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Art Exhibit Aids Children in Need

Date: March 30, 2011

University student Ryan McCabe is painting with a purpose this semester. Ryan, a graphic design major, presented his BFA Senior Thesis Exhibition on Tuesday, March 22, at the Andrews University Smith Hall Gallery. The exhibit was called “The Least of These” and it sought to find sponsors for children in need around the globe. Sponsorships were made through Compassion International, a Christian child advocacy ministry that provides hope for youth in poverty.
Ryan painted 20 portraits of children for the event. Each was labeled as “high priority” by Compassion, meaning that he/she has been in need of sponsorship for over a year. At the exhibit, attendees could sign up to sponsor a child whose painting was on the wall. As an incentive, he promised sponsors they could keep the child’s painting at the end of the event.

A sponsor himself, Ryan was inspired for the theme after hearing a chapel talk in January by professor Duffy Robbins of Eastern University.

Ryan McCabe

“He [Duffy Robbins] talked about his experience with sponsorship through Compassion, and I realized I’m actually in a position to sponsor a kid,” says Ryan. “The reason I had become inspired to do that was because the idea had been presented in the right way. I wanted to present that same information in a way that would make people catch on to it, so even a group of college students would want to sponsor.”
After careful planning and prayer, he contacted Compassion and asked for 20 more children’s information packets. When he received their photos, he went to work, spending nearly four hours on each painting and building their wooden frames.
Ryan spent days before the event in constant prayer, hoping even ten children would receive a sponsor. Much to his amazement, an impressive crowd showed up for the exhibit, and each child received a sponsor in just 24 hours.

“It blew me away,” says Ryan. “I was not expecting this kind of a reaction so immediate and visceral in the amount of people that showed up. I was hoping for the best, and it ended up being ten times better than what I was expecting.”
Today, Compassion International helps more than one million children in 26 countries. The ministry was founded in 1952 and provides children in poverty with food, shelter, education and health care, as well as Christian training.
To learn more about Compassion International and/or to sponsor a child, visit Be sure to check out Ryan’s website at or e-mail

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