I can’t remember exactly when it started, but I can remember watching a video one year on TV about kids who needed sponsoring? I had been a “church goer” all my life, but when I moved out to start my career in Toronto, I had made a “real” commitment to Christ and decided that I could not sit by and watch this show without responding. So I took the plunge and called in to sponsor my first child.
We continued with that child for quite some time and eventually, when he got too old for the program, continued with another child from that organization.
At one point my brother-in-law started working for Compassion in London, and of course, the pressure was to sponsor a child from there. It wasn’t much pressure, and certainly not from him, but we felt that we could afford it and so sponsored our first child with Compassion (we still had our other child as well with the other organization).
As our life progressed we learned more and more about Compassion and the work it was doing in other countries and were VERY impressed. It was not just some work on how to choose between a bouncer seat or a swing for a baby, although that is important too for good parents.
Its Christ-centredness was obvious and the letters we received from our children were remarkably different. While our one child from the other organization talked about wishing he had an Xbox for Christmas, our Compassion child was enthusiastically grateful for being able to purchase some clothes, a ball and some grain for his family.
During the summertime we attended a Christian Music Festival (Kingdom Bound) where Compassion was prominent. One year we listened as the speaker talked about the work of Compassion. Our daughter (who would have been 5 or 6 at the time) was enthusiastically up at the front, hoping to receive free stuff. When the speaker started to hand out a Child Sponsorship packet, she was more than happy to take it, and bring it back to us. How could we NOT be hooked at this point.
Over the years, our finances increased and we returned to Kingdom Bound regularly. It struck us that if we could spend so much money on a family holiday, how could we NOT spend that little bit each month to sponsor another child.
We now sponsor 7 kids around the world, and our oldest son sponsors 2 and our second son, one. Over the years we’ve chosen the kids based on dates (using family birthdays and anniversaries) and names and just plain cuteness. Every year we go to Kingdom Bound and every year the kids know that Dad’s going to come back with one more child.
God has blessed us, and so we need/want to bless others, and Compassion is a very real and tangible way to see our resources be used to reach out to these children, helping them in both a tangible and spiritual way.
This Christmas, why don’t you consider consider sponsoring a child would love to have a chicken, or a soccer ball, or clean water. If you don’t think you can sponser a child on an ongoing basis, why not buy that child that chicken, or soccer ball through the Gifts of Compassion program. We will. How about you?
LINKS: Compassion Canada, Compassion International, Gifts of Compassion Canada, Gifts of Compassion International
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