Sponsorship Works

This is my final thought from my trip to Haiti:

9.  I am absolutely convinced that sponsorship works!  It is wonderful that these Compassion projects are not orphanages, for that separates children from their families.  Through this child development plan children are able to stay with their families but visit the projects regularly to receive meals, immunizations, health care, education and discipleship.  This is really the best way to support a family — through a partner church that knows the needs of the community best.

This plan also builds up the community, providing jobs, skill training and support in every way.  We do not try to change their communities into our culture; instead we come alongside them with enough flexibility and trust in them (and in God) to let it “work” as they see best for their culture.  Compassion is truly “releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name!”

I’m thankful for the opportunity to, once again, witness Compassion’s work on the field and especially to see my own sponsored boys.  As you can see, a one-week trip packed enough activity and insight to provide six months of blog posts!  That is how meaningful these trips can be.

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Is it worth it to spend about $3,000 on a trip such as this?  Yes!  In every way!  Without meeting my boys personally, I could not have known of their fun and entertaining personalities — how silly they can be at times.

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I could not have met their sweet parents and siblings.

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I could not have visited their very humble but blessed home.

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I could not have visited their church or met their impressive pastor and project workers.

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The trip not only impacted my life spiritually as I observed their strong faith and humility, but it has impacted many others as well.  When I returned home many people also began to sponsor children.  As I continue to share in churches this year, even more will join this great team of support for the needy children of our world.

If you have not sponsored a child yet now is the time.  Click here to take a look at precious children that are waiting for someone to come alongside and help them in their greatest needs.  As you will notice, some of them have been waiting for a long time.  Let’s not delay any longer.

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For bullet points (and observations about Haiti) previous to this, click here for #1 Hospital Change#2 Beautiful Country#3 We Take for Granted, #4 A Good Mission#5 Short Mission Trips#6 Kids on Mission,  #7 Compassion’s Reputation,  and #8 Partner Churches.

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Partner Churches

My next observation from the Haiti trip is this:

8.  I’m really proud of our partner churches.  Can you imagine caring for over 400 children every week — providing food, shelter when needed, health care, education, family support and discipleship?  I’m so impressed with their dedication, perseverance, patience and endurance!  I’m especially touched by the deep faith and trust I see in these people.  They don’t know when the next crisis is going to appear, or when the next desperate family is going to show up on their doorsteps.  They just give and give, trusting that the support is going to come from churches that partner with Compassion.  When we’re busy giving indulgent gifts to our children for Christmas, they are busy handing out rice, a helping hand, a smile to the most destitute.  I am so thankful for our church partners, both here and abroad.  We can only do this type of service together.

Here are some more great photos from our partner churches:

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Compassion’s Reputation

In continuing my final thoughts about the trip to Haiti, here is the next one:

7.  I was pleased to hear from outside sources that Compassion has such a great reputation.  I have always been convinced of this fact — that Compassion is really doing what they say, really making a difference in the lives of children and their families.  But it was good to have the confirmation.  Although I was not on an official Compassion tour this time, everywhere I turned I was hearing more and more about the effectiveness of the ministry.

Here are more photos, many of which I have not shared until now.

I heard first-hand about Compassion from missionaries:

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Local staff members:

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And formerly sponsored children.

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They opened their file cabinets to me:

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They introduced me to many special teachers:

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I met Pastors and other support staff:

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And of course I met a lot of special, amazing children!

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I wish all sponsors could sit down with these special young people and hear of their struggles, dreams, and love for one another, especially for their sponsors!9

Kids on Mission

My sixth observation about the mission trip to Haiti is this:

6.  Taking kids on a mission field is a great idea.  I was impressed to see the children and teenagers enjoying their new Haitian friends, braving new experiences and seeing poverty and real needs for themselves.  What a great opportunity that will never be forgotten.

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Short Mission Trips

My next observation about the Haiti trip is this:

5.  Short mission trips are great.  Friendships are formed, faith is shared, lives are changed.  I just can’t recommend it enough.  It is a great adventure.  Although we were in a developing country, we still had access to the internet, great food to eat and adequate housing.  Maybe we didn’t “rough” it enough, but I’m just pointing this out so you won’t fear making this type of journey.  It was wonderful in every way.

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A Good Mission

Final thoughts about Haiti continued:

4.  I appreciated the mission team I travelled with.  I think they have some good goals and plans for serving the people of Haiti.  The goal of the DecAid Project is to provide support and assistance to ten specific villages across a ten-year span.  I enjoyed watching the medical team work and listening to the passion that drives the leaders.  Some of these great photos were taken by other members on the team.

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We Take for Granted

This continues my final thoughts about Haiti:

3.  This is a country of great need.  We take so many things for granted — safe drinking water, prescriptions, health care, education, food, jobs.  The needs were all around in Haiti.  Here are some additional photos that I have not shared yet.

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