Your words are powerful

CompassionDay.JPGI’m just wiping the tears away after reading this post at the Compassion International Blog.

One of the things that really hit home for me during my trip to Haiti and Dominican Republic with Compassion Australia was the extreme importance of writing letters to sponsored children. Hearing the children talking about their sponsors and the overwhelming joy they felt whenever they received a letter from them was an amazing revelation. We met one one lady who had been recognised by the President of her country for her incredible study results. She kept the certificate handed to her by the President in the same folder as the letters from her sponsor family. They were both precious to her and they were kept together as her most prized possessions.

In the post I mentioned at the Compassion International Blog this truth is demonstrated through the words of Roberto Medrano, a Compassion worker in El Salvador.

It is amazing the influence a sponsor can have on the child. For example, I remember a 25-year-old Compassion graduate. She is a Christian who is married and has two babies. She also serves as a center worker. Even though she is an adult and loves Compassion’s ministry, she always cries because in the 15 years of sponsorship her sponsor did not write one single letter. She wrote her sponsor dozens of letters, but she never received any response.

If you sponsor a child through any aid agency, can I encourage you to make some time tonight to write that child a letter. My words here can’t even begin to express the influence your letters can have.

In Dominican Republic we spoke to a beautiful young lady who never once received encouragement from her parents for her schooling, yet because her sponsors kept in touch regularly over many years and encouraged her with her studies she is now achieving top results at university.

If you don’t yet sponsor a child I plead with you to do something about that today. If you’re in Australia I can get you signed up today, just contact me directly, or you can visit the Compassion Australia website. If you’re outside Australia you can go to the Compassion International website. Please let me know if you decide to change a child’s life through sponsorship.

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Back to School

DR.jpgI went back to school yesterday.

Thankfully I wasn’t going back as a student but I was there to talk about the wonderful work of Compassion Australia.

I was invited to speak to the students at Beechboro Christian School about the trip I took to Haiti and Dominican Republic in April this year. While we had Compassion Day at 98.5 Sonshine FM back in May, they’ve got their very own Compassion Day tomorrow.

The staff and students will be doing all sorts of fun things to raise money for Yessica, the school’s sponsored child, as well as contributing to other Compassion projects.

It was such an honour to be able to tell them about how much their contribution will mean to boys and girls in other parts of the world who have so little. They all listened very well and hopefully they understand just a little bit more about the responsibility we all have to care for those in poverty.

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Photos from Haiti and Dominican Republic

As part of a presentation I was asked to make last night, I put together a number of photos from my trip to Haiti and Dominican Republic with the audio of a radio segment I recorded for Compassion Day last month.

The trip was back in April but as you can imagine, it’s still very fresh in my mind.

If you take the time to watch, let me know what you think.

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Ada’s Story

SantoDomingo.jpgThis story will break your heart then give you renewed hope in the difference that each one of us can make in the lives of others.

I’ve posted a number of stories with audio from Compassion Day on 98.5 Sonshine FM today and I know that most people probably won’t listen to them all, but I beg you to take just fourteen minutes to listen to Ada’s story.

If you want to hear something to lift your spirits just click play on the audio player at the bottom of this post.

The whole story is worth hearing but I’ll warn you now that it will really start to touch your heart around half way through.

Ada is a girl I met and interviewed in Dominican Republic. She is a beautiful twelve year old with a bright future. I wish I could show you the picture I had taken with the two of us but I prefer to keep her identity somewhat private. You’ll understand why as you listen.

I talked to Ada, I visited her home and talked to her parents. I’m sure that all of us that visited her home on that day will remember the warm hug she gave each one of us as we left. She is a remarkable young girl.

I managed to track down her sponsor in Australia and shared Ada’s story with her. Lisa’s reaction to hearing her sponsored child’s voice is priceless. Hearing Lisa describe how she feels when she hears just how much of an impact she has had on Ada’s life is inspiring.

I don’t know what else I can say but to again ask that you take the time to hear this amazing story.

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Cristopher.jpgAnother one of my guests this morning on 98.5 Sonshine FM for Compassion Day was Cristopher Garrido who works with Compassion in Dominican Republic. Cristopher took our Australian team to see the work that Compassion is doing through local churches in his country.

Santo Domingo, the capital of Dominican Republic, seems to be a rich person’s playground. It’s a favourite spot for tourists, with lavish hotels and casinos along the coast but the statistics tell a different story for most of the population.

Devastating poverty and high rates of unemployment maybe be hidden from some of the tourist areas but many people are finding it ever harder to make ends meet for their families.

Thankfully, Compassion is making a difference by partnering with local churches to bring about change and release children from poverty.

I asked Cristopher to give us a picture of some of the work that is being carried out in Dominican Republic.

While people here in Australia are facing increased fuel costs, rising interest rates and upward pressure on inflation, we still have it so much better than those in countries such as Dominican Republic.

Just press play on the audio player at the bottom of this post to listen to my conversation with Cristopher.


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