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Compassion Sunday Changed Our Lives

Compassion Sunday is coming up! This weekend, we will hear Pastor Tom Oyler’s reflections on his Compassion vision trip to Guatemala for pastors. Each of us will have the opportunity to forever change the lives of children through our prayers and support. Following Compassion Sunday, there will be an opportunity to attend Compassion 101 on June 1, an informational orientation for anyone who has considered child sponsorship. Below is the story of one GFC family whose own lives were altered through a Compassion Sunday several years ago.

On the mantle of our home is a brass plaque etched with Joshua 24:15: "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." My wife Lesa and I, along with our daughters Jessica and Jordan, have always searched for ways we could love the Lord by serving others.

In 2012, our family decided to sponsor a child in Peru. Just before the service began on that Compassion Sunday, Jessica came running into the auditorium, handed us a child packet, and proclaimed, "This is the one!" I didn’t realize how much that day would change our lives. Jessica has since been on two reaching trips to Peru, Lesa and I have been on one, and all of us have spent time with our sponsored child, Isaac.

What is really amazing on these trips is seeing how Compassion goes about their ministry. Some organizations focus all their energy on collecting funds. Not Compassion. It’s much more than just writing a check. Their time is focused on their mission: sharing Jesus’ love with children.

As a new sponsor, Compassion sent us a welcome packet. This packet had information about Isaac and shared how sponsorship provides education, healthcare, food, and instruction about Jesus. 80% of Compassion’s expenditures are used directly on programs that transform children’s lives!

We receive periodic photos, updates about Isaac's progress, letters from his pastor, newsletters about Compassion’s work in Peru, and the Compassion Magazine, which tells of Compassion’s work worldwide. However, most importantly are the letters received from Isaac! His father Javier, his mother Karina, and his brothers Farid and Aaron are part of the Dwomick family. Their family photo sits next to our family photo, which is next to the photo of all of us together in Peru.

When we visited Peru, we got to see firsthand how effective Compassion’s model is of working through the local church. Because the local staff is personally acquainted with each sponsored child, they understand their unique needs. Further, we got to see Compassion’s accountability. Each local center is audited and their programs evaluated in terms of long-term effectiveness. Beyond this, annual financial audits show how the income is used. Compassion is also committed to being Christ-centered as each child has an opportunity to hear the Gospel and learn God's Word. Compassion is committed to being child-focused and engages each child as a complete person, treating them with respect and dignity. Compassion is committed to being church-based by working through local churches. And Compassion is committed to integrity through its dedication to delivering outstanding programs that meet the highest standards.

Compassion offers we at GFC a huge opportunity. Christ has used Compassion to grow my faith and love for Him and for others, and I look forward to my next letter from Isaac and, Lord willing, another trip to Peru one day.

I close this as Isaac closes his letters: "I say bye with a big hug."

Ted Dwomick

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Luwona Wilkinson wrote:
Ted, our family sponsors a little girl in Peru also. Her name is Maria. One day we hope and pray that we will see her in person. We look forward to getting her letters with joy. She always draws mountains, and flowers and her little house. That is her gift to us. She also asks us to pray for her family. It is an honor to do that and to help her in Christ's name. Once we made the commitment we never looked back. It is truly a humbling and rewarding experience.

Sun, May 18, 2014 @ 3:27 PM

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