The Sacrifice of Compassion

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The first time I heard about Compassion International was in the summer of 2005. In the middle of a packed, sweaty crowd of twenty-somethings and teenagers, volunteers handed out child information packets to anyone who wanted one. I grabbed one. I didn’t really know what I was doing. It sounded like a good idea and how fun would it be to write a cute little boy or girl somewhere in the world.

My packet belonged to a little girl in Ecuador. Her name was Diana. I went home, pulled out the packet, and read about her life. It wasn’t long before my first letter was sent and awaited hers. For three years we wrote back and forth, sharing pictures, stories, hope, and love. When her parents decided to pull her out of the Compassion program, my heart broke a little. We invested in this relationship, I was looking forward to seeing her grow-up.

But still I had room in my heart and life to welcome another child, so we did. Meet Pamela. She’s 12, and lives in Ecuador with her mom and brother. We wrote, but the building of a relationship was a struggle. It didn’t flow as easily as my relationship with Diana, but still we wrote.

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It’s been three years since Pamela and I have joined in this cross-continental family. It is a joy to watch her grow. She really does feel a part of our family. Her picture hangs on our wall, right over our dining room table. We all know her name. Even Joey. He draws her pictures and she thanks him for the scribbles.

Sponsoring a child through Compassion is more than just paying for their school costs and medical check-ups. It’s joining their family.

When I got the letter that said Pamela had a brain tumor, I cried. A brain tumor in Ecuador? How would this end? But I’m thankful that her medical costs and care are covered by Compassion.

When she writes to tell me her mother says, “Thank you,” I’m deeply moved. To be a mother and know the welfare of your child has been extended by the hand of another is humbling, but I’m the one who is humbled and privileged. It is a joy to pray, to serve, and to love these children.

When a group of Compassion bloggers went to Guatemala last fall, I felt this tugging on my heart to sponsor another child. After talking with my husband, we decided to go for it and welcomed Gabriel into our family. He is a 6-year-old ball of joy. His letters are always exciting, full of blessings, and requests for prays that his family would believe in Jesus.

Even though I’m loving out of my surplus and my words, it still matters. It’s not just a check to write the 1st Tuesday of the month. I am actively participating in bringing the kingdom of God to these children, these families through the hands of Compassion. And they are changing me...extending my compassion for others, challenging me to look at how much I think I need, and to say that Jesus is real...He is better...and it is a pleasure to sacrifice for him.

But the truth? It’s not a sacrifice...I’m in the top 95% of the richest in the world. I lack for very little. The sacrifice is in my will, my wants, my obedience.

But when we lay down our sacrifices, God takes them and makes them full with beauty and fragrance.

That is what Compassion is to me.

Would you consider sponsoring a child through Compassion? It’s simple really.

Just $38 a month connects your child with a loving, church-based Child Sponsorship Program that provides:

  • Food and clean water
  • Medical care
  • Educational opportunities
  • Important life-skills training
  • Most important of all, your sponsored child will hear about Jesus Christ and be encouraged to develop a lifelong relationship with God.

Would you join with me and many others in breaking the cycle of poverty and bringing hope through the Gospel?

If you sponsor a child through Compassion or a similar organization how have they changed your life, your perspective?