Sunday, February 10, 2008

Choosing Compassion

One of the first things I'd like to address here is why my family has chosen to make Compassion International a ministry and cause that we wholeheartedly support. The longer I've had interactions with Compassion, the more impressed and amazed I've been by them. If you've ever considered sponsoring a child or getting involved, but just weren't sure, I hope you'll consider some of the things that helped us in deciding on Compassion International.

The first and easiest reason I can give is that the effects of sponsoring a child through Compassion are immediate and tangible. I'm saving the specifics about our sponsored children for later posts, but if you've worked hard and made sacrifices to provide for your family like I have, then it's important to you that the stewardship of your giving is in hands that can be trusted, and which truly honors the Lord and makes a difference in our world. Compassion does not just use a child's face to lure you into giving to a "general fund" of some sort, and then pull a bait-and-switch once you've begun your giving. They literally put you in direct contact with a specific child, and your involvement in that child's life has visible effects. Studies have shown that this approach is much more successful than a nameless/faceless entity that shows up and drops off some food and water and then just leaves. This is a long-term ongoing commitment in the life of a specific child, and it is really quite an amazing and effectual thing.

One specific example of this sponsor-to-child relationship I'd like to mention, which we've enjoyed very much, is giving a child gift or family gift through Compassion. You are allowed to give a dollar amount, over and above your normal sponsorship, that goes to your child or your child's family. 100% of this gift goes directly to them. We've been privileged to receive letters and photos back from our kids, telling us of their very exciting day at the market, and showing us the beautiful new clothes and other items they purchased with the gift money.

Another reason we've chosen Compassion is that we are extremely confident that we can trust them. Compassion is constantly getting high marks with all the ministry watchdog agencies, and even better than that, I've personally had direct dealings with the folks at Compassion, and with people who know the inner workings there. It all paints a clear picture of an organization which, from top to bottom, operates with absolute integrity -- and more importantly, that this is a group of people who truly love what they do and want to be the best they can.

Finally, there is one more aspect of giving through Compassion which, in my mind, is the single strongest argument to be made. That is simply this -- the best gift I can possibly give, and the most critical need in the world, is Jesus. Compassion teaches these children from a very young age about the love of Christ, and demonstrates it in the most practical way possible. Knowing that these little ones are being filled with hope and joy through the Gospel is by far the most rewarding part of this entire experience for me!


  1. I always enjoy reading what they got as well. It always seems so dreadfully practical so I was delighted when my child in India recently wrote that he got chocolates with his birthday money. And new clothes. So he got to be both fun and practical! :)

    ( I do understand that they HAVE to be practical)

  2. Amy - I know exactly what you mean. But I guess when you have almost nothing, stuff like new clothes and shoes are considered fun, and a big treat. (And can you even imagine what a wonderful treat chocolate is, for someone who has probably only had it a few times in his entire life? Wow.)

    What's also neat is that I don't think we ever have to worry about these gifts "spoiling" the children, honestly. Seeing the pictures and reading the stories from the Uganda bloggers makes you realize how hugely grateful these precious little ones are for even the smallest bit of kindness.