This summer, we’re going to be sharing stories of hope found through the work of Compassion International. We are thrilled about Compassion’s work and our partnership with them, Watch Her Rise, created to help bring hope to girls in highly vulnerable situations. Learn more and join us here.
“Sitting down, he called the Twelve and said to them, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must be last and servant of all.’ He took a child, had him stand among them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one little child such as this in my name welcomes me. And whoever welcomes me does not welcome me, but him who sent me.‘” (Mark 9:35-37).
If you really want to change the world, sponsor a child.
It’s one thing to see the stats on how sponsoring a child makes a difference. It is a completely different thing to see it with your own eyes.
I had the privilege of traveling with Compassion International to Peru in April to see firsthand the work that this incredible organization does. We visited three churches that run Compassion child development centers and were able to see behind the scenes of what that means for both the church and the child.
Three things were obvious from my visit:
1. These local churches are committed to the welfare of the children in their surrounding area. To run a Compassion child development center, the church provides programming for children from 4 to 8 hours a week, 48 weeks out of the year. Church volunteers serve as tutors who prepare and teach Bible lessons, visit homes, and advocate for the kids that are assigned to them. It’s obvious that the children love the time they spend with their tutors. They are smiling, laughing, singing, playing, and hugging. They are genuinely happy to be there.
2. Children of all ages are grateful for their sponsors. Each child knows the name of their sponsor. They cherish the letters they get from their sponsor. As we met the kids at the child development centers, many children told me the name of their sponsors and asked me if I knew them!
A special part of this trip for me was the opportunity to meet Lucerito, the 14-year-old young lady that I sponsor. We visited her home, met her mother, and shared stories of our families. Right before I left, she took out a canvas that she had painted and gave it to me. I was so touched by the gift of being able to meet her and to have a reminder of that special day.
3. The Compassion Sponsorship program develops leaders. At each child development center we visited, we were able to meet teenagers who had been sponsored since they were young. As they grew, they were given opportunities to develop leadership skills and serve the younger kids at the center. We met one 24-year-old named Junior who was part of the Compassion program from the age of 5. Junior was able to graduate, go off to college, then come back to be a tutor at the same development center he grew up going to. He told us all about his plans for his future and showed incredible gratitude for the investment his sponsors have made in his life.
Do you want to do something to change the world? Here are three things you can do immediately that will have eternal impact!
- Sponsor a child. Changing the world is not a difficult task. Your monthly investment of $38 and 30 minutes of your time to write a letter can make an eternal difference in the life of a child.
- If you are already a sponsor, write a letter to your child today! Your letters make a huge difference and help to show these children that they are loved and cared for. It’s a privilege to be able to encourage and build up these children—take advantage of the opportunity!
- Pray for the volunteers in churches all over the world who are tutors in child development centers. They are the first line of defense for children in vulnerable situations and are trained to identify their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
My trip to Peru is one that I will never forget. I am grateful for the opportunity to see the work that Compassion International does first hand and I pray that God lays it on your heart to sponsor a child (or two!).
Becky Loyd manages the marketing team for Lifeway’s Adult Ministry. When she’s not wrangling a rogue group of strategists and creatives, Becky is cheering for the LSU Tigers or baking yummy treats. This self-proclaimed pseudo-crafter makes frequent trips to Moldova in Eastern Europe and stashes multiple pairs of shoes under her desk. Follow her on Twitter @Becky_Loyd or Instagram @Becky_Loyd.