I am Timothy Villalba, a former beneficiary of Compassion’s child sponsorship program. My sponsor was the former president of America, President George Bush.

I am now 25 years old and will forever be grateful that I have been part of Compassion’s program through the Lifestream Student Center at Capitol City Foursquare Church. I was a beneficiary from 4 years old to 14 years old. At Lifestream, I learned many things about God, about being a good boy, and I fell in love with music. My love and passion for music began at the student center.

Each Compassion beneficiary is provided the opportunity to become a happy, healthy, well-educated, and God-fearing child.

A letter written from former President George HW Bush to his sponsored child, Timothy.

President Bush sometimes dropped hints about his identity in his letters to Timothy.

Having President Bush as a sponsor was a bonus. Wow, I still can’t believe it. Imagine, of the millions of children that Compassion is sponsoring, I was chosen by the president of America to be his sponsored child from many miles away. He became my sponsor when I was 7 years old and he went by the name of George Walker. Looking back, now I realize that he did give hints that he lived in the White House. I remember he gave me a picture of the White House one time. I also remember receiving so many encouraging letters from him, a calculator, and colored pencils and colored markers. I was 8 years old then and I really loved drawing pictures. I sent some of my drawings to him, and now I realize that as a kid I was sending my drawings to the White House. Now I feel embarrassed because my drawings were not good.

A picture of a house and a palm tree drawn in pencil and signed "Timothy"

Timothy would send pictures to President Bush, along with his letters.

George Walker, or should I now say, President George Bush was very inspiring and encouraging in his letters. I know that all sponsors are very encouraging. I pray that all sponsors today will continue helping children and encouraging them to study well and be strong in life.

President Bush, Compassion’s program and the Capitol City Foursquare Church were a big, big help to me and my family. We are poor. My mother raised us up on her own by washing clothes. Even today she washes clothes for a living. To me, she is a superhero. We were so poor that my mother could not buy school supplies and stuff for us, sometimes not even food. These are the things that Compassion provided.

A picture of a Filipino man in a black sweater giving a thumbs up.

Timothy is now a father, a community officer, and a part-time musician.

I will forever be grateful. Now I am a father of a 3-year-old girl, and I will do my best to be a great father to her, provide for her, and lead her to the ways of the Lord. I am currently working as a community officer and moonlighting as part-time musician. My biggest takeaway from being a former beneficiary is that I was molded in the right path and in the ways of God.

To the late and former president of the United States of America, Mr. George Bush: Thank you very much for being my sponsor.

Would you consider making a life-changing difference in the life of a child in poverty, just like Timothy? 

Yes, I want to sponsor!

Written by: Amber Van Schooneveld

Amber Van Schooneveld is the Managing Editor of Compassion International's blog.