A sponsor shares her journey toward compassion with others   

I have spent much of my life being comfortable. When I first heard about Compassion, I was 14 years old. Compassion had a booth at a retreat I was attending. Two big beautiful dark eyes on a pamphlet captivated my attention. The boy seemed to be staring back at me, inviting me to take that step outside my small world and sponsor him. The message of Compassion that Jesus is the solution to poverty aligned with my heart to make Christ known to the world.

At 14, I didn’t have a job but I took the pamphlet and vowed that one day when I could, I would sponsor a child.

One day turned to years, and I held several jobs between that winter day and the day I finally fulfilled my vow. What happened? I made excuses. I forgot. I was selfish. After finishing school, I spent time as a missionary in Panama. Ironically, although I saw poverty around me, it wasn’t until my last couple of months there that a stirring inside began to percolate and I truly took notice.

I returned to Canada and during the 10 months that I was job hunting, the Holy Spirit revealed to me through the Scriptures how much God loves the poor. He also made me acutely aware that I would one day give an account for what I did or did not do to help them. The conviction that I was doing nothing to help those in need propelled me to action.

One winter day, with no job or the prospect of one, I decided it was time to take a leap of faith. I had to let go of my excuses, my comfort zone, and finally, sponsor a child. I needed to trust that God would provide as I took a step of obedience.

Raquel holding up picture of her sponsor child

Me and my sponsored child, Hernan.

I recently had the privilege of sharing my sponsorship journey with a small group of people. I told them of the joys and the challenges of sponsorship. I spoke about my very first sponsored child, Hernan from Colombia, whom I still sponsor eight years later. I passed around his letters and shared about the relationship we have built. It was an afternoon full of good conversation with kind friends and delicious food from Hernan’s country.

A woman sits on a chair, speaking to a room of three people. There are snacks on a table.

While I shared, guests snacked on empanadas from a local restaurant—a favourite dish in Colombia.

Pictures of Compassion children on a table.

I decorated my space with the banner, poster and photos Compassion supplied me with to make a cozy atmosphere.

Four smiling people looks at letters and pictures of children.

I shared some of the Bible verses that have been really meaningful to me personally when it comes to helping those in poverty. Afterwards, I invited guests to learn about specific children who are in need of sponsors.

The thought of speaking in front of a group made me nervous, but as I sat there expressing my heart about why I sponsor Hernan, I remembered that it’s not about me anyway. I’m grateful for the work that Compassion does, but more than that, I love Hernan and I love Jesus. Perhaps you have a desire to share about how sponsoring a child has changed your life, but you’re feeling scared. I understand; but I urge you to put your brave on and take a step of faith. Somewhere across the world in a Compassion centre, that young life that you sponsor hears the message that their life matters.

Their life does matter. Isn’t that worth sharing about? 

Want to share your sponsorship journey and help more children hear words of life? We will make it easy with all the tools and swag you need. Go to sharingcompassion.ca.

By Raquel Meza; photos by Aveleen Schinkel

Written by: Compassion Canada