Yesterday I got a disappointing phone call. For the second time in a month, Compassion International called to let me know that one of the children we sponsor as a family was no longer part of the Compassion project. Last time it was 13 year old Saitil, a boy I chose from Haiti, and they told me his family moved out of the area. That bummed me out, since we had been writing back and forth with him for quite awhile. This time it was Caroline, a six year old in Ghana. But this time it was because Compassion had discontinued their partnership with the local project she was part of for reasons they were not at liberty to disclose but it sounded like a sticky situation. They said something about Compassion’s unyielding position on child protection. It breaks my heart, but I respect what they’re doing.
The good news is that I get two new children to sponsor and develop a relationship with. Meanwhile I will never stop praying for Saitil and Caroline.
Last month we had the blessing of visiting a traveling exhibit called the Compassion Experience that came to our area. My boys and I got to walk through a dramatic interactive experience telling the real story of three children from three different countries. The first one we walked through was a girl from Kenya, which is where my first sponsored child, Mbeyu, lives. When we got to the end and it showed the real photos of this girl as a grown woman who graduated from college and changed the lives of her entire family, I started bawling happy tears. I know the truth of how Compassion changes lives from my own friend, Maurine Owino, who grew up in the slums of Kenya and now is the Executive Director of Mercy House, a maternity home we support. Child sponsorship really and truly saves lives.
Here’s a short video I saw this morning about why one mom chooses to sponsor a Compassion child.
Curious about why I choose Compassion International instead of alternative child sponsorship programs (which I do support in other ways)? It has nothing to do with their hiring policies or political positions, I assure you. It’s their model. Shaun explains it well here.
So if you have never sponsored a child, why not start today? It’s cheap but more importantly super meaningful if you actually take the time to write letters to your kid. Which you absolutely should. The letters mean almost as much, if not more sometimes, than the money for food and school.