I love Compassion International for a few reasons as follows:
1. They use a “three cord” approach to ministry.
2. They’re Christ-centered.
3. They’re church-based.
4. They’re child-focused.
They’re focused on developing children individually and holistically, prioritizing their safety and protection, financial integrity, (I.e. Digitally scanning letters to save on shipping costs so more of your sponsorship funds go directly to the program,) linking each child to one sponsor, and giving each child a chance to learn about Jesus, respond to the Gospel, and develop a lifelong relationship with God.
Sponsorship is a blast. It’s so exiting receiving your first letter, updated photos, and sending letters, postcards, bookmarks and stickers. In Compassion’s program, children under nine write in a “fill in the blank” format where they answer pre-written questions about their country, weather, school, etc. I have received two letters from Kossiwa Catherine (8 year old girl from Togo, sponsored through Compassion), Telling about her family, her compassion center, prayer requests, and her pet hen. I’ve also received a letter from her pastor and a letter from her Compassion center director, telling about letter distribution, benefits the children receive through sponsorship, and children who were able to receive much needed surgeries.
One of my blog posts tells a little bit more about Compassion International.
Last summer, my sister Lisa and I went to a Newsboys concert in Escanaba. There, we had an opportunity to sponsor a child through ChildFund International. Adam Agee (who opened for the Newsboys), gave a powerful presentation, telling about his experience visiting the child they sponsor. He emphasized his amazement at how making such a small change in our lives (giving $36/month), can completely change the life of a child living in extreme poverty.
Sponsoring is so much fun! We had a blast sending letters, stickers, and postcards, Within a few weeks, we received our first letter from Meourn Makara. A three-year-old boy from Cambodia.
His letters are translated from Khmer, a language I had never heard of! In his letters, he told us about his family, his favorite toys, and a flood that came through Phnom Penh last summer. His mom folded a paper boat and Makara decorated it with the stickers I sent him, and they sent it back. His letters are always so adorable. In his last letter he said “I wish to receive your letter again someday.”
Here is a TEDx talk by Bri’Anne Parkin. This video describes the incredible impact of child sponsorship programs. Both to the children in the program, and to the sponsor.
This is Adam Agee’s presentation about ChildFund International. He gave a similar presentation when my sister and I first sponsored a child. Adam does a phenomenal job of showing how making such a small difference in our lives can make a life-changing difference in the life of a real child living in extreme poverty. If you’re considering sponsoring a child, I’d encourage you to watch this all the way through.
Please excuse the video quality, as this was taken from the audience at a Newsboys United concert in Florida.
Frequently asked questions about sponsorship from Compassion International.
*Please note that this is from Compassion International. ChildFund programs will vary slightly. All other info will be on their website above…
The children Compassion serves receive, among other things: the opportunity to hear the gospel and learn about Jesus; regular Christian training; educational opportunities and help; health care, hygiene training and supplementary food if necessary; a caring and safe Christian environment to grow in self-confidence and social skills; personal attention, guidance and love.
Compassion International is a Christian child development organization dedicated to releasing children from poverty. Our ministry to children is twofold: We work through local churches to provide child development programs to deliver children from economic, physical, social and spiritual poverty, enabling them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults. And we speak out for children in poverty – informing, motivating and equipping others to become advocates for children.
No. Children are welcome to participate in a Compassion-assisted child development center regardless of their faith. Compassion’s program, however, is unapologetically Christian and every Compassion center is connected to a Christian church or ministry. We want children to have the opportunity to see living faith in action, hear the gospel and be discipled in the ways of Christ. But neither they nor their families are under any compulsion to become Christians.
For a child living in poverty, the future often looks bleak. But ChildFund alumni often say the knowledge that someone far away believed in them gave them courage to pursue their dreams. Sponsored children tend to achieve a higher level of education, which translates to a better chance at economic security as adults. And it’s not only the sponsored child who benefits. In every community where we work, we partner with local organizations to invest in the health and education of all children. Depending on local needs, these partners provide access to safe water, build latrines, construct or improve schools, support government initiatives to immunize children and distribute bed nets to prevent malaria, conduct life-skills and leadership trainings or establish Early Childhood Development programs. When communities work to transform themselves to meet children’s needs, they become places where children can thrive and achieve their potential. As a sponsor, you are part of all this. And as you communicate with your child, you have a front-row seat, no matter how far away!
In this video, Duncan Philips from the Newsboys talks with two people who were sponsored through ChildFund as children.