It was at a Breakforth conference in Edmonton in 2007 when I raised my hand to receive a very special envelope. Compassion Canada representatives had left their booth to work the crowd, holding up packets much like you’d see ushers selling programs at a concert. Each packet held details about a child in a third world country awaiting sponsorship.
It was something I had always wanted to do. I’d already stopped by their booth and looked at photos of these precious kids, but still I hesitated. Now, when I felt my heart pounding, I knew it was time. I waved the guy over.
“Lord,” I prayed. “Whichever envelope I am handed, that is the child you want me to sponsor. I won’t trade it.”
Seconds later, I was looking into the face of a little boy from Ecuador with at least four fancy Spanish names. I sponsored him until he moved out of the sponsorship area, then Compassion replaced him with another boy around the same age named Tarion. We exchanged letters for several years. Each time I received a new photo of Tarion, I could see him growing taller and more mature. Last fall, he too moved out of the area—although at 17, he would have “aged out” soon anyway.
So I called Compassion to see about being matched with another child.
“Would you like another boy?” the lady asked.
“You know what?” I said. “Since I first signed on for this, God has given us five grandsons and no granddaughters. I really think I’d like a little girl.”
Perhaps it’s politically incorrect to categorize children into only these two designations these days, but that doesn’t seem like a high priority to those struggling simply to survive.
She laughed and asked if age or nationality mattered. I told her wherever the need was greatest would be fine. Children are automatically ranked by greatest need, and the first girl on her list was a four-year old named Sara from Colombia. Now she’s MY little Sara, and she’s as cute as a bug!
Compassion Canada reports that sponsored kids are 27% - 40% more likely to finish secondary education, and 35% more likely to have professional careers than their unsponsored peers. Further, Compassion kids are 40% - 70% more likely to become church leaders. This is because Compassion takes a holistic approach, rather than simply handing out food or clothing. Real and lasting change happens when children are developed physically, mentally, relationally, and spiritually to become the adults who will create change in their community. These children grow up to be givers and community leaders. All for $41 a month off your credit card!
If you ever want to check on the rankings of charitable organizations, a good place to look is the 2018 Charity 100 list produced by MoneySense. As its name suggests, the list names the top 100 charities in Canada and gives letter grades, based mostly on efficiency. It’s a great way to ensure your giving dollars go as far as they can for the cause you care about. I was pleased to see Compassion Canada near the top. On Compassion’s website, you can view pictures and details of the children awaiting sponsorship. Or call them at 1-800-563-5437. You will never regret it!