It's Compassion Day

CompassionDay.JPGWhat a day it’s been so far.

It’s Compassion Day across Australia. 42 Radio stations across the nation are encouraging listeners to sacrifice $44 a month to change the world one child at a time.

I had such a wonderful time during my morning radio programme on 98.5 Sonshine FM today as I told listeners about my recent trip to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Many listeners have taken up the challenge to sponsor children through Compassion Australia and I’m hoping that many more will make that decision before the day is over.

Haiti, in the Caribbean, is the most impoverished nation in the western world where one child in fourteen never reaches their first birthday and one in five never reaches the age of four. Haiti is a nation of people locked in shocking poverty. I travelled with Compassion Australia to see the work that they are doing and to see the hope that people like you and me can give through child sponsorship.

Can you imagine being in the situation where you have to decide whether your child will go to school or whether you need them to go out to work? Or even which of your children will be given the opportunity of an education. Compassion’s Vice President for Latin America, Edoaurd Lasegge, was with us on our journey and he explained a little of the situation while we were there.

Can I encourage you to listen to a little of my story? Just click the play button of the audio player at the bottom of this post. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you hear.


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Breaking the cycle

CircleBroken.jpgWhat does it really mean when we talk about breaking the poverty cycle?

It’s the kind of phrase that we often use when we’re talking about helping those in the developing world but do we really understand what it means in practical terms?

Look at the man in the photo in this post. That’s what it means to break the cycle.

When we talk about the cycle we’re talking about those living in poverty having children who live in poverty with their poor lifestyle being handed down from generation to generation. When someone has little money they’re unable to create a foundation for their children to build a better life. Unless someone is prepared to step in, desperate poverty will be handed down through each generation.

The guy in the picture above came from a poor background and was sponsored through Compassion.

Something exciting has happened through the sponsorship of this young man. He is now the accountant for one of the Compassion projects we visited in Dominican Republic. He’s no longer relying on the support of others, he’s working and earning money for his family.

Now here’s the exciting bit … his son isn’t part of a Compassion project. He doesn’t need to be. Thanks to the generous support of this man’s sponsor, the cycle has been broken. Not only is he able to take on meaningful, paid employment, his son doesn’t have to rely on sponsorship to give him a hand up and he won’t have to pass down a life of poverty to his children.

As I saw time and time again during my trip to Haiti and Dominican Republic, sponsoring just one child does far more than touch just one life. Sponsoring just one child may effect generations of his or her family. What an amazing oppoprtunity we have to break the poverty cycle.

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A story of hope and Compassion

DR_Girl.jpgThis Sunday I’ll get the chance to tell my story.

Well, it’s not really my story, it’s the story of the girl in the picture and of hundreds of thousands of other children who have been helped towards a better life thanks to people like you.

It’s great to be back home but the journey has only just begun. Now comes the task of communicating what I’ve learnt while in Haiti and in the Dominican Republic.

Compassion is doing a wonderful job of bringing hope to children around the world. On Sunday I’ll be letting people know about how much a life can be changed with a handful of dollars and a few encouraging words.

I’m going to be talking about our rushed escape from Haiti and the danger we faced as we made a dash for the airport. I’ll talk about the relief we felt as we saw a vehicle full of armed police who agreed to escort us the rest of the way. I’ll also talk about those we left behind in Haiti who are still dealing with desperate hunger and the powerlessness of not being able to feed their families.

I’ll be sharing the stories of those in the Dominican Republic who live so close to such a wonderful, bustling tourist city, full of all the excesses that such a place offers, yet they are only just surviving.

I won’t be telling a sad story, I’ll be telling a story full of hope. I can’t wait to tell you about Ada and the enormous life change that she found through the simple act of sponsorship from a young Australian lady.

If you want to hear what I have to say and see some of the photos from the trip just be at Altone Park Leisure Centre, Benara Road, Beechboro at 9:30 a.m. I’ll be talking for about 10 or 15 minutes during the Sunday morning service at Beechboro Baptist Church. Go to my contact page and email me if you’d like more details.

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New Hope in Dominican Republic

We’ve had an amazing time today here in the Dominican Republic. We visited two Compassion projects and visited a couple of homes of sponsored children.

I have some amazing stories to tell but I am so tired night now that those stories will have to wait. I may not even get another chance to blog until I make it home on Tuesday afternoon but I’ll see what I can do. If I wake up early enough tomorrow I might tell you some of the exciting stories we encountered today.

In the meantime, you might like to hear a little bit more about our departure from Haiti. I spoke to Tim Long at Sonshine FM yesterday morning. You can hear our chat by clicking play on the audio player at the bottom of this post.

By the way, I haven’t had the change to reply to those who have left comments over the past couple of days. I’ll thank you personally when I can but until then, thanks for your kind words and wishes.

I’ll catch you soon.

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