The word hero gets thrown around a lot, and is very subjective. It means different things to different people. To me, a hero is someone I look up to and want to be like. Someone who inspires and challenges me. Heroes sacrifice for the good of others. There is always a cost involved in heroism – putting the needs of others before your own.
In my travels with Compassion I have met true heroes – the Pastors and Compassion Project workers who, with God’s help, battle against the formidable enemy of poverty and all that comes with it. Hopelessness. Despair. Violence. Hunger. Illness and Disease. Family disintegration. This is their daily battle.
I am always so inspired by the Compassion staff, both at the Projects and in the country office. They literally give their lives for the families and children they serve. The majority of Compassion Project workers are volunteers from the local church, and yet they serve so joyfully, with a servant heart. Many of them are professionals who could easily be getting more money/recognition/status etc. elsewhere but choose to put all that aside and spend their lives sharing God’s love with the poorest of the poor by serving with Compassion.
One testimony to the impact Compassion and the local church has on people’s lives is that without fail, at every Project I’ve been to, there are formerly sponsored children who return to volunteer at the Project in some form. Whether it’s teaching a class, teaching a musical instrument, cooking the kids food or giving them medical care.
They don’t just come back because they have nothing better to do, but they want to be a living example to the kids. To give the kids the hope of God and be able to say “Look what God has done in my life. I used to be a sponsored child like you, but He has rescued me and He can do the same for you.”
It has been a privilege for me to be able to pray with and for these amazing people and encourage them every opportunity I get. One particular conversation broke my heart. One lady was in tears while she shared with me the challenges her community faces. She added they sometimes wonder if anyone does remember them and pray for them. They often feel forgotten.
That is why I am writing this post, to draw attention to the sacrificial and heroic work of the Compassion Project workers. Not so they get worldly recognition or kudos. That’s not what they want. But so that we who are Christians and/or sponsors can keep them in our prayers, regularly lift them up to God and maybe even encourage them in the letters we write to our sponsor children.
God is using them, as well as us as sponsors to transform the lives of children and families and release them from poverty in Jesus name.