With 10 international missions partnerships, Woodlands Church knows what works and what doesn’t. Four years ago, Brian and other church leaders learned about Compassion and the opportunity to come alongside its mission to release children from poverty, in Jesus’ name. Brian recalls, “We realized that this would be a great way to fill a hole in our global missions program that we had been looking to fill – ministering to people in poverty.”
Brian adds, “As a church pastor, I love Compassion’s values – child-focused, church-based, Christ-centered and committed to integrity. When it dawned on me that every child who is sponsored comes under the umbrella of a local church, that was an “aha” moment for me.”
Today, through the Church to Church program, Woodlands is linked with a church in Northeast India that operates a Compassion child development center. Of the 350 children assisted by this center, at least 90 are sponsored by Woodlands members. An additional 150 children from other church-based Compassion centers around the world are also sponsored by congregation families.
Photos of members’ sponsored children are proudly displayed on the church’s walls, which, Brian says, "Is a real encouragement to others. Global poverty can be so overwhelming. But when people see that they can connect with an individual child, they realize that they can do something about poverty in a practical, hands-on way."
In addition to sponsoring children through their partner church in India, Woodlands members have provided funding to construct a playground, a deep water well and a washroom at the church. Money for these projects has come in large part from offerings taken during the Woodlands’ annual Vacation Bible School.
"Missions and concern for the poor is part of our heartbeat, and we want to instill that in our kids early on," Brian says. "That’s one of the reasons why we love Compassion. It’s a natural connection between our kids here and the 350 kids in India. We can show them pictures and say, ‘These kids are just like you, but they live in India and need a playground or a washroom.’ Our kids really connect with that."