By Cathy Leestma


The letters all begin about the same way. “My dear Aunty and Uncle. Loving greetings from your loving daughter, Divya.”

For the last twenty something years, we have had the privilege of working alongside Compassion International to sponsor children who live in extreme poverty.


Like many of you, we want to know that the money we give does as much good as possible. The children we have befriended write to us about three times a year and we write back. We like to sponsor the younger children and have seen many go from pre-school to high school graduations, something they never would have achieved without the good work of Compassion. They receive school materials and education, nutritious meals and gifts for their birthdays and holidays. We receive the blessings of giving these children hope and a future. There is a good chance we will never meet any of our children here on earth but we know the world will be a better place because of what they will contribute.


Here in the Gorge, we have the blessing of the Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach. It has a similar story to Compassion. The HNGO touches the lives of those going through difficult times and provides sometimes the most basic needs of food and clothing. As a friend once said, “we are all here just helping each other get down the road a little bit.” For those of us who do not need another material thing, may this be our season of compassionate giving.


You can find more Compassion International, please go online or call 800-336-7676.  To find out more about our local Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach, please go online or call 828-625-4683.