On Compassion Sunday a few weeks ago I gave a talk at my church about my many years of involvement with Compassion International. Here is part of that talk, a little bit about my experiences with this organization that I admire and trust.
As I grew up, I’d heard about donating to charities, but the first time I ever heard about sponsoring a child was at a Christian rock concert in about 1980. I signed up and received a picture of a little 4-year-old girl from Haiti, which I still have.
Over the years I’ve continued to sponsor new children as the others graduated from the program. It was $21 a month then, and it’s $41 a month now, but my Compassion payment has always been my happiest expense of the month. And now I have the joy of seeing both of my sons sponsor a child, too.
I love being involved with this ministry. Children are so precious to me, and Compassion has spent 60 years helping them practically and spiritually. The heart of this organization is to make disciples of Christ, and in 2011 over 159,000 people served by the ministry gave their lives to Christ.
The personal contact is what I love the most. Compassion makes it easy to send letters, and I can encourage the child’s faith, tell them all the ways I’m proud of them, and tell them I love them. Then some wonderful person in another part of the world helps the little ones to write letters back to me, which makes my day.
Here are some of my favorite parts from a letter I received recently from the child I sponsor in the Honduras. I started sponsoring her when she was 12 years old and she is now a feisty and driven 15-year-old.
“I want to tell you my dreams…to be a painter…
…and to be a prophet and travel all around the world and take Jesus’ message to all nations.
I want to meet the world’s prettiest places, especially Canada, my favorite country.
I always pray for you and your family. I say goodbye, my sister in Christ. I’ll always lift you up in my heart.
I love you.”
I also want to emphasize that I trust Compassion, and I like that they do their work through local churches. Their financial integrity continues to be recognized by Charity Navigator, giving Compassion the most four-star ratings—which is their highest rating—of any organization of its kind in the U.S.
Psalm 35:10 says, “My whole being will exclaim, ‘Who is like you, O LORD? You rescue the poor from those too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them.’” I believe God is rescuing countless children through this organization, and not just them, but many of their families and communities, too.
It is my joy and privilege to be able to be involved in these kids’ lives, and I’m thankful that Compassion makes it possible.
To watch an excellent video about two Elizabeth’s, click here.