Campus has compassion
Seven years ago, Compassion International sent UMHB Chaplain, Dr. George Loutherback a letter in the mail.
“It talked about how college campuses could adopt children, so I investigated them because I wanted to make sure they were credible, and the money that was given to the child actually went to the child,” he said.
After researching, Loutherback found the organization to be genuine. He contacted Compassion to reserve a speaker for chapel. They sent him a list of people and worked out a date.
Ever since, Loutherback has built a partnership with Compassion so children may be adopted by UMHB students on an ongoing basis.
More than 20 years ago, Compassion International began when a speaker decided to use his platform to speak on behalf of children in poverty.
“He challenged audience members to make a difference in the life of one child,” a Compassion representative said.
Compassion International is a Christian child advocacy ministry that partners with more than 200 artists and speakers “who feel that God’s mandate to reach those in poverty is essential to how we live out our faith,” the source said.
These advocates approach Compassion with a desire to speak up for those living poorly, while Compassion seeks artists and speakers who “have a heart for those in poverty to see if they would be willing to be a voice for the voiceless,” the representative said.
The first time a Compassion staff member came to UMHB, Loutherback saw many students respond and pick up packets. Children from all over the world have been (and continue to be) adopted by UMHB students in order to provide them with basic needs: food, clothing, education and Christian training.
Now more than 900 children are sponsored by college students nationwide.
Two years ago, Compassion saw the university’s passion for their ministry, so they presented Loutherback with the idea of doing more than a Wednesday and Friday chapel.
Loutherback agreed, and spring event, Revival began its relationship with Compassion.
In March of 2008, Jeremy Kingsley came to the university as Revival’s guest speaker.
“This first year we did it, we had close to 200 children adopted during the revival,” Loutherback said. “It was amazing how God used it at that time.”
Junior elementary education major Kristen Williamson felt called to adopt.
“I went to Revival the last night of my freshman year and someone was talking about how these kids essentially had nothing,” Williamson said. “Just $32 a month could give them a better life.”
Williamson said she felt convicted, and believed it was her job as a Christian to help in any way possible.
“God has blessed me so much, and his word clearly calls us to give and help those less fortunate than us,” she said. “I started sponsoring Prudence that night, and God has continued to bless me financially.”
Revival continues to carry the tradition in hosting speakers and bands that support children of Compassion International.
“It is exciting to see the thousands of children whose lives have been changed as a result of speakers and artists sharing God’s heart for the poor,” the Compassion source said.