Guess what, everybody. I've completed my training as a Volunteer Advocate for Compassion International
. What does that mean?
It means I now have a pretty firm grip on just what it is that Compassion does, how they do it, and why they do it.
Two weeks of computer based training, with tons of facts and figures, reading material's galore, video presentations and testimonials from people who've been involved with Compassion. All culminating into a 4 hour long conference call between my Training Co-ordinator and 9 other Advocates like myself for a Q&A session and a 3-5 minute presentation from each of us.
Allow me to share my presentation, as I prepared it, along with my Training Co-ordinators comments afterwards."Change the world". That's a very popular phrase these days. A very popular concept. It's something we'd all like to do, or at least be a part of. But how many of us know where to start, or how?
Well, we all know that the only way to start anything is by taking that first step. And while the overall desire to change the world may seem like a daunting task, taking that first step is the most important. When we focus on the little things that each one of us can do, those small changes will eventually grow into something bigger. I want to encourage all of you to take that first step today, to make that small change, and in doing so, you can change the world forever for one child in Jesus' name.
I'm here on behalf of Compassion International and the millions of children who are living in poverty throughout the world today. I'm here to encourage you to support Compassion's ministry to these little ones by sponsoring a child. You see, Compassion is changing the world one child at a time. In Matthew chapter 18, Jesus tells His disciples that "anyone who welcomes a little child... on My behalf is welcoming Me." Compassion enables all of us to welcome a child on Christ's behalf by offering us the opportunity to become a sponsor.
For 32 dollars a month you can change the world for a child who is currently living without much of anything - including hope for their future. Because that's what real poverty is. It's not just a lack of money or material possessions, those are merely symptoms of a greater ill. Poverty is a lack of hope for the future, and a lack of opportunities that can break the cycle of that poverty. We don't really understand that here in the land of opportunity. We're used to having whatever we want, let alone anything we might need, right at our fingertips at a moment's notice. Meanwhile, many of these children are wondering if they're even going to eat today.
32 dollars a month. Does that sound like a lot? That's a little more than a dollar a day, less than you'd pay for a bottle of purified drinking water - a luxury these kids can't imagine. And it's about one fifth of what most of us are willing to pay for a cup of coffee. We have the power to give hope to the hopeless, to help to provide for the basic neccessities of life that you and I take for granted.
What Compassion does is they work with local churches in the 25 countries where they have programs to build relationships within those communities. Through those church based outreaches, Compassion is able to identify the greatest needs and then help those children who are at the most risk from their poverty of malnutrition and various diseases. Many of which result simply from not having clean water to drink. Most of which are easily preventable. These are things that none of us have to worry about.
Now, Compassion's ministry is not a quick fix. They're not just throwing money at a problem, and they're not asking you to either. Compassion is about addressing the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs of each child. And addressing these needs with the utmost dignity for these little ones, their families and their communities. They are a Christ centered ministry that focuses on the full development of each child. And they are committed to that goal.
But there's so much more to their ministry than the supplemental food and medical attention that your sponsorship provides. In addition to the educational resources your sponsored child will benefit from, you will develop a relationship with a child who desperately needs to know that somebody cares about them. You'll have the chance to exchange letters, and give your sponsored child the encouragment that he or she needs to grow in their faith. You'll be able to exchange prayer requests, and see how much this little child can care about you, and your family. You'll be a part of shaping a child's future and presenting them with opportunities they would never have otherwise. You will also find that your world will change as you open your heart to "the least of these", as Jesus called them. You will find the love of God, and His heart for the poor and oppressed, taking over in your own heart.
Before I finish I want to remind everyone of the parable of the sheep and the goats that Jesus shared with His followers in Matthew chapter 25. "For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you took care of me. I was in prison, and you visited me." These are obviously important issue for our Lord - that we take care of those in need - and this is our chance to show ourselves faithful. So, please, prayerfully consider being a part of this incredible ministry. Take a look at the information packets. Look into the eyes of some of these children and see them with the eyes of Christ's love for them. Then let the Spirit guide your heart. If you're serious about wanting to change the world, this is a great place to start. I'll be around to answer any questions you might have.
Thank you.Michael- I like that you started right in. I love how you connect welcoming a child with the bible verse on that- I think that is really powerful. I found your presentation clear. I would encourage you to redo your ending challenge- be careful you aren’t taking the challenge away.
So, needless to say, I'm pretty geeked about how I did. I'm really psyched about my involvment with Compassion.
But now for even more information that I learned through my training;
Were any of you aware that there are over 2 billion children under the age of 15 living in the world today?
*Nearly 360 million of them are illiterate.
*Over 300 million of them are either orphans, or homeless.
*Close to 250 million children work rather than attend school, while 120 million of them labor full-time.
*Approximately 2.3 million are infected with HIV, and 15 million have lost one or both parents to AIDS.
Not a very pretty picture, is it?
Sorry about being such a downer, but I do have good news.
Here are some of the good things I've learned as a result of my training;
*Compassion has projects operating in 25 countries around the world, serving over a million children who are living in poverty.
*Approximately 83% of the money donated to Compassion is used for children's services.
*Compassion has additional programs for specific, special needs for both the very young, and those who've graduated from the sponsorship program. Ask me about them, they are so cool !!!
*The majority of children who are registered to be a part of a Compassion project are sponsored within 6 months.
*Every child whose picture you see in an information packet (or online) is a part of a project. They receive many of the benefits that the sponsored children have, but they don't have the additional emotional and spiritual support of a sponsor - the unfortunate aspect of this is that the program can only take one child per family in these cases. Also, any child over the age of 9 who needs a sponsor has had the sad experience of having had a sponsor, but for whatever reason, the sponsor has ended their participation in Compassion's outreach. That's what happened to the little girl that I'm sponsoring. Which makes me feel even better about having picked her.
OK, all of that being said, I want to once again reiterate my hope that I've been able to encourage any of you to consider sponsoring a child
, or at least making a donation to Compassion for the sake of these little ones. Every little bit helps.
Labels: Compassion, faith, My life, My ministry