For years I have been a Compassion International sponsor. I sponsor a little boy in India. His mother is a maid and they can barely afford to eat. Compassion feeds him and helps him with the cost of clothing and school supplies. They give him a Christmas gift each year and a birthday gift. They ensure his success by providing him with a Christian education and summer/field trip opportunities. They nurture him in his own environment... they love him in a way that is hard for someone on the outside (like me) to do. The only involvement that is required of me is to write to him as often as I can and to send less than 35$ a month towards meeting his educational and physical needs.
The great thing about Compassion is that I get letters from my sponsored child. He calls me his auntie. He loves to get notes from my kids and always calls them his brother and sister. He treasures our photos and draws us pictures. He enjoys getting educational information about America and learning about our culture, customs and holidays. Writing to him has been an important part of our homeschool adventure through the years. I couldn't recommend Compassion enough to all homeschool parents!
Each year Compassion hosts a "Compassion Sunday" and asks for prayers, donations and new sponsors for the children around the world who are in need of help. The official Compassion Sunday 2008 date is April 13th... but sponsors (like me) and churches are encouraged to pick a date that works for them if that date doesn't work. Any day is a good day to sponsor a child if you don't already sponsor one. Every day is a good time to pray for Compassion and for your child that you already sponsor. Remembering others in prayer is a great way to teach your kids to think beyond themselves and about God's purpose for them as Christians.
Not only do you get the benefits of feeling as if you are doing something to help those in need through Compassion, but your kids will also be able to learn more about the country/culture that your sponsored child lives in. We have a link to India now that we did not have before. Often times when we study geography, the kids will look to see how far the country they are learning about is from their "brother" in India. Compassion makes geography personal.
If you don't have a sponsored child and there is some way you can bless the needy with less than 35$ a month, I encourage you to check out their website and look through the photos of children waiting for sponsors. Chances are, like me, you will fall in love with one of them and your life will never again be the same!
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