I’ve Seen the Future


Over the last few days I’ve seen the future ….. and it’s very bright.

I’ve been part of a small group visiting churches in Indonesia to see how their partnership with Compassion is changing communities. I’ve seen the future in young mothers and their babies, in the faces of hundreds of children, and in the dreams and hopes of high achieving university students.

Today we met three outstanding young people from Compassion’s Leadership Development Program.

Selected child sponsorship graduates attend university and receive Christian leadership training through the Leadership Development Program, enabling them to realise their potential to become skilled professionals and Christian leaders who can bring change to their churches, communities and nations.

The Leadership Development Program facilitates the sponsorship of gifted graduates from our Child Sponsorship Program, giving them the opportunity to study at university and receive Christian leadership training. Each leadership student is selected according to strict criteria, including academic capabilities, leadership skills, Christian commitment and a willingness to serve others.

We met Aldo, Jeffrey and Lani.

Lani is 19. She grew up in poverty, beside a river, in the shadow of the homes of the rich. Living in those crowded conditions there was no hope that she would be anything but poor. That was until someone sponsored Lani and she was able to attend a Compassion project at her local church. She absolutely thrived and her consistently high grades gave her entry to the Leadership Development Program.

Lani doesn’t want to break free from poverty and become rich like those whose homes towered over her meagre dwelling.

Lani’s dream is to use the opportunity she’s been given to study pharmacy so that she can create breakthrough medication that will provide cures for diseases which are currently incurable.

Seventeen year old Aldo had a difficult childhood. There was trouble at home and he had no dreams for the future. Now in his second year of studying electrical engineering, he hopes to one day use his knowledge to improve access to electricity in poor areas. He also hopes to become a teacher so that he can help others from underdeveloped areas to gain an education and be able to dream of a better future.

Jeffrey has dreams too. Big dreams.

At just twenty years of age he is studying industrial engineering. He’s in his third year and he hopes to continue his studies at Oxford in the years to come. Once he has gained his education he wants to return to his home town and has dreams of becoming mayor. He wants to put his studies to use in improving local infrastructure and creating jobs.

All three of these inspiring young people have a couple of things in common. They’ve been released from poverty in Jesus’ name through Compassion and they are totally focussed on serving others.

They’re all planning on using their lives to make a difference for others. That’s a theme I’ve seen again and again over the past few days. Those who have been helped by Compassion keep spreading what they’ve received, multiplying the effectiveness of each program again and again.

Mums in the Child Survival Program are spreading their new knowledge of childcare, health, and nutrition throughout their communities.

The lessons that children in the Child Sponsorship Program are learning are shared with their parents and the wider community.

Leadership Development Program students are consistently returning to their own towns and villages to become leaders, pastors and influencers. Former Leadership Development Program students have even started making a difference for their countries by entering politics.

When you decide to sponsor a child through Compassion there is really no way of telling how many lives will be changed for the better. Communities, villages, towns, cities and countries are all starting to feel the influence of those who have been given the opportunity to dream and then been equipped to reach those dreams.

Please consider sponsoring a child through Compassion today and start to imagine how the future might look.

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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