Taking Action – Compassion in India

Dear Grace Point Prayer Partners and Compassion Sponsors,

As you may know, Grace Point has a partner church in Bolivia through Compassion International – a Christ-centered organization that seeks to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. Recently, Compassion has been forced to withdrawal all operations from the country of India – affecting over 145,000 children and babies. Below is an update from Jimmy Mellado, President & CEO of Compassion. 

Would you please pray for Compassion and the many children affected by this decision? Would you take action and contact your senators and congressmen to ask for their help with this situation?


From Jimmy Mellado, President & CEO of Compassion International:

For nearly a year, we’ve been sharing updates with our sponsors of Indian children about the severe funding restrictions India’s government has placed on our programs there. Along the way, we have sought every possible remedy with the Indian government, and while we have received significant support from our U.S. government at the highest levels, India has still not lifted their restrictions. Now, despite all these efforts and worldwide prayers to prevent this outcome, our inability to fund our operations is forcing us to suspend our India operations fully starting March 15.

For the sake of the 145,000 babies and children who will suffer as a result, our government is willing to stand with us in voicing our significant concerns over this action, but they need to hear from you, our Compassion sponsors, to do so. That is why we are reaching out to each of our U.S. sponsors to make them aware that Compassion is being forced to close its sponsorship program in India and to request their assistance with a very important ask.

Today, in response to this terrible injustice, will you make a bold statement to your representatives in the U.S. government? Speak up for the children who have no voice. Make a statement about your heart’s desire that these children be loved and served. Let them know that the children in India who live on less than $2.00 per day really matter.

Please take just one minute to write your senators and representatives today. Let them know that people like you who want to help should continue to have the opportunity to support children living in extreme poverty in India. Ask them to show their support of these children by speaking with political representatives in India. We’ve pre-written the letter for you, but you can also add content if you want to share your personal thoughts and feelings about Compassion closing its work in India. It will only take a few clicks to make this very important statement.

While these letters may not prevent the close of our work in India at this time, your action will serve as a seed that God plants to make a significant difference in the future, for Compassion and many other faith-based as well as secular organizations working in India. And who knows how God may use this? This may just be the impetus He uses to soften the hearts of the India government regarding Compassion. Please stand with us and show your elected officials that you care for these children.

Despite this deeply troubling situation, we take to heart Jesus’ message in Matthew 25:40 that “whatever you have done for the least of these you have done for me.” We cannot imagine not being able to serve these vulnerable children in India, especially when the need is so great. Although Compassion’s existing service to more than 145,000 precious Indian babies and children may end, we will continue to work diligently to advocate for the more than 100 million children living in extreme poverty within India.

Thank you in advance for your willingness to partner with us in this important effort for these very vulnerable children in India.

In Christ,

Santiago “Jimmy” Mellado
President and CEO
Compassion International

P.S. Please make an important statement by taking just one minute to write your senators and representatives today to let them know that you want a future hope to support precious children living in extreme poverty in India.

Bolivia: Not What I Was Expecting

Let me be candid: my trip to Bolivia was not what I was expecting.

Don’t get me wrong – I was expecting to learn. But most of the things I learned were not what I had in mind ahead of time.

I did not expect to learn that joy really is possible in the midst of seemingly hopeless circumstances. We met friends who have so very little in the way of material possessions, yet their faces beam a joy that can only come from the Lord.

I was not looking for evidence to prove the old cliché, “If you can make a difference for only one, it still matters to that one.” Turns out that “cliché” is really a profound truth, and is happening over and over again, one child at a time.

I did not know I would witness a drive to spread the gospel that often gets lost in the busyness of our first world pursuits of “success.” That drive is alive and well in Bolivia and people are being rescued every day from a Christ-less eternity. (May it be so in Bucks County!)

I did not expect the clarity that ministry is about people and not programs. If at the heart of ministry we are not about loving and serving others, we have missed it completely.

I did not know my daughter could instantly have such love for a little boy from another continent who speaks a different language, yet who in three days came to call her “Tia” – aunt. I am thankful that we can stay connected through letters and pictures – they mean the world to sponsored children. Here are some great ideas to write a letter to your child right now.

I did not expect to become so attached to people I knew for only a week. But the truth is, I’ve left a piece of my heart behind on a dusty hill outside Cochabamba.

Our team had an amazing time and look forward to sharing more in the weeks to come.  Thanks to our great God and to all who made this trip possible.

Bolivia Team Update

Many of you have been praying for our team in Bolivia. Below is an abbreviated update that came in earlier today.

Hola from Bolivia!

The team is having a wonderful time in Cochabamba and have had so many great experiences. God is doing beautiful things through us.

Photo Credit: Joan Zeberlein

Saturday was our fun day and the team and our sponsor kids had a day full of sweets, rides, and play! The team definitely bonded with families. It is amazing how the relationships with the families were built in such a small amount of time. At the end of the day we debriefed and talked about how great God is and the things he is doing in Bolivia.

Praise God! During a home visit on Friday, it was discovered that the father of one of the sponsor kids had left 2 months prior and hadn’t been seen since. A member of our team prayed the salvation prayer with the mother and the mother accepted Christ. The team gathered at that home visit then prayed for restoration of the family. Sure enough, God provided! On Saturday morning when the children arrived for the fun day, the father was with the mother and the children! The power of prayer and trust in the Lord was certainly revealed from this experience. What a blessing to the family and our team!

Sunday we attended church at Unidos en Cristo. We were welcomed by a group of kids playing drums and trumpets. The service was very nice, Pastor Dave gave a message how we are all the same which was very moving.

Grace Point then stood up and received handmade bags and plates. We sang lots of songs throughout the service too. We have a worship pastor with our team from Minnesota and he led our team in the performance of two songs to the congregation. We planned for one but they asked for an encore. We laughed as we weren’t sure we even had a [good start] to begin with but God provided the words and the time was very special.

The team is all happy and working very well together. We appreciate your prayers. Please continue to pray for our health as a few on our team are battling upset stomachs. Nothing that is keeping us down but would enjoy being delivered from the feelings.

We start VBS today! Pray for the interaction with all of the children and these special moments that we have with them.

Through Him,

A.Z. on behalf of the team

50 Letter Writing Prompts

Teacher helping small boy
Photo Courtesy Compassion International

At Grace Point, many of us sponsor children through Compassion International. Some of us just started sponsoring a child and some of us have been sponsoring children for much longer. While sending in our $38/month is nice, it is the relationships we build with these children that matters most. These relationships are built on the regular writing and receiving of letters to/from our sponsored children and prayer.

Whether you handwrite your letters, use the Compassion mobile app, or send them online, writing a letter can be difficult when you don’t know much about the other person. Below are 50 letter-writing prompts to get you started!

Letter-Writing Prompts About Your Childhood

  1. What activities did you enjoy as a child?
  2. Who was your favorite teacher? What was the teacher like?
  3. Whom did you admire as you were growing up? Why?
  4. How did you get your name? What does it mean?
  5. Did you grow up in church? How did you come to know Jesus?
  6. What was a challenge you had to overcome as a child or teenager?
  7. What was your favorite part of school?
  8. What was your least favorite part of school?
  9. What happened during a typical school day?
  10. What was your first job like?
A Lifetime Treasure
Photo Courtesy of Compassion International

Letter-Writing Prompts About Your Life Today

  1. What is your typical day like now?
  2. What do you do at church/work/school?
  3. What do you like most about your hometown?
  4. What are some interesting facts about your state/province/region?
  5. How do you relax?
  6. What’s your favorite holiday? How would you describe the sights, sounds, smells, tastes of that holiday?
  7. What’s your biggest challenge at the moment?
  8. What other human understands you better than anyone else? How did you come to know this person?
  9. What are you learning right now?
  10. What’s one of your favorite Bible stories or passages? Why?

Letter-Writing Prompts About Your Family

  1. What are your closest family members like?
  2. What happens when your extended family gets together?
  3. What do you believe is God’s purpose for your family?
  4. What is your biggest challenge as a family?
  5. How has God been faithful to your family?
  6. What prayers has God answered in your family?
  7. Who else in your family knows Jesus? How did they come to know Him
  8. What’s your favorite thing about your family?
  9. In what way does your family work together best?
  10. What role has your family played in your faith journey?

Letter-Writing Prompts About Your Spiritual Life

  1. How has God recently answered your prayer?
  2. How have you sensed God’s leading at different points of your life?
  3. Who is your spiritual role model?
  4. When have you needed to repent?
  5. How has God comforted you in trouble?
  6. Why do you love God?
  7. How did you become involved in your local church?
  8. What do you believe are some of God’s purposes for your life?
  9. What was the latest sermon you heard or class study about? How has it impacted you?
  10. What is a challenge in your relationship with God?

Letter-Writing Prompts About Your Local Church

  1. How would you describe your pastor?
  2. What do you like about your local church?
  3. What role do you play in your local church?
  4. How do you use your gifts, skills and passions in your church?
  5. Who is your best friend at church and how did you become friends?
  6. Why is your local church important to you?
  7. How is your church active in the community and world?
  8. How does being a part of the church challenge you?
  9. How do you know God wants you to be part of this church?
  10. How did God lead you into ministry within your local church?

From Compassion’s website: http://www.compassion.com/letter-writing/letter-writing-prompts.htm