About Compassion Sunday
When is Compassion Sunday this year?
April 21, 2013 is the official day this year. However, you may choose an alternate date to suit your church's schedule.
How many churches will be participating?
About 2,000 churches participated in Compassion Sunday last year. We are trusting God for an even greater response this year.
What is the purpose of Compassion Sunday?
The purpose is to give followers of Jesus the opportunity to share their love and faith with children in poverty. Over time, Compassion sponsorship brings about a lasting change in the lives of children, releasing them from poverty and giving them hope for a new life story. We anticipate 10,000 to 15,000 children will be sponsored through this special event.
Who can participate in Compassion Sunday?
Compassion Sunday is especially for those who wish to share their heart for children in poverty with their church families. Whether you are young or old, a lay person or a pastor, you can lead a Compassion Sunday presentation in your church.
If our church participates in Compassion Sunday, what is typically involved?
Compassion Sunday can be as simple as a 5 to 10-minute presentation during your church service—typically given by someone who currently sponsors a child and wishes to share this experience with others. It can also be the theme of the full worship service—including appropriate scripture readings, music selections, and the focus of the sermon. Your free Compassion Sunday Planning Guide will help step you through the process of planning a presentation that is just right for your church.
What materials will we receive?
Your free Compassion Sunday Planning Guide includes step-by-step instructions, Bible verses, poverty facts, a suggested outline for your presentation, and a DVD with our latest videos. Once you gain permission from your church leadership and register your event, you will then receive child packets, tabletop display, posters, a Compassion Sunday T-shirt, and sign-up forms.
About Compassion International
What is Compassion International?
Compassion International is a Christian child development organization dedicated to releasing children from poverty. Our ministry is two-fold: we work through local churches to provide child development programs to deliver children from economic, physical, social and spiritual poverty, enabling them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults. And we speak out for children in poverty – informing, motivating and equipping others to become advocates for children.
What is your mission statement?
In response to the Great Commission, Compassion International exists as an advocate for children, to release them from their spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enable them to become responsible and fulfilled Christian adults.
How does Compassion work?
The hallmark of Compassion's work is one-to-one child sponsorship. A sponsor is someone who has made the decision to personally invest in the life of a child in need. Through sponsorship, children are able to participate in a church-based program that offers life-changing benefits that range from educational opportunities to health care.
How and when did Compassion start?
Compassion began in the heart of one man moved by Korean War orphans in 1952. Reverend Everett Swanson was on a successful preaching tour in South Korea when he encountered the bitter poverty of Korea's unwanted children. He knew he had to do something.
Upon his return to the United States, Everett established a program that allowed caring people to provide food, shelter, education, medical care and Christian training for Korean orphans. That program was, and remains, the foundation and core of Compassion International.
Where does Compassion work?
Today Compassion works in 26 countries.
- In Africa, we work in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda.
- In Central America, we work in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Mexico.
- In South America, we work in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
- In Asia, we work in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
How does Compassion choose which countries to work in?
Compassion follows an in-depth process of investigation, analysis and research for God's direction to expand into new countries and communities. Compassion's criteria for opening a new country include:
- God's leading. Each decision about a new country is wrapped in prayer. No country is selected unless the responsible staff are convinced of God's leading and blessing.
- Need. Compassion works in some of the world's poorest communities. Local church partners then select the children in their communities who have the deepest need to participate in our program.
- Strong local church partners. Christian leaders and churches must be willing to invite our ministry into their country and competent Christians to staff country offices and lead projects.
- Risk management and legal issues. A country must not have legal barriers to our ministry. There must be a provision for international banking. Our work with the local church to encourage long-term Christian child development also must be understood and accepted.
What makes Compassion stand out among other child development and/or sponsorship organizations?
We believe Compassion has four very distinctive values:
- Christ-Centered. Without coercion, we teach the life-changing gospel to every child in a culturally relevant way.
- Child-Focused. Our ministry directly engages each child as a complete person.
- Church-Based. We choose to partner with the church as a local group of believers who can teach, train and mentor children. This is done in partnership with parents and the community.
- Committed to Integrity. We commit to excellence and integrity to best benefit the children we serve. We commit to help children, families and churches create relevant child development activities. We commit to the highest professional and biblical principles.
Why does Compassion focus on individual child development rather than broader community development work?
During Compassion's 50-plus years of development work, we've seen various approaches to breaking the cycle of poverty in children's lives. We've discovered that changed circumstances rarely change people's lives, while changed people inevitably change their circumstances.
Community development is important work that addresses the external circumstances of poverty and is an important complement to our work. However, our primary focus is individual child development—an inside-out, bottom-up approach that recognizes the God-given value and potential of each individual child. Many of these children grow up to become positive influences in their own communities.
Do children have to become Christians to continue receiving help from Compassion?
No. Children are welcome to participate in a Compassion project regardless of their faith. Compassion's program, however, is unapologetically Christian and every Compassion project is connected to a Christian church or ministry. We want children to have the opportunity to see living faith in action, hear the gospel and be discipled in the ways of Christ. But neither they nor their families are under any compulsion to become Christians.
How much does it cost to sponsor a child through Compassion?
Sponsoring a child costs $38 a month. It's a significant commitment, but the incredible difference it makes in the life of a child is invaluable.
What specific benefits does a child receive through sponsorship?
The children Compassion serves receive, among other things:
- The opportunity to hear the gospel and learn about Jesus
- Regular Christian training
- Educational opportunities and help
- Health care
- Hygiene training and supplementary food if necessary
- A caring and safe Christian environment to grow in self-confidence and social skills
- Personal attention
Does each child have only one sponsor?
Yes. Each child has only one sponsor, which is why the sponsor's prayers, letters and support mean so much to a child. We believe that the relationship that develops between sponsors and children is instrumental in a child's growth and development. In addition, this one-to-one relationship provides children with the message that they matter, that they are valuable and that someone outside of their family cares about them and their future.
About Your Event
What do I do with the acceptance forms and checks?
Place the acceptance forms and payments in the enclosed postage paid envelope. Fill out the address label and either call FedEx for pick up, or drop the package off at the nearest FedEx location as soon as you can after your event.
What do I do if I have leftover child packets?
Please do not send them back. The cost of postage to return them is more than it is to reprint new packets. Also, packets get tattered when they go through the mail more than once.
What is different about the child packets with a red sticker or ribbon?
If a child packet has a red sticker, these children are a top priority for sponsorship as they have been unsponsored for nine to fifteen months. These children are available for the "pay now" option only.
If a child packet features a red ribbon, this denotes the child lives in an "HIV/AIDS affected area" and offers a sponsor the opportunity to give an additional $7 per month to Compassion's AIDS Initiative Fund.
What should I do with the table top display after the event?
Keep it and, with permission, leave it set up at your church.
How do I get my Compassion Sunday DVD back to the beginning (the menu screen)?
Click on "title" and it will bring you back to the menu section. Check your DVD before your event to make sure that it is working. If it is not working or you need help navigating through it, give us a call at (888) 503-4585.
What should I do if I don't receive all my materials?
Give us a call at (888) 503-4585 as early as you can, so that we can send out the materials that you are missing.