There’s No Debating the Value of Child Sponsorship

On Monday, many in the world of child sponsorship were shocked when World Vision announced its decision to change its employee conduct policy, allowing gay Christians to work in its United States branch.

The World Vision U.S. board spent several years praying about and discussing this issue, according to a letter by World Vision U.S. CEO Richard Stearns. World Vision U.S. will continue to expect abstinence before marriage and fidelity within marriage for all staff, and will continue to require every employee to agree to the doctrinal issues in the Apostles’ Creed or World Vision’s own Statement of Faith.


“Thank you for your letter and for taking the time to write me. I’m sure you’re quite busy and that your family needs all of your time.” – Cristian, 5, Romania

Stearns pointed out in his letter that World Vision employees belong to more than 50 denominations, a number of which have sanctioned same-sex marriage for Christians.

Stearns wrote, “I want to be clear that we have not endorsed same-sex marriage, but we have chosen to defer to the authority of local churches on this issue.”

And with that announcement, Christian leaders across the country were ready to voice their opinions.

Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, quickly issued a statement against World Vision’s new policy, calling it offensive. Others speaking out included Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptists’ Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission; and John Piper, retired megachurch pastor.

Child ambassador volunteers have resigned, and sponsors have canceled their sponsorships, while many have taken to social media to debate their opinions on World Vision’s decision.

As a sponsor and child ambassador myself, it has been heartbreaking to watch this play out.

This post, however, is not intended to change the reader’s opinion on World Vision’s new policy. I will not argue this issue. It has all been said before, and likely will continue to be hashed out over and over until the end of time.


“I’m also very happy when I get letters from you. I’m looking forward to your next letter. May God bless you.” – Andrei, 12, Romania

While that debate rages, though, I will urge you not to cancel your sponsorships. Please, do not give up on these children, with whom you have formed loving, long-lasting relationships. And if you have not yet sponsored a child, maybe now is the time to do so.

This new policy will in no way affect your sponsored children across the world. Why punish them?


“I would like to be friends all my life. No matter what will happen, I will be near your family all the time.” – Dragos, 13, Romania

These are real children, and much more than just a photo stuck to the refrigerator with a magnet. These are children who are living in poverty. They may have difficult home lives. Their sponsor may be the only person who affirms to them that they are loved.

No matter a person’s feelings on this new policy, I pray that sponsors will not let this come between them and their children.

Do you not believe that you are important to your sponsored child? Please read the quotes under the photos in this post. They are directly from letters from my own children, whom I sponsor through World Vision.

And for every Bible verse that backs up your opinion for or against World Vision’s new policy, I suggest there are just as many verses commanding us to care for the poor.

“Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” – Psalm 82:3-4

UPDATE: World Vision has announced today that it has reversed its new policy. For more information, click here.

Art Spotlight: Brazil

Eleven-year-old Pedro in Brazil usually attaches a separate paper to my letters with his drawings, and he draws to fill every space available. Below is some of his recent artwork.






ImageIf you would like to sponsor a child from Brazil, please click here and set your search for Brazil.


Sponsor a Child in Nicaragua

As the countdown continues for my trip to Nicaragua, I will be looking for sponsors for children from the area. If you choose to sponsor one of the five children for whom I am advocating, I will take a package from you to Nicaragua to be delivered to your new sponsor child.

Compassion’s mailing guidelines allow for sponsors to send flat, paper items to their children, but this would give you the opportunity to fill a gallon-sized ziploc bag with other items. Popular gifts to send include small stuffed animals, journals, pencils, t-shirts, toy cars – really anything you can fit into the bag.

These are the children for whom I am looking for sponsors:


Heydi is five years old. Her birthday is Dec. 18, and she lives west of Leon with her parents. Her father is a laborer, and there are two children in the family. Heydi enjoys art, playing with dolls and playing ball games. She is in Kindergarten.


Randall is six years old, and his birthday is Feb. 14. He lives with his parents in Northern Managua, and there are seven children in the family. His father is sometimes employed as a seller in the market. Randall likes soccer and playing with marbles.


Jeisni is seven years old and lives in Chinandega City with her mother, who is employed as a laborer. There are two children in the family. Jeisni enjoys playing house, art and bicycling. Her birthday is June 20.


Juan is five years old, and his birthday is Dec. 29. He lives east of Managua with his mother, who is employed as a laborer. There are two children in his family. Juan likes playing with cars, art and running.


Marco, 11, lives southeast of Leon with his parents. There are three children in the family. Marco’s birthday is May 7, and he likes soccer and playing with cars.

Compassion has been working in Nicaragua since June 2002. Currently there are more than 21,765 children attending more than 105 child development centers in the country.