Compassion Tuesday: How It All Began

Today, I’m launching a feature I’ve had in my mind since I started this blog: Compassion Tuesdays. I have been a sponsor with Compassion for 20 years and a volunteer Child Advocate for over a decade. In this feature, I hope to introduce you to Compassion through my own sponsor children. Today, we’ll start at the very beginning of my Compassion journey.

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I first became aware of Compassion International through a little insert in my Michael W. Smith cassette tape when I was in Jr. High. Michael spoke about the plight of children living in poverty and of a solution: child sponsorship through Compassion International. He introduced me to his beautiful sponsor child, Gavi. Each new album brought a new update. I was hooked! I looked forward to those updates almost as much as the albums themselves. I determined that, when I was old enough, I would sponsor my own child through Compassion.

That time came in my third year of college. A friend had done a Compassion presentation at his church and had two children left. One of those was Rio, an adorable five year-old boy from the island of Java in Indonesia. I fell in love immediately and sponsored him on the spot! Thus began a wonderful relationship.

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Watching Rio grow up was a unique experience. Every few months, I received a new letter. I vividly remember the point he started writing his own vs dictating them to his teachers. The careful, neat adult writing gave way to an adorable childish scrawl. I watched him grow mainly through his handwriting as it slowly returned to a careful, neat script.

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Of course, there were occasional photo updates as well.

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I sponsored Rio for 17 years until he graduated from Compassion’s program at the age of 22. His letters and photos are some of my greatest treasures.

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Rio was my first Compassion child, but he wasn’t my last. In all, I’ve sponsored thirteen and currently sponsor six. I’ve been a volunteer Child Advocate with Compassion for a decade or so. It’s a program I truly believe in.

When you sponsor a child with Compassion, you have a relationship with a living, breathing, dreaming, playing, very real child. You are their only sponsor. It’s a relationship that changes you both. I hope you will consider starting a relationship of your own.

~Janet

Children in Indonesia

Children in Indonesia

Compassion.com

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5 thoughts on “Compassion Tuesday: How It All Began

  1. This is so good and so just really cool what started the spark that led to your first sponsorship. I also enjoyed seeing all the pictures to see Rio grow up through the years. Thanks for sharing this on your blog it was fun to read and look at. I am sure Rio’s life is forever changed by your sponsoring him!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Compassion Tuesday: Meet My Kids | Slender Threads

  3. Pingback: Compassion Tuesday: Spotlight on Aldo | Slender Threads

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