Most college students are cash poor and are known for scraping by on Ramen noodles, pizza, and free t-shirts. So what good can a college student do in a life of a child? Sure, we are poor, and we survive off of the basics, but we shouldn’t be counted out. We have a lot more to offer than one might think. Take a look at the conference called “Passion”, hosted every year in Atlanta. Hundreds and thousands of College students come together to worship and to be encouraged. On the last day of the conference, an offering is taken for a particular charity. This offering goes out to the 20,000+ college students that are in attendance. In 2014, about $335,000 was raised to purchase Bibles for the people of Iran. This total contribution equals $16.75 per student, which equals about two or three trips to Starbucks. This means that if a student is willing to give up a couple trips to Starbucks, they can make a difference in the world in which they live. So, we college students are special and have the ability to do something great. We have passion, perseverance, and dedication. And with these traits, we can do anything we set our minds to.
Compassion International is a non-profit, Christian organization that truly works to free children from poverty by partnering with people like you and me. Compassion International locates compassionate people all over the world who are willing to pay a small monthly fee to sponsor a child in poverty, or to jump into one of the many areas to get involved with the program. Their sponsorship program has a lot of great features that allow the sponsor to interact with the child, including: letters, pictures, updated emails, and an opportunity to actually visit the child in his or her own country.
I have not always sponsored a child. My parents have sponsored a little girl from Colombia for many years. When they first sponsored little “Maria”, it felt like I had discovered a special pen pal as I wrote her letters at least once a month. For years I’ve stood on the outside watching and observing others as they have sponsored a child for Compassion International. It was not until I entered college that I started researching this organization and discovered the impact that Compassion International has on children. It nearly broke my heart as I scrolled through the pages of children waiting to be sponsored. It is like the children are waiting for students like you and me who will meet them halfway and show them the love of God.
I now sponsor a young lady named Edinah from Uganda, Africa. After chatting with a team member on Compassion International’s website, I learned that the older children are in the system because they are either still waiting for a sponsor, or happen to be a special case. That is when I spotted Edinah’s photo on Compassion International’s page and saw that she was 19 years old. At that moment I knew that this young lady was the one I wanted to sponsor. I can’t imagine waiting as long as she did for a sponsor. It must have been painful knowing that so many of the younger children were being sponsored. That is when I knew that I wanted to sponsor Edinah and show her the same love and grace that God has given me. This is the beginning of my story.
Watch a true story of a child’s reaction to receiving a sponsor: www.vimeo.com/107082331
Compassion International: http://www.compassion.com/
Works Cited: http://www.ccmmagazine.com/features/passion-2014/