At the simplest level, influence is the ability to impact a person or thing in ways that inspire action.

Did you know that of the 1.8 billion children living in developing countries, 600 million live on less than U.S. $1 a day? Geographically speaking, living in North America sets us apart from the rest of the world. We hear tragic tales of starving African children, tsunamis that wreak havoc along tropical coasts and the mutilation of child brides. Yet there is a level of these very real events that only impact us in the same way stories of the Concentration camps or the massacre at Wounded Knee might; we are sad for the people but do not fully grasp their pain.

C. S. Lewis wrote in his novel “Out of the Silent Planet” that you cannot see things until you know roughly what they are. The role of NGO’s (Non-government organizations) is to bring the daily tragedies around the world into our comfortable living rooms with the hope that we as a privileged nation will be influenced.

Compassion International is one such organization that has literally put a face on world poverty. Responding to needs in over 26 countries, Compassion has touched the lives of more than 2 million children. They introduce us to children such as Mwenda, a nine year old from Kenya who loves soccer and lives with his mom and two siblings. Or seven year-old Gabriella who lives with her Grandmother in Mexico. Sponsoring a child gives us a chance to share abundance and speak out against starvation. Check out Compassion’s website to find out more on how you can have a voice of influence.

Take the poverty quiz to see how much you know about poverty:

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