Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Compassion Insight #4 - Pastor Letters

The Pastors of Compassion partner churches are among my heroes, and I’ve been privileged to meet many. They are sacrificially giving and sharing God’s love in desperately poor places, and investing in the lives of children and families.

One fantastic initiative Compassion has come up with are the Pastor Letters. Each Pastor of a Compassion partner church writes a yearly letter to the sponsors. Far from being manufactured “sponsor-inducing propaganda”, the letters give a fascinating and necessary insight into details of the reality and the challenges the community is facing, as well as the impact Compassion is having on the children, families and the community. Over the last seven years I have sponsored 54 children from 26 countries and I’ve received my fair share of Pastor letters. I wanted to share with you a glimpse of Compassion’s impact, through the eyes of Church partner Pastors:

Partnering with Compassion International has enabled us to open the gospel's door not to just to the children but to their parents as well for them to grow in the Lord as much as their children. We have been assisting our children to live a healthy life as well as to know how to prevent diseases or some physical problems. Most important we give them a chance to try to take on the world for Jesus!

Many of our parents have come to us in deep confidence to share that they have seen how the lives of their children have changed drastically especially in the way they relate to their parents, showing more respect for them and for all the people that they get in touch with.

Dear sponsor, your words included in letters for our children are priceless! It draws a smile from ear to ear on each child every time they read their letters, because they know they are loved by someone far away! Your role in the lives of our children is extremely important, and we are so grateful for having you in our lives!

May God bless you abundantly, and I want to dearly thank you for your generosity shown through your support for Yeymi. You and I are drawing this community closer to God, and your support is such a blessing for each of our children!

Thank you for giving us an opportunity to improve the life of children as well as families. Every moment the children are enjoying is because of Compassion and sponsors like you.

Now children are coming to the Center. Children are being developed educationally, physically, spiritually and socially. Now the children are free from malnutrition and are healthy and active. And they are excelling in the education, and I am happy the Center had vacation program where children heard many stories of faithful servants, new songs and memory verses, and the lessons were taught through puppet show. I am sure the children will grow in faith and become good citizens with values of our country.

At this moment we see ourselves as the shepherd who walks ahead and takes care of the flock of sheep, the children. To us the sheep seem so pure and innocent. Proud of the sheep, we see them as a beautiful group. As the pastors we care and pray for the sheep and we bring them to the faithful pastor, the Son of God, Jesus Christ. We enjoy participating in this mission as shepherds of the sheep.

Jesus has allowed us as a church in this area to achieve our dreams, goals, vision. We are certain our Lord Himself has approved the mission, first because we believe that it is in His heart. He has given us desire to reach our children and youth for him in order that they could find the truth that sets us free from captivity, poverty, misery and ignorance.

We can tell you that the letters we have received from sponsors have been delivered to the children, and when they receive them we see their smiles. Their hearts fill with joy especially when they see pictures or other things from their sponsor family. They now understand that there is someone who loves them and now they are part of their families.

Our vision in the future for our children is to see them ready in all the areas of their lives. We dream to have at our Center the best conditions spiritually, personnel and facilities to continue fulfilling our commitment. We know that united with sponsors like you we can continue creating opportunities for our children, that is so hurt by many causes that mix to destroy them. But with the help of God, we will win the victory in their lives.

The letters from sponsors always produce happiness when they come to our children in the Center. They keep each letter with joy. Some of them have told me about sponsors' emotive letters with content of love and appreciation for them. The children and the staff and I all thank God for the sponsors and pray for you.

Our sponsors' help has indeed had a great impact on our children and their families. They value the program and many of them have been released from poverty. They have learned skills that enable them to support themselves and their families.

Now almost 60 percent of our children attend church, Sunday school and youth ministries. We are also working with the children's parents. We have established a plan called "Felipe Plan" and it is about winning and involving more people for Christ. Now there are committed people to visit the parents and put them in the Lord's path. This plan is blessed with our prayers.

As pastor and God's servant, I feel so privileged to serve. It is our vision to work with our youth. We pray that they will get salvation and become great leaders and citizens. The mission of the church is that these children and teenagers believe in God as their Saviour and that they are developing strong values. It is a joy to see our children smile every time they receive letters, pictures and cards from their sponsors.

I feel privileged that the church supports these children through the support of the Compassion partnership. The church is the main spiritual provider to the children, their families and the community at large. Here at the Center, children are taught income-generating skills which they can't receive anywhere else. They also receive medical treatment whenever necessary.

My vision is to serve these children diligently and bring them to God so that they may become responsible men and women of great importance. They are the future leaders of our church and our nation at large.

The relationship between sponsors and children has been of great importance and value to them. The lovely letters and photos mean so much to them and will always be a remembrance of you. The children feel more loved and valued when they receive letters, and they keep praying that God will bless you abundantly.

We thank God that He extends our ministry in the community to help these unprivileged children. Our church has opportunities to fill what's lacking in their lives. We are like their fathers and mothers, ready to give them and their families guidance, and offering them the salvation of Christ.

We would like to thank God that we have you as the faithful sponsor for Teeraphat. We realize that you are a vital part in this ministry. Your financial giving enables us to minister to the unprivileged children, who are precious. It allows the children, their families and others in the community to know and be touched by the love of God through action. May God bless you so much for your prayers.

I would like to share with you and let you know the way your help has been a blessing to children and youth as well as the church of God. Through your sponsorship, our children and youth have been escaped from bad companies - for example, gangs, drug abuse, robbery, prostitution, etc.

It is my feeling and hope as pastor of the church that your sponsorship carried on through Compassion International will continue to help the churches for the child and youth sponsorship, because the church is the Center for the spiritual, educational, physical and social affairs. This service to children and youth has brought big changes through your help since we started this partnership with Compassion International Tanzania.

Our program is impacting children's lives. The children are always glad to come to the Center here at our church because they often face difficulties at their homes and in their area. When they are at Center we provide them with games and a place where they can play together and enjoy different types of activities.

At the Child Development Center the children learn many things about health, hygiene practices, and good manners. The Center workers and teachers love the children and know each of them by name. They teach them classes to enrich their skills, such as painting, sewing, and music. But above all, we take time to teach them about Jesus Christ. We pray for each child and conduct regular Bible classes. Each year we have many children that make professions of faith in Jesus, and as a result, several family members have started attending our Sunday church services.

We all admit that Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program is a gift from God to Haiti, especially to the underprivileged children. We thank all of our sponsors, everywhere they are, for making such a great impact in the community of Sanoix.

I feel happy with the group of helpers and tutors, men and women of God who have wanted to serve with the heart to these little ones. They love them deeply and know their names, their tastes, their strengths, their houses, their parents, their dreams and hopes. We focus deeply on them and teach them about health and hygiene, good conduct and relations with others.

The wish of my heart is to serve my city in the name of my Lord Jesus, and I am grateful for this privilege that I am given to see my boys and girls and teenagers happy and with high self-esteem and see that they are being changed radically.

I want you to know that your sponsor support means a lot to Paola. I admire you and I know that God will continue to bless you. Our children need the most to feel loved, and sponsors show them that abundantly. When they receive the letters and the photos they are really happy and that makes them feel special. Many of these kids cry next to me when they read the letters.

I also want to tell you that the same way you assist our Luz de Esperanza Student Center, we also receive the support of many sponsors for our children through Compassion, which are transformed into wonderful blessings for all the children in this Child Development Center.

All the sponsored children live in the poorest region of our community, and the protection that they receive from Compassion and our church at the Center is practically the only sign of life and hope they have. Our program is a place for the children not only to grow integrally but is a blessing place as it is an oasis in the desert, and you the sponsors make it possible with your generous sponsorships.

I must share with you that your help reaches more than the sponsored children. Our Center and Compassion have a partnership to reach the parents of sponsored children in family orientation meetings, vocational workshops and courses to help them improve their lives and income generation. In this regard we are intentional in presenting the gospel so they can know that God is the real fountain of life.

It is important for me to indicate here that we and our community have never benefited from any support or care of the kind Compassion is giving us. We are not taking this for granted, and I personally believe that the ministry of Compassion is God's blessing for all the children of our community and even our country Togo.

The good news today is that we are so thankful to God for the Compassion ministry because our program is making a very big and meaningful impact in the lives of our children, their parents and the community as a whole. Health, education, socio-emotional and spiritual needs of all 200 children of our Center are fully being taken care of. At the moment only 89 children of our Center have sponsors, and we are praying that God will grant each of the 111 remaining children the grace to have a sponsor as well.

The participation of our children in our program has given the opportunity to many parents to join our church, and we thank God for their lives. My aim is to continue serving our community through the Compassion ministry and to see our little children grow and become true, fulfilled adult Christians, capable to carry out the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our sponsored children are very excited. The support they receive at the Center has given them some freedom from their poverty, from anxiety related to their parents' unemployment, and from sickness and rejection.

The staff members' work is fruitful and souls are getting saved. My vision is to bring the population to repentance; at every meeting, parents and authorities fill the temple and show their approval for the Center's activities.

Receiving pictures, letters and gifts from sponsors contributes to a sense of happiness and fulfillment.

The work is hard, but the results are so precious to us that they motivate us to go on. I therefore ask you to pray for them, for our entire Center, and for our holistic training program, which aims to make Jesus known. Peace, life and happiness are found in Him.

For that reason we want to thank you for the children of our Child Development Center, their parents and of course me, because of your support of this great program. As a pastor I have been able to see during these years the way the children have improved in every area of their lives and they are becoming in good citizens. We do not get tired of thanking God for putting sponsors in these children's path and for contributing to their formation.

My desire is to keep encouraging you to help us in this beautiful task where we form people to contribute to a better future for those who are just growing in our society. May God bless you from the highness and multiply you a hundred percent for your contribution; these children need you for living, and I wish these children grow healthy and strong, and we want that the Center's influence is reflected in their behaviour.

I constantly listen to the children blessing in payer to their sponsors; it is a blessing for them to know that far away there are people who concern and pray for their lives. Thanks to God for the Compassion task and your contributions that encourage our church task in this place.

The children also learn such job skills as hair-styling and hair-dressing, to which they were not initiated in their community. The most important thing is that they are having some teachings about Jesus Christ. Through our program, not only the lives of children have been changed, but some of their parents have now come to church.

I'm really very glad to see such a change in the lives of people of the community I'm working for. I want to be so thankful to you through this mail for the importance you give to our children's ministry and let you know that photos and letters received from sponsors make them feel very happy.

Our church is committed to our Center. More than 30 children from our Center take part in the Sunday school classes, and almost 50 have already confessed Christ as their Saviour. It is beautiful to see children that had no idea about the kingdom of God pray for the meals, the Center and the sponsors.

Our goal is to move ahead, improving more and more the quality in the treatment these children receive. Eventually, we hope to enroll more kids at Projeto Sementinhas. I dream of the day we will have 500 children reached by the merciful hand of God.

Before I close this letter, I would like to say something special to you who have been touched by God. Only the eternity will reveal how valuable your decision is. The prayers from the needy ones go up to heaven as in a bunch, but the answer from God comes down like an arrow in direction of the one He loves - His chosen one. In our case, I believe that in God's answer the arrows turn into two: one comes down upon the sponsored child and the other upon the sponsor. Rest assured that every day our children pray for you.

I am grateful to God for the support you provide to Jacqueline. Because of you, we keep on working in this ministry on behalf of the children. May the Lord bless and multiply your gesture of generosity! Within the Center, these children find shelter, protection and above all, God's love. Many of them come from dysfunctional homes, while some have been abandoned by their parents. For that reason they find open and genuine support here. We reach out to them to aide in moving forward amongst all the difficulties they may have in their lives.

Of course, the most important thing is the assistance we provide to the children concerning their spiritual development. Thanks to that specific work, we can witness the fruits of the gospel right away. We have a group of children who became leaders of the church's worship team after coming to the Center for eight years. They were baptized and are now receiving training to become teachers.

I am deeply grateful to God for the blessing that this program represents to our community. We are instruments in the hands of the Lord, which helps us bring some families closer to God. Our congregation started with very few families and now it is much bigger - 40 percent of our children's families have joined us already.

Thank you for sharing your love and blessings with Jacqueline. I would like to mention that your contact is incredibly important. Letters and messages from sponsors like you make the children feel the warmth of God and bring joy and hope to their lives.

Children who were not in school are now, and their school fees are being paid. We provide school bags, uniforms and books, and we feed them well-balanced breakfasts and lunches. Parents also receive information about good parenting, personal hygiene, and tuberculosis and other health risks.

As a pastor, my vision is to connect more children and their families to Christ. The sponsorship program has been a blessing to the children and their families in the community. In the Anyaah community, it has saved a lot of children's lives. More children are attending school and more parents are working now because of the family gifts you have been sending.

We are praying and pleading that you continue to sponsor these children. Otherwise children could go back to being out of school; this could affect their future, and they'd not have the same hope of living. Thank you. God richly bless you and your family for the wonderful work you are doing for the little ones. As the Bible also says, "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me" (Mark 9:37, NIV). Thank you for sharing your blessings with Baba.

Most important of all, we try to meet their spiritual needs and teach them about Jesus. We pray for each child and conduct regular Bible classes. During the past year, we have seen children decide to confess their faith, and several family members have started attending our services.

My vision is to serve this community in the name of our Lord and Saviour. I am so thrilled when I walk into the center and see the excited and joyful faces of these children. Lives are truly being changed.

I would like you to know that your personal sponsorship means so much for Kennedy. We are especially grateful for your commitment to sponsor Kennedy. Our children need to feel loved and valued. We share with them the names of their sponsors and when they receive letters or photos they glow with excitement. It makes them feel very special and loved.

It's such a joy when these sponsored children receive letters from our sponsors most especially those that come along with photos. We observe the excitement among them as they try to share with their friends the letters and photos. They are excited showing them what their sponsors look like. It really increases their bond to their sponsors.

Our Center at our church has greatly been blessed by your sponsorship and the friendship you share with all of us.
Some of them have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. The children are truly committed and share their personal experiences with the Lord to the other people in our church.

Please get it from me that all of our sponsors support has helped these children move many miles away from poverty. Our children feel loved and valued by their sponsors. Most especially to those of you who endeavor to write to them and those who go an extra mile to visit them in their homes. I can't fully thank you with words but I pray that our almighty God will richly bless you and your families.

Most importantly, we teach them about Jesus. We encourage and teach them to pray, recite memory verses, recite the books of the Bible and learn to sing hymns and song of praises unto the Lord. We also doubled our effort that these children will receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour. As indicated of the children's excitement to come to the Center and the parent's cooperation towards the program, I know that the children and their family are very happy and thankful for the sponsors' help.

My vision is to serve Maydolong community in Jesus' name. In my heart I tremble when I learn and see many children in Maydolong who don't attend school due to poverty, because their parents cannot afford to send them to school. May their future be like the future of our children who have hopes for tomorrow because of those people like you who help them reach their dreams.

I would like you to know that your generosity as sponsor really means a lot. Every time our children receive letters and photos they get very excited and I see it in their eyes the smiles that describe a thankful heart. It really makes them feel so special.

The children are happy to come to the program because they find love, care and understanding from their teachers.

Having our program has been a wonderful experience; seeing how these children advance in their spiritual development, in such simple attitudes as giving thanks to God for the food or sharing Jesus with other children, is the greatest satisfaction we can have.

I have the vision that all the children of our program know Jesus, and that they impact their parents and the community with Jesus' message.

Some of our sponsored youth now are praise and worship team members in the church, and some are Sunday school teachers. Every time we have a special activity, the youth play a big role in planning, preparation and implementation. They are our volunteer workers in younger children's activity. They take part in physical development of our area as their service opportunity and are active participants in the community. Many Compassion-sponsored children are excelling in their schools. In fact when we talk about top ten academic performers in class, there is always one of our children included. They are contenders, representing their schools in athletic events, as well as with musical and literary contests.

Compassion Lampara Child Development Center is always the trendsetter in the area that other educational institutions look to. What we are doing serves as example for others to follow. This had led us to be recognized by the city government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development, who we also link with for resources and trainings.

As a church, we dream to be God's vessel for our children to become examples, leaders of our church, community and responsible man in the family and the country. It is the desire of our hearts that these children would someday become partners, workers and volunteers of developmental work in the area, and be able to share what they gained from Compassion Program to others also. We are also looking forward that they too would be sponsors for the needy family of our community someday.

Thank you for our partnership, dear sponsors of these children. Your role means so much for the realization of these dreams and without you we find it hard to reach out and be an instrument of development to the needy in the community.

Thank you for your commitment to Dave. The letters you send encourage our children to keep on going and inspire them to pursue their plans and aspirations knowing and feeling that you love them. So do not grow weary in doing well, for in due season you will reap the harvest of your labour.

God gave this seeds to our hands to make of them a strong tree for God's service, where the birds of heaven reside. We are grateful for your love and concern for Laura.

Our mission has been to receive these children and give them educational, cognitive, affective, physical, and most important, spiritual orientation, because is in this way that we show them the love of God in their difficulties, and show Jesus as their only Lord and Saviour.

We as a work team are very grateful with God for the marvellous help and love you have for the children. Through this help we've been able to see an excellent result with children. We enjoy their smiles and their tender caresses, that today we want to share with sponsors like you, who are the ones who make this happen. We are praying every day for you and your families, so the Lord will bless you and fill you with abundant grace and love.

This is what you've showed with the daily support, financial and spiritual. You are the children's happiness, because for the children you are the fathers that some of them didn't have, and the mothers that give them love and affection. We trust in the Lord that He will provide you to continue supporting such a beautiful cause for the well being of the children, who are the kingdom of heaven. The Lord will do great things on them to transform lives and the world.

Thank you for your work and the fruit of your hands, and for your prayers for Laura. We love you in the love of the Lord, because you're the most beautiful blessing that God has given us to save the children's souls.

Your help, through Compassion, has been of great importance. It contributes meaningfully to mitigate the problems mentioned above. I wish to encourage you to continue assisting us at this work in favor of countless children. Even though the world is going through a financial crisis, I believe that each one of us can contribute a lot to the children's lives. Like an old song goes: "one plus one is always more than two."

The Christian teaching we provide prioritizes a life filled with the values from the kingdom of God, demonstrated specially in Galatians 5:22-23: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." We train our teachers who perform a direct work to the children, including the children's service. Besides that, we promote a vacation Bible school every six months. It has attracted not only the children from our community but also from the surrounding ones.

Personally it has been very special to work at the Center with your partnership. I believe that we are not doing this alone, but we count on God's presence to provide us with our needs at tough times.

I would also like to encourage you as a sponsor to continue writing letters. This relationship is healthy and may bear everlasting fruits for you and for these children. This communication expresses love, sympathy, affection and dedication that go beyond any cultural barrier.

When children receive a letter or a gift from a sponsor, they feel very happy and important and want involvement in the Center activities.

My personal vision is that children can develop holistically, and that we can support them in different areas, ministering to them through prayers. I also would like to have a library, so they can spend time reading books, and give them workshops, laboratories and sports activities. Thus, juvenile delinquency and gangs would decrease.

What you have done with us through your sponsorship has been very important. It has come to provide for many needs that otherwise we would be unable to give. We firmly believe that God will reward you and your family until the fourth generation.

We really appreciate your financial, moral and spiritual support for Josefa. We are very thankful with you for writing a new story in our children's lives. Please pray for our church, these children and the whole community.

Now we can see that our children have learned how to respect their families, authorities and neighbours. In the physical area, we have noticed that they don't get sick as often as they used to, since they receive nutritional food that otherwise they would not be able to obtain.

It is my personal vision, as a pastor of this congregation and the children who attend our Student Center, to form good citizens, capable leaders with God's instruction and love, who have the chance of a better future for themselves, their families and even their nation.

Your unconditional support to these Guatemalan children is very worthy and important for us. Thank you for your loving support for Mayra. May God bless you! I can't find the words to thank you for all you have done for us! I am so touched because of your help and prayers. So please, continue praying for the Center in our church, as well as for each of the children whom we serve.

We ask to our Lord, Creator of the universe, His strength, wisdom, health and spirit to continue doing God's work to His children, through this Child Development Center. Please know that we also pray for you, that God will take care of your health, family, job, finances and spiritual life, and that you can see His kind hand especially through this difficult time around the world.

During the year, 30 kids received Christ as their Saviour. And 16 parents are attending church. I was praying to the Lord for a long time, to find a ministry, which could help me to work for the children, and then I found Compassion. It has been such a blessing for the children of our community and especially to the children of our church. This is the main provider of spiritual teaching to our children. I want you to know that your personal support as sponsor means a lot.

Our children need to feel loved and valued. We share with them their sponsors' names and when they receive letters and pictures, they are happy, and this makes them feel so special.

The most important thing is that we teach them about Jesus. We pray for every child, and we have Bible lessons on a regular basis. Last year, some of our children accepted Jesus in their hearts and many family members of those children now attend our church.

My vision is to serve our community in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I feel moved whenever I see a child or an adolescent coming to the Center - even more when it is for the first time - so they can learn about our Heavenly Father. Their lives are truly changed.

I want you to know how much I appreciate your support as a sponsor of this child. The children feel loved and valued. We share with them the names of their sponsors, and whenever they receive a letter or photo, they feel very happy. This makes them feel special. For them, it is important to know that there are people who care and pray for them. We are grateful with all our hearts for the love that you have shown.

1 comment:

  1. I love the pastor's letters also...they provide insight into the community and environment for the kids that I don't always get through our kids' letters. I enjoyed the parts that you included here too!