Ministry Representatives Fast, Pray for Compassion Sunday this Weekend

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Representatives of Compassion International around the world - employees, child advocates and children -- will hold a day of prayer and fasting Friday in preparation for Compassion Sunday this weekend.

Members of congregations can actually get to know a child who lives in extreme poverty. By supporting them through sponsorship, praying for them and developing a relationship through letter writing, the child as well as the sponsor can be deeply impacted by the experience.

Representatives of Compassion International - around the world - employees, child advocates and children -- will hold a day of prayer and fasting Friday in preparation for Compassion Sunday this weekend.

Last year, Compassion Sunday resulted in more than 20,700 new child sponsorships, with a goal of 20,000 this year. More than 2,800 churches in the United States participated in 2006. Churches in the United Kingdom, Canada and Switzerland also are involved in finding sponsors for children through Compassion Sunday.

Every three seconds a child under five dies from poverty-related causes. Compassion has pioneered a unique sponsorship program to help meet this need one child at a time. It costs only $32 a month to sponsor a child and provide him or her with opportunities in education, health care, nutrition and life skills, as well as an opportunity to learn about Jesus. Taking this message to the Church is the emphasis of Compassion Sunday.

"Compassion Sunday provides an easy yet meaningful and personal response to the problem and pain of poverty," said Regina Hopewell, Compassion Advocacy Network Director. "Members of congregations can actually get to know a child who lives in extreme poverty. By supporting them through sponsorship, praying for them and developing a relationship through letter writing, the child as well as the sponsor can be deeply impacted by the experience."

Compassion provides churches with many different resources to host a Compassion Sunday event, including videos, bulletin inserts, sermon ideas and information on children currently waiting for sponsors. Churches can choose to host a Compassion Sunday event on another day, if they prefer, but April 22 officially has been declared Compassion Sunday.

Compassion is one of the world's largest Christian child-development organizations, working with more than 65 denominations and about 4,000 indigenous church partners in Africa, Asia, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Since 1952, Compassion has touched the lives of more than one million children and has been recognized for its financial integrity with top ratings and recommendations by several of the nation's leading not-for-profit "watchdog" organizations. For information about sponsoring a child or Compassion Sunday, contact Compassion online at Compassion.com or by calling (800) 336-7676, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., MST.

Note: To request an interview with Regina Hopewell, please contact Steve Yount of A. Larry Ross Communications at 972-267-1111.

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