And the winner is…

For day 10 of our 31 days of compassion, we were challenged to read and review a book about poverty or another culture from around the world. However, the challenge did not stop there. As part of that post, we announced our first-ever blog giveaway! You were asked to submit your stories of a time when someone took a moment to share compassion with you, and we were very blessed by your responses! Today, we are excited to announce the winner of “Just a Minute” by Dr. Wess Stafford.

 

And the winner is… Breanne!

 

Breanne, please email us at compassioncalling1 [at] gmail [dot] com this week with your mailing address so we can send you your book. To everyone who entered to win, thank you again for your entries. We thoroughly enjoyed adding everyone’s book recommendations to our reading list and reading your stories of compassion! We are looking forward to doing another contest in the near future, so please stay tuned for your chance to win!

31 Days of Compassion

Day 14: Children showing compassion Part II: Sending the joy of Jesus this Christmas!

 

Yesterday, we shared three ways in which children could learn about their peers living in poverty around the world. For day 14 of our 31 days of compassion, we want to share with you a creative opportunity to bless these children this Christmas! This is a fun activity that can be done with children, if those little hands are indeed available. If not, you are more than welcome to participate and bless these children yourself!

 

Send Christmas cards to unsponsored children!

 

There are children registered in Compassion International’s program that do not have a one-on-one relationship with a sponsor. While their friends receive letters and Christmas cards this holiday season, these children will stand by quietly and wish they had someone to share the love and joy of Jesus with them from across the world. By sending Christmas cards to these children, you can bring a smile to a child’s face and share the special gift of Jesus with him or her. Your Christmas card may be the only communication that child receives all year!

 

How can you participate? We are so glad you asked!

 

•Your card(s) can be anything from a simple store-bought Christmas card with a written message to a hand-made card decorated with stickers and glitter.

• Please do not put names or any other identifiable information anywhere on the cards or envelopes in which they are enclosed, (minus the mailing envelope of course).

• The individual envelopes in which the cards are enclosed should not be sealed.

• Please do not include any enclosures with your cards such as pictures, stickers, or coloring sheets. Simply send the Christmas cards themselves.

• Once Compassion receives your Christmas cards, they will be sent to the country offices for distribution

• Anyone can participate, as the more Christmas cards that are received; the more children will be blessed!

• Please be sure your Christmas cards arrive to the Compassion International Global Ministry Center by December 2, to ensure they arrive to the children by Christmas.

 

Send your Christmas cards to:

 

Compassion International

ATTN: Suzanne Hall

12290 Voyager Parkway

Colorado Springs, CO 80921

 

Possible messages to include in your Christmas cards

 

• Share your favorite encouraging Scripture such as Jeremiah 29:11, 1 Peter 5:7, Joshua 1:9, or Matthew 11:28-30.

• Share a Scripture from the Christmas story such as Luke 2:10-12, or Luke 2:14.

• Share a message about how much God loves this child

• Share your prayer for this child this Christmas and in the year to come

 

Ways to invite others to join you in spreading God’s love with these Christmas cards

 

• Make Christmas cards as a family

• Make Christmas cards with your Sunday school class or children’s ministry

• Invite local schools to have their students make Christmas cards

• Invite friends to your home and have a Christmas card making party

• Invite your church family to join in the fun with a church-wide Christmas card party

• Invite your student ministry or youth group to make Christmas cards together

• Invite college students on-campus to make Christmas cards

• If you are connected with a daycare, nursing home, or other place where crafts are encouraged, make this an opportunity for others to bless children around the world

• Have your scout troop make Christmas cards

• If you volunteer in prison ministry, see if the inmates would like to make Christmas cards

• If you volunteer at a local homeless shelter, encourage residents to make Christmas cards

• If you are involved with a place that serves individuals with disabilities, invite them to make Christmas cards

• See if a local business or radio station will collaborate with you in a Christmas card collection campaign

• Find other creative ways to share this ministry, and tell about them in the comments!

 

Turn on your favorite Christmas music, get out your art supplies, and be ready to spread God’s love around the globe this Christmas season!

31 Days of Compassion

Day 13: Children showing compassion Part I: Learning about poverty

Learning about and caring for children in poverty is not just for adults. In fact, children respond well to the needs of their peers around the world. Many times, children are beautiful examples of what it means to show the love and compassion of Christ. Today and tomorrow for days 13 and 14 of our 31 days of compassion, we want you to invite the children in your life to spread God’s love around the globe. Today, we will focus on how children can learn about the needs of their peers who live in poverty.

 

Christian homeschool curriculum

 

Compassion International has designed a Christian homeschool curriculum for students to explore other cultures and learn how they can respond to God’s mandate to care for the poor. While this curriculum was designed with a Christian homeschooling family in mind, I believe it could also be used in a Christian school, Sunday school, or other children’s ministry setting.

 

Have you used this curriculum in a homeschool or children’s ministry?

 

If so, can you share with our readers and us about your experiences? What setting did you use this curriculum in? What were some creative ways you were able to incorporate this curriculum into your lesson plans? What did your students learn from studying the Scriptures and doing the included activities? How were they inspired to spread God’s love around the globe?

 

Quest for Compassion: An interactive online game just for kids!

 

Quest for Compassion is an online game designed to teach kids about children living in poverty. Players will be able to create their very own travel friend as they explore different cultures in a Christ-centered way through educational activities.

 

Have your children went on a quest for Compassion lately?

 

If so, what did they learn from the experience? How were they challenged to care for children in poverty as a result of playing this game? What was their favorite thing they learned about another culture that is different from their own?

 

Compassion explorer magazine: A magazine for kids and us bigger kids at heart!

 

You do not have to have children with you to enjoy this magazine, but smaller people with big hearts will surely make the memories more enjoyable! Compassion Explorer Magazine includes recipes, crafts, games, devotionals, and so much more to teach about culture and poverty from around the world. This magazine is available online and in print. Just as with the above resources, this would be a blessing for any family or children’s ministry.

 

Have you or your children enjoyed the Compassion Explorer Magazine?

 

If so, what was your favorite part? Did your family try any recipes, play any games, or make any crafts you would like to share and recommend? How were you or the children involved challenged to spread God’s love around the globe?

 

Be sure to share these ministry tools!

 

We highly encourage you to share the above ministry tools with your family and friends, homeschool families, Christian schools, and children’s ministry leaders. As Compassion International partners with the local churches in the 26 countries where they work, children registered in Compassion’s program have the opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel. Allow the children in your life to do the same by giving them the opportunity to obey God’s mandate to care for the poor. If you have any ideas on how to engage children in caring for those in poverty, please let us know! Tomorrow, be sure to join us as we explore a fun and creative way children can minister to their peers living in poverty around the world this Christmas!

 

31 Days of Compassion

Day 12: Bite back against a mosquito

We are now in the season where the weather is trying to decide whether it should permanently turn to fall, but it was not long ago when we were outside swatting mosquitos. Their incessant whiney buzz was annoying, and we have all found ways to stop the itch they leave behind. What if the situation was different? What if one mosquito bite turned deadly?

 

For many in the developing world, this is a constant reality. However, it does not have to be this way. For day 12 of our 31 days of compassion, we want to take some time to learn about Malaria. However, we cannot stop there. We cannot just learn about this deadly bite and simply breathe a sigh of relief that we need not worry. With your donation, you can help a family live and thrive. You can tell them they need not worry anymore. Will you join us and bite back against a mosquito on behalf of a family living in poverty?

 

 

31 Days of Compassion

Day 11: Learning about HIV/AIDS

While we may have learned about HIV/AIDS in high school health class, Andy and I do not remember learning of the global epidemic. We learned that AIDS was a sexually transmitted disease, and the relationship between HIV and AIDS was questioned and debatable. Since that time, we have learned more about HIV/AIDS. We have learned not only of the devastation, but the fact that although there is not yet a cure, there is treatment and help available.

 

Today for day 11 of 31 days of compassion, we want to challenge you to expand your knowledge of HIV/AIDS. As you educate yourself, pray for the millions affected and those bringing hope. Pray also for the many children affected and orphaned by this global crisis. Once you have learned about HIV/AIDS, share your newfound knowledge with your family and friends. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those suffering from HIV/AIDS. Tomorrow, we will learn about something very small that effects many, and how each of us can help a family live and thrive.

31 Days of Compassion

Day 10: A reading challenge and our first-ever blog giveaway!

Yesterday for day 9 of our 31 days of compassion, we spent some time watching a movie or documentary highlighting issues of poverty or another culture from around the world. We would love to read your thoughts and experiences, and we will post our reflections soon as well. Today’s post is for those of us who love to read. We are also very excited to have our first-ever blog giveaway available. Please read on for further details on how you could win!

 

Today, we are choosing to read and review a book about issues of poverty, God’s heart for children, and spreading the love of Christ through kindness and compassion. I will be reading “Too Small to Ignore” by Dr. Wess Stafford, President Emeritus of Compassion International. I look forward to reviewing this wonderful book here on the blog when I am finished reading it.

 

Join us by taking the reading challenge!

 

Will you join us to read a book about compassion, poverty, and/or spreading God’s love around the world? After reading your chosen book, will you take some time to review it and let everyone know your thoughts and reactions? How did the book you chose to read impact you and encourage you to show compassion to others? What will you do in response to reading this book to spread the love of Christ locally or around the globe?

 

Are you looking for a book to read and review?

 

Go here to explore some recommended books. Please also share your book recommendations in the comments. We look forward to adding more books to our reading list.

 

Enter to win “Just a Minute” by Dr. Wess Stafford

 

As our first-ever giveaway here on this blog, we are excited to offer “Just a Minute”, the second book written by Dr. Wess Stafford. In light of international shipping costs, we ask that only readers from the United States participate. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post sharing a time in your life when someone took a moment to show compassion and the love of Christ to you. Please also mention that you wish to win this book, so we can distinguish between those entering the giveaway and those simply sharing their stories with us. If you are under 18 years of age, please obtain your parents’ permission before entering to win. We will pick someone to win a copy of this wonderful book, and all entries must be in by no later than Sunday, October 13, 2013 to be considered. We look forward to reading everyone’s inspirational testimonies of compassion!

 

 

31 Days of Compassion

Day 9: Watch a movie or documentary

If you enjoy movies, documentaries, and learning about other cultures, then you will enjoy day 9 of our 31 days of compassion. Today, we want to watch a movie or documentary that highlights poverty or another culture from around the world. This activity may not be appropriate for younger viewers, unless parents are able to find suitable material. If this is possible, please share what you found in the comments. Andy and I are of course planning to do this activity with you today, and we are looking forward to learning more about poverty and/or other cultures. We have not yet viewed such movies or documentaries, so this is a new experience for us.

 

Here are some movies and documentaries we found

 

• As we forgive: Shares about the healing and forgiveness that has occurred since the Rwandan Genocide

• The First Grader: Based on a true story, this movie tells of an 84-year-old man in Kenya who wants to become literate in response to a new law for universal education.

• Half the sky: Profiles women in ten countries who are fighting to turn very tragic and oppressive situations into stories of hope

 

Have you seen any of the above titles? If so, would you recommend them? Why or why not? Do you have any recommendations of movies or documentaries that highlight issues of poverty or other cultures from around the world? Do you have any movies or documentaries you would suggest for younger viewers? What did you choose to view for today’s challenge, and what were your thoughts? How did this experience prompt you to show compassion to others? We look forward to reading and sharing your experiences, and be sure to come back tomorrow for our first-ever giveaway!

 

 

31 Days of Compassion

Day 8: Praying for children in poverty

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Mat 18:20).

 

If you have prayed for another person or had someone pray for you, then you would agree with me that prayer is very powerful. Whether the need is related to health, finances, relationships, ministry, salvation, or employment, prayer is a driving force in the body of Christ. Without that intimate conversation with our creator, we have a breakdown in our vital relationship with him.

 

Today, as we begin day eight of our 31 days of compassion, we want to gather to pray for children in poverty around the world. While we could simply pray for the Lord to bless and be near to all children in poverty, and we should pray for this, we have a unique opportunity to pray for children by name. We may not see their faces, but God sure does. He knows their needs, and we have the privilege of joining hearts across the globe and lifting our voices on their behalf.

 

Will you join us in prayer?

 

Through a free monthly prayer calendar delivered right to your email inbox, Compassion International gives you a unique way to pray specifically for children and staff involved in their ministry. Andy and I receive the prayer partner newsletter, and it has challenged us in our relationships with the Lord. As we intercede on behalf of children in poverty who are so very close to the heart of God, we feel a deeper connection with the creator of life.

 

Let us take a deeper look inside the prayer calendar

 

When I open the prayer calendar email each month, I am challenged by an overall message to take away. The message for this month reminded me that children observe and imitate those around them. Not only am I challenged to pray for the children and staff in Compassion’s ministry, but also I am reminded that the children in my life observe me and imitate what they see.

 

Highlighting needs around the world

 

Each month, the prayer calendar highlights specific needs around the world. These needs could include:

 

• Children and staff suffering loss because of natural disasters

• Safety and protection for those in vulnerable situations

• Children who are victims of abuse and other violation

• Children at-risk for or suffering from health concerns

• Family, friends, and sponsors grieving the loss of a precious child’s life

• Children grieving the loss of family members

• Family members suffering from health concerns

• Highlighting specific ministry partners and programs

• The ministry of sponsors and Compassion advocates

 

Scripture tells us repeatedly that the Lord hears the cries of his children. What prayers has God answered for you lately? Can you share a time when you have been blessed by someone praying for you? Will you join us and become a prayer partner with Compassion?

 

 

31 Days of Compassion

Day 7: Seaking answers on this treasure hunt

We have hit the one week mark of our 31 days of compassion. Did you join us yesterday to quiz yourself about global poverty? If not, you can still participate here.

Now that we have gotten our feet wet with a 10-question quiz, you may have more questions or want to dive into the facts even further. Today is your chance to do just that. Ask those tough and nagging questions. See the statistics for yourself. Share the statistics with others, and commit to act in response to what you discover.

 

Who doesn’t enjoy a treasure hunt?

 

We want to take you on a treasure hunt. Find the answers to the questions shown below, and challenge your friends to help you! Choose or invite friends to each find the answers to 1-2 questions, or think of your own creative way to get others involved. As you complete the treasure hunt, remember that beyond the many numbers, there are people—real people with faces and names. In fact, the Lord knows the number of hairs on their heads (Luke 12:7). As you learn more about global poverty today, please do not close your eyes to the reality of these beautiful people and do not let the statistics overwhelm you. These statistics show despair, but you can show the hope and love of Christ. The first step to showing compassion is to learn the facts.

 

Treasure hunt questions

 

• Approximately how many children die each day as a result of diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation?

•  Diarrheal diseases can be reduced by more than _____ percent through _____.

•  _______ are the second biggest killer of children worldwide

•  How many people worldwide are infected with HIV each day?

•  If all the world’s water could fit in an average bucket, how much would be drinkable?

•  How many people are born worldwide every second, and in that time how many deaths occur?

•  True/false: The average person in the developed world uses 13 gallons of water per day for toilet flushing.

•  In the least developed countries, _____ percent of all children are engaged in child labor.

•  How many people die of AIDS each day?

•  True/false: 1 person in 10 battles hunger every day.

•  Annually, how many children worldwide begin life with no identity?

•  Approximately how many children ages 5-14 are involved in child labor in developing countries?

• How many children under age 5 die each year? How many of these deaths are preventable?

• What is one of the major public health challenges undermining development in the poorest countries in the world?

 

To find the answers to your treasure hunt questions, go here. Once you have completed the treasure hunt, please leave the question and answer that impacted you the most in the comments. We would also love to know how you invited your friends to join you! May this activity prompt each of us to desire change, and in response to that desire we will do our part to make a difference. Tomorrow, we will learn how we can pray with a clear focus for the needs of children living in poverty.

 

 

31 Days of Compassion

Day 6: A pop quiz on poverty

We are almost a week into our 31 days of compassion, and we have been challenged to consider what compassion looks like to God, to others, and to us. Andy and I are looking forward to continuing this series, and we pray you will join us. Yesterday, we shared how we can each spread God’s love locally. Today, let us expand our focus and begin looking at poverty from a global perspective.

 

As the title of this post indicates, we have a pop quiz. Let me assure you that this is not like the pop quizzes we all endured in grade school. Please do not go back to yesterday’s post and think you missed some homework or need to study. You will not receive a grade, but you may be challenged to look at poverty in a completely new light.

 

To learn more about global poverty, take this 10-question quiz. These few moments may change your life and the lives of others forever. You will be challenged by the contrast of poverty and progress of hope displayed.

 

Andy’s reflections on the quiz

 

Going in, I thought the quiz would be difficult. I was right. This quiz was indeed difficult. I found that I did not know as much as I first thought about poverty and statistics I previously thought Compassion had researched on their own actually came from other sources. Learning that Compassion has taken statistics from these other sources has given me more respect for this ministry that I already love. Before now, I had never looked in-depth at Compassion’s sources. I had always heard statistics given by Compassion and simply assumed they had done the underlying research themselves.

 

Miranda’s reflections on the quiz

 

As I began this quiz, I was surprised at the exactness of the first question. While I have considered statistics with larger numbers and timeframes, I did not expect the question to have such a narrow focus. I struggled throughout the quiz to know many of the answers. As an official advocate with Compassion who has seen numerous amounts of stats, it can be easy to feel I know more than I actually do about poverty. This was a humbling realization. However, poverty is very complex. As I reviewed my answers compared to the correct ones, I saw glimpses of hope where I first thought poverty had a greater effect. This experience was eye opening and encouraged me to continue fighting on behalf of children in poverty.

 

If the 1-hour conversation Andy and I had this morning is any indication, then this quiz is a great discussion starter! We want to hear your thoughts and reflections in the comments, and we will give our thoughts on specific questions in response. Additionally, please share this post via your social networks below, and encourage your friends to discuss their thoughts and reactions to the quiz and what they have learned.

 

Five Reflection questions

 

  1. What were your initial thoughts as you started the quiz?
  2.  Were there any questions you struggled to answer? If so, what ones and why?
  3.  What is at least one new thing you learned about poverty that you did not know prior to taking the quiz?
  4.  How does what you taught from this quiz challenge you to respond to the problem of poverty?
  5.  Would you encourage your family and friends to learn more about poverty around the world by taking this quiz? If so, please share it via at least one social network below.

 

Taking this quiz gives us only a glimpse of poverty around the globe. As I mentioned above in my initial reflections, poverty is very complex. Join us tomorrow as we break down some of the problems faced by individuals who live in poverty. We will talk about education, health, hunger, and more.

 

 

31 Days of Compassion