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