Compassion International is a ministry organization aimed at “releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.” But rather than trying to accomplish this purpose alone, it actually works through the local church to minister to children and their families. Any assistance can be readily identified through the church which, in turn, helps that local body of believers to advance the Gospel. In other words, this Christ-focused, church-focused, child-focused approach allows Compassion to promote a holistic work that fosters Kingdom growth. Compassion does want to help children overcome poverty; but as their purpose statement declares, it also hopes to extend Jesus’ name. I can personally attest to that effort. Last July, I traveled with a few other pastors to visit some Compassion projects in El Salvador. I was very moved by the ministry I saw; and even more, I was encouraged by the transparency and effectiveness of Compassion’s work. I spoke to children, their families, and the local pastors about their experience. Time and time again, I could tell that God is truly using these projects to meet people’s needs while strengthening the church’s witness.
For years, we at Temple have attempted to utilize our resources to alleviate poverty, especially in Nicaragua. Through our “Feed the Children” program, we have ministered to countless lives and helped families face intense poverty. You have been so faithful in your giving to this cause . . . as always! Thank you for that. In December, we will officially transition out of our “Feed the Children” involvement as our partnerships there have evolved. However, we will still be able to continue a similar ministry in Nicaragua through Compassion International. Because of your generosity, we have been able to start a new Compassion project at Iglesia Bautista Damasco (Damascus Baptist Church) in the Los Aburto Community, Villa El Carmen, Nicaragua. Approximately one hundred and sixty children will be a part of this work. My hope is that we, Temple Baptist, will be willing to sponsor these children in the months to come. (It costs approximately $38/month to sponsor a child.) I also pray this opens up a new opportunity to send short-term teams back into Nicaragua.
This weekend (Friday through Monday), we will host the Compassion Experience on our campus. The free event will allow you to walk through the life of a Compassion child and hear him/her describe Compassion’s impact in his/her life. Please consider making a stop by the Experience at some point. On Sunday morning in particular, you will have an opportunity to support a child at our Compassion Project. Some of you may already sponsor a child, but perhaps the Lord has blessed you to be able to sponsor another. That is what Leslie and I plan to do! To be honest, I am so excited about this new path in ministry! And I pray you are as well . . . as we continue to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name! See you Sunday!