In a small mountainous village of El Salvador lives a precious little four-year-old girl. Even at such a young age, she is expected to help her family in running errands and by making beds. Her parents are unmarried, but live together and support their daughter. In El Salvador, employment is a rare luxury. This sweet child’s parents occasionally find work as laborers, making hammocks and farming. The fortunate ones who find employment only bring home about $160 each month, a whopping $1,920 per year. Families in this village typically live in small houses with dirt floors and mud walls.
The little girl I have been describing is named Isabella*. She is a real kid living what seems an almost unreal life to many of us. Isabella* is one of more than 1.3 million children from impoverished countries around the world who have been sponsored through an organization called Compassion International.
Compassion is an organization committed to Christ, children, the Church, and integrity. For the last 13 years, their program has been ranked in the top one percent of all charities. God has saved more than 125,000 children and mothers through the program over the last year.
I give you all this information to build the case for Compassion. Today I am issuing a challenge to everyone who reads this article: sponsor one of Compassion’s kids. There are currently hundreds of children waiting for assistance on Compassion’s website, www.compassion.com.
According to Time magazine, the average American paid $71 per month for their cell phone service last year. Sponsoring a child is just over half of that per month. That’s right, a sponsorship only costs $38 each month, $456 each year. A sponsorship for one year amounts to 0.88% of the average household income as noted in the 2012 census…that’s not even a whole percentage point. I’m issuing this challenge to everyone, but specifically to those who have an annual household income of greater than $51,000.
Please don’t let those numbers intimidate you. The point is, sponsoring a child in need is doable for a lot of families that have not given the idea much thought. Compassion’s website notes that 600 million children around the world are living in extreme poverty. In a world of flat screen televisions, cell phones, and other amenities, we tend not to think about the world outside America’s borders, or the impoverished communities in our borders. There are children all around the world who desperately need your help.
If you can afford $38 per month, please pray about whether or not God would have you sponsor one of these children. This small cost provides each child an opportunity to learn about Jesus, education, health care, hygiene training and supplemental food when necessary, and perhaps most importantly, personal attention, guidance and love. If you cannot afford $38 or do not feel led to sponsor, pray that those children in need will be matched with sponsors.
Remember the girl I mentioned earlier, Isabella? She is the sponsored child of my girlfriend and me. If two college students can manage a sponsorship, it cannot be too much to ask of the working men and women of America. We will never eradicate poverty from the world, but we can take steps to give these children opportunities they may never see otherwise.
The challenge has been issued. Will you accept?
*The real name of our sponsored child cannot be published for reasons of confidentiality and security.