LifeChangers – Making a Difference

LifeChangers

It’s a series about people just like you and me, who decided to do something different.

They decided to change their life, or the lives of others around them.

They are inspiring.

They are making an impact right where they are.

They are passionate.

They are full of life.

There are so many charitable organizations that are doing great, impactful work. I had always heard about the ones who sponsor children internationally, but also wondered how much of the money actually went to the children in need.

Then, almost three years ago, my Pastor went to Uganda with Compassion International. His tour guide was Peter Habyarimana, who was a sponsored child and now works for Compassion. The stories and pictures that he shared were so amazing. He left there changed, and moved to make a difference.

Photo by Scott Hodge

Not long after that, he invited Peter to come speak to our church, and to bring 250 child sponsorship packets with him. Compassion does a great job of preparing the sponsorship packets with pictures and information about each child and the country they live in. When he requested 250 packets for a church our size (around 700-800 then), Compassion was surprised. Based on their previous experiences, they did not want the staff to be disappointed when the children were not sponsored. My Pastor’s response was, “You don’t know the people of The Orchard.” After all, we had all seen these pictures and heard his stories.

Photo by Scott Hodge

The great thing about Compassion is that they work on the ground in the countries where children are sponsored. They develop centers where the kids come to school and learn about God’s love. They help provide for the child and support them. And this is all for only $38/month in sponsorship. You can make an incredible difference in the life of a child for the cost of what some people spend on Starbucks in a week!

When we came to church that weekend, the staff had arranged the sponsorship packets very creatively. Before many of us had even listened to a message from Peter explaining the sponsorship program, we had picked a child to sponsor.

Photo by The Orchard Community

We chose our child, Peter, because he is only a few months younger than my oldest son. He lives in Uganda with his Mom and younger sister. We exchange letters regularly, and are always thrilled to receive his notes and pictures.

In addition to the monthly sponsorship, you are also able to send money for birthdays and Christmas. You are also able to give a family donation each year up to a certain dollar amount. One of the most humbling experiences for us (and our kids), is seeing the pictures of what Peter buys with the money we send. Typically, it is a chicken, hen, eggs, milk, rice, a bottle of soda, and maybe one outfit and shoes. One of the times, he got a ball. My kids are always blown away by this. For the cost of what I would typically spend for one of my kids birthday gifts, Peter is choosing things to help his family survive.

Peter’s most recent picture

Not only is Compassion doing an amazing job for these kids and their families, but they are also allowing us to join in and make a difference. It may not seem like much, but it’s everything to that child and his family.

This LifeChanger post is in honor of Compassion and my Orchard family. Collectively, we sponsored over 220 children throughout the countries of Uganda, Thailand and El Salvador. We have been supporting them for well over 2 years now.That is amazing! That is LifeChanging!

To learn more about Compassion International, and child sponsorship, please visit their website. There are kids waiting for sponsorship right now.

How has sponsoring a Compassion child impacted you?

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “LifeChangers – Making a Difference

  1. Love that you wrote about this Tammy. I keep thinking about what Scott said, (paraphrased) “you may not be able to help everyone, but you CAN help someone!”

  2. Blessings to you for sharing this with your readers!
    This is one ministry which we both support, and are so proud of our “Miss Neema,” whom we support through Compassion International. This is a real ministry, changing real lives. We especially like the fact that their logo includes, “in Jesus name.”
    Blessings, Ted and Carol

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