“But when you give a banquet, invite the poor…you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Luke 14:13-14
Ghana is on the coast of West Africa with a tropical climate. About 45 percent of the population lives in extreme poverty, making less than $1 per day.
Previously, I wrote about a challenge my wife, Andrea, and I were given through a bible study we went through just after we were married. In that study it challenged us to ask God to bring a poor person into our lives. One of the ways He did that was to introduce us to Compassion International, a ministry who meets the needs of children in poverty around the world.
Compassion gave us the opportunity to sponsor a child. We chose to match our four children with children in poverty around their same ages. Katie, our third daughter, began a friendship with Maame from Ghana when they were both about seven years old.
Maame lives in a community where the houses are made of cement floors, wood walls, and tin roofs. Many people in the community of Agona Swedru eat maize, beans, chicken, fish, bread and rice. Maame once told Katie her favorite food is rice and stew.
Compassion partners with the First Baptist Child Development Center to provide Maame with biblical education, health screening, hygiene education, games, music and more. Maame, through one of her letters, shared with Katie her favorite game is Ampe, which is a game a lot of little African girls play much like Rock, Paper, Scissors except you use your entire body.
As you can imagine and have heard on the news, people in Africa are susceptible to all kinds of diseases. Maame was recently taught how to prevent malaria. We know the small investment we are making in Maame may literally save her life.
Katie has really enjoyed corresponding with Maame for the past six years. Katie writes Maame monthly and she probably hears from her about 4-6 times per year. I asked Katie what she likes about this program and she said, “It’s fun to write Maame and share with her what is happening here and to learn more about her life. I also like giving to Maame because I know it meets a need she has. I hope she knows God loves her and that I care about her.”
Part of our own personal giving is to contribute monthly through Compassion to Maame and the other children we sponsor. However, Katie also uses some of the money she is given or earns throughout the year to send Maame a birthday and Christmas gift. Maame recently wrote Katie to thank her for giving because it bought them text books for learning.
Maybe you and your family are interested in building a relationship with a child in a similar way. To find out more about sponsoring a child with Compassion International, go to www.compassion.com.
William “Carey” Northington of One Master Ministries in Xenia may be contacted at OneMaster.org.