Compassion: Child sponsorship…a family story

Compassion Sundays:

  • April 30 & May 7th
  • Visit the Compassion Table in the Foyer

Release a Child from Poverty to Change Their Life…and Yours
~A guest post by Rachel Johnson~

A few years back, God brought a person into my life who has impacted me deeply. This person shares the gospel with me, prays for my family, sends drawings to my children, and continues to focus my eyes on the global church and our hope in Jesus.

This person is not a pastor, a mentor, a bible study leader, or a celebrity blogger.

This person is Michel: an 11-year-old boy from Togo, Africa and the child my family sponsors through Compassion International.

In his letters, Michel writes about His trust in Jesus, his worries to help provide for his family, how he spent the birthday money we sent to buy food and supplies, and how he loves to play soccer. His handwriting, his drawings, and his perspective on the world remind me that he is a real child made in the image of God and loved deeply by Jesus.

He has hopes and dreams and fears. He has a favorite sport and friends he enjoys being with. He walks to school and church. He wants to grow into a man to help his family and serve God. And though he has vastly fewer resources than my own three children have, Michel always thanks us for sponsoring him so he can have opportunities.

Michel’s letters remind me that through Compassion International, he has enough to eat, enough safety, and the hope of Jesus brought to him through the local church.

Though Michel still has very little, he has been brought out of poverty through Compassion International. My mind cannot comprehend that an estimated 400 million children remain in extreme poverty globally.

Consider these statistics from Compassion’s website:

  • About every 30 seconds, a child dies of malaria, a preventable and treatable disease.
  • More than a billion people live on less than $1.25 per day, making them extremely vulnerable to natural disasters, illness, food shortages and other kinds of instability.
  • 16,000 children under the age of 5 die each day due to conditions of poverty.
  • Nearly half of those living on less than $1.25 a day are children 18 years old or under.
  • Over 160 million children under age five have inadequate height for their age due to insufficient food.
  • 45% of deaths of children under age 5 occur in the first 28 days of life.
  • That means that about 7000 newborn babies die each day due to conditions of poverty.

Though these facts and headlines from the news give us heavy hearts, it can be hard to know how to help. How can anyone make a difference when the problem is so expansive? What can one person do?

One of the easiest ways to help is to sponsor a child through Compassion.

Not only do you give a child hope, food, safety, and education, but you also get to build a relationship with a child in the world who is touched by the statistics you read above. You get to encourage your child and give him or her hope in the name of Jesus.

Michel is important to our family. His picture is framed and hangs on our wall. His letters hang on our refrigerator door. My children pray for him at breakfast and before bed. They draw pictures to send to him and ask questions about his country and way of life. Because of Michel, my children have an understanding that not all children live as we do here in the US. They understand that his food and home and language and church look different than ours. And they are learning that we share a love for Jesus. In Christ, Michel is our brother and God’s child. We pray that we will meet him one day, if not here on this earth, that one future day in the new heaven and new earth where we will share in Christ for all eternity.

If you’d like to help release a child from poverty, The Crossing will be hosting Compassion Sunday on April 30 and May 7 where you will be given an opportunity to sponsor a child or ask questions. Visit our table in the foyer or visit Compassion.com for more information. To check out the financial integrity of Compassion, click here.

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