Sunday, April 26, 2009

Finding hope...

sponsor-a-child-india

In case you hadn't heard, the Compassion Bloggers headed off to India Friday. Like so many, the work that Compassion does touches my heart in so many ways. (Just as it breaks my heart to know that it is necessary to have groups like Compassion. Oh how we long for the day when every child is fed, clothed, taught, happy and healthy.) I have thought a lot about the phrase "finding hope in Calcutta." Americans spent a good part of last year hearing the word "hope" over and over. Hope that gas prices would go down. Hope that someone would pay their house payments. Hope that jobs could be found. Hope that incomes might go up. Hope that we might be saved from whatever was believed to be wrong with our country. I often got the impression that the word "hope" was associated with whatever we felt we wanted our fairy godmother to bless us with.

Meanwhile, in India, about 836 million people (somewhere around four out of five) make less than fifty US cents a day. The number of malnourished children is among the world's highest. About 60 million children are underweight. This morning there were 429 children waiting for Compassion sponsors. (taken from Compassion's website.)

Wikipedia defines hope as a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. To hope is to wish for something with the expectation of the wish being fulfilled.

Of the two nations, which do you think has less reason to hope? And which of the two needs it more?

This next week, we have the opportunity to follow the Compassion Bloggers as they walk the streets of Kolkata, India, bringing hope to the children there and perhaps, just maybe, helping us rediscover the true meaning of hope as well.

6 comments:

Abba's Girl said...

Americans use the word hope in the place of the word wish many times instead of what we learn in the Bible about hope.

I am so thankful for Compassion Intl and the work they do!

I will have a post tonight on Annettescovertocover...believe it or not!

Jules from "The Roost" said...

Thanks for the nudge I have wanted to do this for a long time!

Anonymous said...
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Heather said...

the fact that you aren't able to answer my question shows what a sham the organization is, and what a sham your religion is. if christianity is *really* the best way to live then you shouldn't have to trade food for religious info.

Karen said...

Heather,

I appreciate that you voiced your concerns and questions about Compassion and the work they do worldwide. I asked Shaun Groves if he could address some of your concerns and here is what he said:

Compassion serves children regardless of race, religion, politics, etc. Many children in our programs are Hindu, Muslim, Orthodox, etc. I've met them and their families - most of whom have not converted to Christianity and some who have. We do not ask for or require conversion in order to receive care. In part this is because Jesus never did such a thing. When he fed the five thousand, for instance, he did not require them to believe he was the Messiah first...or even afterward. This pattern is repeated throughout his ministry. However, every Compassion project is a local church so children and their parents do hear about Jesus and know that we are loving them because we believe Jesus first loved us.

When a Christian meets the physical needs of another human being it no more has to come with strings attached than when an atheist meets someone's needs. An atheist doesn't require those he serves to renounce religion first does he? The same should be true of Christians and certainly is for Compassion. No one is trading their soul for a plate of rice, a mosquito net, HIV medication, education or a safe place to play. And it is strict Compassion policy that no one ever be asked to.

Lastly, Charity Navigators - a non-religious charity watchdog group - has given Compassion its highest rating for the last 7 years, which is every year Compassion has received a rating by this group. Compassion is the only non-profit in it's category (child aid, I believe it is) to receive this many consecutive four star ratings from Charity Navigators. The Wall Street Journal, though its magazine Smart Money, rated 600 U.S. based non-profits a few years back and ranked Compassion in the top ten of those, recommending them as one of the top ten organizations to contribute to. I could go on. In our fifty year history there has never even been an accusation of wrongdoing by any of the non-profits watchdogs or the media. Not one.

I hope this helps.

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