Monday, July 7, 2008

How You Can Change the World

This post is part of the 40 Day Fast, a collaborative effort by 80 bloggers to draw attention to the world's great needs hosted by Inspired to Action. Be sure to also check out Charley's post today.

There are so many needs in the world. It hurts me to see people suffering, and my instinct is to want to jump in and "fix" it all. But the fact is, I can't fix it all -- I can't even fix all the things that are actually fixable. The needs are too great. When I read about people who are dying or suffering unnecessarily every day from starvation, from water-borne illnesses, from preventable or treatable diseases, and more... I am just overwhelmed. If I gave everything I had, my contributions would still be but a drop of water in a vast ocean of need.

Perhaps you've felt this way. Maybe you give what you can anyway but wonder if it's really doing any good. Maybe you feel so helpless that you just try to push it out of your mind and go on with your life. In the past, I've dealt with it both ways.

But this all changed for me when I was introduced to Compassion International. I realized that although I cannot change the world, I CAN change the world for one child. That concept was so eye-opening to me. It means that my small contributions aren't just a drop in the ocean anymore -- they make the difference between poverty and enough for one little boy or girl. And not just some nameless faceless child across the ocean that I'll never know about, but a child whose face I see on my refrigerator every day, a child who writes regularly so I can see for myself the impact my contribution is making in his/her life, a child who grows up to be a mommy or a daddy that is able to support his/her children and break that no-longer-endless cycle of poverty. Now my small contributions have significance and meaning.

If you're like me, if you've been so overwhelmed by the needs of the world that you wonder if you can really make a difference, I encourage you to consider sponsoring a child through Compassion. Your money provides for the child's physical and mental needs (this varies according to the needs of the family, but may involve food, clothing, medical care, education, vocational training, etc.) and your personal involvement provides for the child's emotional and spiritual needs as you offer love and encouragement through your correspondence. By meeting the full spectrum of need, you effectively change the world for that child. You break the cycle of poverty for that family. The far-reaching effects of this are astounding -- think of all the people your child will impact through his/her life. And it was all made possible by you.

I'd like you to meet Daniela... this paragraph edited -- Daniela now has a sponsor!! Thank you!

Let's find sponsors for more children -- how about 8 year old Amanda from El Salvador. She has been waiting more than six months. Will you put an end to her wait?

Or perhaps you could help little 5 year old Patrick in Ghana. He has already been waiting more than 6 months for a sponsor. Please end his wait today!

If you have questions about how Compassion works, feel free to check out their website, or ask questions here in the comment section, but here are the basics. The cost is $32 a month; you may select a child from their website, and the child will be linked only to you. Only you will be providing for that child, only you will be corresponding with the child. You may write to your child as often as you like, and your child will write back a minimum of three times per year. You will also receive yearly updates on your child's progress, with a recent photograph. You are encouraged to sponsor your child until they graduate from the program (about age 18-21) but if your circumstances force you to give up your commitment, another sponsor will be found for your child so they will not be removed from the program.

I've been a Compassion sponsor for about nine years now, and have never been sorry. If interested, you can meet my Compassion kids in this post:

And if you're thinking $32 a month won't fit in your budget, here's a simple idea that enabled me to support another child that you may want to consider. You can read about it here:

If you do decide to sponsor a child, I'd love to "meet" them -- will you please leave a comment, "introducing" us to your chosen child, or letting us know if you have chosen Gabriela or Patrick? (I love the word "chosen" -- just think how special your child will feel when they are told they have been chosen by you...) Please choose a child today.


Charley said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing today,I'm praying for you.


Shaun Groves said...

Thank you for posting about Compassion and for partnering with Compassion to release kids from poverty. I'm praying for you today.

euphrony said...

Praying for you today. Thanks, especially, for highlighting specific children - it really puts a face, humanity, to what you are saying.

Amy said...

The children I sponsor through Compassion are part of my heart. One of my sponsored children is in Bangladesh which has made the global food crisis that much more real. Thanks for the post.

nancy said...

Praying for you today. Thanks for getting the word out about Compassion!

Brad Ruggles said...

Great post. I'm just getting caught up on some of the 40 Day Fast posts I haven't read yet. This is a great reminder to be a part of these kids lives in a practical, generous way.

Carolyn F said...

I'm working my way thru the compassion bloggers list. Come meet Upendo on my blog if you have time, and god bless you for the time you put into sharing Compassion.