Matthew 18 reveals the heart of Jesus toward children…he warned that they shouldn’t be neglected but rather warmly accepted and encouraged.’ Verse 7 (Message) tells that he said, ‘Doom to the world for giving these God-believing children a hard time! Hard times are inevitable, but you don’t have to make it worse…’
Then in Mark 9:36-37 it says that ‘Jesus put a child in the middle of the room. Then, cradling the little one in his arms, he said, “Whoever embraces one of these children as I do embraces me, and far more than me – God who sent me.”’
Here are two great reports of organisations caring for this generation…
Jeremy Reynalds, ASSIST’s Senior Correspondent, shares about Compassion.
If there was ever a reason to be a Compassion sponsor, Ariane Jane Sagusara is it.
I met Ariane, a Compassion sponsored child for 12 years, now at university in Davao City, Philippines. She told me that her mom and dad separated when she was five, and a friend of her mother’s suggested applying for a Compassion sponsorship and what this meant to her.
College and knowing God
Without it, she said, she wouldn’t have been able to go to college. That spiritually participation in Compassion helped her to know God, a remarkable accomplishment in her home community, where she said she was surrounded by (among others) drug users and criminals, ‘not good for a young child.’
Marginalised people in communities such as hers don’t get a lot of opportunities to go on outings such as Samal Island, a beach resort close to Davao City that without Compassion, young people would only dream about to. Trips also include a chance for young people to dream about what their lives will look like in the years ahead.
In addition, Ariane said, Compassion has paid for 90 percent of her medical and dental costs, allowing a quality of care not experienced by many other Filipino families.
So why should people sponsor a Filipino child with Compassion? Ariane didn’t wait a moment before answering. ‘Because it is life-changing.’
Elmer Bernardo, a Compassion Leadership Development Program Specialist based out of Compassion’s Manila office, said Ariane Sagusara’s poor neighborhood, lacking in the amenities that many of us take for granted, would seem like a recipe for failure.
However, he said, Ariane’s spirit and contagious hope is in direct contrast to the environment where she lives: ‘There’s just no comparison to other young persons of her age in that same neighborhood. If you watch other kids in that area, and the environment where they spend that time, with people drinking on the street, and people in the throes of drug addiction, you almost know where they’re going to end up. Ariana is like a lily in a muddy pond.’
Good for the soul
He added, ‘Typically, kids will live life on a day by day basis. There’s no expectation of a better life. Compassion helps kids see that a better life is possible, but we always need more sponsors. And while the money is always needed, it’s even more than that. It’s a relationship that develops between the sponsors and students. It is really a transformational experience for both.’
Bernardo said, ‘Really, a sponsorship is good for the soul. I hope more people will get involved. It’s a short investment in the life of a person and you end up changing that life forever. But there’s a window when we can make a difference, so the time to get involved is now.’
Compassion says the organisation ‘partners with churches to help them provide children with the opportunity to rise above their circumstances and become all God has created them to be. Every Compassion-sponsored child has the opportunity to develop their God-given potential, and be released from the poverty that has trapped their families for generations.’
GOD’S MIRACLE INSPIRES BOY TO FIND JESUS AND TO HELP OTHERS
Gospel for Asia releases this generational encouragement:
Gandhik sat by himself while the rest of his classmates enjoyed each other’s company, not wanting to mingle with the other children. How could he when his life at home seemed like a mess?
His father had moved out years before to live with another woman. His only sibling had gotten married, leaving Gandhik’s mother to care for him and the home. She worked as a maid but still found it difficult to provide for their needs.
Gandhik lost any sense of happiness. When staff at the local Bridge of Hope centre learned of his situation, they helped him enroll in the program. There, a teacher, Shakeela, cared for Gandhik and helped him with his studies.
Friendship and a miracle
Shakeela took the time to explain the class notes to Gandhik, which garnered a genuine interest in his studies. She also taught him how to be responsible and encouraged him to play sports with the other children.
As Gandhik and Shakeela developed a friendship, she was able to share about the abundant love of Jesus. They’d read the Bible together, and soon faith began to grow in his heart. He started praying and fasting for his family every Saturday.
As an answer to prayer, God provided his mother with a job where she was able to earn enough for their needs. Seeing this miracle, Gandhik embraced new life – and joy – with Christ.
Growing in faith and outreaching
Today, Gandhik is growing in his faith. Graduated from school, he aspires to help those in his community.
‘I thank God for this wonderful Bridge of Hope centre. By learning from Bridge of Hope activities, I would like to help others. How I received help from Bridge of Hope is the same way I would like to help the poor and needy people,’ Gandhik said.
GFM link: PO Box 3587 Toowoomba Qld 4350 /http://www.gospelforasia.org.au/___________________________________________________________________________________
RECOMMENDED KIDS/CARE MINISTRY LINKS
Ken and Dorothy Gardiner’s Kids4Life/High Five Divorce Recovery Program For Kids. Link: firstname.lastname@example.org / PO Box43, Bundoora, Vic 3083 / 040 756 7933.
Becky Fisher, Kids in Ministry International. Australian link: email@example.com / 042 4KI MI23.
Tess Abadilla’s Filipino Frontline Foundation (See July’s The Buzz) firstname.lastname@example.org / 042 123 8948.