Showing Compassion

I’m participating in a Collaborative 40 Day Fast, a spin-off of a previous 40 Day Fast. Essentially, you choose a day on which to fast from something on which you spend time and money (possibly something other than food) and devote that time and money to prayer and contributions to an organization that meets the physical needs of the poor in the name of Jesus and post on your blog to make others aware of the organization’s function and needs.

Some people have linked or posted this 1994 Pulitzer Prize winning photo by Kevin Carter, using the visual impact of the famine in Sudan as the dramatic symbol of the needs of all the poor, particularly the Sudanese. I can’t imagine looking at the photo and not being moved by the girl’s skeletal figure and the vulture waiting.

As this blog is all about food now, it seems good to take a day off and highlight the needs of those who are considerably less well fed. I’ve chosen Compassion International as the organization to bring to the spotlight today.

I had heard about Compassion International for years, but didn’t become involved until last year when Brant Hansen traveled to Kenya and met a girl his family has been sponsoring. I was moved to check out their financial integrity because, while I realize that any organization has expenses to operate, I want to know that most of the money I’m giving actually gets to the intended user. They are highly rated for their financial accountability.

So, Things 1 and 2 sat at the computer with me and we selected a child to sponsor. They decided they wanted to pick a girl who was between their ages and who had been waiting more than a year for a sponsor. Christine, who is from Kenya, has written us a couple of letters in English with handwriting far neater than either Things 1 or 2 use. She drew us pictures of a hen, a tree, a cat, and a window. She colored them in with pencil and labeled them for us. We should write to her more often than we do.

It’s almost ridiculous how easy it is to sponsor this lovely child. We signed up with a credit card online and have a monthly donation charged to our account. You can also make a one time donation to help with disaster relief, medical intervention, and child survival programs. For $32, roughly the amount I would spend to make three turtle tarts or raspberry truffle tarts, we sponsor Christine and help provide access to what she needs as she grows. It’s worth missing a dinner out a month or making a few less expensive desserts at home to know we’re making a difference for a little girl who is very like my own girls.

So today, I encourage you to visit the Compassion International website and consider giving a donation or sponsoring a child. If you would like to participate in the 40 Day Fast, go to this page and leave a comment with the day you want and your blog address and we’ll look forward to your post. If you are so moved, perhaps you’d even like to take the torch and organize another 40 day fast beginning where this one leaves off on Sept. 10th.