Compassion...

Kenya 3

I am a skeptical jerk. Over time however, even the Grinch's little black heart began to change for the better. I've always made a thousand excuses about why we don't give money to global poverty.

"My mission field is here in my neighborhood." I would say.

And it is. I do feel called to draw those around me into an authentic relationship with this living Jesus who has changed my everything. But something has been stirring in me lately.

My wife Allison started a new job a few weeks back. We had been scraping by for a few months and now we are able to catch up on the bills that got stuffed into that junk drawer. I had planned to start giving more of our money to our local church, and I will, because we are truly investing in some amazing things God is doing around here...but I also feel led to give to something else. I'm feeling a call to give voice to the voiceless and help support those who can't support themselves.

Anne Jackson @ Flowerdust.net has inspired me quite a bit lately. She has informed me of the amazing things that Compassion International is doing. I've heard of Compassion before...probably a hundred times honestly, but I've been believing a lie that I don't have enough to give to something like that. I don't believe that lie anymore.

Last night Allison and I looked through photos of children in need on Compassion's website. Upon doing research it would seem that Compassion International is always at the top of the list when it comes to financial stewardship when it comes to money going directly towards the children. They have so many programs in place it's astounding. You can search for kids to sponsor in dozens of countries...there are so many that need assistance.

We sponsored two kids last night.

compassion

I picked Ana Rosa from Honduras simply because I've been there and seen the poverty. I had to pick someone quickly as I did not want to try figuring out who needed help the most. Ana had a little red heart on her picture that meant she has been waiting for more than six months for a sponsor.

Allison picked Miriam from Bolivia...another one of God's beautiful children. As I look at my daughter Ava, who lives here in the affluence of the US with all of her fancy things, my heart breaks a little. An axiom I like to live by is "Don't talk about it...be about it."

$32 a month is allowing me to be about it a little bit more. $64 monthly for two kids...hope will be boosted and there will be light in a dark place. Now as I slip into my cynical mind and begin to think of how little this will really help I have to stop myself and remember that I am a part of something much bigger than myself. If we all stop talking about it...and be about it, who knows what could happen.

Please check out these kids and sponsor one. I love what Tony Campolo said about Compassion and sponsoring a child. He says, "I don't think there are many things in my life that God is pleased about. But sponsoring a child through Compassion is one thing He is pleased about - I'm sure!"

If you do sponsor someone, I would love to hear about it. This is not bragging, but boasting in Christ.

25 waggish utterances thus far...:

Anne Jackson said...

Words cannot express how excited I am for you and your wife. You have made a decision that seriously, will change the life of a child and his (her) families for EVER.

I can't wait for you to start getting and sending letters to Ana Rosa & Miriam. It's crazy. Kids treat those letters they get like the way we treat our most valued possessions.

SO PUMPED!!!

Chris and I sponsor two kids - Abdukerim from Ethiopia and Linet from Uganda (who I had the amazing opportunity to meet).

Again, congrats!!!!!

MarthaBean said...

Hi Ryan - wandered over from PW a while back and like to stop by and check out your thoughts. Wow - you'll never regret this response to the "tug on your heart". Please check out www.lahash.net for another angle on a "grassroots" support for the vulnerable in our world. These folks are FOR REAL and I trust them completely.

Carly said...

When I was 8 years old I adopted a 10 year old from Africa, his name is Daniel. Fortunatly he doesn't need my $16.00 a month donation anymore. I still get letters from him a few times a year and he's doing amazing!

Debbie said...

You inspired me to go to the Compassion website and I sponsored a little girl in Africa. You are right, we are so blessed here in the US. I pray that my little contribution makes a difference in this child's life. Thanks for posting this.

the Billingtons said...

I'm encouraged when I read about (I am one)wanting to give to kids in 3rd world countries. I think it is a great start, but I know we can do better.

I wonder if you've heard of kiva. I'm leaving you the link. It is something my husband and I are giving a lot of consideration.

http://www.kiva.org/about
Kiva's mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty.

God bless you!

Anonymous said...

We sponser a little girl from India through Christian Foundation for Children and Aging. We chose her because she is 7 years old -- the same age as my youngest daughter. Her family of five makes only $60 a month and our sponsorship is $30/month, which is pretty much all suppose to go to the family. So for about the price of one dinner out for my family of five, we are increasing their income by 50%. Think about what it would be like to have your income increased by 50%! I almost feel guilty because that $30 is really nothing to us but it probably means so much to her. This group also wants sponsors for the elderly and handicapped and I have been thinking about sponsoring someone else but "just haven't gotten around to it." But I'm going to do it today!

the Billingtons said...

I'm sorry--that first part didn't make sense. I was trying to say that I'm encouraged hearing about Americans giving.

Cheryl said...

I have been a skeptic as well, but this seems legit. We will definately sponsor a kiddo today!

Shaun Groves said...

Incredible post. Thank you for your transparency.

Also, Anne keeps me inspired too. This morning it was by sending me a link to your post. Thank you for loving kids and posting about Compassion.

-Shaun
www.CompassionBloggers.com

Reagan said...

Hello, I found your site through Pioneer Women's Cooking Blog. I thought this post was great. It's funny because I posted on my blog today about a friend who has her own organization trying to help in Cambodia. I know there are tons of needs out there but you should check it out!

http://jereandreagan.blogspot.com/2008/08/freedoms-promise.html

Silvana said...

My husband and I sponsored 2 kids two weeks ago. Eframe from Ethiopia and Cinthia from Bolivia. I was born in Bolivia and have seen first hand the poverty. I am so grateful for living in this country. Thanks for the story!

Silvana

Marysol said...

Hi Pastor Ryan,
So glad you brought this up! We are missionaries in South Africa. I'm addicted to PW and found you through her.

Due to our ministry we are around children, dozens of them that have tons of needs and often feel overwhelmed. Like... seriously how do we make significant change in the long run?

God impressed upon us the message of "one". You feel overwhelmed by children in need? Go after "one". Thus we are also compassion child sponsers and have been doing it for years. Our little girl is in Haiti, she & I share the same birthday. We love it & think everyone should choose "one" kid and be committed to their life. Good for you guys!

Love your blog,
Marysol
www.blomerus.org

Aubrey said...

"Funny" you should make this post today as I just committed to giving to a Compassion child this month and, too, was struggling with my mission field being in my neighborhood. Thanks for the encouragement!

compassiondave said...

Good work and good word.

What are you doing next?

http://compassiondave.wordpress.com

Valerie said...

It's too easy to get sucked into the trap of "how much difference could I really make anyway?" and decide not to bother.

Reminds me of the old story about the little boy and the starfish...

julie strasser said...

we have a good friend who used to work for compassion. she traveled alot to different countries/compassion schools and i can vouch that they definitely are on the up and up. when i met my husband he already had a kid! he went on a mission trip to columbia with compassion after we married and met our kid! we sponsored him from the ages of 8 until he was 18. i think compassion is a great organization.

mollie said...

Here is a site you might like (in your spare time...haha)

whiteuntoharvest.org

Love your site...found you on pw
but we are almost neighbors. small world. Hope your baby is feelin' better!

McMom said...

We have a boy from Ecuador, Jonh, that we have sponsored through Compassion for about 5 years now. He is the same age as my youngest son. Michael W. Smith inspired my hubby to sponsor at a concert.

I found you on PW too!

carrie doan said...

So your 2 babies plus our 2 Kenyan babies plus Ava equals one large family.

Zach Younkin said...

Hey,

Thanks for the great post.

I just started sponsoring a child within the past few months.

I would appreciate it if you visited their blog, as it is quite a valuable resource.

Visit it http://blog.compassion.com

Kelly Belly Boo said...

We are a Compassion family, too! We sponsor a little boy in Honduras and just recently added a little girl to our family from Lesotho, Africa through World Vision. It's amazing how much our few dollars a month can change lives. God bless!

scott d said...

ryan... man... i need to do a better job keeping up on your blog...

we have 2 compassion children. rosita and james. and i need to write james a letter. tonight. cause it's been too long. our unofficial goal is to add a compassion child every year around christmastime.

i hear you loud and clear about "my missionfield is my neighborhood", but you are right to also be involved globally. we're so freaking filthy rich here that it's disgusting.

i live in the biggest, nicest house in an impoverished area. my boy james is in an aids-invested area in kenya. my "poverty" is nothing in comparison.

scott at impactwest dot com

Kristen said...

Compassion is such an amazing organziation. They are literally changing the world - one child at a time.

MelB. said...

I am really excited! A friend of mine gave me the link to your blog today. I found the compassion site and felt moved to sponsor a child from the Philipines. He had been on the list for 6+ months.

MelB. said...

BTW...I linked to your website and the compassion website.