'All that we ask is that you remember the poor'
CTE’s Pentecostal and Charismatic forum gathers twice a year to facilitate discussions between a wide range of our member churches. In their November gathering, the forum heard from Compassion International about their work around the world.
Here Tim Robertson from Compassion UK explains more about their child development ministry, and how your church can get involved…
‘All that we ask is that you remember the poor’
This apostolic commission was to become a core practice of the new movement of early Christians, the Church of Jesus Christ. It reflected the heart of God, who right through history had always defended those who faced injustice, and now His Body were reminded that in all their activity the poor were not forgotten! They were to be the hands and feet of Jesus, challenging injustice, providing for those who had nothing, caring for the marginalised and bringing hope to the hopeless. The Good News needed to be actual, tangible, real good news for the poor! When we as the church demonstrate grace, kindness, mercy and love to our communities, the kingdom draws near and hearts are opened.
Compassion International has for 67 years sought to do just that, not independently but embracing God’s plan to extend His kingdom through the local church. As an International Child Development organisation, we only work in and through the church in villages, towns and cities across 25 developing countries in three continents – Africa, Asia and Central & South America. Currently over two million children are registered in over 7,000 projects overseen by local church partners in relationship with Compassion in those countries.
Our model is to impact a child in the early stages of life with a holistic child development programme that will give access to education, health care, socio-emotional support and spiritual growth. That child will very often be the catalyst for change within their family context, as siblings will also benefit and caregivers will often be empowered to lift themselves out of poverty through micro-financing, small business initiatives etc. As many families in a given area are impacted in this way, it leads to community transformation and the local church experiencing growth and expansion.
Compassion’s funding mechanism offers the church in the Western world the opportunity to engage as individuals with individual children and families who are living with extreme poverty, where not just a sponsorship amount is given but a friendship is created through letter writing, gifts and even visits. This one-to-one relationship, monitored and protected in a safe and appropriate way by Compassion, is such an important part of that child’s development. And the encouragement that a sponsor can bring gives children an incredible sense of self-worth, where poverty had told them they were nothing.
With over 110,00 children supported by Christians out of the UK, more and more churches are partnering with Compassion as a viable strategic missional approach to reach out to their brothers and sisters who face such challenging circumstances, to say we love you and you are not forgotten.
We would so love to serve you and facilitate a partnership that will equip your church for mission by empowering a local church in the developing world to be able to bring hope to their community in Jesus name!
Tim Robertson is Head of Churches Development for Compassion UK
For more information please visit www.compassionuk.org or call Tim on 07725 949407.