Do you ever think about the children who are living in extreme poverty and don’t have access to safe water? Do you think about the little ones who are forced to work to help pay bills and therefore can’t go to school? Do you weep for the babies who go to bed hungry every night and are dying from preventable diseases? Do you wonder why God doesn’t do anything?
I believe God has a plan for eradicating extreme poverty and it’s us – his church. He’s given you and I resources and opportunities to be his hands and feet to a hurting world. As a mother, I would do everything within my ability to provide my children with basic needs, and if I couldn’t, I would be forever grateful to someone who stepped in to walk alongside us.
This is what sponsorship is about. I first became involved in the ministry of Compassion International more than 20 years ago when I sponsored my first child, Judith, in Kenya. Through letters, I developed a relationship with Judith and quickly saw the benefits she was receiving through Compassion’s program. She was healthy, educated and growing spiritually. After several years, she graduated from the program having been released from poverty in Jesus’ name.
Compassion works through the local church in 26 of the world’s poorest countries. I have experienced the success of this ministry in several ways. I have sponsored children for long periods of time and seen them not only survive in poverty, but thrive and overcome their circumstances. I have traveled to three different countries and met children we sponsor. I’ve stood in their homes and met their parents. In January of 2015, I traveled to Nicaragua and met Josseling, a girl we sponsored for 12 years. Just weeks before I met her, she started classes in journalism at the local university, and she has officially completed Compassion’s program.
On June 5, you will also have the opportunity to hear the story of one of Compassion’s graduates and see for yourself how God uses the ministry of child sponsorship to release children from poverty. Gilbert Mfitundinda of Uganda will be here to share his story. He was the youngest of eight children, raised in a remote region of southwestern Uganda. His father passed away when he was young, and his mother’s part time work as a peasant farmer barely kept the family fed.
When he was 7 years old, he was invited to participate in Compassion’s child development program and thus received nutritious meals, healthcare, education and the opportunity to pursue higher education. He was able to attend college and was the first of his family to graduate from college.
His story was changed because someone like you stepped up to become his sponsor.
Gilbert will share a small part of his story during the Sunday morning service, but you are all invited and encouraged to come back in the evening to hear his whole story during our Compassion Event! (Sunday June 5th, 6:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall). We are very excited to welcome him to Harvest and to introduce you to this opportunity to partner with God in this way.
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Luke 18:16
It’s shoebox time! For the past couple of years, Harvest Christian Church has been participating in Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child. We’d love to invite you to participate with us this year. There are several ways to get involved.
1). Pack your own box. First of all, choose a gender and age group for the child you want to send a box to. (girl or boy – ages 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14). Get a shoebox or other similar sized box. (I like to use plastic storage containers with lids because then it doubles as a nice household item for the child or family receiving the gift). Shop for items to put in your box (see list below for ideas).
2). Donate items to put in boxes. We’ll be collecting donations at the church. Simply go shopping and buy items you want to donate – make sure they will fit into a shoe box (see list below for ideas).
3). Donate $ to cover shipping costs. Each box costs $7 to ship overseas. If we assemble 50 or more boxes, that cost adds up quickly.
4). Help us assemble the boxes. Come to the church on Saturday, November 21st and help us put the donations into shoeboxes.
– Jill Foley
For more information about Operation Christmas Child, click here.
If you’d like to make a financial contribution, you can click here, and make a one-time gift. You’ll have the option to donate it to the Operation Christmas Child fund.