By Jennifer Harris
Word&Way News Writer
The SUSTAIN student ministry at First Baptist Church of Springfield partnered with Compassion International during the church's revival Sept. 9-12.
Students manned a Compassion table, giving revival attenders the opportunity to sponsor a child and learn about Compassion’s ministries.
Compassion International is a child development organization that works in 24 countries around the world and currently works to meet the economic, educational, medical, and social needs of over 800,000 children worldwide.
“The reason why Compassion is important to me is because it gives kids hope and shows them who Jesus Christ is and what He has done for them,” said high school senior Ben Goodwin. “When our youth group went to camp this summer, this one kid got to call his sponsored child in front of the whole camp. That was one of the most moving experiences ever. You could just tell in the little girl’s voice that she had enough faith to make it through.”
During the four-day revival, 13 children were sponsored. Prior to the revival, students received special training from Compassion International and volunteered at the Point of Grace concert. During the concert, the students helped over 30 people begin sponsorships with Compassion.
“Working at the table is a lot of fun, because you get to see all the kids and also get to see them off with a sponsor,” said junior Erica Murren. “I love what [Compassion] is doing to the poverty stricken kids of the world. Not only do you get to help make their life better, you get to write to them, which is my favorite part.”
Senior Wes Agent feels God is using Compassion International in his call to mission work. “Compassion is a good organization to do that through, because they care about a lot of the issues I care about in this world, such as clean water, poverty, and the AIDS problem,” he said. “So I figure why not start now and get involved so I can later help out in their countries?”
Agent sponsors Lucy Mukami Museru, a girl living in Kenya. “She has written us one letter so far and is very thankful we have sponsored her,” Agent said. “These letters and hearing straight from the girl are what this experience is about and it really counts within your own heart.”
“I am really proud of our students,” said First Baptist youth minister Adam Stoddard. “They worked really hard and enjoyed partnering with Compassion and being a part of what God is doing to help kids and to fight poverty.”
For more information about Compassion International, visit the Web site at www.compassion.com.