As 2017 draws to an end, we want to say a huge thank you for caring for children in poverty this year. Thank you for sponsoring a child! As a little gift from us to you, here are 3 stunning illustrations for you to download. The beautiful artwork from Ptkfuel is based on 3 Bible verses and stories from Compassion projects around the world which have inspired us this year.
We give thanks for your faithful support and your incredible passion for serving children in poverty. We praise God for His faithfulness.
Akloblessi’s story: bringing light into the darkness
The first indication something was wrong was when 5-year-old Akloblessi from Togo didn’t turn up to her Compassion project. Staff were shocked when they discovered that this precious little girl had been kidnapped by the temple priestess from the local voodoo shrine.
Fernand, Akloblessi’s project director, took immediate action. “When I heard the priestess commanded that the child should be brought to her temple, I got infuriated and frustrated,” he says. “I rushed to the [Akloblessi’s] father’s house.”
Fernand mobilised the church community, co-ordinating 11 Compassion church partners to pray and fast for Akloblessi’s freedom. He began lobbying government social workers to intervene. He even reached out to the priestess personally to convince her to release the little girl. Every day, along with his team, he lifted Akloblessi up in prayer.“We know our God is above all,” reflects Fernand.
11 months after she was taken, Fernand’s prayers were answered. At last, the priestess agreed to give Akloblessi her freedom. She was able to return home.
Yeimi’s story: A peace that surpasses circumstance
Yeimi was terrified when she found out she was pregnant. Things were becoming increasingly difficult with her husband. He had become verbally abusive.
“I was a month pregnant when I told my husband,” Yeimi remembers. “He said that I was faking it so he punched me and I hit a door and the floor. That night was the first of many times when I thought I was going to lose my baby.”
At midnight, Yeimi travelled to the hospital alone. She stayed there for three days and was placed on bedrest. Seeing her daughter in crisis, Yeimi’s mother encouraged her to go to a church and ask for prayer.
“At first I was not sure,” Yeimi says. “I was never a believer. And besides, all the churches in the community only opened at night, but I was desperate for help and I knocked on the door. I was welcomed by the pastor’s wife, Silvia.”
“When I first met Yeimi she looked tough,” describes Silvia. “She looked like she was angry at the world and God. She had a rough childhood and had worked since she was 11 years old to support her family. So when they asked for prayer, I also talked to her about the Child Survival Programme at the church.”
It was the first time Yeimi had received support from someone outside her family. Pastor Silvia explained that, she could come to church, and they would help her and her baby.
“That was the day I accepted Jesus as my Saviour,” Yeimi explains. “And as my mother and I left the church, I felt at peace and I knew that God would take care of me and my baby.
A year on, following the birth of her daughter, Maythe, Yeimi reflects:
“The difference that the programme made was of course with groceries and medicine for my baby because I could not work for a year,” Yeimi mentioned, “But I think the greatest help was that it was a shelter for me. I could let go of everything bad that was happening around me and I received support. We laugh, we eat, we play and we read the Bible. I was able to relieve the pain that I had in my heart.”
Fefe’s story: hope for a community
“If there was no church and no Compassion project, I would be abandoned. I would have no hope,” explains 16-year-old Fefe.
This courageous teenager lives in rural Halmahera in Indonesia. What’s remarkable about her story is that she’s been empowered to bring hope to her wider community after receiving support from the Compassion programme.
“My family has changed since I’ve been going to the project,” she explains. “My father got actively involved in the church after I was ill. I got ill some years ago and there’s a prayer team from the church that visited me at home. They prayed for me and also my father. Now my father has become one of the church elders. He no longer gets angry easily and my parents are no longer in fights.
“My [project] tutor Ebris, supports and encourages me. He teaches me the Bible and how we should share what we have with others. I’m now able to help the widows around our community. I have compassion for them. Last Valentine’s Day, me and my friends had an idea. We asked our tutors at the project and they agreed. We visited each widow in their own house. We prayed for them and sang songs to them. Even today we continue to visit and sing to the widows, giving them gifts for their daily lives.”
“I also try to help other teenagers. I have a friend who one day said to me that she cannot bear to live because of her problems. Her mother passed away so she lives with her father. They couldn’t afford the school tuition fee so she felt desperate. I explained, you still have God. Now my friend has hope because she’s given everything into Jesus’ hand.”