Compassion International

I’ve found at least a temporary alternative to turning on the T.V. during the day (for the most part anyways;) and it is listening to the radio, specifically a local Atlanta radio station, J (Jesus)93.3.

This week, J. 93 did a hard core 2 days of Compassion, trying to get as many Georgians as possible to support children through Compassion International, an organization that supposedly works to support children in many third world countries. One of the draws they tried to accentuate the most was the thrill of giving and receiving mail from the supported child. The president of Compassion claims 80% of the money received goes towards support.

Now, I often here the versus in these situations, “It is better to give than to receive” and “Jesus says whatever you do even to the least of these, you did unto me”…but I also think it might be added that we are told to be wise stewards of our money and should not just give it away without investigating these organizations first in order to be sure our money is indeed going where they claim it is going.

Let me explain. Five years ago, I felt prompted after a church service to support a child through World Vision. I had the money, I felt it would be good to be using that money towards something more valuable than more clothes I didn’t need, and I heard again and again it would change my life. I saw a beautiful little girl from Ecuador who had a rather sad expression on her face in the small black and white picture that seemed to say, “please help me…” and so I tried.

It was easy…I just gave them my debit card number and the payment plan was set; didn’t even have to think about it after that if I didn’t want to. I did though. I put her picture on my bulletin board and soon wrote her a few letters. Time went by but I never received a replies. At Christmas, I got a card supposedly designed by her 5 year old hands but was very obviously, even to the non-technologically minded person such as myself, a computer generated picture and a typed card.

I was so disappointed, not to mention angry! Not only did it seem I would never receive a cute, hand-written note from this girl but it also became clear to me that things were not right and my letters as well as my money may not have been reaching her! I really began to wonder if those at World Vision were not abusing their power and fattening the pockets of their executives and others instead of feeding and educating impoverished children.

About a year went by before I decided I would stop my support. I felt it was better to give it else where than to a place where I was leaving its where abouts up to chance…it might or might not be going to Ecuador.

Listening to the radio has made me think about trying again. Perhaps Compassion International is different? I would be interested to hear from others who know anything about this or other similar organizations. Are any definitely trustworthy?

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52 Responses to Compassion International

  1. gamullet says:

    I have misgivings about 93.3. All the Christian radio stations seem to be somewhat generic and undiscerning in their commitments to causes. There are organizations like Hopebuilders where you know that your money is going 100% to support widows and orphans.

  2. Mella says:

    I supported a child through Compassion International through my youth group growing up (we had two different children whom we supported and corresponded with) and as a college student, I “adopted” one of my own. The children often responded with letters in their own writing (translated into English) and drawings, asking questions about things that I’d written to them about. I believe that they are an honest organization, hoping to make an impact for Christ in those far-reaching corners of the world.

  3. bchallies says:

    I’m sure you can google lots of first-person information! I remember years ago someone suggesting World Vision tended to very alot depending on its local staff…My last contact with them was years ago when I wrote them on behalf of Campaign Life asking whether they supported abortion in Third World countries. They refused to answer the question in a straightforward manner!

  4. Rick says:

    Regarding 93.3 – the sad thing about a lot of Christian radio and publishers is they are now owned by larger secular entities. So they aren’t really going to strike a very bold position on things.

  5. Susanna Rose says:

    Good to know, Mella…thanks! Very encouraging to know there are honest organizations out there!

  6. Grace says:

    oh gosh…I remember that card:)

  7. Neo says:

    Rose - Don’t feel bad, I had something like this happen as well.I used to send a few dollars here or there to a church out west. I got letters in the mail, and then I found out 4 years later it was a scam.People like this prey on those of us who want to help people.It sucks, but they’re out there.Keep the faith.Peace,- Neo

  8. Anonymous says:

    ou might find the information on the following website useful. World Vision is listed under “relief/development” and compassion international” under “religious”. http://www.smartmoney.com/mag/index.cfm?story=dec01-charitiesI was impressed with America’s Second Harvest’s #1 ranking overall under Human Services.Also, on World Vision’s own website they do say that money given for child sponsorship may be used for supporting projects which benefit children, so perhaps that is what happened with your previous donations (i.e. not a specific child).

  9. Corrin says:

    We still support a kid that Clif had been writing for years through compassion. In fact Clif has a recent picture of him in his office. We also supported a little girl, who is an aids orphan, in Kenya. I started supporting her with MTW, street children’s ministry. My friend Cindy went there for a summer trip and while there she met my little girl. Cindy was able to give her a pair of tennis shoes from me. This little girl has now left the program to move out of the city to live with her grandmother. Now we are supporting a little boy, and I am waiting for my first letter from him to learn more about him.We love being able to make a difference in such a simple way.

  10. Anonymous says:

    http://www.cotni.orgI worked for them for many years and hand delivered sponsors presents and letters myself to the kids and brought back their letters in duffle bags. I do not know a lot about World Vision, but I have heard that Compassion Intl is really good, reputable organization. As for me I sponsor through Children of the Nations (www.cotni.org). I got to meet my sponsored child last year, and help build the community an elementary school. I intend on going back again soon! There’s something good about working with a smaller (although growing) organization. -Heidi (heeds.blogspot)

  11. Vicki Small says:

    I have supported children through Compassion International for over four years, now. I began with two girls, who are still in the program. I have met one of these girls, as well as the next one that I added. Last year I added a fourth girl, a little older. She, at 13, writes her own letters, which are then translated. The older of my first two girls is now writing her own letters, as well.Think back to when you were a little girl, just learning to read and write. Did your mom or dad have to get on you before you would write a thank-you note to Grandma and Grandpa? Were you able to formulate thoughts and write them down in letters? If you were, you were a precocious child!It takes time for a child to learn these things, and even then, just as with a whole lot of American kids *and adults,* not all are comfortable with expressing themselves in writing.If I were to go more than four months with no letter from one of my children, I would be on the phone to Compassion, and I would get a response in a relatively short period of time (might be a couple of weeks, or more, depending on the other country involved).You can go on the Compassion website (www.compassion.com) and look at the financial information. You’ll find that 75% or more of each dollar is spent for or on your child’s behalf, and the balance of the 80+% assists that child’s project–thereby also benefitting the child. Every dollar you send for birthday gifts is spent for what the child wants or needs; often, the child will share with parents and/or family for food. My oldest girl used part of her birthday gift to buy a bed.You might also read Too Small to Ignore: Why Children Are the Next Big Thing, written by Dr. Wess Stafford, President and CEO of Compassion. You will gain a far deeper sense of both the ministries of Compassion and the people–especially the author–behind the organization.I’ve taken two sponsors tours and met a number of staff, both U.S. and in-country. These are dedicated people. Seeing the work in the field, learning how it all works at that end, and visiting several projects, can add greatly to your confidence. And, if you’re ever able to take such a trip, you will spend an entire day with your child at a site where all the children and their sponsors can play!I hope you will come to understand the range of benefits to the child and her/his family, and also the blessings to you, through your support. The deepest benefit to your child, though, will come through your letters and gifts as you encourage, nurture, love, and express confidence in your child. True sponsorship is not merely a financial commitment, and as in all of life, the more you put into building the relationship, the more you will be blessed by it.

  12. prayerwalkman says:

    I think you over reacted with receiving a letter back from the child sponsor. I think one prior comment mentioned it but often your letter is computer generated by someone who translates what was originally written. I have sponsored kids at various times in the past and maybe at first had your reaction but please – don’t be so impulsive. Think about it. That is not to say there are not scams out there in the church/christian arena but I am pretty certain World Vision is a class organization on reaching the needs of those who need it most.

  13. Andy McMahon says:

    Hi. I found this blog while looking around, and I wanted to say that I am a compassion blogger. I’m sorry to hear about your experience with World Vision. I receive hand written letters from my compassion child at least three times a year. We’ve supported him for nearly 4 years now and watching him grow has been a real blessing. If you wanted to check it out you can go to http://www.compassion.com or my blog, which chooses one child to feature weekly. http://www.crucialencounter.com Please comment on my blog if you do decide to do something and let me know! God bless.

  14. Larissa Klusman says:

    I supported a child from Ethopia several years ago through Compassion International. It was a beautiful experience. I grew very close to my child, although I was still probably a child (later teens). He would even write and call me mother. Tell me of everything he was learning in school, at church. What he spent my money on…(animals…like goats, ect). He was inflicted with polio. But, he had such a beautiful spirit. I feel that the experience was very legite. I want to sponsor another one soon!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Hi,I too am a Compassion supporter. I just finished writing a letter to my compassion child. He is 13 years old and writes his own letters in English which just amazes me. We’ve been sponsoring him for 2 years now and I recieve about 6 letters a year. I do make a point of writing to him once a month.Last year, I met a woman at a business dinner out of town who had gone on a Compassion sponsor trip and met her Compassion child.I truly believe Compassion International is legitimate.

  16. Michelle says:

    I know you wrote this post several years ago now but I just found it in a search online. I have sponsored a child in Columbia, South America through Compassion International for 7 years now. Compassion is a completely legitimate ministry and a majority of the money you give goes directly to your child. They use very little of that money you donate for administrative costs.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I sponsored a child for 7 years at Compassion Int. They just informed me the child has two sponsors, the other was with another organization. This is is not exactly their fault but I still feel kind of gypped, like how long was this going on? I did get letters from my child that asked me questions that did not have anything to do with my life and I called them at least 3 years ago to ask if she had two sponsors. It seemed like she was mixing me up with someone else. They assured me CI only gives one sponsor per child. The letters from the child also sounded very “grown up” to me — and very short on specifics of the child’s life even though I would ask questions. I guess CI cannot know everything going on in the field and they were good about sending report cards and drawings, so I think they are legit but at this point they want me to sponsor another child. I think I will try someplace else.

  18. Philip Bates says:

    Hi, my wife and I have supported a little girl in Honduras, through Compassion International for the past four years. Three days ago, we returned from a visit with our sponsored child. Although we only spent one day with her, the trip was absolutely worth it. We learned about the conditions of the country, had hands on experience with the projects and the children, and witnessed the efforts of the in-country staff. I would encourage anyone to sponsor a child through this organization, however, if you do, your most important gift to that child will be the letters and photo’s you share. The greatest gift is the attention you spend on a child that has no or little hope. We witnessed the difference between children whose sponsors wrote and those that didn’t. CI is ligit and their in-country staff are truly the hands and feet of Jesus.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Hello, I too am saddened by your bad experience with World Vision, feel justified in knowing that if you are correct they will have to give an account to the Lord for how they handled the resources they drew in his name.I am a compassion Advocate, my wife and I have several children through Compassion, and I regularly work the concerts and churches assisting with sponsorships. Everyone I have met has been 100% above board, and every conference call with leadership or training begins with prayer which I truly appreciate. From all my experiences Compassion would be a good use of your resources.Cody / Rancho CucamongaChild AdvocateCompassion International

  20. Keith Vincent says:

    My wife and I have sponsored two children with Compassion International for over a year now. We researched the different child sponsorship organizations before making a serious commitment (we didn't want to make the decision lightly and have to withdraw support later). We preferred Compassion's approach over the World Vision model in that Compassion is seemingly more overtly Christian than World Vision. We also liked the fact that with Compassion you are sponsoring a specific child. World Vision gives you a picture, but as someone else has said, you are actually sponsoring a whole community with them. Many of these organizations you have to be careful with but if you check the BBB Charity Ratings and Charity Navigator (Compassion has a higher rating than World Vision by the way), you can't go wrong.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Compassion Internation is such an amazing oportunity. I have not yet started to sponser a child but in 2007 I got the privledge to go to Thailand on mission work and every month 20-30 kids got together at the local church and wrote their sponsers letters. It was so wonderful because they would ask us to help them spell i love you in english. These kids were so thankful for the help from their sponsers. They would all draw pictures and send their sponsers things that meant so much to them. One kid Sax gave 2 of my friends a picture of him and his family in a picture frame. That is all he had and the only picture of his family and him but he wanted them to have it because they had grown so close. They now sponser Sax and have visited him twice. I recommend Compassion.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I actually sponsor children both through Compassion Int'l and World Vision. I have 6 children with CI and 2 with WV. I have to correct a few of the things mentioned in several of the previous responses. First, CI does have a slightly higher rating than WV; CI has an "A" rating and WV's is an "A-" both are considered top-notch organizations. To leave out what the ratings are was misleading. Also, with WV, you DO sponsor one child to whom you write and develop a relationship. The sponsor's monthly payments for each sponsored child in a particular project are gathered together and used to benefit the project as a whole. Much like a family would share what they have with their family members. The WV model works in these underdeveloped countries. It takes the aggregate of the sponsor's money to build a well, for instance. One family, no matter how long their child is sponsored, will never be able to pay for a well. The well will improve the health of every member in the village and so help the village to be more productive. Many of the cultures that WV works with base their identities on their village as a whole, not the individual person (hard for many people in "advanced" countries to understand). I have become very close with both of my WV children and I have watched them grow through the pictures I receive annually and both of my children write about every 4 weeks.Compassion International's model is a bit different, but the health and welfare of the village as a whole is still predominant. Again, you do sponsor individual children and develop a relationship with that child. The money that you send each month does not get mailed to the family, but goes to the child's project to pay for things for the child like school supplies and the things that the child might do with their projects, like field trips and picnics. The project personnel handle all of the money. Some CI projects offer the parents of sponsored children things like job training, parenting classes, etc…Birthday monetary gifts go to the project personnel, and they help the child decide how they want to spend the money. Most times, the child wants to spend the money on something that will benefit their whole family. Same thing with what are called "Family gifts". These are often larger amounts of money that a sponsor wants their child's family to have. The project personnel speak with the child's parents to determine the best way to use the money. If the family needs a new roof, then that's what the money will be used for, or they might buy a goat or chickens, it's up to the family, but the project workers are there to help them. The sponsor typically receives a letter and a picture of the family with whatever they chose to use the money on. This is the exact same procedure that WV uses. I have 5 years experience with both organizations and they both do excellent, praiseworthy work.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I have been sponsoring a child in Ghana with Compassion UK since Christmas. I was thanked for the alleged Christmas gift money that the child bought a dress and shoes with and received a photo of her wearing them. I never sent any gift money, but since then I have been sent lots of drawings from the child. The problem being that she is only 3 and these drawings are clearly done by a child at least twice her age, also you can make out other childrens names on top of two of the drawings that are in pencil and have been rubbed out, again clearly the wording is written by a child of at least 7. I think I may stop my sponsorship as this just does not feel right.

  24. melissa says:

    I sponsor a child through compassion and you'll see that they are the real thing. I get ledders from my child every few months. she answers the questions i ask her and ask about things i've said to her. Compassion will also help you travel to your childs country to meet her/him. they are very up front and open with everything.

  25. Anonymous says:

    My wife and I support two children through Compassion. I just happened to be googling compassion for a specific web address when I saw the link and it shocked me. Mainly because we write and receive letters translated in English from the child's handwriting. We've also received pictures from the family that school has taken for them. I've always been skeptical about relief programs and where the money actually goes. However, after seeing others sponsorship work well, I have to say that I have been blessed with this opportunity to directly help two special children in need. I believe Compassion to be a good program and trustworthy as much as any organization can be from this distance.

  26. Anonymous says:

    For eight consecutive years, Charity Navigator has awarded Compassion International, the world's largest Christian child development organization, its highest rating—four-stars—for responsible financial management. Evaluating more than 5,400 charities each year, Charity Navigator is the largest independent evaluator of charities in the nation."Only one percent of the charities we rate have received at least eight consecutive four-star evaluations, indicating that Compassion International consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way, and out performs most other charities in America," said Charity Navigator President and CEO Ken Berger. "This 'exceptional' designation from Charity Navigator differentiates Compassion International from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust."For more education, please read the following article on the President and CEO of Compassion. He is hardly anything BUT an amazing leader of God. http://www.gazette.com/articles/ceo-62306-springs-based.htmlAnd for the rest, read Matthew 7:1-5, and of course, "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" (John 1:8-11). Lastly, you are instructed to give with a joyful heart. If you give, you have done your part. If you worry about every detail of your giving, you will never give and miss out on the opportunity to love, share, and show God's love to others by the blessings you have received in your life. If scripture isn't enough, you can see for yourself through Charity Navigators that Compassion is trustworthy and honest, and more importantly, doing their part in the World against the fight for childrn in poverty. God bless Compassion and others alike for DOING something.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I had the same thing happen to me through Children International. I called them up, because I hadn't heard from them for about 2 years. I asked for them to close my account, but they had no record of it, but they were still taking out money from my bank account every month. I had to call my bank to put a stop to it, since according to them, I didn't exist. I have a child I sponsor through compassion, and I haven't had any problems with them. I also oversee the sponsorship of two world vision children, and we haven't had any problems with them so far either. Just pray over it, and the Lord will lead you in where you should spend your funds.

  28. pherr says:

    I know you posted your blog quite awhile back, but I feel led to comment. This past summer 3 girls and I spent two months in Thailand living with a family who had 2 members who worked with Compassion. We also became fairly good friends with the head of the CI program there. Every Saturday, CI met and had a schedule for the kids. We were all able to help out each Saturday.Through what I saw in Thailand, I thought the program was effective. The kids get fed lunch each Saturday and get taught about Jesus, hygiene and other things that can help better them. Concerning the letters, sometimes it won't come from the kids. There are so many kids there, but they are really understaffed so all the kids can't really reply personally. While I was there, they were celebrating July birthdays. It was sad because they only had 3 8" cakes for 80+ people. So we ended up going to buy some more. The point being, if you feel led to help with Compassion, I encourage you too, if not, there are alot of other organizations as well. :)

  29. Pastor Gary says:

    I sponsor a child through Compassion International. I have visited her home, her church (where the Compassion Project is hosted) and the homes of many other children sponsored through Compassion. I have also toured the Compassion Philippine National Office in Manila, seen the files, talked to the employees and volunteers, and observed the system of letter exchange in action. I write my "daughter" in Davao at least monthly and get letters from her, in her own hand (translated to English) and even crayon and marker drawings she makes foe me. I can ASSURE you that CI is the real deal, serving real children in need.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I was once a Compassion sponsored child in kenya. I actually benefited alot from what my sponsor used to send. I went up to university courtesy of what she sent and studied community development. Right now, i am working with a certain field project with compassion. Sponsors should not be afraid of what they send. It is channelled to the right child at all times.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I pastor a church that is partnered with Compassion International. (CI) This means that we have many in our church who sponsor children through a focused effort on our part. While I do not know anyone personally who works for CI, I can tell you that I believe they are a Integrity laden organization, beginning with their president, Wes Stafford. After reading his book, "Too Small to Ignore," I am convinced more than ever that his organization is one of the few great World Changing parachurch ministries in the world. What I like about them best is that all their work is done through local churches in many different countries. Check out their website at Compassion.org and you'll find the answers to tons of questions and then some. You might spend hours there, so be careful! Sponsor a child and release them from poverty, in Jesus' name.

  32. Bethany says:

    I think Compassion International is legitimate and agree with a lot of the other posters to look at their "ratings" on third party charity rankings. I recently read "The Road to Hell" by Michael Maren and it really shed a lot of light on the mess of foreign aid.

  33. Danica says:

    I am 22 years old and my family supported a girl through compassion international from the time I was 7 years old until she graduated from the program, then began sponsoring another child at that time. We personally received MANY letters written to us in obviously childish handwriting with childish pictures that became more and more "adult" looking as she aged. We received pictures of her at different ages, and have started to receive many of the same things from our more recent sponsored child. I very strongly feel that this is a legitimate sponsorship program, and only came across this blog bc I am headed to compassion international to begin sponsoring a child of my own now that I have graduated college and gotten a job. Be a good steward of your money, but please also watch your words. I doubt the writer of this blog really researched compassion intl, and seems to be basing their assumption purely on the fact that she never received any letters. If she's wrong, think of how many people she might have discouraged from helping a needy child. I would hate to have that on my head.

  34. phil says:

    I have sponsored kids through compassion for 20 years. All of them we've seen grow thorugh letters and photographs. One girl in the Dom. Rep. who graduated high school, graduated the compassion program, and want on to dental school. A boy in Zaire who lived through the civil war, sending us heart warming letters of how fleeing the conflict interfered with his schoolwork. A boy in Colombia whom we sponsored knowing he had Muscular Dystrophy, and who we saw graduate from playing football with his friends, to wearing leg braces, a wheel chair, and finally dying of the disease as a teenager. And now a girl in Ethiopia who is struggling with poverty and disability.The financial filings of the organization are excellent. Regardless of your opinion of their faith position, they are doing great life-affirming work amongst the most important of the world's poor, the children; and they are doing it in the most sustainable way – through enabling the leadership of local organizations such as churches and schools.

  35. John says:

    My wife and I sponsor two kids through Compassion. I receive letters and hand-drawn pictures from the children all the time. One thing Compassion will do is allow you to visit your sponsored child. You can take a trip with them (they plan several through the year) or you can call them and say "I am going to (country) and would like to visit the child I sponsor." It is very legitimate.Also, I was at a conference this year where a Compassion program graduate met his sponsor for the first time. It was very moving. Check the link.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WW0uTKblmN4

  36. Anonymous says:

    My wife and I have sponsored a child in India through Compassion International for nearly a decade. That all came to an end tonight as a representative from C.I. called us and advised that they had cut off the church where our sponsored child attended because they were not complying with C.I.'s "guidelines". We understood that but what we don't understand is that this boy that we have sponsored, corresponded with and loved through mutual letters has been cut off not just from C.I. but from us. C.I. refuses to give us an address, phone number or any other means of contacting our beloved Newton. They even refused to deliver a final letter. As my wife told a manager, this is NOT "Christian". C.I. has not just hurt a church that is not following their "guidelines" or a teenager in India (who did nothing wrong) but they have hurt my family to the core. I have spent the evening watching my wife and young son cry knowing that we will never again correspond with the boy we have loved from afar all these years. Compassion International is clearly not what the name implies and while I applaud those who are trying to make a difference in this world, I pray that those of you who sponsor children through this organization never have to feel the pain we are feeling tonight. Please pray for our Newton and for my family.

  37. Anonymous says:

    I know a C.I. employee from our community. I am so turned off by the regular air travel between his home and C.I. in Colorado Springs each month and by the perks provided him through this agency. Isn't this all paid for by other's donations? This week all the out-of-state employees flew to Colorado for the annual Christmas party. What a waste of money! I feel better about giving to local agencies. We have cold, hungry families right here at home.

  38. Sergio Contreras says:

    Hi my name is Sergio Contreras and I live in Humble, TX.I've been sponsoring a child in Africa through "Compassion International" for about 2 years. I'd been putting this burden in my heart off for a while when at a Phil Keaggy concert in Houston, TX. Phil Keaggy offered anyone willing to sponsor a child through C.I. a free CD of his. When I lived in Nashville, TN I had met Phil several times. Phil seemed like a genuine Christloving person. He was always kind and giving away free cds at "The UPS Store" where I worked and from where he would ship to his concerts. I would TOTALLY shocked if Phil Keaggy was ingenuine.I also recieve several letters that seem pretty clearly hand written from the child (and his translator) every month or two. I also recieve pictures of him every few months. They even tell me what he has bought for himself and his family with the money I've sent for Christmas. Here's a link I found of Phil Keaggy's son, Ian Keaggy, talking about his experience with C.I. I also met his son. His son didn't seem as caring as his father, but this impression comes only from a couple of interactions I had wiht him when I'd be shipping something for him at The UPS store I worked at in Nashville.http://www.metacafe.com/watch/761028/phil_keaggy_compassion_international/If the link doesn't work type in Compassion International Scam on Google.com and the fourth link down says "Phil Keaggy & Compassion International – Video"Hope this helps you.Sincerely,Sergio Contreras

  39. Wilfred says:

    Hi all,i feel sad towards Susanna's experience with world vision.I am a project director of one of the compassion International sponsored projects in Kenya. Interestingly, I was formerly sponsored with CI till the age of 22yrs when I left the program. My sponsor was called Mark Bird and he lived in Utah state (USA),as he told me in his letters. I also have a picture of him which I treasure. I have interacted with several sponsors who come to see their children where I work and I think they always feel happy. We are always restricted on how much to budget on administration costs in order to ensure that sponsors money reaches the needy children.I think Compassion has made me what I am today coz I came from a very weak family and I am proud of CI and more so Mark Bird and his family that supported me for more than 10 yrs. God bless Mark.you can reach me on freddakane@gmail.com

  40. Anonymous says:

    My wife and I signed up, after a "Martins" concert at our First Baptist Church in Texarkana, to support a little girl from Equador with our Granddaughter as her pen pal…we thought it would be a great experience for our granddaughter to "help" a less fortunate child in another country. We signed up that night to have our monthly amount charged to our credit card. Then we began to get letters from CI asking for us to send money or sign up for direct pay! After several tries, we finally began to have the monthly amount charged to our card! Then we began to get regular letters asking for more money; then before Christmas we were asked to send another amount for our childs Christmas, which we sent. We then received another letter saying the amount did not really go to our child, but would be lumped with all the other Christmas donations and shared with all the children (which was OK with us); but then we received another letter saying that if we donated another amount, it could go directly to our child!!!??? While pondering this, we began to get letters every few days asking for donations!!!??? I wrote CI to tell them I was a businessman and knew how much it probably cost them to write all these letters; asking them to stop spending all our money on letters so the funds could be used more for the child; no response except to get more letters, whereupon I discontinued giving to the program. We were sad to have to do this IF there really was a child we could have been helping; but it just DID NOT FEEL RIGHT AND HONEST!

  41. Sheila says:

    I"m so glad you are committed to motherhood….I was a young stay at home mom and still have children at home and now a grandson too! It blesses my heart to see someone with passion for Lord! We support a little girl in Haiti through Compassion International…..We write back and forth often….she is very grateful….I also have a friend who recently became employeed by Compassion and she has so many positive things to say about them….she said….."I"m so blessed to work for a Godly organization" hope this is encouraging….have a blessed day

  42. Anonymous says:

    I have sponsored a girl in Guatemala through C.I. for almost 10 years now (since my freshman year of high school). I truly appreciate the opportunity to interact with and help a young woman who would otherwise struggle to make it. She is 16 now and I'm very proud of her progress in school and her strong relationship with God. I am however concerned, since I am fluent in Spanish I read her letter directly before reading the translation, there is sometimes a substantial difference, especially when she is writing about struggles with family and faith. I wonder if my letters are being translated correctly either. She also expresses a desire for me to send photos in most of her letters, even though I include a photo in most of my letters too her. I don't understand what is going on. I follow all of C.I.'s guidelines about what types of pictures are acceptable. I am in the process of contacting C.I. about my concerns.

  43. Ray says:

    we have gone through Commpassion International to Sponsor our child for many years. We hear from the parents and pastor and this program is honest and above board. Please support Compassion International, they are above board and really making a dfference doing God's work

  44. Victory says:

    Hello Susan,It looks as though you started this post a few years back and I hope it helped you with your decision to help a child. My husband and I have adopted a little girl about 9 or 10 years ago. We continue to send her letters as she does us. (She writes us more) She writes in her own hand writing and in english. We had also adopted a few years back another little girl. I had a job a the time (now a stay at home mom as well) and wanted to help out another child. Compassion lost contact with that family and sent us a letter telling us so and wanted us to adopt another child. I was no longer working so I opted out of adopting another child. I think that if it was a scam they could have never told us that they lost the child. they would have just kept the money. So from what I feel about the company is pretty good!

  45. Hailey says:

    Susan, My husband and I donated for a little girl in South America through Compassion. We got letters and drawings, updates, and I felt wonderful making a difference in her life. It is a good organization, and I feel good helping make one life better through Compassion

  46. Anonymous says:

    I hope all the comments help you feel better about supporting a child through Compassion International. I was hesitant too, as I had heard some of these organizations send the same child's picture to multiple families for support. But after researching CI, I was convinced it was an honest organization that really put the money into the children. We get letters every 3 months or so. Our girl is 8 so either her teacher or mother write the letters and they are then translated. She draws and colors us pictures. It has been great to see her grow (we've had her for 4 years) and know that our money is making a difference in her life. We support her with $38 a month. Her father makes about $100 a month. I know her needs are being met through us by CI.

  47. Liz says:

    I have supported (and still support) children through Compassion International for over 20 years. It is an excellent organization that provides food, health care, etc. I receive letters from my sponsored child on a regular basis. Sometimes a hand drawn picture is included. Other times it is commercially drawn picture, colored by the child. And just an FYI, no nonprofit can spend 100% of their money directly on their mission. There are administrative costs that have to be covered and without those costs a non-profit cannot survive.

  48. queenofsheba says:

    hi susana! my name is michelle and i was a compassion sponsored child. it's a an excellent organization and is very committed in working with the church in the developing world in order to release children from poverty in Jesus name!

  49. Jonas says:

    Compassion and World Vision are both top notch organizations. Compassion does a great job specifically with child sponsorships. World Vision has a little wider scope than that. I know several people who went to Haiti after the earthquakes who said that WV was by far the most active group down there (far more than even the Red Cross). Another option to look at if you specifically want to sponsor a child is Holt International. They're the largest international child adoption agency in the world and you sponsor a child while they're waiting to be adopted. It's very well run as well.

  50. Anonymous says:

    Something to consider as this discussion rolls along is the reason that we are supporting the work of WV and Compassion. It is to alleviate poverty and communicate God's love to those in need in obedience to His call on Christians. Let's not get too wrapped up in the "return" we would like to get in the form of letters and pictures. Do those truly benefit the children, or could they be reminders of their dependence on others. Wouldn't it be best if the families and the villages were collectively lifted up by our generosity rather than a select few children receiving assistance. Just my thoughts as I try to see this through Jesus' eyes.

  51. Daniel says:

    I've read through a lot of comments posted by people here and on a variety of other sites about Compassion International. I've also been on a mission trip to visit another ministry in the Dominican Republic. Here is the conclusion I have come to based on my own experiences and those of over a hundred random posts I've read.CI as an organization appears to be top notch. Most of the projects and local churches are also excellent. However, there are occasions where the local church is corrupt. Compassion says on their website that they audit once a year. If the local church fails the audit, and will not comply, then they are removed from the program.Out of a hundred or more posts that I've read, only a few have given stories of what sounded like shady dealings at the local level. It is obviously only a very small percentage of projects that will ever experience this kind of problem. Most appear to be filled with people devoted to the mission. Keep in mind that the audits only occur once a year, so it can take Compassion quite awhile to detect local issues.I would encourage anyone considering sponsorship to look at it this way. If you had a 95% chance of having a legitimate sponsorship occur, wouldn't it be worth taking that 5% risk? What is it was actually only a 1% risk instead of 5%? Wouldn't that be a "slam dunk" decision? After five years of hemming and hawing, I decided it was, and now sponsor two girls in Ethiopia through CI. It's worth the risk.And hey, if you do get burned, don't give up! Try another child! Try another organization! Just do something! Remember the parable of the men who were given different amounts of talents? The one who hid it away in fear and did nothing was rejected by the Lord!

  52. Alan Jackson says:

    My wife and I support several children through Compassion International. This past March I was able to visit one of our kids in Guatemala. My heart melted when this young girl who only knew us thru letters gave me the biggest smile in the world, threw her arms around me and there was an instant bond of love that made my whole trip to Guatemala worth every penny.Yes, you can have a positive influence for good on a child in this world. Having toured the CI headquarters in Colorado Springs I can attest to the good of this organization.

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