Why I support Compassion International:

I was often asked in college why, since I was always broke, did I support Compassion. My answer, "because I can".

I've heard a good many musicians and speakers promote Compassion from Peder Eide to Phil Keaggy. But to be honest, I didn't think much about it. I figured why not let those people who can afford to give their money away be the ones to do it. Shoot, I have enough trouble supporting myself! A college education isn't free, you know! I'll start when I get a good job in a few years.

I remember walking past the ATM machines late at night on the weekends and seeing withdrawl slips littering the sidewalks. I knew what they were getting money for. I could smell it on their breath when they got home at 2am. Like my friends and I, these were broke college students, but somehow they always found the money to go drinking Thursday through Sunday.

And then I saw many of my friends supporting a Compassion kid. These weren't paid musicians or people with great jobs and plenty of cash. These were unemployed college students struggling with the same money problems I was. I decided that if this was important enough to me, I would find a way to make it work.

But why was this important to me? Having been a leader in our university's Campus Crusade for Christ ministry, I understood the importance of sharing the Good News of Jesus with everyone. I also understood that a child who is hungry for real food will not want spiritual food. Peoples' physical needs must be met first. It is the example Jesus set for us. It shows His love in a tangable way.

Everyone wants to change the world, but few do anything about it. I may not be able to change the world with $32 a month, but thousands of people giving $32 a month can make a huge difference. Besides, I can change one life and that one is worth the effort. You never know how many lives just one child may change when he or she grows up!

-- Stephanie Bargenquast

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose". - Jim Elliot
Williams, my current Compassion child.

Diego, my first sponsored child,
no longer in the program.