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Entries in child sponsorship (157)

What Sponsorship Does Today... And Tomorrow

Does sponsorship make a difference?

You may wonder about that when you pray over the photo of a child you've put on your fridge, or when you get communications from us in the mail. This commitment I've made, does it matter?

A few months ago, two staff from One Child Matters headquarters in Colorado Springs traveled through Ethiopia and Kenya on their way to Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

As always, God directed their steps, bringing two children to the projects just so they could meet. Our friends had other meetings on their schedule, but when they met these two, it was obvious that God had something to say to us through them.

First: Antony. He attends a One Child Matters project in Kenya which helps him succeed in the nearby government school. Antony was eager to tell us all about his sponsors, even begging us to go to his house so he could show us their picture.

Antony's home is a simple mud structure, and when our friends stepped inside the dark hut, they were astonished to see a shelf built into the mud wall. Antony's mother had ensured her son would have a place to study by candelight. It is that little mud shelf you see at the beginning of this video:

Antony's love for his sponsor is so clear, so profound. His prayers are sincere, and their photo cherished.

We wanted to share Antony's story with you because sometimes it's hard to see the difference you are making on this side of eternity. But oh, just imagine the reunion in heaven when Antony will finally meet those who invested in him!

We pray that as you seek ways to make a difference in the life a child today, you recognize that sponsoring a child is effective and important. Which is why we've been talking so much about Hiwot, a young woman in Ethiopia who was sponsored from age 8 until she graduated.

Hiwot's gratitude was so evident, we asked her to share her story with all of our sponsors. Today, Hiwot has a bright future, and her heart for God continues to grow. Take a few moments and learn more about how sponsorship continues to shape Hiwot's life.

We love how sponsorship reflects the love of God into the heart of a child in need. And we are so grateful for your partnership in transforming the lives of children all over the world. Thank you for standing up, for proving that one child matters to you!

Children Who Say “I Have A Dream”

Today is the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. On August 28, 1963, more than 200,000 people gathered to demand equal opportunity: they marched "for jobs and freedom." Martin Luther King, Jr.'s moving proclamation -- what we now call the "I Have A Dream" speech -- has challenged and inspired this nation ever since.

As we remember that powerful time in U.S. history, we also look around the world at the countries we serve and are reminded that many children are denied opportunities to achieve their own potential at nearly every turn, often due to circumstances and cultures that formed long before their time.

Husni in 2008, with his slum behind him. Dreaming is a rare privilege for children living in extreme
poverty – but as sponsors, we’re in the dream business. The faithfulness of your support opens doors once forcefully closed for children living in rural Kenya and the refugee camps of the Middle East and other areas around the world.

In the slums of Delhi, India, we have several projects who have seen how sponsorship nourishes the dreams of children.

In the neighborhood where Husni grew up, darkness and hopelessness seemed to be everywhere. His father was a day laborer and struggled to find enough work to support Husni, his brother and three sisters. When his mother learned of the child development center opening, she rushed to enroll young Husni in the program for young children. Because of the lack of stable income, the family could only afford to send one child to school, and that was Husni.

Husni’s family faced many challenges. His father died in 2007, leaving only his mother to care for the children. She began selling vegetables house to house to try and make ends meet; Husni’s brother fell in with bad company and became an alcoholic.

Husni with his mother this year.Husni worked hard to help his mother, but he never let his dream of finishing school die. The staff and teachers at the child development center inspired him and kept him on steady moral footing through the Bible teachings. Many of Husni’s young friends became aimless and ran in the wrong crowds, but not Husni. Because of the influence of the teachers and staff, Husni knew that he was a young man with purpose and promise.

As Husni matured and succeeded in school, the project staff recommended him for a diploma program in computers run by the government of Delhi, and Husni was accepted! He continues to help his mother and always dreams big. “I want to achieve great things in life, and I want to help other children who are suffering and have no one to stand with them,” Husni says. “I know that whatever I am today it is because of this program and the love of my sponsor.”

Alleemah in 2008.

Aleemah also lives with many dreams, but this was not always the case. Although her family was considered part of an upper caste and middle class, things fell apart after her father became mentally ill and began wandering the streets. With no income, Aleemah’s mother tried to become a day laborer but could not make enough to feed Aleemah and her older brother and sister. The family lost everything.

Moving into the slums of Delhi was difficult on everyone, but Aleemah’s mother suffered the most. A month before her death, Aleemah’s mother went to the local One Child Matters program and pleaded with the staff to take care of her children if something happened to her. After their mother died, Aleemah and her siblings were forced out of their rented room and had nowhere to turn but the child development center.

Aleemah looks back on that time as the valley of death, but now she looks forward to a great future. “I could see the hand of a living God as I studied and understood that the Bible talked to me. The loving God was taking care of me, and I could not help but fall in love with this great and mighty God.”

Aleemah today. “My God and my sponsor stood with me during these hardships, they helped me find hope and life,” she says. Aleemah is finishing her 12th grade and wants to become a nurse to help other children. “One Child Matters helped snatch me from death and hopelessness,” she shares. “I have been sustained and educated, and I live with a purpose. And I am eternally grateful.”

You can also help a child rise above the fear and hopelessness of extreme poverty through sponsorship. Sponsors are tangible reminders of God's love during the most formative times in a child's life. Thank you for considering the unique opportunities sponsorship provides for children who can go forward with purpose, because they often go on to selflessly help others!

A Colorful Guide To What We Provide

Sponsorship is a unique gift for a child. Your support opens doors, builds up confidence, and encourages your child’s heart.

Because we often emphasize the importance educational support plays in your child’s life, it’s natural for many sponsors to assume that all of our programs are schools.

Although the roots of our ministry trace back to schools in India, less than half of our programs are schools in the formal sense. Roughly 55% of our programs are child development centers (CDCs), and children attend on certain afternoons or Saturdays for fun activities that help them learn and grow.

Do schools and child development centers differ much in what they provide for children?

Yes and no – because both ministry settings are designed toward meeting the holistic needs of the children, there is some overlap. If something will help a child reach their God-given potential, we want to provide it.

Each project and program is designed to meet the needs of children in a particular region, yet those needs may vary greatly. Some services are provided by the government, as well. Does it help to see the common elements for our ministries in 15 countries around the world?

The Lesson Of A Letter

Each summer, we send you a special mailing to help you bless your sponsored child. When we first did this in 2010, you sent postcards that said You Are Loved! In 2011, you wrote out prayers for your child’s well-being and future. Last year, you focused your prayers on your child’s health.

We have been so encouraged by your heartfelt messages and prayers, and we know the sponsored children in our programs are even more blessed by it!

With that in mind, we are asking you to write another letter – this time focused on your own education along with a special message for your child. Why are we focusing on education?

Education is so vitally important to breaking the cycle of poverty that we try and make every activity an opportunity to learn and grow.

Did you know that receiving a letter from you helps your sponsored child learn?

We've written before that a letter from you is a tangible reminder that they are loved. The encouragement they receive cannot be underestimated.

Yet letters can be more than that! Reading a letter is an interactive literacy lesson, and one loaded with joy and delight because each note is a gift, something wholly devoted to them.

Receiving a letter is also a chance to exercise reasoning. As they read through what you wrote, your child can connect the dots from previous questions they may have asked and formulate new ones. They get to practice their penmanship, too!

All of these are new skills rarely if ever taught (let alone practiced) in a traditional classroom in their country, yet each is an incredibly valuable skill to have later in life.

And what if your child is young and doesn’t know how to read yet? Can you imagine how much more eager to learn so they can read your letters again and again? Just look at how Miguel responded to a letter:

“Miguel says hello. Child is 7 years old now. He also says he likes school. He also says he wants to learn writing for writing his letters by himself. – Miguel, Dominican Republic

Tomorrow we’ll share why it’s important to share about your own school experience. In the meantime, take a moment to read over these snippets from other child letters.

"Thank you for loving me so much and sent me a nice message, and soon learn it by heart and use it in my life. I love you very much." – Damarais, Dominican Republic

“I have received your sweet letter thank you so much for the lovely letter. I can feel your love through every line of your letter that you loves me so much. Now I am in class III and I am doing hard work in my study. My favorite subject is Bengali. I do pray to my Lord Jesus Christ for your wellbeing. I am fine here. Please take my love." – Your sponsored child Pratik, India

“I forgive you for take so long to reply to my lovely letter. I know education is very important because will save me all the rest of my life. I like you so much. My God bless you garden and the vegetables. Did you enjoy soccer? I enjoy it.” – Tebesutfu, Swaziland

"Your letter is in my hand, I have read it so many times. I like to read it again and again, thank you so much for your nice letter and help. You have written that God is wonderful and he forgives us again and again, but I want to know is it necessary to ask forgiveness if we say lies for something good? Thank you for praying for me to be a doctor." – Sangeeta, India

“Thank you for spending your time to wrote me a letter. Even if it’s just a letter it was valuable because it shows your love and care for me. I am so lucky that God loves and cares for us. And I also have you as my sponsor. You know what I feel when you sent me a letter? I am so happy that I almost reach the stars in the sky… – Ivan, the Philippines

How has your sponsored child expressed their thanks for your letters?

Happy Independence Day!

A thought-provoking phrase is on the Korean War Memorial in Washington D.C., "Freedom is not free."

Today is a day we celebrate our country's independence, and the One Child Matters office is closed so we can spend time with our family and friends.

And yet, it is a day like today that reminds us of all we have and all those who sacrificed to secure it for us. And that's what sponsors do -- you sacrifice for the good of others. You give of your own selves to help children have a better chance at life.

Thank you for all you do -- for the way you are rescuing children from the grip of poverty, and how you do it so humbly, with a smile and prayer. Thank you for bringing children freedom!

What Is Ramadan?

Muslims around the world are preparing to celebrate the beginning of Ramadan. If you sponsor a child with a Muslim background, what does that mean for daily life?

Click to read more ...

Modern-Day Nehemiahs

"Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the desert."-- Nehemiah 9:19

The book of Nehemiah tells the story of a man of considerable leadership faced with a daunting task: rebuilding the walls, and consequently, the heart of Jerusalem.

We face a similar task when we sponsor a child from Jordan or Lebanon. And just like Nehemiah, we need to be wise and sensitive to both the task at hand and the people we are working with because just as in Nehemiah's time, there are people who oppose the work in progress.

Many laws in Jordan and Lebanon prohibit overtly Christian work -- especially evangelism -- yet God has opened doors for our ministries to continue working in areas that desperately need love and support. And so we continue to serve the children, meeting their physical needs and praying to provide for their spiritual ones.

This honor and responsibility is not something we take lightly. Program workers creatively share their faith and love on these children in tangible and powerful ways. Outside of the school or center's environment, our programs put together summer activities and camps where they can continue to minister to the children.

Yet in the current political climate, any organization with international ties is subject to scrutiny. In response, we operate in a sensitive, careful way to protect the work we feel God has given us for the sake of His children.

We don't live in a culture with such consequences for faith. We rightly see sponsorship as a ministry. And because we are spurred on by the Great Commission and accustomed to our freedom of expression, we often seek to proclaim Christ with our sponsored child in explicit ways: sharing the gospel in our letters, writing out Bible verses for our child, declaring Jesus' great love.

These are not bad things but they are dangerous for our workers and ministry there. We cannot send letters with explicitly Christian content to these areas. The heart behind the words is beyond honorable, but the risk is too great: parents may withdraw their children, and schools already closely monitored will be shut down, effectively ending a ministry for all of the children in that community.

When faced with threats and intimidation, Nehemiah had but one effective weapon: prayer. In Nehemiah 4:9, we read that the people prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.

Please help us guard against the threats to our work. Do not include Bible verses or references to Jesus Christ in your letters. It may seem counterintuitive, but references to Christianity or the gospel puts this life-changing ministry in danger. Stickers or cards with Bible verses or Christian symbols cannot be sent on.

Although these restrictions may be frustrating, please continue to write to your child. This region is rife with turmoil and hardship. Your letters are an invaluable source of stability and encouragement. Tell your sponsored child that you are proud of them. That you care for them. Ask about their daily lives.

Be assured that your sponsored child is learning about Jesus from people who love them and live out the faith before them. Our staff members are modern day Nehemiahs, burdened for these people yet savvy in this perilous environment. And like Nehemiah, they need to know that they have allies and partners in this great yet subtle work.

As sponsors of children in these countries, we need your help to further our ministry among children there. Thank you for your faithful prayers and support. Your commitment is helping us build into the children of this storied region.

Giving Children A New Place To Play

How many of us grew up on a playground, chasing friends and competing to see how high we could swing?

Should children growing up in poverty be denied that opportunity?

Get a glimpse at what one devoted group of generous donors did for thousands of kids in Swaziland!

Click to read more ...

Mlandvo's Story -- John 14:18

When five-year-old Mlandvo’s mother died, the cause was listed as “undisclosed sickness.”

In Swaziland, this is how a community refers to the fact that the person had HIV/AIDS. Mlandvo’s mother succumbed just as several of his father’s other wives had. Polygamy is common in Swaziland, and in some ways this hastens the spread of the disease.

In some ways, it also explains why so many children are left to fend for themselves.

In other ways, it does not – although Mlandvo’s father was still alive, he did not live in the same house. And as is common with these polygamous family situation, his father’s other wives were not interested in caring for Mlandvo and his younger brother, Simiso.

Instead, Mlandvo and Simiso were left in the care of their older sister. She was enrolled in the equivalent of 9th grade and had a chance at creating a better life if she completed school. And so Mlandvo and Simiso would stay at home while their sister was in class.

With these additional responsibilities, Mlandvo’s sister was soon overwhelmed. Mlandvo became very sick, and Simiso was growing weaker and weaker. Their father did not believe in seeking medical treatment, and thus their little lives were in peril.

And yet nearby was a One Child Matters child development center. The staff at the Ludzeludze center became aware of Mlandvo and Simiso’s situation and intervened. Because the center had access to a local clinic, they secured testing and treatment for HIV and tuberculosis.

One staff member relates that “Mlandvo would be lying helpless on a sick bed or even have died a long time ago” without the assistance of the center staff. One Child Matters' Children’s Crisis Fund provided consistent support so Mlandvo and his brother could continue their treatments.

Mlandvo is slowly gaining weight and growing stronger. He receives daily meals at the child development center, and special protein-enriched rice packs are available for him to take home to supplement those meals. He is enrolled in the center’s preschool and is excited about learning and playing like all little boys.

This is the ministry you support – help to those physically orphaned and left with little recourse. Because of your giving, we can continue to offer help to children like Mlandvo – and that help comes in the form of medical assistance, nutritious food, and love and support from caring adults.

When speaking to his anxious disciples before his crucifixion, Jesus comforted them by saying, "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you" (John 14:18.) And so do we. One Child Matters works to help those in the greatest need, especially the children.

To learn more about the Children’s Crisis Fund that helps children like Mlandvo, click here.

Hibraimo: A Better Chance In School

When a child joins a One Child Matters program, do his parents notice a change?

Six-year-old Marielsy’s mother did. In a letter to her sponsor, a project worker relayed a sweet scene: 

“Marielsy says that when her family is having lunch she prays for the food and her mother cry of joy for having her praying.”

It could be the smallest little change, but what an encouragement to a parent’s heart!

Hibraimo’s mother had a similar experience. Her son was a shy little boy who was often scared of others. And yet after a year of attending one of One Child Matters' child development centers in Mozambique, her son was confident enough to correct her before dinner.

“I used to always eat without praying over my food,” his mother said, “but one day Hibraimo corrected me and told me that we needed to pray before we ate.” Where would her son have learned such a thing?

The child development center Hibraimo attends is like many of One Child Matters' programs around the world: it provides a space to minister to children physically, socially, educationally, and spiritually.

The last two areas were especially important for Hibraimo. Entrance into the Mozambican school system is difficult for two reasons: schools are overcrowded and places are limited for new students.

To make matters worse, there is no national preparatory kindergarten to help children learn how to learn. Mozambican schools start at first grade, but many young students do not have a solid foundation to begin learning and quickly flounder.

One Child Matters' programs, however, allow children to grow socially as they learn the basic educational skills needed to succeed in school. Hibraimo was enrolled before his 4th birthday but did not have much self-confidence. “When he started here he did not want to learn and participate,” his teacher says, “but now he has learned letters and numbers and is asking a lot of questions.”

After a year of attending the program, Hibraimo's reading and writing skills have progressed. Self-assured and quite helpful in the classroom, Hibraimo is well behaved and a great example to the other children.

No longer the shyest child in class, he is the first to befriend visitors and is always bringing new friends to Sunday school. Hibraimo also takes the Bible stories he hears to heart, remembering every detail. His teachers can only smile at his precociousness. “Every time I tell a Bible story and I say something that is not as he learned, he speaks up and corrects me and explains how it’s supposed to be,” she says.

Because of his mother’s proactive efforts, Hibraimo stands a much better chance of succeeding in school. The child development center he attends has a partnership with a local preschool, which helps ensure that Hibraimo will have a spot in the public school. When he starts first grade, he will do so with a solid moral compass and strong educational skills.

Have you noticed a change in your sponsored child’s confidence? Sometimes it is reflected in the child’s letters, but you can also see the difference in their pictures. Hibraimo has a wide smile, an eager heart, and a bright future because of your faithful giving. May you see such growth in the children you sponsor as well!

The Ministry Of Summer Camps

Can something as simple as summer camp help a child see the love of God?
One child shares her experience...

Click to read more ...

Snapshot: Bangladesh

Less than a thousand miles from Cambodia, which we highlighted last week, lies a country with what would seem like many similarities -- Bangladesh has a colorful culture and a tumultuous history.

Considering that the region was settled as many as 4,000 years ago, the last 70 years have been nothing short of turbulent. Modern-day Bangladesh was created after the British Empire withdrew and partitioned two countries -- India and Pakistan -- based on religious distinctions in 1947.

Originally designated "East Bengal," the region we now know as Bangladesh was part of Pakistan; from the time of partition, however, clashes grew between the eastern, Bengali-speaking region and the more wealthy Urdu-speaking west. The next two decades were filled with repression and violent unrest, even after Bangladesh's independence was declared in 1971.

In the midst of such upheaval, the people of Bangladesh continued to live and work in one of the most unique regions of the world. Situated on the delta of three major rivers (the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna) as well as countless tributaries, Bangladesh has some of the most fertile soil in the world.

We'll explore more of Bangladesh this week, but before we do, take a look at some of the areas we serve and learn more about this fascinating country!

Bangladesh is a very small country (about the size of the state of Iowa) but it is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. There are 156 million people who live in Bangladesh. Can you imagine that many people living in Iowa? That’s over 50 times more people in the same amount of land!

Not only is the population dense, but the landscape is too! This makes it so much harder to travel anywhere or build and maintain roads, bridges, and power lines. For example, one of our projects is a mere 50 miles from the capital city of Dhaka, and yet it takes several hours driving in a truck and an hour boat ride to get there from the capital.

Bangladesh is a low-lying country and very wet as you can see from most of these photos. Cyclones and monsoons are so frequent that a large amount of the country is flooded six months out of the year.

Farming is a main source of income for many of our children’s families but their fields are also flooded half of the year. During that time these farmers have to find another way to feed their families and earn an income.

And because water is everywhere, so are bridges.

Does your sponsored child walk to school? Chances are that he walks over several bridges just to get to school. Can you imagine using a bridge like the one above everyday?

Speaking of water… does your sponsored child have the responsibility of getting water for the family? In Bangladesh indoor plumbing is very rare and children usually get their water from nearby wells or rivers and carry it home. 

Or maybe your sponsored child helps the family by washing clothes, fishing, or gathering firewood?

Have the letters you received from you child given you an inside look at what life is like in Bangladesh? Let us know! We'd love to hear what you've learned! 

Brandon's Story: "God will help me with my studies"

How do One Child Matters’ programs meet the needs of children in the developing world? How can sponsorship make a difference in a child’s life? Let’s ask Brandon, an 11-year-old boy who lives with his aunt in the dusty suburb of QueensPark in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city.

Brandon’s mother passed away when he was still very young, and he barely remembers her. After his mother died, Brandon’s father left him in the rural area with his grandmother, who toiled very hard each day just to eke out a living. Brandon never knew his father. One of the things that he regrets is growing up without knowing the love of his father or mother.

Life in the village was very hard and difficult for Brandon. “Looking back,” he said, "I realize that I had started to see myself as someone who would never amount to anything.” This was especially true when his grandmother fell sick; it was now proving very difficult for him to concentrate on his studies. He always had to rush home to do the chores and help his grandmother. “I was slowly resigning myself to a fate of a life of herding cows.”

Two years ago his granny became too sick to take care of him. She brought him to town to live with his aunt, a widow with children of her own and no job. The aunt has two grown up children who are living in neighboring South Africa who occasionally send her a few groceries to feed the children. Most of the time, however, she has to sell vegetables to support the kids.

Just over a year ago, Brandon was registered in the new child development center that opened in his community. He gets to have a hot meal served by loving volunteers that tell him about the love of God and remind him that he has a Father in Heaven who loves him. He has started attending church with his aunty.

Brandon is now one of the young leaders at the Child Development Center who help the facilitators and volunteers when they serve porridge and do other activities. Serving at the Child Development Center is important to him. Brandon shares, “God loves people that serve others. This is just the beginning!”

The center’s director is very proud of the progress that Brandon has made. “Brandon can’t wait to serve others during break time,” she says. “He is always the first to volunteer. In fact, he is the only leader that is not a prefect [an older student leader]. We asked him to be one of the leaders after recognizing his servant heart.”

With the help of the center, Brandon now enjoys going to school again. “I am learning so hard” he says, “because I know I am an orphan. But I know God will help me with my studies especially if I work hard.” He now believes that one day he will achieve something and make his aunty and grandmother proud.

Thank you for providing new opportunities for children like Brandon. We praise God for the staff He has raised up to love on children and encourage them to become strong young adults and role models for younger children. We can’t wait to see how Brandon continues to serve at his center and in his community, and we pray that he and other children in the program become the leaders Zimbabwe and other countries need to break the cycle of poverty forever!

 

We Think You Can

What will you do with the moments you are given? How can you make a greater difference for the kingdom of God? We want to challenge you to change the world by Monday!

ARC Conference 2013 from One Child Matters on Vimeo.

We were privileged to share this vision with thousands of pastors and church staff at the Association of Related Churches (ARC) All Access Conference today. Moments before the video played, Pastor Rick Warren shared his heart with the conference, and among the many encouraging and wise thoughts he shared with us, he said this:

Having a small church is not a sin -- having a small vision is.

It's so true, but it goes beyond churches. Sometimes we -- ministries, churches, individuals -- don't dream big enough. J.B. Phillips wrote an entire book on it: Your God Is Too Small. 

But we know -- we are realizing, again and again in His graciousness -- that God isn't small at all. He is the biggest God with the biggest dreams for His kingdom on this earth, and He wants to use us. His concern is for the least of these, and always has been. And He is equipping us, His church, His Body, to do something about it.

We at One Child Matters are taking God at His promise and dreaming big dreams. We believe that together we can change the world by Monday. Will you join us?

The Power Of Mercy

"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved." (Ephesians 2:4-5)

What is the best part of this verse?

Even when we were dead in transgressions, God made us alive with Christ – a synopsis of the gospel, but why did He do it? Because He is rich in mercy, and because of his great love for us – essentially the reason we celebrate Easter with such joy. It is by grace we have been saved!

It is by His grace that we can introduce others to His great love for us. Sponsorship is rich in mercy, as well, and it brings children new life as they begin to break the cycle of poverty. It is by His mercy that we can extend hope, truth, life, and love to 40,000 children around the world. Thank you for partnering with us as we follow God’s great example. Praise God for His grace and the merciful way He builds His kingdom.

The Power Of Love

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

Is there a better example of love than Christ's selfless act? Christ made his sacrifice not because of what He would get from us, but what He could get for us. Sponsorship follows the same model. You step forward for the good of the child to help them secure a better future and change their lives forever.

Like us, separated from God because of our sin, children in poverty can feel isolated and helpless to change their circumstances. In God’s great mercy, love is the hinge on which life change swings. Learning they are sponsored may be one of the first miracles these children experience -- someone who has never met them values their life and future enough to make a commitment on their behalf.

Paul gives us a worthy challenge in Ephesians 5:1-2 when he says "follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."

How are you walking in the way of love today?

The Power Of Life

Today, on Good Friday, we rightly focus on Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross – that He gave His life so that we may have life to the full (John 10:10). Scripture makes it absolutely clear, “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son” (1 John 5:11) and “that life was the light of all mankind” (John 1:4).

That is the Life we seek to bring children in poverty. We want to nurture the whole child, meeting their physical needs and their spiritual needs, improving their lives today and introducing them to the One who gives eternal life. Our motivation is confirmed in 1 John 3:16, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”

This is the glory of Easter: the world thought Jesus’ life was over on Good Friday. We know the
truth – that His life lives on in us! The cross was not the end, but the beginning. May the depth of His love and the mercy of His great gift of life be evident to us today.

The Power Of Truth

The truth about God’s character is powerfully revealed in Easter. Jesus is obedient to the point of death on a cross, and God finds a way to make us right with Him, the ultimate act of love. God’s power and care is evident in the empty tomb – nothing can stop His love for us.

That truth is a vital component of our ministry. It’s found in the message given to us on the cross, a message we know is essential for a child beginning to break the cycle of poverty: you matter so much to God. The truth of your worth is in Christ and in His act, and there’s nothing about you or the challenges you face that will change that.

Sponsorship also becomes a tangible truth that combats the hurtful lies borne out of a child’s circumstances. The presence in a sponsor’s letters and prayers counter any doubt – and that is a gift a child will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

As we near this all-important weekend in the Christian faith, we pray this over the children in our programs as well as you who serve alongside of us, that “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).

The Power Of Hope

In light of Holy Week, when we enter into a period of darkness because we know the light of the resurrection is coming, we will focus on the meaning the cross brings to our ministry.Easter is a time of reflection, when we look to the cross in awe because we now know that the cross is not the end. The cross is where hope resides, where God showed us that even the darkest points in our lives can be redeemed.

The cross IS hope for a child in poverty. Hope that life can change forever, hope because Someone thought you worthy of the greatest sacrifice. Hope is in the staff who know you by name, because there is a God who knows you by name. Hope is crucial to our ministry – hope is the slayer of discouragement, conqueror of lies, lifter of heads.

Sponsorship brings hope in tangible forms. Hope floods out of every sponsor letter, in the knowledge that God can move in the heart of someone halfway across the world to ensure you get the care you need. Hope is knit of our prayers and encouragement, because we too have been lifted by the hope of the cross. We have been changed, and so we extend that hope to others.

And so we pray this for the children in our programs, the children we’ve pulled into our own families through sponsorship:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
(Romans 15:13)

The Power of Sponsorship

"Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones." (Proverbs 15:30)

Thank you for bringing light and good news to children around the world, for they become the messengers to their families, communities, and world!