Today is Compassion Sunday for many churches. If you don’t know what Compassion is, it is a sponsorship program for children around the globe.
My family and I have sponsored Compassion children for the past fourteen years. We currently sponsor four children in the Compassion program.
When I first married my husband, we hadn’t started our family, yet, and in some ways we had. We started sponsoring a teenage boy in the Compassion program from South America. This boy wrote us letters, often. In return I wrote letters back and sent photos of travels.
Almost two years later, I received a letter from Compassion and I was heartbroken. The letter was to inform me that this boy, who we’d sponsored for all this time, was no longer in the program. Immediately, I wanted to know what happened to him. Compassion told me, his family moved out of the area to a place where Compassion did not operate. They asked me if I’d like to sponsor another child. I told them to give me the child that had been waiting the longest for a sponsor. It didn’t matter what gender or age, just that they had waited long enough.
Over the years, we’ve sponsored numerous children that have come and gone in the program. A child must be five years of age to enter the Compassion program, so when each of our children turned five, we sat down with them and sponsored a child their age. We wanted them to grow up together as pen pals and learn from each other through their culture and teach our kids what it meant to bring hope to someone else.
Two years ago, our oldest daughter’s sponsor child lost their father. Upon the news, our daughter grieved for her long distance friend, and soon after she had to say good-bye, as I did with that very first child, when the family moved to another area away from Compassion’s reach.
She, too, has a new sponsor child. She sends her pictures, mostly, but she sends her something several times a year. They even celebrate birthdays close together.
We’ve always had the rule of “If you open the letter now, then you must sit down and write back when you’re done reading it.” This way it’s always important and never forgotten.
Our Compassion children have become as much a part of our family as we have to them. It’s so much more than giving your money, but filling a child’s life with hope, no matter their situation, and keeping them in your prayers.
We have been so blessed by the children in our lives thanks to Compassion. If you have a child you sponsor, whether through Compassion or another program and wish to share how sponsoring a child has changed your life, I’d love to hear about.