News and Views

These stories will inpsire and encourage you to keep fighting the battle of poverty. First, a restaurant owner in California, Young Lee, shares his passion for helping children in the Dominican Republic, while a NFL Pro Bowler finds his greater value in saving children's lives and not on the football field. Read about how a young man who was a formerly-sponsored child is now a congressman fighting poverty within his country. Then, see firsthand how Compassion's Water of Life program is saving lives in the Dominican Republic.

News and Views

By: Stephan Archer, USA Communications Specialist

RESTAURANT OWNER SPONSORS IMPOVERISHED CHILDREN WITH EACH LOCATION OPENED
Young Lee, restaurant owner of Flame Broiler in Fullerton, California plans to open a restaurant in the Dominican Republic.

When Young Lee opened his first Flame Broiler restaurant in Fullerton, Calif., in 1995, it was simply to make a living for his wife and children and provide a healthy option for fast food. However, 88 locations later, he hasn’t just found a successful career, he’s found a calling as he sponsors more children living in poverty through Compassion International for each new restaurant he opens.

Lee first learned of Compassion from a brochure he picked up during a visit to the optometrist. The one thing that caught his attention was Compassion’s tagline: “in Jesus’ name.”

“When I invest any time or money, it’s for God’s kingdom,” Lee says. “The message must be there.”

Lee and his wife immediately decided to sponsor one child for each new restaurant they opened. After a trip to the Dominican Republic with Compassion, however, Lee discovered the Dominicans’ openness to the Word of God and he increased their sponsorship commitment to two new sponsorships per restaurant. Currently, the Lees sponsor 176 children, many of whom are in the Dominican Republic.

Lee’s vision goes beyond sponsorship, though. He’s already making plans to open a new restaurant location in the Dominican Republic and hopes to have a college graduate from Compassion’s Leadership Development Program as his manager.

"If you love your Creator,” Lee says, “you’ll invest everything you have for His glory.”

CHOLERA PLAGUES THE CARIBBEAN
Compassion brought food and a clean water filtration system in response to a cholera outbreak in the Dominican Republic.

Cholera, a menace in developing nations, once again has affected the island of Hispaniola, beginning in Haiti in fall 2010 and spreading across the border into the Dominican Republic.

Cholera is a life-threatening infection of the intestine and is easily spread when drinking-water sources are polluted with bacteria because of poor sanitation. Frequent storms blowing through the region further aggravate the problem.

In the Dominican Republic, four sponsored children were hospitalized due to symptoms and were later released. As part of an immediate response, Compassion provided food, hygiene-care products, chlorine and detergent to all the families of the children at risk. Prevention meetings were also held.

In addition, Compassion is providing safe water systems to poor communities in cities such as Santo Domingo, where a filtration system was funded through Compassion by proceeds from the Newsboys’ Born Again Experience Tour.

CONGRESSMAN OF HAITI, A SON OF COMPASSION
Beguens Theus, formerly a Compassion-sponsored child, was elected as a congressman for La Gonave, Haiti.

Earlier this year, Beguens Theus, formerly a Compassion-sponsored child, was elected as a congressman for La Gonâve, Haiti.

Before having a chance to spend a day in office, however, he and 16 other congressmen-elect found themselves fighting for their right to represent those who elected them, due to the accusation of voting fraud. Now, Theus will have opportunities to address the issues of corruption that nearly kept him from serving his country.

“As a congressman … I believe God is going to use me inside the House to bring about the change we are expecting in our country,” Theus says.

FROM NFL PRO BOWLER TO CHILD ADVOCATE
NFL Pro Bowler Aaron Kampman finds his value in sponsoring children and not on the football field.

NFL Pro Bowler Aaron Kampman has had some great successes on the football field, but he and other NFL players have found greater impact by sponsoring impoverished children through Compassion International.

While in El Salvador with Compassion, Kampman, Jaguars teammate Russell Allen, and the Seahawks’ Craig Terrill had the opportunity to visit their sponsored children. Each child’s eyes lit up, but not because their sponsors were NFL pros.

To these children, they were simply the men who make school, health care, nutritional supplements, regular meals and spiritual support possible.

“A lot of times here in the States, I am recognized as an NFL player and many think that gives me great value,” says Kampman. “While I love the game, it is through the eyes of these Compassion children that I can see a greater value and importance for my life beyond the football field and the potential we each have to help a child.”