How should I talk about holistic child development? (part four)

    When it comes to releasing a child from poverty, one of the most important aspects is her spiritual life. As we shared recently, poverty is, at its root, a spiritual issue.

    How spiritual development happens

    When children learn about the love and forgiveness that Christ offers them, it changes everything. Children’s lives are transformed as they are filled with the Holy Spirit and become more and more like Christ.

    They learn that what is most important is to love God and to love others. The focus of their lives becomes worshipping and serving God. And these children become the change agents of their families and communities, as they share the gospel of Christ through their words and actions.

    Compassion supports children from all spiritual backgrounds. They don’t have to be Christian to receive support, and they are never coerced to change their religion. But children also learn about God at their Compassion centre. They learn how to pray, how to read the Bible, and they hear the life-saving gospel of Christ. As children and adolescents accept Christ in their hearts, they are discipled at the centre as they grow in Him.

    When children have Christ in their hearts, they also have hope. They begin to value themselves as God values them, and they begin to trust Him for their future. They begin to believe that their situation really can change and that God really does have a good plan for their lives.

    This change, though immaterial, is huge. It not only changes their eternal future, but it also changes their earthly future as they give their lives to serve Him and trust in Him.

    That’s why Compassion’s programs are about so much more than the physical things children receive. Children do receive a lot of needed physical assistance through sponsorship. But the whole person is also developed so that not only do the external circumstances change, but the person as a whole is transformed into a responsible Christian adult who will be the change for their community.