Changing the Story with Compassion

My thanks to Kelley Wampler for her guest post today:

As I sit in the comfort of my own living room and think about how many blessings God has given me, it can be overwhelming to think about caring for those who lack some of the very basic essentials of life. All it takes is one night of the news to be struck and deeply saddened by the deplorable living conditions that affect so many children around the world. Jesus has given us a very real calling to care for the least of these and to spread the gospel to the world. But it’s not very often (if ever!) that I am going to be able to get to the remote villages of Kenya or the urban slums of India.

Maybe you’re like me and you read biblical passages that talk about helping the poor, the orphan, and the widow and you think, “Wow, I’d really like to help in that way but how am I going to do that? I can barely manage my own life or take care of my own family.” One of the easiest ways for our family to be a part of this work has been to be a monthly Compassion child sponsor.

Our journey started 13 years ago when Ryan and I were helping lead a senior high trip to a youth conference in Indiana. One of the worship leaders had set up a table full of children from all over the world that were in need of Compassion sponsors. We were told a sponsorship would help them get food, medical care, an education, and an opportunity to hear about Jesus through a Christ-centered, church based center in their neighborhood. But it wasn’t just the opportunity to write a check for $38 each month. It was the opportunity to allow us to change the story of a boy or girl personally by writing letters of love and support and by praying for this specific child.

And so our relationship with Macline began. She was an 8 year-old girl from Uganda. Over the years, as we wrote letters back on forth, sent birthday and Christmas presents, and prayed for her, our relationship grew. It was exciting to hear about the impact that this relatively small sacrifice on our part was making in her life. She began to share what she was learning from the Bible and over time it became clear that she had become a Christian.

Once our children were old enough, they began to be involved. We would pray for Macline during our family worship times and were eager to read a new letter from her over the dinner table. They began to write letters and draw pictures to include with our notes. I loved how our sponsorship with Compassion was not only helping Macline but was changing our hearts as well: learning to be cheerful givers, growing our heart for the world, making us recognize our blessings and be more thankful for them.

This past fall Macline graduated from the Compassion program at the age of 22. Here is her final letter to us (in her own words) as she prepares to go to college:

Dear friends, The Wamplers,

I find it a blessing to once again say hello to you and know how you are doing. I really thank God for you and for all the love and care you have showed me. I hopethe Lord has blessed you and I am happy for you that you have another baby called Molly.
   
I am now at Makerere University and pursuing a bachelors in Community     Psychology and I am studying hard so as to have a brighter tomorrow and I once again thank you for the support that I have also reached where I am and hope the Lord is going to help me and finish my course.
   
Thanks go to Ella and Ethan for always remembering to write to me, am so grateful and pray that God will help them to grow well and fearing the Lord, I pray that they grow up and be wise children who please God.
   
I also pray that God’s blessings shine upon your family and shower you with his blessings.
   
Thank you for always writing to me because it shows the great love you have for me.
   
Otherwise, I will continue to pray for you and I also request you pray for me so that I can finish my studies well, get a job and also be able to help other people who are in need.
   
Thank you for loving me and caring me for all these years. I really haven’t stopped giving thanks to God for you and remembering you in my prayers.

May the Lord bless you abundantly.

With Love,
Macline

Just this month we started the sponsorship of a new girl, Fiona, age 9, from Uganda. We look forward to this new journey with her and can only hope and pray to receive another letter like the one above 13 years from now.

If you’d like to be part of changing the story of a boy or girl, The Crossing will be hosting a Compassion Sunday on April 7th and 14th where you will be given an opportunity to sponsor a child or ask questions. If you’d like more information about Compassion International you can go to their website or watch this video:

To check out the financial integrity of Compassion International, click here.

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