An international child advocacy group is encouraging Christians across the United States to join sponsors and pastors nationwide in an event that is slated to touch the lives of 19,000 children in 2005 for Christ.
Compassion Sunday, which officially falls on Apr. 24 this year, is expected to make a huge difference in the lives of children living in poverty. So far this year, around 1,023 children have found sponsors due to this years campaign with Colorado Springs-based Compassion International.
I can't tell you what a blessing it has been for our church to be involved with Compassion, said Bill Goans, a pastor at Grace Community Church in North Carolina.
The truth is most of us in the Western world have no idea what children suffer in so many parts of the world. Compassion has been a ministry that has helped our church do something tangible that makes a real difference in our lives and the lives of many children.
We really appreciate all the support and materials that help us help the Body of Christ follow Jesus in such a clear, tangible way," Goans added.
According to Compassion International, one in five people in the world lives in abject poverty. Around 600 million of these are children.
Of the young children in developing countries, thirty-two percent will suffer from stunted growth physical or mental because of inadequate nutrition.
Meanwhile, ten million children under the age of five will die this year from causes that are largely preventable.
These children have no voice, no political influence, no organization and no way to be heard, Compassion stated. That's why they are depending on us to be a voice for them; they are depending on the Church to care for and reach out to them and make a difference in their lives.
Bob Perdue, the Senior Pastor at Old Dominion Baptist Church in Virginia, commented, Great opportunities to make a profound impact don't come around every day. The opportunity to partner with Compassion to sponsor children in need is one of those rare, great opportunities. The Compassion program offers financial help, relationship, connection to a church and love! My family and my church have a broader vision of the world because of Compassion."
Pete Briscoe, Senior Pastor at Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in Texas, stated, "Our two Compassion Sundays have been true highlights for our Body. Over 800 children have been sponsored by members of our church and their pictures hang on a wall in our lobby. Compassion Sunday was a practical application to a sermon on the believer's need to have a heart for those less fortunate than we are."
Compassion International says believers in the U.S. can be a voice for the children on Compassion Sunday by:
- Giving a presentation or showing a Compassion Sunday video in your church service or Sunday school class
- Placing bulletin inserts in your church bulletin
- Setting up a sponsorship sign-up table
In addition, the organization notes that although this year's official Compassion Sunday date is Apr. 24, many churches are participating by scheduling an alternate date.
To learn more about Compassion Sunday, visit: www.compassion.com/share/compassionsunday/