So I have the privilege of being on a trip to El Salvador with a team of pastors to see the work of Compassion International. In our trip book, provided by Compassion, it has a daily devotional and place to journal your experience. It asks the question, “What ONE WORD best sums up this day for you?”
For me, the answer is “Impressed.” Day one was spent touring the Compassion office in San Salvador and learning the inner workings of Compassion. I was impressed by several things.
I was impressed by the dedication and passion of the staff. They have a huge staff of people. They have to because this operation is massive. For one, they translate about 3000 letters A DAY from sponsors writing to the children in El Salvador. But beyond the people overseeing the translation, all of the staff (and we met most of them who shared anywhere from 5-20 minutes about their role with Compassion) were so passionate about the program and the impact it is having on children and families. Color me impressed.
I was also impressed by the organization and apparent and potential impact Compassion has. It was really powerful to me to hear and see how Compassion is using my sponsorship dollars to change lives.
This is Compassion’s mission: In response to the Great Commission, Compassion International exists as an advocate for children, to release them from their spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enable them to become responsible and fulfilled Christian adults.”
They have three programs that serve children and families – from birth to about 25 years of age.
Child Survival Program – Work begins with pregnant mothers to help with the health of their unborn child, and then walks with the mothers through the early years of childhood to educate about health. They also connect the mothers with the good news of Jesus through Christian teaching, and attempt to connect the mothers in the community to one one another for support and community building.
Child Sponsorship Program – This is where our sponsorship money goes – to developing children lives in four areas: spiritual, physical, social/emotional and cognitive/educational. My families $38 a month is used to help with one specific child – giving them opportunity in an impoverished environment to succeed.
Leadership Development Program – This program provides scholarship money and training for graduates of the Child Sponsorship Program who show exceptional leadership skills. They receive both university training and Christian leadership training.
I could say so much more – but time is short.