Why we partner with Compassion International

If you’ve seen Abandon Kansas in concert, or pocketoption follow us closely online, it’s easy to see that this band wants to do more than just make music, play shows, and sell records. For the last two years Abandon Kansas has partnered with Compassion International to release children from poverty around the world.

In May of 2010 Brian and I (Jeremy) were given the opportunity to travel with Compassion to Ecuador. We’ve been supporting Compassion for years now from the stage because we believe in their mission, but now having seen it first hand, we realize how vital our role is here in the US as advocates for these kids. We were so convicted by the reality of poverty, and our definition of poverty itself was shattered. I was even convicted to be a better sponsor to the child I’ve already claimed.

While in Ecuador, we were able to experience an event few sponsors have the chance to do. Brian has been sponsoring Darwin, a seven year old from Ecuador, for the last year. Darwin had never left his village, let alone traveled six hours up to the capital city of Quito, but Compassion brought him up to meet Brian and it was such a cool thing to be a part of. Darwin and Brian spent the day together playing with the back-pack full of toys Brian had brought him from the states.

Here’s a story from our trip:

Our second day in Ecuador we were able to visit a child sponsorship program that had never had visitors from the United States. They were so excited to see us! The kids prepared gifts for us and we served them lunch. Hundreds of them! Despite the extreme elevation, we did our best to keep up with the kids on the soccer field. That afternoon we were invited pocket option demo account into the home of a little gal named Ellen.

Ellen lives in a cement shack with her mother and father and seven brothers and sisters. Their roof, newly installed, was a thin metal sheet with holes letting sunshine pour into the room sporadically. The family knew we were coming and had borrowed furniture from some neighbors specifically so we would have a place to sit. We took our seats on the tattered lawn furniture acting as a living room couch and listened to Ellen’s family’s story via the translator. Ellen’s dad works at the rose plantation from sun up to sun down, earning a dollar or two a day. All I could think is, how can you feed eight kids with one dollar a day? Seeing first hand how poor these people are, despite their hard work and good intentions, just plain broke my heart.

There was no floor in Ellen’s home, just hard packed dirt. The kids shared two beds, four bodies in each mattress-less frame. I couldn’t believe anyone lived like this, let alone a helpless child.

Ellen has a sponsor back in the states and she asked me if I met her. She asked, “Do you know Lisa Thomas? She lives in California.” Through the translator I tried to explain to her that I didn’t know her, that the United States is pocket options demo a big place. Because of her sponsor Ellen is able to get one solid meal a day, attend school, work with a tutor, receive medical treatment, and discover her God given potential through her local Compassion project. Perhaps more importantly, Ellen is learning about Jesus and shared with us that her favorite thing about attending her Compassion project is learning how to pray.

Before we left Ellen’s home, we delivered a large bag of groceries. Her mom, Rosa, said that would last the family two weeks. The translator asked me to pray and I’ve never been more nervous in my life! All at once everything about prayer and helping the poor and serving the weak became very real to me. Finally prayer wasn’t a luxury, but a lifeline, for me and Ellen’s family. I prayed for God to release Ellen and her beautiful family from poverty. I prayed for me and my friends back home to be released from our wealth. I fully believe God answers prayer.

On our way back we shared this story with our team and they all chipped in to pay for the cement and labor to put a floor in Ellen’s home. _

We met so many children just like Ellen who will discover their purpose without some help from the outside. We heard their stories and saw how much a sponsor meant to them. The kids hide their letters under their beds like a treasure! More than the money and clothes and food, these kids need someone who will believe in them. Who will write them letters, invest in their lives, and encourage them to never give up despite the overwhelming odds that are against them.

For more information on these kids, and to learn how to sponsor your own, please come and visit us at our table at a show. Can’t make it to a show? Visit www.compassion.com