In 2015, we went to a Hillsong concert. As with many Christian concerts, there was the plug for sponsoring a child through an organization called Compassion International. We’d heard the spiel a hundred times, and while it sounded great, we never felt like it was something we wanted or could afford to do.
This time was different. On one hand, we were probably more worried about finances then at any other point in our marriage. We had TONS of student debt we wanted to get rid of (and fast), so the idea of spending an extra $38 or $45 a month was pretty absurd.
Sponsor a child?
I (Alyssa) sat through the whole talk, mostly just waiting for intermission to be over. But as I sat, I felt my heart actually aching for these children. I started to feel a responsibility to take care of “the least of these”. My heart was racing and my palms were sweaty and I KNEW that I wanted to sponsor a child.
I knew there was no way that I’d be able to talk Cody into it. It would feel irresponsible with our money. Sure, helping other people is great, but we can’t handle our money as is. I decided not to say anything.
Little did I know, Cody was feeling the same way. There was something at work inside both of us. God was clearly trying to tell us something this time.
We looked at each other and, without saying a word, knew it was something we both felt was important.
“Are you sure?”
“Can we make it work?”
“For $45, it does so much. It’s a stretch, but . . . “
“It’s worth it.”
Why Compassion International?
We LOVE sponsoring Aklesso. We’ve seen him grow so much. One thing Compassion International does that is really neat is that they send reports to us that assess where our sponsored child is at physically, cognitively, spiritually, and socio-emotionally. Not only does it measure his progress so we can see that our gifts make a difference, but they offer practical ways for us to encourage growth in each of the areas.
We have not always been great about writing letters. However, now that we can write letters online (and attach pictures), it has become an easier thing to do. He is still young, and I’m sure doesn’t understand why he “has” to write letters back to us. We try to maintain a good relationship without overwhelming him. I hope that as he grows, we can develop a true relationship through these letters and that he would know how loved he is.
Is it really helping?
Absolutely. There are a lot of great, responsible non-profits out there, but we are so happy to support Compassion International and the work they do. More than 80% of all the donations received is spent directly in support of the children. By keeping their overhead low, we know that they are committed to truly making a difference. And, as of last count we’ve heard, there are more than 1.8 million children worldwide that are currently receiving support!
It’s $45 dollars a month to us, but it’s an entire life change for him. A change that (statistically) will help him change his family for generations to come!