With the global pandemic affecting the livelihood of many Australians, Compassion Australia’s CEO Clare Steele shares why it’s important to continue to look beyond our own shores and love our neighbours.
12 Jun, 2020
How is Compassion continuing to release children from poverty during COVID-19?
"For so many Compassion assisted children and their families, there is no safety net when disaster strikes. Simply surviving can be a daily struggle.
Lockdown restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 also prevent many parents from earning an income.
Fear of what tomorrow brings is magnified as they can't put food on the table today. And living conditions make basic hygeine a luxury.
We've set up a global campaign, 'We Rise as One' for children and families living in poverty who are experiencing extreme hardships during the pandemic.
Together, we are already part of a global community united by Jesus—millions of supporters, pastors, churches, staff and volunteers caring for vulnerable children.
Now I'm asking you to be a part of the global response to provide these children with the food, hygiene and housing security they need at an unprecedented time. Your gift today can help bring stability to children and families in need.
I want to acknowledge that it has been a tough year for many of our supporters. Not just with the COVID-19 pandemic but also the bushfires that ravaged out country over summer. Whether or not you can give, please pray.
Pray for the 2.1 million children registered with Compassion's program. Pray for parents facing desperate circumstances and struggling to provide food and a safe home for their children."
In what ways can we continue to 'love our neighbour' during this time?
"I think more stable than the issue of poverty is our God. He's steadfast; He upholds us; He is in control; and He cares so much for these children. And He desires to see His church grow and reach out to these children in need.
One way you can continue to offer a hope to children in poverty is to write to your sponsored child. They will receive the letters in time, but there will be a delay and they may not be able to write back as quickly. But please continue to write.
I also mentioned before that you can pray. Join our Facebook group, read media and find out what is happening in these countries and pray for them.
We keep a regular update on the website of the COVID-19 situation across all of our field countries here. Pray for the children. Pray for the churches you support around the world. Please pray.
And if at the moment you are blessed and have the capacity to, please think about giving.
Perhaps sponsoring a child has been something you have been thinking about for a while. Can you imagine meeting this child one day and seeing how you've been able to change their world?
And maybe that's too long a commitment. Maybe that's not where you're at. If that's you, please consider giving to our Disaster Relief Fund. We know that COVID-19, both directly through the virus and also indirectly through the financial impacts and social distancing, are going to have a huge impact on those living in poverty.
Please give if you can. Please see this money as food and water and health to those who need it at this time."
How is Compassion helping their supporters?
"I know Australians are not immune from the impacts of COVID-19. And I understand that many are facing difficult situations.
If you're facing hardship, please know that our ministry is praying for you. We've set up a Facebook Prayer Group for supporters, volunteers, staff and Advocates from around the nation that you are welcome to join so that we can lift each other and the children we serve in prayer during this season.
With many of our supporters feeling the financial strain of the pandemic, we have also been able to come alongside them in their struggle to continue sponsorship and offer assistance where possible.
For some of our supporters, this has meant covering a portion of their sponsorship so they could continue helping to release a child from poverty, while for others, we have temporarily waived sponsorship contributions until they are back on their feet.
That being said, it is truly through the commitment of our supporters and the dedication of our local church partners that we are able to continue releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.
We want to thank you for your generosity during this difficult time, and for being a true steward of God in responding to His call to give."
Photos by Ben Adams, Alejandra Zuniga and Eric D. Lema
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