NFL players help kids in El Salvador

By June 8, 2011

El Salvador (MNN) — At a time when 78 percent of NFL players are bankrupt, unemployed, or divorced within two years of leaving the game, several players–including Pro Bowler Aaron Kampman–already recognize there's life beyond the sport. More importantly, there's life after this earthly life.

That's why the Jacksonville Jaguar football player and his wife, Linde, are helping children in Jesus' name through Compassion International.

The Kampmans recently traveled to El Salvador with Compassion International to visit poverty-stricken children who know nothing of the celebrity status Americans often give NFL players. They were accompanied to El Salvador by Kampman's Jaguars teammate Russell Allen (and wife Ali) and Seattle Seahawks' Craig Terrill (and wife Rachel).

Kampman says, "The reality is that two-thirds of the world live in situations that most of us in the United States can't even comprehend. So we've got to see how the majority of the world lives."

While in El Salvador, the Kampmans, Allens, and Terrills visited their sponsored children: Jonathan (10), Natalie (7), and Katherine (9), respectively. Each child's eyes lit up when meeting the football pros, but not because they were hoping for an autograph. To these children, Kampman, Allen, and Terrill were simply the men who make school, health care, nutritional supplements, regular meals, and spiritual support possible.

Kampman says the church component makes this program successful. "Compassion works with the local church. It allows local pastors who know the communities and know the families to really help equip them to best serve their community's needs and family needs."

It also allows the church not only to impact the life of the children, but also their families. In fact, many families involved in the program come to faith in Christ.

Kampman says this was a recruiting trip for other NFL players. It serves a two-fold purpose. First, it helps the players to stop being self-centered. Kampman says the goal is to "try to create an 'others centeredness' in our guys here, while also being able to create real change in the two-thirds world."

Kampman also supports the work of Gospel for Asia and Vaper Sports Ministries.

Kampman and his wife are serious about "true religion" described in James 1: they are adopting a little girl in the weeks ahead. Pray for the transition for the Kampmans and their new child. Pray also that the Kampman's example will be infectious and that God will lead others to get involved.

To sponsor a child with Compassion, click here. It costs just $38 a month.

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