Compassion International

Have you heard about Compassion International? I LOVE Compassion International. If you’re unfamiliar with CI, it’s a non-profit organization based on Christian principals that allows people like you and me to sponsor a child anywhere in the world for a very little monthly price. We pay something like $35 a month to CI and our selected child is able to attend school on a daily basis with that money. He also gets Christmas presents, daily meals for himself and his grandparents who care for him, clothes, and a birthday gift every year. How amazingly cool is that?

Step One: Look

We started praying about sponsoring a child over a year ago. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but when we first married, we were po’ {couldn’t even afford the ‘or} and then when we were more on our feet, it was hard choosing who to sponsor. If you visit the link provided above, and look through the thousands of children around the world who need sponsors, you might feel overwhelmed. I did.

Explore the website. Research them. You’ll find that unlike other organizations, the money you send to YOUR child goes to YOUR child. You get to communicate with your child. We get letters, drawings, pictures, etc. from our sponsor child in HIS handwriting, which is so cool to my kids and me. He asks about our daily life in Texas. We ask him about his life in Kenya, and he responds. We correspond. We get to know each other. He prays for us, we pray for him. Seriously. It’s incredible.

Step Two: Pray

If you’re interested in sponsoring a Compassion International child after you’ve explored their website and you feel you understand their mission and their heart, then pray. Pray like crazy. Pray that God would reveal to you the child you are meant to sponsor. For us, this took months. It was about six months between the time I first learned that Compassion International was an organization to be trusted that truly makes a difference in the world and the time we actually chose a child to sponsor.

I visited their site almost daily with a prayerful heart, searching through hundreds of faces from around the world, looking for the one that would be our sponsor child.

When you sponsor a child through Compassion International, you are committing to them until they are adults. You are committing to pray for them, send monthly money to them, send birthday and Christmas gifts to them, write to them, send them pictures, and love on them until they are 20 or 21 years old. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly. It’s not a decision to hop in and out of when money gets tight. When money gets tight, we sacrifice so our Compassion child can thrive. Cutting him out is no more of an option to us than not feeding our own children.

One afternoon many months after our hearts had been touched with the desire to sponsor a child around the world, I logged onto the Compassion website. Travis and I had already talked and we had decided that we have a heart for orphans. As foster parents, we have a special heart for the children of the world who have no parents. Luckily, you can narrow your search on the CI website to certain ages, children who are HIV positive, orphans, children living in war-ridden regions, etc. We narrowed our web search to orphans. I didn’t care about age, but I was thinking it would be neat if the child was close to Buggy’s age.

I prayed before searching as I had many times before, and I hit “search.”

Step Three: Choose

Hundreds of pictures of orphans from around the world popped up on my screen, and one little face in particular grabbed my heart. He was the second picture on the page. I didn’t notice his country, his birthday, or his gender. I noticed his name. Gift.

The Holy Spirit whispered to me through that child’s eyes. He said, “This one. He’s the one you’re going to love on and walk with for the next two decades. This one is yours.” 

His name is Gift.

How beautiful and perfect and fitting is that?

Gift lives in Kenya.

He is two years older than my son and has a smile that resembles the stars.

Gift has lost his parents.

At six years old, when we first started sponsoring him, Gift was the bread-winner for his family. He lives with his grandmother and cares for her.

Today, Gift is enrolled in a Christian school. He’s a believer. He loves Jesus. His grandmother loves Jesus. He plays soccer {or football, as it’s called in Kenya}.

He writes to us, draws us pictures, tells us about his friends, prays for us {incredibly humbling}, and sends his prayer requests to us.

Some people choose their Compassion child because they share a birthday with a loved one. Others choose their child because they share a name or country of origin with a beloved friend or family member. Sometimes they choose a particular child because they share a name or age with their own child.

I believe that God chose Gift for us.

He IS our Gift.

Step Four: Invest

Our lives are now enmeshed. Gift is enmeshed with us and we with him.

Although correspondence is slow between us and him, we hear from each other regularly. When we get that envelope that says Compassion International across the side, Buggy jumps up and down with joy.

I can say honestly, Gift is loved in this home.

His picture is posted in our living room. On our fridge. His drawings are displayed in our kitchen alongside the drawings of my own children.

We belong to Gift and he belongs to us.

We study about his country.

We talk about his hobbies.

We look at his picture and pray for him.

Committing to this child on the other side of the world is not a decision we have walked into lightly. But when we committed to him, we committed our entire family to him. I include my children when I write him. We send him stickers, pictures, drawings, crafts, and bookmarks. Anything that might pass through customs, we send.

Through Compassion, my kids are learning love on a higher level than I could teach them alone.

My Challenge to You:

Please follow the above steps. Explore it for yourself. Ask around. Research Compassion. Look into the organization. Pray. Look into your monthly budget to determine if you might be able to afford to sponsor a child. Then pray for the child that God has for you to sponsor. Please consider these precious children and the small amount of money and effort it takes on our part to change their lives forever.

You will be surprised at how much they change your life too.




1 Comment

Filed under Personal Posts

One response to “Compassion International

  1. Nanny

    Wonderful for Gift. This experience truly is life changing for him and for his grandmother. Wonderful for your family. God has a plan for Gift’s life. Your monthly contribution help Gift find and do God’s will for his life. God bless every one of you.

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