This is my very first post as a Compassion Blogger.
You might be wondering what a Compassion Blogger even is. That's a good question! Basically, it's someone who is volunteering to devote some or all of their blog space to advocating for the children whose families are helped by Compassion International. Compassion is a non-profit organization that is working to combat extreme poverty and all the problems that accompany it by meeting the needs of children and their families around the world.
Compassion partners with local churches to provide medical treatment, education, leadership development, childcare education, and, most importantly, the hope that Christ Jesus offers to millions of children and their families. Compassion sponsors, like me, support one child (and their family) with only $38 per month and as much prayer and correspondence as you can offer your child. Millions of families barely survive on less than $2 per month, so Compassion sponsors can help bring about immense change in the community through their pooled resources. Compassion also works to meet desperate medical needs and helps empower the local churches to respond in disasters and emergency situations (like they did quickly and successfully in Haiti).
I have been a Compassion sponsor since I was in college. My sophomore year of college, we had a Compassion table set up at the back of the chapel after one of our weekly chapel/convocations. A friend and I were both looking at the pictures of these beautiful children who desperately needed hope. At the time, neither of us earned much money, but we were both drawn to this absolutely gorgeous little girl in El Salvador named Fatima. She was only 3 years old and already a heart-breaker. My friend and I both fell in love with her on sight and decided to co-sponsor her as long as we could. We were especially excited because we both spoke Spanish fluently and were excited that we would be able to write directly to our little girl in her heart language.
For about 6 years, including three after we graduated from college and went separate ways, my friend and I sponsored Fatima and loved her from afar. We sent birthday gifts and wrote her as often as we could. My heart always leaped whenever we'd get a letter from her, especially after she learned to read and write. I still treasure a picture we received from her - with her birthday money, she had picked out this gaudy, multi-colored mattress. The picture of her laying on this bright mattress is one of my most treasured possessions.
After six years, though, the logistics didn't work to keep co-sponsoring from opposite sides of the country. My friend kept up with Fatima, and I started sponsoring a little boy in southern Mexico named Omar. I sponsored him for over 7 years, until his family moved away from the area, but was blessed to watch him grow into a handsome, athletic young man. His father is a fisherman and they lived in a small village on the southern coast just across from the Yucatan Peninsula. Through letters and photos, I watched Omar grow from a rambunctious 7-year old to a wonderful, loving 14-year old. He always called me Madrina (Godmother) in his letters; I so loved writing him and sharing with him how special he is to Jesus and to me. While my sponsorship of Omar had to end when his family moved, I still look forward to meeting him some day.
I now sponsor a cute little 4-year-old, Michal, whose family also lives in a small village in Mexico. While it has been a challenge to communicate since he is so young, I look forward to watching him grow into a godly young man.
While my life has changed drastically since I first started sponsoring Fatima - I've gone from a single, active 19-year-old in college to a 30-year-old married history professor - I honestly believe that my relationship with these three precious children has been one of the most significant parts of my life. Whatever else has happened, I know that God has worked in these three children and their families, and He allowed me to be even a tiny part of it.
So many children around the world are living in desperate poverty, without adequate food, clean water, basic medications, education, housing, or hope. Through your help - prayers and a few skipped take-out meals a month - these children can have hope for a future. You can help meet their physical needs and their vocational needs. But most importantly, you can help them learn about the solution to their greatest need: the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Will you help bring hope to the hopeless and help to those most in need?
Go to Compassion.com to see where you can help meet these needs. If you are a blogger and want to join me in advocating for these precious children, go to compassionbloggers.com. Here, you can learn more about blogging for the cause, with information on these topics:
1. Why blog for Compassion?
2. See a list of who else is blogging for Compassion
3. Read posts from bloggers who joined Compassion in Tanzania in 2012
Please consider giving a little of your time and blog space to share in Compassion's mission.