Sunday School Offering:
Child Sponsorships

February 2022 | Written by Jane Josephson, Edited by Steve Moberg

      Have you ever wondered, as they are passing around a basket in your Sunday School class, “Where do those offerings go?”  For some time GEPC’s adult Sunday schools have been sponsoring five children – four through Compassion International and one through Northwest Haiti Christian Mission.

     Compassion International began as a sponsorship program to support Korean War orphans in 1952.  Today they work in twenty-five countries supporting children from very low-income families by partnering with local churches that are already involved with the community, helping to provide Jesus-based teaching and meeting critical needs in their local neighborhoods.

     The focus of the program is holistic child development or whole-life care for each child that is personal, relational and suited to the child’s age, gender, health, culture and family situation.  The focus is on the child but the family may also benefit.  Further training and education are encouraged to help break the cycle of poverty.  Many of the centers are equipped to provide educational and training opportunities.

     GEPC provides monthly monetary support for four Compassion children, and correspondence with the children is handled by four church members.  For the last couple of years communication has been a little more difficult at times due to some of the centers being closed for a while due to Covid.  In those cases, local Compassion workers contact the families and help provide for spiritual and physical needs. The four children we sponsor are Weerasak from Thailand, Sara from Tanzania, and Yordy and Daniel from Guatemala.

     The other child sponsored by GEPC is at Northwest Haiti Christian Mission’s Miriam House, which is a ministry and home to special-needs children, catering to each child’s physical, emotional and cognitive development.  They provide around-the-clock care in a healthy environment surrounded by loving staff members.  In addition, they regularly help families who come to them seeking special assistance in learning how to best raise their special-needs children.

       GEPC has been involved with Northwest Haiti Christian Mission in various ways over the years.  Both youth and adults completed a couple of mission trips to the area a number of years ago; and in recent years a group called the iTeam, comprised of medical and non-medical volunteers, made several mission trips to the area to perform eye checkups and surgeries.  Volunteers from our church, including Mark Lancaster, have participated in many of these trips.

      The concerning news is the sponsorship of these five children through GEPC’s adult Sunday school offerings may be in jeopardy due to the offerings falling short the last couple of years due to the repercussions of Covid.  In the past year, two infusions of funds have been given from Missions to help continue the sponsorship of these children. 

If you would like to make a donation to Compassion International, you can write a check to Gashland EPC and put “Compassion International” on the memo line. Checks can be dropped off at the office during office hours or placed in the offering during the service.

Weerasak is 15 years old, attends Sunday school, church and vacation Bible school.  His family duties include animal care, carrying water, cleaning, child care and washing clothes.  He enjoys playing sports, music, and spending time with friends.

Yordy is 6, and attends Bible class.  His family duties include carrying water, gathering firewood, and cleaning.  He enjoys soccer and toy cars.

Lovejinie is the sponsored special-needs girl living at Miriam House who was born with hydrocephalus.  She is about thirteen years old, nonverbal, reliant on a wheelchair and must be fed and bathed.  Despite these issues, she finds joy in her life and is often smiling.

Sara is 18, attends Sunday school, church and Bible class.  Her family duties include gardening, buying or selling in the market, gathering firewood, and helping in the kitchen.  She enjoys ball games and learning new vocational skills.

Daniel is 6, attends Sunday school and church, his family duty is cleaning, and he enjoys doing arts and crafts, ballgames, and playing hide and seek.