The country of Colombia has always been known to me as one of the worst drug trafficking countries in the world. Located in the northern region of South America, unfortunately this is all too true. The country also has experienced many political and military conflicts that affect the poor living there.
Previously, I wrote about a challenge my wife, Andrea, and I were given through a bible study we went through just after we were married. In that study it challenged us to ask God to bring a poor person into our lives. One of the ways He did that was to introduce us to Compassion International, a ministry who meets the needs of children in poverty around the world.
Compassion gave us the opportunity to sponsor a child. We chose to match our four children with children in poverty around their same ages. Gracie, our second daughter, began a friendship with Erika from Colombia when they were both about seven years old. At that time Erika wrote to Gracie: “I feel so happy to have a sponsor. In the (Compassion Center) they told us to pray and God will bring one soon. In the (Center) they teach us so much. Pray for me that I will do well in school.”
Erika lives with her mother and 4 brothers in a small house. Her father was killed in an accident in 2010 although we have been unable to find out exactly how this happened. In her letters, Erika has expressed how much she misses her father. Please pray for Erika that her heavenly Father will be the father to her she lost.
Gracie has really enjoyed corresponding with Erika through the years. Gracie writes Erika monthly and she probably hears from her about 4-6 times per year. I asked Gracie what she likes about this program and she said, “It is fun to know Erika through pictures she sends as well as drawings and letters. It is neat to have a friend that lives in another part of the world. She doesn’t have as much as we do here. I can write and encourage her – she knows someone cares about her, her interests and her feelings. I also know the money we send each month help her to learn and grow in her relationship with God.”
Part of our own personal giving is to contribute monthly through Compassion to Erika and the other children we sponsor. However, Gracie is diligent to save a portion of the money she earns in various ways to send Erika a birthday and Christmas gift each year. Erika does a good job of thanking Gracie and communicating what she was able to buy with the money sent through Compassion.
Maybe you and your family are interested in building a relationship with a child in a similar way. To find out more about sponsoring a child with Compassion International, go to www.compassion.com.