No, he isn’t a shah with 23 wives and a palace to fill with his heirs. And David Chalmers is hardly a womanizer with a baby mama in every state. Still, this single Australian teacher serves as a daddy-on-paper to over 50 kids around the globe.
Any guesses? Alright, I’ll fill you in.
You’ve heard me speak before on my great love for Compassion International. Oh, how Nick and I dig the relationships we have cultivated with our sweet kids from the Philippines, Indonesia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Bolivia and Nicaragua (and Togo and Dominican Republic, we’ve got our eyes on you next!).
For $38 a month, our entire family gets to make a tangible difference in the life of a child across the ocean. They receive food, an education, medical care — and most importantly, the knowledge that they are loved and valued. That’s a pretty big deal when poverty is constantly whispering in your ear that you’re a nobody and will always remain a nobody.
David Chalmers is an Aussie who loves Compassion just as much as we do (and probably more!). Once he got the fever, he was hooked. He started sponsoring a few years ago and enjoyed the experience. But then he made a visit to his kid’s country and Compassion project and saw firsthand how Compassion is changing lives.
From there, he dove in headfirst. Today, in his 30s, he deliberately gives over half of his income to sponsor 50 kids in all of Compassion’s 26 countries. What’s more, he’s visited 31 of them in 12 nations!
Watch this cool nine-minute video on him. Seriously.
Recently, David was nice enough to let me read his hot-off-the-press book on his sponsorship journey, “Go Into All the World.” I’m fairly picky when it comes to book reviews, but I’m happy to say that this one is grammatically correct and punctuation appropriate! And for all the non-nerds out there, GIAtW is entertaining, informative and inspiring as well.
Maybe you’ve seen a Compassion table at a concert or heard a friend talk about their experience. Still, who wants to throw away hard-earned money on something that might not even work? Here’s your chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Compassion operates, what the relationship is like between sponsored child and sponsor and even what it’s like to go visit your kid.
Though there is some overlap in information, GIAtW is a real, honest portrait of Compassion sponsorship. David doesn’t lie about the awkward moments, the discomforts of traveling to a foreign country or the sacrifice required of him to be financially responsible for so many kids (and a note to all the struggling US teachers: maybe consider moving to Australia?). That was my favorite part of the book; I don’t do fairy-tale perfection.
Mark is six years old. In his home, Mark helps by carrying water and gathering firewood. He lives with his father and his mother. His father is sometimes employed and his mother maintains the home. There are 4 children in the family.
As part of Compassion’s ministry, Mark participates in church activities. He is also in preschool where his performance is average. Playing with cars, playing with marbles and hide-and-seek are his favorite activities.
And Mark has been waiting for an entire year for a sponsor to choose him.
Or maybe studly Columbians are more your thing:
(I told my buddy Ian that I would post another Ian in his honor. Well, there weren’t any Ians but there was a CristIAN. Voila, Ian). (Oh snap, I just realized the word Columbian also has the named Ian in it! How good of a friend am I?!)