ABOUT US – FAQ

Sponsorship

Who is served by Children of Promise?

Children of Promise (COP) serves children in desperate need in developing countries where the Church of God is active. We serve in 27 countries, soon to be 28.

Why are there two types of sponsorship?

Wherever possible, Children of Promise offers individual sponsorship to its donors.  In certain areas, however, high mobility or family instability creates rapid turnover in the program and makes the sponsorship of a specific child impractical or impossible.  Where our policy of one sponsor per child cannot be guaranteed, we recommend program sponsorship.

What needs are met?

COP provides nutrition (food), education (school fees, supplies, uniform, materials, etc.), health care, and spiritual nurture for children living in poverty.

Can my group sponsor a child?

Yes!  Children are sponsored by groups such as Sunday School classes, local units or circles of Christian Women Connection, men’s groups, youth groups, Bible study groups, cell groups, or groups of families.

How long will my sponsorship last?

Children are eligible for the program until they finish secondary education.  Because the children depend heavily upon us, we hope that every sponsor will continue until the child leaves the program.  If a sponsor cannot continue, however, Children of Promise, Inc. should be notified immediately so that the child may be assigned a new sponsor.

We ask that a sponsor give three months’ notice if sponsorship needs to be discontinued.

How are the local programs operated?

When national leaders or assemblies recognize over-whelming needs, they invite COP into their countries or regions. After training occurs and a plan is in place, children apply for sponsorship. Local committees visit homes and collect information regarding families’ needs and situations to determine for whom sponsorship is needed.

Program directors in each country are volunteer servants who oversee other volunteers who carry out the ministry through the local congregations of the Church of God in each country.

How can I get involved?

Two types of sponsorship are available:

  • Individual sponsorship: Regular gifts provide long-term support for a specific child.
  • Program sponsorships: Regular gifts are shared by all children in specific locations (orphanages, day care centers, feeding centers, etc.).
  • See the Get Involved tab on our website for further options of engaging in the ministry of Children of Promise.
I wrote to my child with specific questions that were not answered. Why is that?

There are a wide variety of reasons this can happen. Feel free to contact Children of Promise and we will be glad to go into greater detail, but here are a few reasons:

When it’s time for a child to write their letter to the sponsor, they most often do it in a group setting at the church. They do not have the sponsor’s letter in front of them and cannot remember your questions.

In some cultures, children rarely are allowed to express their thoughts, and are encouraged not to.   To write them down is very foreign.  Thus, it is difficult for them to write more than general greetings and information.

In many of our countries, mail is primarily for business and government. Personal letters are rare. Many families will never receive postal mail.  For many of the children, the sponsor letters are the only letters they ever write. It is not a priority in school curriculum, and it is not a part of everyday life.  It is a foreign experience for them.  This presents a challenge for the children to write a letter that meets North American cultural expectations.

In many cultures, a child simply does not communicate directly with adults, nor do they share personal information about themselves, especially with an adult seen as a benefactor.  They would not consider information about their personal lives to be important enough to tell an adult.

Our directors and volunteers work hard to overcome these challenges in communicating with sponsors.  The fact remains that the cultural differences are very real and are, at times, very puzzling to North Americans.

Our director in Tanzania, Scott Compton, put the issue into context very well when he recently said, “Underneath all the writing challenges, we see and understand that a far more important form of communication continues to flow underneath everything we do. You may not feel it in the letters you receive, but I can assure you you’re sending a deep and profound message to your child. At some point a sponsor held a picture of a child in his or her hands at a church or meeting. That sponsor made a decision to give that child hope by investing in their lives. And consequently a director on the other side of the world got to take a child’s small hands in their own and tell them that they’ve been sponsored and watch as they smile and their families fight back tears. In each of those moments, you spoke directly into the life of a child. And you communicated to them that their life matters, that hope is for everyone, and that God adores them.”

What is the spiritual component of sponsorship?

The spiritual aspect of sponsorship is considered to be the most important.  Every child is required to be involved in the Sunday School or Christian education program of the local congregation in their community.  Parents agree to this when the child is enrolled.  Christ as Savior is introduced to every child.  We have had many families convert from Buddhism, Hinduism, Animism, etc.  One of our overriding goals is to have every child meet the Lord and become active contributors to the local church and community.

May I send special gifts to my child?

Many of our sponsors enjoy giving Christmas and birthday gifts to their children. This can be done by sending an extra monetary donation to our office, which we then forward directly to the local program. In some countries, gift monies are pooled for the benefit of all sponsored children; in others, a gift will be purchased for your specific child.

You are welcome to send very small items such as bookmarks, photos, etc., to your child if it fits within a greeting card size envelope.  We regret we cannot accept or forward items larger than this due to customs regulations, postal theft, and the cost of retrieving items on the child’s end.

May I write to my sponsored child?

Individual sponsors are encouraged to write their child, hopefully at least once or twice a year (e.g., birthday and Christmas).  The child, through the director in the host country, will write at least once a year.  Children’s letters are sent only to the Children of Promise address.

The letters are then forwarded to the sponsor.  All correspondence for your child should be addressed to your Child/Country/ID# and mailed to the Children of Promise headquarters at P.O. 2316, Anderson, IN   46018.  Sponsors may use the letter form which Children of Promise provides.  This is available here on the website.

Children appreciate reading their sponsor’s words of support, love, and concern.

Please avoid phrases such as, “We hope to provide a trip to the U.S. for you,” or “Someday we will visit you.”  In most cases, these promises can be difficult to fulfill and the failure to follow through could be extremely disappointing to your child.

The staff of Children of Promise reserves the right to read all correspondence.  We also request that no funds or promise of funds be included in correspondence to your child.

Will I receive a receipt?

Each time you make a donation for sponsorship, you will receive a receipt.  The receipt states the time period which your donation covers.  Look for the date your sponsorship is paid through.

May I pay for more than one month at a time?

Yes, you can make monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or yearly payments.  We encourage the yearly option as administrative costs are lower for annual payments.

May I sponsor a child if I reside outside of the US?

Yes.  However, payments must be made in U. S. dollars.

How do I send my donation?

Checks or money orders should be made payable to Children of Promise and mailed to P. O. Box 2316, Anderson, IN 46018.  You will receive a receipt for each payment.

Children of Promise also offers automatic withdrawal of funds from your bank account.  Contact us, and we will be happy to set this up for you at no charge. To donate on-line now, click here.

Will I receive a photo of my child?

Individual sponsors will receive the child’s name and photo, as well as information about the child, his/her family, and the country.  Sponsors receive updated photos yearly in order to see their child’s development.

General

What is the purpose of COP?

Children of Promise, Inc., exists to provide assistance to children in ministries of the Church of God outside the United States.  Programming includes basic health care, nutritional and educational assistance, and spiritual nurture.

Children of Promise, Inc., prefers to assist children within the family unit.  When children have no parents, relatives or close friends who can care for them, we will assist local church leaders to provide residential care.

Who is served by Children of Promise?

Children of Promise (COP) serves children in desperate need in developing countries where the Church of God is active. We serve in 27 countries, soon to be 28.

Who administers the programs at the project sites?

National leaders or missionaries of the Church of God administer Children of Promise programs in each country.

How effective has the ministry been?

Some of our children have been rescued from starvation, abuse, neglect, indentured servitude, homelessness, and death. Children and families attest to the fact that most of the children in the program would not be able to attend school without this assistance.  In some areas, the children would not eat at all were it not for the program.  As COP completes 22 years, we are now seeing the long-term results.  We have our first doctors, teachers, nurses, ministry leaders, lay leaders, architects, pastors, and self-sufficient adults.

How is COP governed?

The ministry is governed by a Board of Directors made up of people from various walks of life and ministry.  Presently, we have a president of a major retirement fund for clergy, an engineer, a CPA, a college professor, a social worker, a former Children of Promise staff member, a care specialist from Global Strategy, a ministry coordinator from Christian Women Connection, a children’s pastor/educator, a church missions director, an estate lawyer, and a family physician.

The executive director is responsible to the Board and serves as an ex-officio member.  The staff in the US office is responsible to the executive director.  Program directors around the world work with the executive director in carrying out the program guidelines, procedures, and expectations.

What is the ministry’s strategic vision?

Across the globe, the Children of Promise child sponsorship ministry will develop adults who will lead lives characterized by

  • Christ-centered living
  • Appreciation for, and pursuit of, life-long learning
  • Physical and emotional health
  • Leadership and exemplary service in the church and their communities
  • Commitment to leading and providing for their families. Specific objectives include:
    • Improving care in the areas of health, loss, and abuse response
    • Sponsor 5,000 children by 2013, and 10,000 by 2,020.
May I visit COP Headquarters?

Of course!  We would love to welcome you to our offices in Anderson, Indiana.  Offices are located at 1201 E. 5th  Street.  Come in for a chat and a look at the hub of this worldwide ministry.

How did Children of Promise start?

In 1992, retired Church of God Missionaries, Jean and Sidney Johnson, started this ministry to meet the same key needs that we meet today.  The vision to help children in need outside the United States has never changed.

The Johnsons worked with the Women of the Church of God (today known as Christian Women Connection), and the Missionary Board of the Church of God (today known as International Ministries of the Church of God) to begin Children of Promise.  As the organization grew, it became a recognized 501 (c3), nonprofit entity that is independent financially and governmentally, with its foundations and ties to the Church of God.

Children of Promise has grown dramatically each year. It is one of the most effective ministries in the history of the Church of God, touching lives all over the globe.  In partnership with you it has touched the lives of over 10,000 children and continues to reach more countries and more children. Dr. Paul Maxfield, our current Executive Director, has served with Children of Promise since 2003.

Finances

What kind of accountability is in place?
  1. COP is a member-in-good-standing of ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability). Annual reviews are conducted.  During the latest review, COP received a clean bill of health.
  2. An annual audit is conducted according to national accounting standards by an independent accounting firm. The audit report is submitted to the Children of Promise Board of Directors and to ECFA. The auditor meets personally with the Board of Directors. Click here to see our latest annual financial statements.
  3. Each sponsored child is visited and interviewed every three years or less. During site visits, financial records and receipts are checked by US staff. Financial reports are reviewed, and parents, pastors, and local committee members are interviewed. A checklist of ministry expectations and questions is completed on site during each US staff visit.
  4. Financial reports of onsite activities are submitted monthly to the Children of Promise office by program directors around the world.
  5. COP invites and encourages its sponsors and donors to accompany COP staff on site visits, involving them in the interviewing of children, visiting their homes, as well as participating in program activities.
Why are there different costs for programs?

Sponsorship amounts are determined by the cost-of-living of the host country.  National directors submit estimates of the cost for maintaining one child for one month.  Children of Promise, Inc. covenants that costs will be kept to the amount required to provide adequately for each child’s needs.

What are your most pressing needs?
  • Giving to the “Making It All Happen” fund. This fund is the critical need. Giving to this fund blesses the entire ministry, and makes additional growth possible.
  • Expanding staff to enable more children to be served.
  • Involving more congregations in giving to Making It All Happen.
  • Sponsoring more children by individuals, families, and organizations.
Are my sponsorship donations actually going to my child?

 

Your monthly sponsorship donations are received in our offices.  Each month the funds are sent for each child to the directors in the various countries. The funds are then used to purchase food or meals, play school fees, buy school supplies and uniforms, pay for doctor visits or medicine, etc.  Cash is not given to the child or his/her family.  Only benefits are provided.

Your donation goes specifically for your child.  No other sponsor supports your child and your donation is not going to a village or a community development project.  It solely supports the needs of your sponsored child.

How much is retained for cost of doing ministry?

Of the monthly sponsorship amount given by sponsors (usually $32, but we do have a few programs at $38 and $50 per month), 20% is retained for Making It All Happen.  This is the same percentage as most sponsorship programs retain across the range of child sponsorship ministries.

From a $32 sponsorship, $25.60 goes for direct benefit to the child.

From a $38 sponsorship, $30.40 goes for direct benefit to the child.

From $50 sponosrship, $40.00 goes for direct benefit to the child.

The 20% retained does not cover all operational costs.  The remaining amount must be raised through donations from churches and individuals to Making It All Happen. We have no other outside support.  It is a grass-roots effort with many people sacrificing so children can be helped.  Children of Promise does not receive funds from Church of God Ministries.

Where do you get your funding?

COP’s only sources of support are its sponsors and donors.  We do not receive funds from Church of God Ministries, nor does COP contribute to Church of God Ministries.  All financial matters are separate, and each raises funds independently.

Of the monthly sponsorship amount given by sponsors (usually $32, but we do have a few programs at $38 and $50 per month), 20% is retained for Making It All Happen. This amount provides roughly 60% of the funds needed for operation.

The other 60% must be raised through donations from churches and individuals to Making It All Happen. We have no other outside support.  It is a grass-roots effort with many people sacrificing so children can be helped. Just as a church must meet basic needs for ministry to work, Children of Promise only is successful because of the core support system, our donors and sponsors.  Thank you for your faithful support!

Will I receive a receipt?

Each time you make a donation for sponsorship, you will receive a receipt.  The receipt states the time period which your donation covers.  Look for the date your sponsorship is paid through.

May I pay for more than one month at a time?

Yes, you can make monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or yearly payments.  We encourage the yearly option as administrative costs are lower for annual payments.

How do I send my donation?

Checks or money orders should be made payable to Children of Promise and mailed to P. O. Box 2316, Anderson, IN 46018.  You will receive a receipt for each payment.

Children of Promise also offers automatic withdrawal of funds from your bank account.  Contact us, and we will be happy to set this up for you at no charge. To donate on-line now, click here.

What percentage of my support is used for my sponsored child?

Eighty-five percent of sponsorship funds go to direct assistance for sponsored children.  Just fifteen percent is retained for administrative costs.

Who are the funds given to?

No funds are given directly to children or their families.  Children receive direct assistance through payment of education costs, uniforms, school supplies, meals, medical care, or nutritional supplements.  These items are distributed or provided by the local program under the guidance of the national director.

Are my donations tax deductible?

Gifts are tax-deductible in the United States.  Children of Promise, Inc., is a registered, non-profit organization.

What is the Scholarship Fund?

For some students, the costs of secondary school in their respective countries are much higher than those of the primary grades.  The scholarship fund provides resources to cover these increased costs of secondary education.  Scholarship funds are raised through special donations.