The treasured gift of life

“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Mat 2:11).

 

On this Christmas Eve, many of us are probably scrambling for that perfect last-minute gift. My husband left our home early this morning to brave the cold rain and busy stores and city streets to get just such a gift for me. My mind also reflects on another time when we give gifts, as I think of those close to us who are expecting their first child in the coming year. Again, we search for that perfect gift for the expectant parents and their new son or daughter. These gifts may only be treasured for a season, but during this time let us also remember the perfect and treasured gift of Christ.

I imagine the time of Christ’s birth was equally as busy, and the world receiving this miraculous gift was unprepared to unwrap it.

 

 

As we reflect on giving and new birth, I wonder if you would give a different kind of Christmas gift this year. In honor of Christ’s birth, someone you know expecting a child, or even your own child, would you give the gift of life and hope to mothers and their babies living in extreme poverty? Like Jesus’ mother Mary, these mother’s may feel unprepared to face all that lies ahead.

This Christmas, may we give and receive with hearts of worship to the king who came to give his life, and may our hearts be fit to be his home, as he brings peace amidst the chaos of this not-so-silent night.

Day 30: Give a gift with blessings beyond the wrapping this Christmas!

As we wrap up the month of October and our 31 days of compassion series tomorrow, it is hard to believe that we will soon enter the holiday season. Have you done your Christmas shopping yet? Admittedly, we have not. As we each consider the gifts we will give this Christmas, have you thought of giving a gift that will bring blessings beyond the wrapping? Have you thought of giving a gift in honor of someone to help release another from poverty in Jesus’ name?

 

Give a gift this Christmas from Compassion International’s 2013 gift catalog!

 

Instead of making snowmen just to get out of your driveway, dealing with holiday traffic both on the roads and in the stores, and standing in line long enough to memorize the fruit of the Spirit, why not take a moment to bless more than one person with your Christmas giving this year? You can spread God’s love around the globe and honor someone you love with the same gift. Show compassion to someone this Christmas.

 

Possible gift ideas

 

Below are just a few of the possible gift choices you have and how you can personalize these gifts for someone on your Christmas list.

 

Mothers and infants

 

In honor of your mother, a friend who is expecting or has an infant, or someone who cares for infants through ministry or employment you can:

 

• Feed a mother and baby for a suggested donation of $14.00

• Give the gift of a newborn care package for a suggested donation of $34.00

• Provide an infant with a year of medical care for a suggested donation of $55.00

 

Healthcare

 

• In honor of your dentist, give a child dental care for a suggested gift of $20.00

• In honor of your doctor, provide treatment for illness or injury for a suggested gift of $40.00

• Partner with others to provide lifesaving surgery for a suggested donation of $100.00

 

Safe Water and Sanitation

 

• In honor of your plumber, provide a Compassion center with bathrooms for a suggested gift of $25.00

• Provide water wells for a suggested gift of $30.00

 

Education

 

• In honor of your librarian or book club, provide adult literacy for a suggested gift of $22.00

• In honor of a college student or professor, develop a future leader for a suggested gift of $40.00

• In honor of a student or teacher, provide textbooks for a suggested donation of $40.00

• Partner with others to provide students with vocational training for a suggested gift of $25.00

 

Income generation

 

• Honor someone with chickens by providing chickens to a family for a suggested gift of $42.00

• Honor a small business owner by partnering with others to help a family start a business for a suggested donation of $25.00

 

We pray that you will take this opportunity to bless and honor someone by giving a gift with blessings beyond the wrapping this Christmas season. We would love to hear how you are sharing the gifts of Compassion catalog with your family and friends, or the creative ways in which you are honoring others this year.

31 Days of Compassion

Meet Compassion

What do you think of when you think of the word poverty?

Dictionary.com defines poverty as “little or no money, goods, or means of support; condition of being poor.” Poverty is so much more than this. Poverty is more than a lack of basic necessities.

 

 

Now that we’ve defined what poverty is, let’s talk about what we can do about it. We want to introduce you to a ministry close to our hearts, that is releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name! Compassion International was started by American evangelist Rev. Everett Swanson in 1952 as a way to help Korean War orphans, and has since grown to releasing over 1.2 million children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty in 26 countries around the world. Compassion enables the children they support to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults.

 

 

“Releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name” is not a slogan. For Compassion, it is their God-given mission. Learn more about the ministry of Compassion International by going here.

 

There are 4 things that make Compassion’s ministry distinct.

 

Compassion is Christ-centered.

 

Jesus Christ is at the center of everything that Compassion does. God’s Word gives us multiple mandates to care for the poor, and children are very close to the heart of God.

Every child registered in Compassion’s child Development sponsorship program has the opportunity to hear the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ, and each child is given the opportunity to know and build a relationship with their creator. Each child is given a Bible, and these children take home what they learn in the Compassion program about Jesus and share the love of Christ with their families.

 

 

Compassion is child-focused.

 

Compassion believes in a holistic approach to individual child development. Each child registered in Compassion’s child development sponsorship program receives regular medical checkups and access to education through tutoring, school supplies, tuition assistance or uniforms. Children are taught social skills, health and hygiene practices and vocational training. Children are also given access to nutritious food while at the Compassion project. Each child is taught about the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and given the opportunity to know and build a relationship with him. Children are also linked to a sponsor who has a one-on-one relationship with that child. As a sponsor, you have the unique opportunity to build a life-changing relationship with your sponsored child. By exchanging letters with your sponsored child, you have the ability to speak life into what otherwise may be a dark and desolate situation. You are able to plant seeds of hope in your sponsored child’s heart, and through your words of encouragement your child will know that both you and Jesus care about and love him/her very much. You may be the one person who tells your sponsored child “I love you.” As the sponsor of a Compassion child, you are the hands and feet of Jesus. For just over $1.00 a day, you can release a child from poverty!

 

 

Learn more about the benefits your Compassion-sponsored child receives for just $38.00 per month.

 

Compassion is church-based

 

Compassion International partners with the local church in your sponsored child’s community to provide culturally relevant age-specific ministry and care for each child involved in their program. A Compassion project, student center or child development center refers to the local church in that child’s community. The Christian adults in this church care very deeply for your sponsored child, and they want to see your sponsored child succeed. The church staff and volunteers make sure your sponsored child receives individual attention and that your child hears and knows of the love of Jesus Christ.  Each church partner is carefully selected by Compassion through a strategic process. Learn more about how Compassion partners with the local church and the church partner’s role and responsibilities.

 

Compassion is committed to integrity.

 

Compassion is committed to Biblical and financial integrity in everything they do. At least 80 percent of your $38.00 per month tax-deductible donation goes directly to care for your sponsored child, and Compassion acts in true honesty and humility with each aspect of their ministry. Learn more about Compassion’s commitment to financial integrity.

 

Along with child sponsorship, Compassion International has 3 other major programs that we’d like to tell you about.

 

CSP (Child Survival Program)

 

 

• 90 percent of child deaths worldwide occur within the first year of life.

• In developing countries, one in every six infants is not immunized against tuberculosis.

• Only 55 percent of the world’s infants are fully immunized against hepatitis B.

• Only 69 percent of newborns are protected against tetanus.

• Approximately 37 percent of deaths among children under 5 — 9.7 million worldwide in 2006 — occur in the first month of life.

• Each day, about 1,000 children worldwide become infected with HIV, the vast majority of them newborns.

• Although about 33 percent of HIV-positive pregnant women receive drug therapies to prevent the transmission of HIV to their infants, only 11 percent of HIV-positive women in sub-Saharan Africa who need antiretrovirals had access.

• Nearly 15 percent of babies in developing countries are born with a low birth weight compared with only 7 percent of babies in industrialized countries.

• In Sub-Saharan Africa 55 percent of children under 5 have never been registered; worldwide nearly 50 million children each year are not registered and begin life with no identity.

• Every day 1,500 women die from complications in pregnancy or childbirth that could have been prevented. Each day 10,000 newborns die within a month of birth, and daily the same number of babies are also born dead.

• Nearly 30 percent of women worldwide give birth before age 18.

• Some 200 million women who wish to space or limit their childbearing lack access to contraception.

 

Reading these statistics above, you may be thinking that this is a hopeless situation. There is hope for these mothers and infants. Compassion’s Child Survival Program provides pregnant mothers in poverty with prenatal care, and when their baby is born these mothers are taught how to properly care for their new little one. Along with basic child care skills, these mothers are taught income-generating skills, budgeting skills and about the love of Jesus Christ. Just as with the child sponsorship program, the Child Survival Program is run by the local church.

 

 

 

LDP (Leadership Development Program)

 

After graduating from Compassion’s Child Development Sponsorship Program, some young people have the opportunity to attend college and grow in Christian leadership and discipleship through Compassion’s Leadership Development Program. These young people are overcoming their circumstances to become doctors, lawyers, engineers, social workers, teachers, pastors and more. Through the Leadership Development Program, these young people are realizing the dreams that God has placed in their hearts, and they are learning to be all that God has created them to be. They are receiving training in Christian leadership and discipleship and being mentored by a Christian in their community.

 

 

CIV (Complementary Interventions)

 

Compassion’s core programs highlighted above are wide-reaching. However, they can not possibly meet every single need associated with a child’s healthy development. This is why Compassion has created their Complementary Interventions program to assist in meeting these needs when necessary. The CIV covers:

• HIV and AIDS Initiative

• Medical Assistance

• Malaria Intervention

• Curriculum Development

• Health & Parenting Skills

• Education & School Fees

• Assistance for Highly Vulnerable Children

• Disaster Relief

• Providing Clean Water

• Income Generation

• Infrastructure Development (repairs or rebuilding of homes or Compassion church partner buildings)

 

Compassion International is making a global impact in the Kingdom of God. From before a child’s birth until university education, many children’s lives have been changed forever. These children have been released from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty. These young people are now making a difference and changing their world. Will you join them? Will you join us? Will you make an eternal difference in someone’s world today?