Compassion Sunday

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of leading Compassion Sunday at our church. On Compassion Sunday, churches across the country join together to speak out on behalf of children living in poverty. Compassion International was founded in 1952 and is dedicated to helping over 1.9 million children in need worldwide. Here is a quick video that shows the life of a child living in poverty, as well as the life-changing impact of Compassion child sponsorship.

I am a child of the 80’s. I remember watching Sally Struthers on TV. Not just in “All in the Family,” but in commercials for Christian Children’s Fund. And I remember how she convinced my 7-year old self to sponsor a child. Here she is! And there’s the number to call! Unfortunately, she didn’t convince my mom, but so began my passion for child sponsorship. Maybe it was the hair. Maybe it was the golden flames on her blazer. I’m pretty sure it was the images of suffering children in the videos. That was the year God planted a seed in me.

Sally Struthers

(Don’t bother. I already tried the number. It doesn’t work.)

  • We know that in impoverished countries, children die of preventable diseases every day.
  • Malnutrition contributes to 45% of all child deaths.
  • 3 billion people live on less than $2.50/day. 3 billion people. That’s almost half the population of the world.
  • About every 30 seconds, a child dies of malaria, a preventable and treatable disease.
  • An estimated 57 million primary school-aged children worldwide don’t attend school.
  • 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.
  • About 7,000 newborn babies die each day due to conditions of poverty.
  • Today over 880 million people are estimated to be living in slum-like conditions in the developing world’s cities.
  • Globally, 663 million people still lack improved drinking water sources and 2.4 billion lack improved sanitation.

When you sponsor a child, you change a life. Your sponsorship provides medical care, nutritious food, and an opportunity for a child to go to school so (s)he doesn’t have to work.

I didn’t actually end up sponsoring a child until about 12 years ago. Adriano is now 17. Last year we had sent him a larger sum of money for his birthday. Lest you think I’m overly generous in the gift giving department and start inviting me to all of your birthday parties, let me be honest. Going back in my records, I had realized that for the last 2 birthdays and Christmases I had forgotten to send him a gift. But God had used my mistake to bless him. Not with new sneakers, or new technology. But with…groceries.

Adriano

Food.

For his family. Something I often admittedly take for granted when I open my own fridge to prepare dinner for my family.

In Acts we’re told, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you;
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.  -Acts 1:8

At our church, our vision is: More people, more like Jesus. This is one way we do it. This is our opportunity to go to the ends of the earth. As we saw in the video, Hilda climbed out of the cycle of poverty. And she’s supporting her family. One sponsored child can impact generations. This is Kingdom work, and I invite you to participate.

If you’ve always wanted to sponsor, but haven’t taken that step, this is your opportunity. If you already sponsor, thank you! You’re an every day hero. Maybe you’re an over-achiever and want to sponsor another? :)  We have 9 children still waiting for sponsors. One boy in our Sunday school class likes to choose kids that have the same birthday as him, so just in case that strategy works for you, here is a list of our precious children waiting for sponsorship:

Richard Orwa: Kenya, 12.8.14
Denis Mollel: Tanzania, 10.23.08
**both of these boys live in countries with high risk for child rights violations and affected by AIDS

Marah Janine Araneta: Philippines, 11.27.13
Samuel Alberto Cerda Burgos: Nicaragua, 01.15.08
Widlene Deshommes: Haiti, 11.08.08
Meckson Nicolas: Haiti, 03.17.11
Puteri Nayla Dewi: Indonesia, 10.17.08
Luis Manuel De los Santos Elias: Dominican Republic, 01.01.2011
Meri Enjelita: East Indonesia, 03.22.12

$38/month can change a life and impact generations. 12 years ago, we did it by cutting out cable and we never looked back. Last year, we sponsored another and ate out one less meal per month. Most of us can find $38 per month.

We have until June 13th to find sponsors for these remaining kids. I hope you’ll join us in partnering with Compassion. There’s so much more to say about Compassion and child sponsorship, so if you have any questions at all, or if you would like to sponsor a child, please don’t hesitate to contact me. (janamacdon(at)gmail.com).

‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’  Matthew 25:35-40

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