Well, after much prayer and planning, the campaign to raise funds for the Anslay Church of God Child Survival Program (CSP) is off and running. It's hard to believe that it all began with a simple phone call.
My wife Julie, who volunteers as a Child Advocate for Compassion International, receives regular newsletters and publications about Compassion's Child Sponsorship programs as well as its other key initiatives taking place around the globe. As I read through one of her magazines a few months ago, I came across a truly inspiring story of a high school girl who successfully raised funds to start a Child Survival Program for a project in Kenya.
I thought heavily about this story since we were well into the process to adopt internationally from Rwanda, and I began to wonder what it would be like to somehow give back to the continent that would give us our son.
"How awesome would it be to start another CSP in Africa!?" I wondered. Though Julie was as excited as I was about this idea, it was immediately clear that neither of us knew where to begin. That's when I picked up the phone and dialed Compassion's headquarters in Colorado Springs to ask for direction.
We would eventually be put in touch with Kirk Winter who is Compassion's North-Central Region Development Director. (As Kirk likes to explain, his responsibilities essentially cover the Big 10 states. This made things much much clearer for a Buckeye like me!) He listened to our story and took it to the organization to learn about the areas of greatest need before reporting back to us about the possibilities. He said that a project in Tanzania was still awaiting funding and asked if we would be interested in supporting the efforts to secure it. We, of course, assured him that we were, and the project was immediately off and running.
Over the past few months, Kirk and the Compassion team have worked tirelessly to develop a website that would allow people to simultaneously gain firsthand knowledge about the project and give directly to it at the same time. Our prayer is that this unprecedented opportunity will inspire many to give, and as a result, meet the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of babies and their families in Mbulu, Tanzania.
What an amazing difference that simple phone call has made, and what an amazing difference you can make with a simple gift.