This article originally appeared in the June 2019 issue of HomeLife.
This year, LifeWay celebrates surpassing 15,000 children sponsored with Compassion International over the course of our ministry partnership together. With that in mind, and a desire to bring greater focus to Compassion’s work with girls specifically, Living Proof Live with Beth Moore is launching a special focus with Compassion called “Watch Her Rise.”
“Our relationship with Compassion,” says Beth Moore, “is so important because it’s given us, after all He’s poured into us, a way we can pour into the lives of others. People on the other side of the globe are helped because we came together and collectively we chose to give. It’s a way of worship. It’s a way to honor God, who said over and over again through His Word to His people that we’re to be generous people, we’re to help the oppressed, and we’re to help the ones who have been downtrodden.”
The work of Compassion began in the 1950s in Korea helping children after the war, and continues today, impacting more than 2 million children in 25 countries. Compassion International is a child advocacy organization pairing compassionate, generous people with children living in extreme poverty. Sponsors come alongside those children in a one-on-one relationship, writing letters, encouraging them as they grow, and covering them in prayer.
Holistic child development provides opportunities that encourage the healthy development of all aspects of a child—spiritually, physically, socially, emotionally, and even economically. This model requires a long-term approach and goes beyond simple involvement in the life of a child. It involves long-term dedication and perseverance, and it changes as a child’s needs change. This strategy helps children flourish and transcend what is often a generational legacy of poverty.
One of the most unique aspects of Compassion’s model is that they are based exclusively in the local church. When children participate in Compassion, it’s at a local church in their community. They’re ministered to by pastors and church leaders as they grow and develop in life and faith. Compassion works with local churches around the world that tailor the holistic child development model to the needs of the children in its community.
Girls born into extreme poverty are fighting for a chance to survive. Worldwide, girls are exploited, sold into sex trafficking and child marriage, refused basic education, forced into child labor, or expected to provide for their families at a young age. It’s impossible for an adolescent girl to feel empowered or reach her potential when even her basic needs—food, shelter, clothing, and healthcare—aren’t met.
LifeWay’s Women’s Events, in partnership with Compassion, are coming alongside girls who are highly vulnerable, living in situations that are well beyond their years and means to handle. Through sponsorship, we can watch her rise and then help her keep walking in the power of Christ’s love and salvation in her life. Sponsoring a highly vulnerable girl can help her overcome the many obstacles she is facing. The love and support a sponsor can provide could change her life forever, even for eternity.
“One reason Watch Her Rise is such a beautiful fit is because it’s everything we’re about. We’re a women’s ministry. We come together to see God do miracles through His Word and the power of His Spirit in the lives of many women. So when we started thinking about how we could connect that in a real way, sisters reaching out to sisters, grabbing hands with them, helping them to their feet, it was a fit. Girls who might not have made it, who could have been taken in all sorts of directions of devastation through trafficking, and all the things that go along with poverty, to be forced to work well before they’re able, to take on responsibilities far beyond what a child can handle, to be put at risk over and over, to not have her own physical needs met—these are the things that devastate,” says Beth.
Compassion depends on its network of local church partners to identify children in their communities living in high-risk circumstances of abuse, exploitation, and other vulnerable circumstances. Compassion offers the following to assist them:
• Legal resources to find missing children
• Foster care for children living in violent circumstances
• Shelter renovations for damaged homes or unsafe living conditions
• Counseling for girls who have been traumatized
• Medical care and ongoing support for victims of physical and emotional abuse
• Intervention for adolescents struggling with alcohol, sexual activity, or truancy
• Clothing and shoes for children in immediate need
• Counseling to empower parents to protect and provide for their children
• Job training and income opportunities for parents so girls can stay in school
“I think all of us want to give,” Beth says. “I think those who are in Christ have a spirit of generosity, but I think we worry about a couple of different things. We don’t know where to give, and we already feel defeated in advance because we think, How could I ever give enough to make a difference? This opportunity with Compassion allows anyone to give something and not break anyone’s bank. And yet it will totally transform somebody else’s life. That is the miracle of this partnership—that we will be able to come alongside girls who are highly vulnerable, at great risk, and help them not only come to their feet but stay on their feet. That is the most practical gospel we could possibly express through Living Proof Live.”
The legacy of this partnership is rippling all over the world as children with no hope for the future discover they have a chance to thrive and learn about the love of Christ.
Sponsor a girl today at Compassion.com/WatchHerRise.
Shannon Kozee serves on the event marketing team at Compassion International. She lives in Franklin, TN. This article was partially sourced by Compassion.com.