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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Melissa has a dream


Do you know what it’s like to have no dreams or hopes for tomorrow? Most of us go through difficult times when it feels like our dreams have been lost but can you imagine what it would be like to have never have had dreams?

One of the most devastating effects of poverty is the lack of hope for the future.

When people are locked into poverty they don’t see a place for higher education because they know that all life will hold for them is hard manual work, very low wages and day by day survival. The idea that life can be different or better never occurs to people in that kind of poverty because they’ve seen the same pattern over and over through their family history.

When Compassion starts working with poor communities through the local church, things start to change.

One of the benefits that Compassion brings is the ability to dream big dreams.

Children that are sponsored through Compassion fill out something called “My Dream for Tomorrow” once a year from the time they turn 12. They write down what they want to do with their lives. They are encouraged to think beyond what has happened in the past and look ahead to a very different future.

The good news is that it’s not about a vain hope. Compassion’s local church partners don’t just ask children to dream, they help them to plan towards achieving dreams and then look at how they can continue to equip children to reach their dreams.

Today I met Melissa and she has a dream.

From the age of 12 Melissa has dreamed of being a teacher. She’s now 18 and is working as a secretary for the Compassion program in her local church, the same program that she attended from when she was very young, the same place she learned how to dream. They church is in the highlands in Java, surrounded by thick forest. It’s a beautiful setting but poverty is still a very real part of the community.

Melissa told us today that her dream is still alive. She wants to get some more experience working with the children at the church and then, at some future stage, go to university to fulfil her dream. That’s powerful.

Compassion is currently working with around 1.4 million children worldwide. That means that there are hundreds of thousands of dreams waiting to be fulfilled. Where there was hopelessness there is now hope. There are now many, many children looking ahead to tomorrow instead of just trying to survive another day. If you’re already sponsoring a child through Compassion, that’s a big part of what your sponsorship is doing.

Do you realise that you can give a child the gift of a dream? Please give a child hope for the future by sponsoring a child through Compassion, and release them from poverty in Jesus name.

(In case you haven’t seen my last two posts, I am currently in Indonesia seeing the amazing work being done by local churches in partnership with Compassion.)

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It Works


Indonesia truly is a beautiful country. Well, I can’t really say it’s all beautiful because I’ve only seen a small segment of this diverse and densely populated area, but what I’ve seen is remarkable.

Being comprised of thousands of islands and having a population heading towards a quarter of a billion, I’m sure it would take years to get a true taste of what Indonesia can offer.

Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 17,508 islands. – Wikipedia

Yesterday our group travelled for several hours on flood damaged roads, through urban areas and leafy forests, to visit a rural area where there is a small church with a very big heart.

The church partners with Compassion to serve the local community, seeking out the poorest of those within its reach to provide practical help. They do this through Compassion’s Child Survival Program, helping mums and their babies, and through the Child Sponsorship Development Program. Both of these programs are truly releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

Where do you turn when you are a single woman whose parents have passed away and you discover that you are pregnant as the result of being raped?

We met such a woman yesterday. She makes just 30 cents a day by making false eyelashes for a local business. She told us yesterday about the hope that she has found by being part of the Child Survival Program.

Her son is now two years of age, and while she still faces many struggles, she knows she can depend on the help of her local church whenever there is a need. The church’s partnership with Compassion means that if there is a health issue, like there was a couple of months ago when her baby was weak from diarrhea, there is medical help available. Most of us wouldn’t consider diarrhea to be a major problem, but in many parts of the world it is a major cause of death among young children.

One of the great things about the Child Survival Program is that the mums who take part not only learn about better nutrition and childcare for themselves, they are spreading the message to dozens of others in their area, so the reach of Compassion’s work just keeps on multiplying.

There’s so much more I could say about this one small church and how their partnership with Compassion is making a major difference in their community. Their 76 year old pastor still travels by motorbike, with his wife, to preach at five churches every Sunday. The love he has for his people and the community they serve is clearly evident.

This is just an incredibly small snapshot of all we saw and the stories we heard yesterday. I wonder what today will bring. I can assure you that when you partner with Compassion, your giving is making a real difference in the lives of real people.

Why not consider sponsoring a child through Compassion today, and you too can help to release a child from poverty in Jesus’ name.

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