One week from today I’ll be preparing to travel with Compassion International to Tanzania where I will visit Child Development Centers with a team of bloggers. Each day we will share our experiences, our thoughts, our feelings. I expect to be heartbroken by the poverty in which so many children must grow up. I hope to be inspired by the work Compassion is doing to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. And I pray that I will move readers take a look at their own lives, their own hearts, and find a way that they can join Compassion in their work.
Today is Compassion Sunday and therefore feels like the right time to begin introducing Compassion International to those of you who are not familiar with the organization. There are millions living in poverty around the world today, but Compassion gives you the opportunity to change the story for one child. For my family, that has meant sponsoring Meke, a now nearly 16 year old boy in Ethiopia, as well as contributing to a group sponsorship of a little girl in Tanzania named Jamila. I look forward to sponsoring another child in Tanzania beginning next month, and I will share my story of meeting that child during my trip.
Some staggering statistics…
- More than 9 million children under age 5 die each year. Two-thirds of these deaths – more than 6 million every year - are preventable.
- Over 1.4 billion people in the developing world live below the poverty line [U.S. $1.25 per day].
- In developing countries, approximately 130 million children and teens - age 17 or under – have lost one or both parents.
Sources: www.unicef.org, www.undp.org, www.worldbank.org, www.who.int, www.freeworldacademy.com, www.un.org, www.timesofindia.com
To help put this into perspective personally, I keep a poster next to my desk that leads me to this site: WhoAreTheJoneses.org.
Compassion sponsored children receive services through a local church. They are provided with health services, education assistance, and supplemental food and also hear the Word of God. They are not required to be Christian, and families who are not Christian are not refused services.
If you feel called to today, I ask you to take a moment and visit Compassion International‘s site and learn more about how you can change the story for one child in need. And I ask you to follow my journey next month as I visit Tanzania and see the work that God is doing through Compassion.