Seeing as I have recently been promoting the Compassion Advocates Network, it might be a good idea to give a more detailed explanation of the process and what it entails.
My Advocate journey started in December of 2009, about six months after we started sponsoring our very first Compassion International child. I was just so amazed and “on fire” over the work that CI does, that I called them to ask if they could send me informational brochures to hand out and hang up on public bulletin boards. The man who answered the phone suggested becoming an Advocate, but my inner-critic immediately said, “No, no, that’s too big of a responsibility. I’m a busy stay-at-home Mom with too much on my plate already.” But, God was working on my heart. The next day, I found myself on the Compassion website reading all about the Advocates Network and by the end of the day I had filled out my application.
You may be curious what is involved in being an Advocate and how the process works. Things have changed a bit since December 2009, but I’ll walk you through the steps involved.
First, you’ll want to go to the Advocate's area of the Compassion website. You’ll be able to read the complete Advocate Position Description and take a look at the application. Unlike how it was when I first joined the network, there are no longer different “levels” of Advocates. You are welcome to serve in a way that works for you.
“Ultimately, advocacy is a self-initiated and self-scheduled volunteer position where you will personally manage your own time commitment and activity. Based upon your geographic location and giftings, you will be connected with a Regional Advocate Manager and fellow leadership Advocates to help facilitate your own intentional ministry efforts.”
Next, you will fill out the application. This covers your basic contact information, your history with Compassion, info about your Spiritual Leader for a reference, a little bit of info about your church and a statement of faith. You also have to agree to a background check. Once your application is submitted, you’ll be contacted about scheduling a phone interview.
Now, I will admit, I am not a big “phone person” and I was initially intimidated by the thought of having a phone interview. My fears were unwarranted, though. The phone call was actually very enjoyable, chatting about how I came to Christ and started sponsoring and what I might like to do in my Advocacy. (For those of us who are stay-at-home Moms with rugrats running around, they are so flexible that they will schedule phone interviews at a time that works for you - Whether it be nap-time or after bedtime!)
After the interview, I was sent an email with links to the different Internet Based Training clips. I just loved this training! I learned so much more about the work that Compassion does and how it all comes together to truly help. I could do the training whenever I had time, even in five minute increments, if that is all I had in between cleaning and tending to the kids.
Once the training was completed, there was one more phone interview and then I was officially an Advocate! The whole process took me about 2 months, but that is because I worked through everything slowly and had to work around my “day job” of being a homeschool teacher, domestic engineer and full time Mama. Like I said, Compassion is very flexible in all of this.
Now, once you are an Advocate, what do you do? The pat answer is, whatever you can! Your advocacy may look like putting up brochures and telling your friends and family about Compassion. You may enjoy working tables at Compassion sponsored events and concerts. (I really, really enjoy this aspect of it! Free concerts and connecting children with sponsors? What could be better?) You may like to present Compassion at churches or to small groups. You have the ability to decide what kind of activities you’d like to do. You also have the opportunity to go to regional Advocates conferences which are really incredible. I attended my first in March of 2010 and got to be in the fellowship of many passionate sponsor/advocates. We brainstormed ways to promote Compassion, learned more about the in-depth work Compassion does and got the chance to listen to a formerly sponsored child (now an accomplished young man) tell his story. Don’t forget to bring tissues!
The most incredible part of being an Advocate, in my opinion, is to be present as children are connected with their potential sponsors. You get to witness God at work, which is SO exciting! I come home from every Compassion event, feeling like I am floating!
Are you feeling a tug on your heart to begin your Advocate’s journey? Click here to read more! If you have any questions, I’ll try to answer them to the best of my ability. I can guarantee that it will be a blessing in your life and you’ll have the opportunity to help bless many children living in poverty around the world ~ in Jesus’ name!