Christians Battle Against Poverty Essay

1167 words - 5 pages

Let’s look at some cold hard facts in the world surrounding us. Many of us live in comfortable lives—plenty of food, a car for every member of the household, a roof over our heads, parents with steady jobs, etc. Thus, America’s comfortable bubble is formed. That is a fact, right? Well since we all know about America, we should take a step outside of that cozy bubble around us and look at the rest of the world. We will soon see the reality of the world surrounding us.
So many of us know the typical stereotypes such as starving children in Africa, or the overworked children of China, or even the uneducated people of South America. However, how many of us have been face to face with the reality of the everyday lifestyle that these people endure? Not many of us have encountered the estimated 15 million children that have lost a parent due to AIDS according to We have not faced food-borne diseases to the extent that our country has 1.8 million people die annually, most of which are children. This reality is heart breaking, but it has also inspired some to fight for those affected by these worldwide crises.
History of Compassion
How do we respond to such an unforgiving reality? According to, in 1952, an American evangelist named Everett Swanson was in South Korea during the Korean War. As he walked through the streets of Seoul, he watched citizens stack bags containing the bodies of dead homeless children that were killed during the previous night. Swanson left the country with a heavy heart for the children in Korea. A certain passage in biblical scripture ran on in his mind—Matthew 15:32—where Jesus says, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way” [ESV]. After returning to America, Swanson received two offerings that totaled just over a thousand dollars. This was proof to Swanson that God was in on it. That same year, Everett and his family launched a new overseas ministry after being provided satisfactory medical and financial resources. The new ministry became a corporation that was later named Compassion. Compassion grew and by the mid 1970’s had expanded to 17 other developing countries and 180,000 sponsor children. Now over 1 million children in 26 developing countries are sponsored through Compassion.
How It Works
Reverend Everett Swanson did more than respond individually to the morbid reality of worldwide poverty, he also created a way for us to respond easily by sponsoring a child. it would not be realistic to say that every one of us must travel to Kenya to provide a meal for a starving child, or to drive to Mexico to teach an illiterate teenager how to read and write. Nevertheless, we can show compassion to those affected by poverty through sponsoring a child.
Compassion is an international Christian ministry that is dedicated to the development of children living in...

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