In my last post, I presented some ideas as to how you can get kids excited about serving others through hands-on opportunities that are fun, meaningful, and concrete. In this blog post, I will focus on how to engage the children in your life in showing Godâ€™s love to a boy or girl in a third-world country through child sponsorship.
There are number of child sponsorship programs out there. My family has sponsored three children over the years through three different child sponsorship programs. I â€œmetâ€? my most recent child four years ago when God called me to sponsor a child through Compassionat a Michael W. Smith concert.
What distinguishes Compassion from other organizations is that it is Christ centered. You can freely share the gospel to impact a young childâ€™s life in the name of Jesus. In sponsoring a child, you are fulfilling Jesusâ€™s words: â€œWhatever you (do) for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you (do) for me.â€?
Here are some ideas as to how to engage children with Compassion child sponsorship:
Before you sponsor a child:
- Talk to your children about why it is important (and/or why you want) to sponsor a child in a third-world country. Draw on biblical references such as the one mentioned above.
- Involve your children in the process of choosing a sponsor child.Â Narrow down gender, age, and area of the world, and then explore the website (see links below) to find the child just right for your family.
- For older children, have them research and find out more about the country of the child they have chosen. What food might they eat? What is the weather like? What do the houses look like? Does the landscape of the country have mountains, deserts, or cities? What language do they speak?
Once you have started sponsoring a child:
- Keep a photo of your sponsored child on the fridge, or framed on a wall or other location you walk by often.
- Encourage your children to write to your familyâ€™s sponsored child regularly. If your kids are too young to write the letter themselves, write a letter on their behalf using their own words. Compassion makes it easy to correspond with your sponsored child by sending blank stationery, along with updates for your sponsored child, which can help for talking points for your letter.
- Visit a dollar store and have your children choose an inexpensive, thin (less than Â¼ inch thick) gift (such as stickers or bookmarks) for your sponsored child a few times a year. Sponsored children also love to receive photos of your family.
- Or, if you prefer, you can send a letter on-line (see links below). Sending your letter on-line makes it easy to upload photos.
- Encourage your children to include your sponsored child in their prayers. Even better, make it a regular family activity you all do together.
- Remember your child on special days such as Christmas and his or her birthday. Compassion has infrastructure in place for you to do this simply, easily, and inexpensively.
- If finances permit, sponsor more than one child so that each of your own children has his or her own special friend.
Going the extra mile:
- If you and your family have the desire and ability to visit your sponsored child in person, Compassion can help facilitate that process.
- Visit the links below to find out more about the Child Survival Program, Response Program, and Leadership Development Program.
Hereâ€™s a little bit more about Compassion:
- Compassion partners directly with local churches to provide the spiritual leadership, nutrition, health care, and education these children need to release them from poverty in Jesusâ€™s name.
- This year, Compassion turns 50, impacting more than 1.5 million people in 26 of the worldâ€™s poorest countries this year alone.
- Sponsoring a child costs only $38 per month (US) and $41 per month (Canada).
For more information on Compassion, please go to http://www.compassion.com/. In Canada, please go to: https://compassion.ca/ambassador/sallymeadows.
Remember this: By sponsoring a Compassion Canada child, youâ€™re not only changing his or her life â€“ youâ€™re changing your own.
Sally Meadows is a singer/songwriter and freelance writer from Saskatchewan, Canada. Her burning passion is to advocate for those who have been downtrodden or marginalized in society. Sally has recently partnered with Compassion Canada as an Artist-Ambassador to help release children from poverty in Jesusâ€™s name.
Sally is a published author and has been shortlisted twice for a Canadian national Word Award in the category â€œsong lyricsâ€?. She is the featured artist at the â€œa beautiful lifeâ€? womenâ€™s conference in Romeo, Michigan, on October 18, 2014.
To connect with Sally, please go to:
Website: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â http://sallymeadows.com
Facebook:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â https://www.facebook.com/SallyMeadowsMusic
YouTube Channel:Â Â Â http://www.youtube.com/SallyMeadowsMusic
Compassion page:Â Â Â Â https://compassion.ca/ambassador/sallymeadows
Email:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â [email protected]
Twitter:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â @SallyMeadows