Welcome to "the Real World"

Welcome to "the Real World"

By: Gary Martyn   |   Posted: August 08, 2006

Matthew Irvine regularly writes letters to the three children he sponsors. As Matthew explains, "Their letters gently remind me that I have an obligation and an opportunity to welcome others into the kingdom."

Matthew Irvine may have just finished college, but this 23-year-old Texan confesses that what he knows of the "real world" comes from his time as a member of Compassion's Advocates Network.

Matthew learned about Compassion because his church in Georgetown, Texas, corporately sponsored a child. "I quickly discovered that Compassion was completely different from other child sponsorship organizations," Matthew says. "Specifically, Christ is the center of the organization and that alone is very unique."

Matthew was impressed with Compassion and decided to sponsor a child. That's when his education about poverty's effect upon children began. "Across the globe, horrible things are happening to children -- the most innocent and precious of all people," Matthew says. "Most children have no voice, no leverage to change their circumstances, and no control over their situation. With help, children can be released from their social, educational, and physical poverty and, at the same time, be introduced to Jesus, the only One who can permanently release them from their spiritual poverty."

From One to Many

Fueled by his passion as a Child Advocate, it didn't take long for Matthew to jump from sponsoring one child to three. "Through sponsorship, I learned that kids around the world have a lot in common," Matthew says. "All children are innocent, precious and loved by God. The thing that separates our situations is poverty. Without intervention, poverty steals the spirit and drive from a child's heart. It takes their hope; it robs their joy. But sponsorship has taught me that hope can be restored, poverty can be defeated, and joy can be returned!"  

By joining the Advocates Network, Matthew turned his personal passion to bring hope and joy to children in need into a crusade to recruit sponsors and help even more children. He applied online to become a member of the Advocates Network, and after the interview process, was accepted.

Even as a busy college student, Matthew helped out at Compassion events, shared Compassion's ministry with area pastors and Bible-study groups, and recruited new sponsors. He can hardly contain his passion for Compassion and its work.

"I have also shared Compassion's program with people in the grocery store, with co-workers, in a public high school, through radio public service announcements -- even with a McDonald's drive-through employee," he says. "I am an advocate for children because they need a voice. I am an advocate with Compassion because the program is so effective."