Monday, September 8, 2008

Compassion International

We decided recently to sponsor our second child through Compassion International. Our first sponsored child has been both a blessing and a lesson to our family, and I was eager to make a difference once more.

A few years ago, the radio station we listen to the most in the car - Positive Life Radio - had a day for Compassion International. They were explaining what Compassion does, asking listeners to sponsor children, and holding somewhat of a sponsor-a-thon.

I was impressed with their pitch, but generally skeptical. Chance asked me that day what the people on the radio were talking about, so we had a discussion about children around the world that don't have near as many blessings as we do. I explained that these people were trying to help children, and that you could sponsor one.

I took some time to check out Compassion's web site, as well as their reputation. I was most impressed that more than 80% of the money collected by Compassion goes to the child you sponsored. Food, medical care, clothing, spiritual guidance, etc.

Chance (then 6) and I decided it would be really neat to find a child with his same birthday.

This is Abusha. He is from Ethiopia. He and Chance share a birthday and their Savior - but little else. It has been an amazing journey to sponsor Abusha thus far.

Although most of the time Abusha feels 1,000,000 miles away, when his letters come, they always come with opportunity for blessing and learning. His love for God is simple. He is grateful for every little thing.

We recently sent some extra money to Abusha for his birthday. I was incredibly humbled as I compared my budget for Chance's presents and my budget to send extra money to Abusha. You can be sure Chance got more than the $25 I sent to Ethiopia.

We soon got a thank-you letter, describing what Abusha got with the money - an exercise book, a toy, some food oil, and a new pencil. He was so grateful. We were humbled again. Chance and Colton were amazed at how grateful this little guy was for a new pencil.

In his letter, he also asked us to pray for his behavior in school - I'm thinking we need to pray for a bit of patience on his teacher's part, too! I think that is just another thing I love about this program. Abusha is real. He is, in many ways, just like any other little boy. He loves to learn, he loves Jesus, loves to pray for us, and needs prayer himself. We are blessed to know him.

And so, now that Colton is 5 (I don't know why that's magic, but it seemed so), I thought he needed his own "Abusha".

I used Compassion's advanced search function to find a child with Colton's same birthday.

Meet Matheus. A 5-year-old boy from Brazil. We are anxiously awaiting his packet of information, and I can't wait for Colton to form a bond and learn from this little boy half a world away, yet similar to him in so many ways.

If you are looking for a way to make a measurable difference in a child's life, create an incredible learning opportunity, or just have about $32 per month leftover in your budget that you're not sure what to do with - please visit Compassion's web site and see if one of these children would be a fit for you. While you are providing an irreplaceable blessing to a child a world away, they will be blessing your home in more ways than you can imagine. Check it out.


Miller Family said...

What an amazing lesson for us all, especially your kids. You are such a wonderful family to share with those less fortunate. I will have to check out the website.

Anonymous said...

Good Morning,
I so enjoyed reading about Abusha and Matheus this morning, two little guys who, in God's sight, are just as precious as Chance and Colton. And I'm so greatful for what you are helping them to learn at such an early age about caring for others.
Three years ago, the 4,5 and 6 year-olds at our church made the $32/month committment to support Sathya, a little girl in India. That's a lot of money for 15 little ones who don't have that much between themselves in an entire year! But they asked the congretation to save their aluminum cans and newspapers and made a drop box for them in a corner of the multipurpose room. When it was full one of the teachers would take it to the recycler in town and the money was put into Sathya's account at the bank. I told the teacher that if they ever came up short for a payment to let me know and I would make up the difference. She just smiled and told me they have never been short! I was happy to hear that, but not nearly as happy as I should have been.... In cleaning out the house we are living in, I acquired an amazing amoung of cardboard and paper, and in addition to our newspapers and aluminum cans I finally had enough to fill the back of my van (seats removed) and took them to the recycler myself insead of hauling them all to church. I was floored when all of that totalled "only" $7.46. I don't know what I expected, but I know it was more than that. And yet, not a payment has been missed in three years!! God truly does much with our "nothing".
If you can catch them, give "my" boys a hug for me tonight, I love them dearly.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Heather, I just loved this post, how they "share a birthday and their Savior - but little else." This is incredible. Thank you.

I'm so grateful for organized programs that can help us help others that are continents away.