Over 1,500 U.S. Churches to Join Compassion Sunday to Tackle Poverty

More than 1,500 churches across the United States will participate in Compassion Sunday, an annual event that helps find sponsors for the world's poorest children.

Congregants of participating churches this Sunday will hear about the needs of millions of children living in poverty with no hope for a future. They will also learn that with as little as $32 per month a child will be provided opportunities for education, health and personal development.

"Compassion Sunday gives churchgoers a tangible way to help the poor – by offering hope and encouragement to a child in need," says Jerry Henderson, national church relations director at Compassion International and a former pastor. "Churches half a world away can serve as catalysts for permanent change in the life of a poverty-stricken child by becoming a child sponsor through Compassion International."

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Since 1993, 10,000 U.S. churches have participated in the annual Compassion Sunday event, resulting in sponsorships for 100,000 needy children. All the care for the children are done through local churches in Africa, Asia and South America, notes Compassion Sunday organizer Compassion International, the world's largest Christian child development organization.

The Colorado-based ministry has partnered with more than 5,000 community congregations in 25 of the world's poorest countries.

"Recognizing that the greatest poverty a child can face is a life without Jesus, Compassion is sharing the gospel with these children," says Jud Wilhite, author of Eyes Wide Open and senior pastor of Central Christian Church Las Vegas. "Plus, they serve kids around the world through local churches so the local church and community also benefits."

Founded by the Rev. Everett Swanson in 1952, Compassion International initially provided Korean War orphans with food, shelter, education and health care, as well as Christian training.

Since then, Compassion has come serve more than one million children through working with local churches in 25 of the world's poorest countries to address the individual physical, economic, educational, and spiritual needs of children.

The organization describes its programs as "unapologetically Christian" and notes that every Compassion project is connected to a Christian church or ministry, though it welcomes all children to participate in a Compassion project regardless of their faith.

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