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Compassion International For Children

Updated on October 8, 2014

Compassion in Jesus' name

Sponsoring children in need is breaking the cycle of poverty

Compassion International exists as a Christian child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults.

Founded by the Rev. Everett Swanson in 1952, Compassion began providing Korean War orphans with food, shelter, education and health care, as well as Christian training.

Today, Compassion helps more than 1 million children in 26 countries.

You too can sponsor a child and change his life forever. I hope this lens explains Compassion International and you will think about sponsoring your own child.

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Sponsorship is Easy

Child Sponsorship Program and Development through sponsorship.

Child sponsorship leads to a lifetime of learning. It's a powerful approach to Christian child development, providing children with a broader view of the world and educating sponsors about the political and economic realities sponsored children face. This relationship provides both children and sponsors with a concrete example of how God works around the world.

Learning for Life focuses on a child's life from school age until program completion, aiming to prepare each sponsored child with the skills and knowledge required to assume adulthood, including those activities that will make the community a better place to live. We focus on preparing children to:

Follow Jesus Christ in faith and deed as part of their spiritual training

Support themselves and share with others in need as part of their economic training

Be responsible members of their family, church, community and nation as part of their social training

Maintain their own physical well-being

The knowledge and skills gained through these various activities contribute to the quality of life children experience throughout their whole lives. It all starts with one person taking the time to sponsor one child.

Proverbs 19:17

He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and He will pay back what he has given.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to sponsor a child through Compassion?

Sponsoring a child costs $38 a month. It's a significant commitment, but the incredible difference it makes in the life of a child is invaluable.

Do children have to become Christians to continue receiving help from Compassion?

No. Children are welcome to participate in a Compassion project regardless of their faith. Compassion's program, however, is unapologetically Christian and every Compassion project 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.

What specific benefits does a child receive through sponsorship?

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.

Does each child have only one sponsor?

Yes. Each child has only one sponsor, which is why the sponsor's prayers, letters and support mean so much to a child. We believe that the relationship that develops between sponsors and children is instrumental in a child's growth and development. In addition, this one-to-one relationship provides children with the message that they matter, that they are valuable and that someone outside of their family cares about them and their future.

Where does Compassion work?

Today Compassion works in 26 countries. In Africa, we work in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda. In Middle America, we work in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Mexico. In South America, we work in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. In Asia, we work in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Children's First Bible

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Michael W. Smith

God put us together, says Michael W. Smith.

Comparing his life growing up in a small West Virginia town to the lives of children he's seen in Compassion projects, Michael W. Smith notes some similarities: "Kids are kids and kids everywhere seem to spend time playing in the streets," he says. "We throw rocks, balls, anything to create a game. But those similarities end when poverty is added to the situation.

"The first time I came face to face with that reality, it was overwhelming. I couldn't process all the sights, sounds and smells I was experiencing. I had gone from holding my own kids, safe and healthy in my own home, to holding a baby overseas who was probably not going to live much longer.

"I didn't intend to speak out for Compassion at first. I simply wanted to sponsor a child. I went to Ecuador and this little girl named Gavi latched onto me for the whole time I was there. I sponsored her. Then as I went to several nearby projects and saw the quality of the work, it solidified everything for me.

"The big thing was sensing the spirit of joy that transcended the projects, despite the surrounding poverty. These kids and their families are happy. They don't have anything and they lean on the Lord for everything they get. But they are happy.

"It has been a privilege to be involved in Gavi's life. Probably the most miraculous part of Gavi's story was her spiritual transformation and the ripple effect it has had on her family. Because of sponsorship, Gavi came to know the Lord.

"Now her grandmother and grandfather have come to know the Lord too. So have her cousins and nephews and aunts and uncles … 23 people in Gavi's family have come to faith in Christ — all because of her Compassion sponsorship.

"I'm glad that I was born in this day and age and that somehow God miraculously put us together. I think it was a God thing. And because it's a God thing, it's exciting to be the one to tell 15,000 concertgoers about Compassion for the first time. I love talking about Compassion."

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My Personal Experience

My husband and I have been sponsoring a Compassion child from India since November of 2004. She was a little girl when we first started sponsoring her and we have watched her grow into a beautiful young woman. We will never be able to visit her but we communicate with letters. I write my letter to her, it is translated and given to her and then she writes back to us, it is translated and mailed to us. We look forward to those letters and feel very blessed to have her in our lives.

In December of 2007 we decided to sponsor another child. This time a little boy from Haiti. He was only 5 years old when we started that sponsorship so he was too young to write his own letters. His mother writes for him. The letters sound like he is dictating to his mother and the words are just precious. When the hurricane hit Haiti we were devastated. The not knowing how our little one was, was terrifying. Compassion contacted us several times to let us know they would let us know how he was as soon as they got word. Our little boy lived in one of the areas that was hit the hardest. We prayed and our church family prayed and those prayers were answered. Finally, word came that our little one, and his family , had survived. Praise the Lord.

It give us a great sense of serving knowing that we are helping, not only our sponsored children, but also their families. Please consider sponsoring a child of your own.

Here is Compassion's web address http://www.compassion.com

I;d love to hear about the child or children you sponsor. I think you will agree, it is a very fulfilling experience.

Do You Sponsor a Child?

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    • straw-hut profile image

      straw-hut 5 years ago

      We sponsor a little boy in Burkina Faso Africa through Compassion International.