By NORMAN WONG
A NUMBER of people have asked
me, "Why does MMS have two different child sponsorship schemes?"
At present you can support a child through the MMS (Methodist
Missions Society) for either $30 a month or $90 a month.
Here is the short answer:
In our $30-a-month scheme, we identify families that are struggling
to scrape together enough money to send their child to school.
The child continues to stay with his/her family but is given the
opportunity of receiving an education. The money is given to the
head of the household by one of our pastors who ensures that the
children do go to school.
In our $90-a-month scheme, the child is either homeless (some
children are orphans) or comes from a family who is unable to
cope or who stays too far from the nearest school. In these cases,
the child stays with us 24 hours a day. The extra money is required
to pay the salaries of the house parents we employ and upkeep
the premises. These homes are filled with the love of the Lord
and you can see it in the children's eyes when you visit them.
Children from The Methodist School of Cambodia in Phnom
Penh rehearsing for a concert. - Methodist Missions Society picture.
There is a longer and much more complex answer which I will
summarise here (please get in touch with me if you would like
to discuss this further).
I have spent many hours listening to the pain and frustration
expressed by extremely sacrificial and dedicated people who have
a passion to help the less fortunate. This has been the result
of a fierce conflict over the best way to help a child.
" Some argue that we must use our limited resources to help
as many children as possible and they oppose fiercely excessive
expenditure which only goes to help a few children.
" Others treat the children like their own and will do anything
they can to ensure that these children develop their full potential.
But in both approaches our purpose is the same: to share the love
of Christ with these children and their
families in word and deed.
In our Methodist churches we have many people who feel very
strongly one way or the other.
The MMS has developed both schemes to allow for both approaches.
You can make a real difference in the life of one child in China,
Nepal, Cambodia, Thailand or Vietnam through the MMS for either
$30 a month or $ 90 a month (actually I have just received reports
from the field that $90 a month is not sufficient for the intensive
caring homes that we have in Cambodia and Nepal - so we may have
to increase that figure in the next financial year).
You do not have to support the child for the whole year if you
are unable to. If you can support a child for one month a year
- I will look for 11 other Methodists and combine your efforts
to give hope to one child. So you decide which approach you prefer
and we will help you bring hope to one child.
The Rev Norman Wong is the Executive Director of the Methodist