Sunday, April 25, 2010

Compassion in Jesus name

Yesterday I was privileged to visit the Bethel Student Centre in the Peenya Plantation, a very poor neighbourhood in Bangalore. The centre is run by a local church, Bethel Telegu Church, and involves a program for about 300 children who are sponsored by Compassion.

I was very impressed by the commitment and professionalism of the staff and their love and care for the children. I was able to visit with several families in the community and was very humbled by their houses which consist of a single room and no running water. In spite of these difficult circumstances a number of girls who have been part of the Compassion program are now studying at university. [How you do this while still living in a one room house challenges me!] The strong emphasis on the value of education and tutoring in the program is clearly paying off.

The level of planning, documentation, and accountability in the program was better than I have encountered in many Western churches and ministries.

Through the centre children receive each day one meal, tutoring, games, and Bible teaching. There are also field trips, medical checkups, and health education.

Many things struck me and I learnt a lot. One was just how happy a lot of the kids were. To me they seemed happier, more respectful, and carried themselves with more dignity than many affluent Western kids.

Sponsoring a Compassion child costs US$38 per month [which is tax deductible]. It is hard for me to think of any investment with a higher rate of return...

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