The last time I returned from a trip to a third world country, I cried for a week.
Maybe it was due to jetlag, but at the same time, there’s an incredible burden that comes with knowing about poverty and seeing it firsthand. And it doesn’t take a trip halfway across the world to feel that burden. It may come on when you watch the news or hear accounts of situations that feel beyond your control.
Hunger. War. Disease. Exploitation.
They’re real things that happen every single day, and it’s so easy to feel discouraged and hopeless. What are we supposed to do with these larger than life problems? It’s a question that bothers me often, but from observing Compassion, I’ve learned that changing the world isn’t a helpless cause. It starts with 3 easy steps…
1. Be One
Odds are, you’re not going to find the cure for the world’s most heinous diseases or take down ISIS all by yourself. You’ll probably never figure out how to distribute food in a way that will fill every stomach. You can’t fund every bank account. Alone, you can’t end poverty for good.
So why bother? Because while there are so many things you can’t do, there are also incredible things you can do. You can be one for one. Wildfires start with a single spark, and as everyone does their little part, the world begins to change.
You can break the cycle of poverty for one child by giving them the tools to thrive and the ability to dream.
2. Speak Life
Before Compassion intervenes in a child’s life, there isn’t much room for dreams. They’ll probably grow up doing exactly what they’ve watched their parents and grandparents do for years: merely survive.
But once they’re given their basic needs, the tools to thrive in school and the opportunity to know Jesus personally, everything changes.
Suddenly, they can think about what they can be when they grow up. Your Compassion child may be the next great economist that solves the issues that plagued his childhood. Your child could be the next great leader that changes her community for good. And while they dream about being a doctor or a pilot someday, you get to come along side them with your letter writing and tell them they are good enough to do those things and that you’re praying for them as they take that journey.
3. It’s not over yet
Compassion gives a child hope, but what about those days where another terrible story pops up in the news, and your feeling of hopelessness returns? What about the days when you feel like it’s not enough and it will never be enough? It’s a simple answer.
Never, ever give up.
To these kids, you’re an answer to prayer and the beginning of a new life for them. Never take that for granted, because they don’t. Hope happens and the world begins to change because you’re changing the world for one child. It’s the beginning of something beautiful that goes far beyond our hopeless thoughts that things will never change by turning a child into a world changer.