Compassion International is a business that is able to bring children and families out of poverty because of monthly donations from people like us. They have been in the business of “compassion” since 1952. Many of us would consider ourselves “compassionate” when asked to list out traits about ourselves, but something that I have been challenged by this last year has been acting on that compassion. The dictionary’s definition of compassion is as follows…
Deep awareness of the suffering of another accompanied by the wish to relieve it.
I find this accurate, but also lacking one last component. Where is the action? If we have a deep awareness and desire to relieve the sufferings of other human beings, why is it not also part of the definition to actually do something about it? This is something that I asked myself last October as I decided to sponsor a child through Compassion International, but I had excuses.
“I’m a poor college student. I make minimum wage and have bills to pay. I’m in the process of a divorce and losing a large part of my income. I have medical bills stacking up. I’m not at a good place with God. It doesn’t feel right having a small innocent child looking up to me.”
Instead of listening to the numerous excuses in my head, I prayed. The packet was already there in front of me. I had taken it from the table of a Compassion Sunday booth from another church earlier that year. The more I looked at Kyle’s little face, a four year old child from the Philippines, the more personal it became. He had old worn down sandals on his feet, and pants that were too short. On the card the words “This child has a medical need” jumped out at me. This is an actual human being that needs my help. $38 could just be the difference between passing up on Starbucks 7 times a month or saving change in a jar. I could be the light for this child in a dark and scary place. I could be the reason he is able to receive things in life that I so often take for granted, like food and water and shelter. I could literally save his life by paying for frequent health checks and allowing him access to the life-saving truth of the Gospel.
Now, several months later, I just received my second letter from Kyle. As I read through the letter, I was in tears. He is learning how to write at the community center that he attends, the exact center that my money was going to. Although the writing was nearly impossible to read, the Tagalog and English translations were right next to each attempted word. His favorite book: The Bible. His favorite thing he has learned about in school: respect. He has also been learning about the importance of hygiene. At the bottom of the letter he wrote, “Dear Kirsten. I love you.” And he drew a picture of me and him and a heart. These are the moments that make it all worth it. I have no doubt in my mind that this was something God is using in my life. Not only to help Kyle and his family, but to help me in my walk and encourage me.
Compassion Sunday was a huge success at Candlewood-Lincoln this year. I would like to personally thank each and every person who decided to take a packet and pray about sponsoring a child. It is not something that you will regret.
If you would like to look into sponsoring a child through Compassion International, click here. They are currently having a hard time getting sponsors for older children, so that is something to prayerfully consider.
Watch a child and her mother as they learn that she now has sponsor.
The Wait is Over