Article by Ashley Adams, college student

Written on March 1, 2017

Just today, Compassion International (a child-advocacy ministry) informed their sponsors that they have to close down their operations in India. I received this email today:

Dear Ashley,

It is with deep sorrow that we share with you that Compassion must close its sponsorship program in India on March 15.

We are distraught that it has come to this, and have done everything possible to continue our work in India. You can read more about the great lengths we went to here, but ultimately we want you to know that our hearts are breaking for the children in India. We now place our hope in the belief that our decades of ministry in India will still bear much fruit. The seeds sponsors, like you, have planted will continue to grow.

To learn more about the situation in India you can watch a special message from Compassion CEO, Jimmy Mellado and other Compassion leaders who have been deeply involved in this process. We also encourage you to explore the FAQ section of this page.

According to Compassion’s video in the email, the Indian government has made it practically impossible to transfer outside funding into Indian bank accounts. Compassion and about 20,000 other nongovernmental organizations (NGO’s) that get much of their funding from outside of India are no longer able to operate. Compassion and others are running out of money and are being forced to close their offices. Compassion believes this may be influenced by the Indian government’s misunderstanding of the purpose of Compassion’s organization. The Indian government believes Compassion’s primary goal is to convert Indian children to Christianity rather than poverty alleviation.

 

As I read Compassion’s articles and watched the video, I was reminded of the little girl Isaac and I sponsor from Tanzania. Angel, only 4 years old, is much more fortunate than those in India right now. Millions of families in poverty are devastated and in tears right now. The Church should be just as broken. We should be crying alongside of them just as Jesus wept with Martha at Lazarus’s tomb. One thing I need to note though, is that all hope is not lost. Jesus wept with Martha even though he knew Lazarus would come out of the tomb alive shortly. When it seemed all hope was gone, Jesus pointed Martha back to himself and reminded her that wherever He is, there is life and hope (John 11:25-26).

Even though Compassion and other similar organizations are being sent out of India, God is still working. It is encouraging to see that Compassion is still hopeful. Compassion has been planting seeds in India for decades and they have hope that their Christian faith will continue to bear fruit. I love that in the midst of such disappointment and confusion, Compassion encourages us to keep our eyes attentive to the Cross.

As we wait attentively, keeping our eyes open to the ways God will be working in India, we should be in prayer. At the end of the email, Compassion includes this:

Our Prayers for India Will Continue

While our hearts are heavy, we continue to seek the Lord. Please pray with us each Thursday — a day we’ve dedicated to fervent prayer for this cause over the past several months. In particular, we ask you to:

  • Please pray for the children and Compassion staff during this time of uncertainty in India. Pray that they will feel the powerful impact of your prayers in their communities and families—but most of all, in their hearts.
  • Pray that the local church ministers to the children and families during this painful time.
  • Pray that God will continue to reveal Himself — His love, patience and care — to the children and families throughout India.
  • Thank God that He already knows every outcome — and that regardless of what happens, He will never leave nor forsake India and its people.

I encourage you to spread this news among your friends and families so that the body of Christ can be in prayer for India. If you have not considered sponsoring a child, I hope you will think about it. Most of us are supplied with more than these people could ever imagine and we should not keep it to ourselves. One last thing I would like to note is that we need to realize how major this news is. This type of news will never make it on the headlines, but we do not lose heart. God’s mission to the nations will not be thwarted. As the Church, no matter what background or doctrine you claim, we are made as one body and created for mission. We proclaim Christ to all so that all people may have hope in the only One who can save (Acts 4:12).

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