I was browsing around today looking for a banner to put on my blog when I went over to the Compassion website. Two of my regular reads, BooMama and Rocks In My Dryer have been sent to Uganda with Compassion to blog about meeting their kids. When I was looking I found out that it’s “blog month” over at Compassion. For those of you who don’t know what Compassion is, it’s a child sponsor program dedicated to child advocacy around the world. People can sponsor a child for $32 a month and that money goes to help provide for their child’s needs through a sponsor center.
Compassion is challenging everyone to blog about their experience with Compassion and sponsorship, so I thought I’d share mine.
My Junior year in college I began sponsoring Brayan. I think I found his packet at a Jennifer Knapp concert. I really wanted to spend that next summer teaching in Honduras so I looked for a Honduras kid in order to meet him if I made it down there. He became my driving force to go to Honduras, I wanted to meet Brayan. 8 months later I was on a plane for Honduras. My original plan was to meet him fairly soon after I arrived in the country. Compassion allows you to meet your child even when you don’t go on one of their sponsor tours. All I had to do was pay for the guide expenses to meet me there. I can’t remember now why we moved our meeting to July instead of June, but in any case it was. A month after I arrived I was on the bus to go meet Brayan.
I arrived to the project in the morning and was greeted by all the kids in the project. Compassion projects are run by local churches and the kids all live in the area. Most of them weren’t sponsored yet, but the project is committed to helping any kid who needs it. Everyone was so excited. I was the first sponsor visit since they were a new project and they couldn’t wait to show me around.
Here’s the cute little boy waiting to meet me:
Brayan’s on the left. This little boy has an amazing story. One month earlier (when I first was going to visit) his parents were killed in their home with Brayan and his brother watching. Honduras has very high gang activity and this is something that was common in Brayan’s neighborhood. I didn’t find this out until I arrived and I was afraid I’d find a closed and skeptical 7 year old.
As my day went on I realized that Compassion had a HUGE part in Brayan’s life and recovery. This little guy was loving and warmed right up to me. It was amazing. Like I said before, the workers were very excited for my visit and couldn’t wait to show me around. They were most proud to show me what they had been able to do with my sponsorship help.
Here they were showing me their office. It gets very hot and humid in Honduras and they were so proud of their air conditioner. They also were able to buy an exam table for when kids get sick.
At first I was wondering why they would use my money in this way, but as I saw everything they do for the kids it became more apparent that they needed these items to be most effective in taking care of all the kids in the project.
The leaders took me to Brayan’s house after we spent time at the project. I got to meet his grandma briefly (who he now lives with) and then we went to lunch. Brayan was a doll and I loved being able to meet him. It’s hard to believe that this summer it has been 8 years since I met him. He is now a 15 year old boy who no longer dictates his letters and asks me to come visit in every letter he writes!
Here are a couple more pictures:
The staff at the project (the couple in the middle run the project):
I loved that shirt I was wearing!
Here is Brayan with some of the kids from the project. After I got back to the US I sent Brayan pictures and Compassion used this one in the country highlight newsletter they send out:
And here is the most recent picture I’ve received of Brayan. He sure has grown up!
If you’ve made it through this post I hope you’d consider sponsoring a child. The next Honduras sponsor trip is next April and my goal is to take Tim and go see Brayan once more before he is out of the program. I have truly seen how Compassion can change the lives of kids for the better and I would sponsor all of them if I could.
I added the banner on the right and if you feel led, go and sponsor a child! Oh, and go read about Shannon and BooMama’s trip!