were dictated (as she was too young to write) but she would include a beautiful drawing that she had done. Now, Jennyfer is 13 and her letters are thoughtful and insightful. She often tells us that she is praying for us and how much she appreciates us being faithful to sponsor her. We often discuss the various parts of the Bible she is studying and what she is learning in school. We can tell that she has a quiet spirit, yet she loves the Lord and is passionate when talking about Him. It has been such a blessing to our family to get to know Jennyfer.

As Preston gets older I pray that he will have the desire to be compassionate. Having a sponsored child through Compassion it allows us to talk to him about other cultures, lifestyles, and God. Albeit still a bit young to fully grasp the meaning of it all, I hope that by seeing his parents and how we interact with those who are less fortunate, he will do the same and much, much more.

I want to encourage you to consider sponsoring a child through Compassion. For around a dollar a day you can give a child the opportunity to receive an education, be healthy, build self-confidence and social skills, and most importantly hear the gospel and learn about Jesus. It truly is a way for each of us to display our true compassion.

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