One who assumes responsibility for another person or a group during a period of instruction, apprenticeship, or probation.
Right now a group of bloggers is on a trip to Kenya with Compassion International. I read a couple of their blogs on a very irregular basis. One is Mckmama, who tells the story of raising her 5 kids. Number 4 child was a mckmiracle to even be here and she chronicled her pregnancy and his first year of life with all the medical interventions and such. He's now "normal" since November.
Another one I read is This is Reverb. He's a pastor/minister from Chicago (I think) and often contributes recipes to The Pioneer Woman's website. He's very interesting to read.
I've read a couple of their entries and looked at a bunch of their pictures from their trips. Apparently, Compassion only takes trips with bloggers so they will blog and thus encourage others to sponsor more children. I hadn't heard this before, but it's a great resource to spread their work to those who may otherwise not hear about them. But then it feels a little odd too. Someone told me they don't take normal, non-blogging people on trips to meet their sponsored children. Weird. Even if we pay all the money? I didn't research this, so if you know differently, please tell me.
Anyway, their trip (well chronicled) is a good read in all websites.
So... we've been sponsoring a few children of our own through World Vision. What's the difference? How are these organizations different from our standpoint? From the child and community's standpoint? I really have no idea. I know we send in a monthly amount and get and send mail back and forth. They send us a yearly update on the child's progress in school, health, family, etc. They send us a yearly photo. One of the first things they do is provide clean water. A well.... more than just water for your sponsored child, but clean water for the entire community. Then it's food, education, supplies, etc.
We do not send as much as I want to. I have a pile of stickers and small things to send each one but I rarely make a package until World Vision sends me the Christmas/Easter/Birthday packages to just sign and send back. Sometimes I remember to have the kids make a card. We have their pictures on our board. We try to remember to pray for them regularly. But pretty much it's more a financial thing for us. World Vision uses the money we send to provide for this kids and their families. Their parents. Their siblings. They all live in Africa. All in different countries. All in war tore, AIDS infested(?) areas. I'm not sure of the correct term for being in high risk AIDS areas.
All this to say... if you aren't sponsoring a child (and ultimately, their family & community) I would urge you to consider it. Either organization. Any country. A commitment. Every month. Give!
For kids like Hlompho (Lesotho), Diane (Congo), Lwenziwe (Swaziland) & Giny (Tanzania).
Chile would be a good place to start looking.
As Pastor Ryan says... give til it hurts. I'm not sure we are.