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This year is a new year for me and a bright one. It was like I turned a page in my life like I never had before when the New Year rolled in. It was only made better when I paid off my car in February, freeing up a sizeable chunk of money to help pay off my student loans. I have for a long time been wishing I could find some way to help make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate than myself but been constrained in my abilities due to work, school, and now a child attached to me that would have to be able to go with me wherever or childcare would be necessary.
Jesus told Nicodemus in Matthew 19:21, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me” (New King James Version [NKJV]). Jesus also said it was his mission “to preach the gospel to the poor” (Luke 4:18, NKJV). He also said that we should “call the poor, the maimed, the lame, [and] the blind” to our parties (Luke 14:13, NKJV). Jesus was no respecter of persons and His heart was for the poor, the broken, the hurting, and the lost souls. Should our hearts not be for the same people?
On Sunday I stumbled upon Compassion International which has programs around the world where they provide education, healthcare, nutritional supplements, recreational activities, and spiritual development programs for poor and underprivileged children. Presently 1.8 million sponsored children benefit from their program, but there are many more needing sponsors.
How often do we as Christians support missions trips to share the gospel but we neglect the physical needs as well? That is what I love so much about this organization. They provide the physical necessities as well as the spiritual development. I have felt burdened over my own lack in this area, so please don’t feel like I am “preaching” at you. I’m preaching at myself!
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.James 2:14-17 (NKJV)
The fact that Compassion International provides for their physical and educational needs was a big thing in my book. But I had some concerns.
I had heard about these agencies who advertise sponsorships of other children give only a small percentage of the proceeds to the children. So I looked up their financial reports which they provide on their website under the “About Us” section (“Financial Integrity” subsection). After looking at the report, I was confident that they do in fact use their funds primarily for the children with only a portion going towards the promotion of their mission to churches and people in wealthy countries. They also are noted as a trusted charity by Charity Navigator, Better Business Bureau, ECFA Charter, and Charity Watch Top Rated. They have also been around since 1952. I feel confident in the integrity of this charity.
As I said above, I’ve wanted to do things to help others where I can. It’s why in college I debated between two career paths: education or law enforcement. Law enforcement won out because I realized I could not sit in a classroom all day. I also was done with school at that point and it would take another year-and-a-half of schooling after I graduated with my bachelor’s degree. I was already turning 30 (at that point) and decided that going into law enforcement would allow me to help others while still providing for myself and my family. It would also provide me the opportunity to move about.
And even though I still hold a job that helps others now (911 dispatcher), I still longed to be able to do something for the poor or otherwise hurting kids. So Compassion International really fit the bill for me. The initial sponsorship cost of one child is $38, but for kids in AIDs ridden countries or those with special needs, an additional $7 goes a long way towards the specific issues of AIDs or their special needs.
Compassion for those less fortunate
I looked at the pictures of the kids they have and…lets just say I am a sucker for kids. They get to me and I knew Compassion International was an organization I could get behind (for reasons mentioned above). I may not have stopped with one kid, but I obviously have some financial restraints. I only had $229 open up and I still plan on putting a good portion of that towards my current debt. But I decided that it was finally time for me to be able to do something. I don’t presently have a church that I attend regularly given the fact that I work on Sundays, and those Sundays I am off, I have not necessarily found a home church for. I’ve often attended the church my brothers and a sister attend in The Woodlands and I have also been to a church in Conroe. On Wednesday nights I go to a Bible Study at another church down the road, but I haven’t necessarily found a home there. As Compassion International is actually a Christian based organization and works with churches in the countries they pour their resources into, I’ve devoted my tithes and offerings portion to this organization.
I know you’ve seen the campaigns that Facebook allows you to run for your birthday to raise money for non-profit organizations. Well my birthday happens to be this Saturday. So I wanted to start a campaign of my own. You, too, can join me by sponsoring a child by following this link. I hope that at least 10 people will join me in this, but I would certainly love to see more!
If you can’t spare $38-$45 a month to sponsor a kid, I hope you will at least join me in praying for these kids and find some way you can make a difference for those less fortunate than you. There are so many hurting people out there that may just need a friend or a listening ear. Maybe they just need someone to pick up their groceries for them once a week/month or just a meal here or there. Find somewhere you can devote your time and love to impact the world for Jesus. Remember also that without love our works are nothing. (1 Corinthians 13.)
I know I said last week that my next post would be about how I lost the pregnancy weight. I promise, it is coming! It just wasn’t quite ready and this topic was weighing heavily on my mind. You should see it by the end of this week!
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