Sponsoring changes the sponsor’s life, too

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first signed up as a sponsor.

I had scrolled through the bios of waiting children until one made me pause. I studied her, trying to absorb what I could from the tiny photo. She wore a beautiful light dress and pretty shoes, with blue and grey woolen socks; something about her quiet confidence won me over.

Her letters were initially written through a translator; I was thrilled the first time she penned her own words. I hadn’t anticipated how much I would enjoy building a relationship with her, and I knew she was just as excited to receive letters from me.

It’s only on looking back, now that she’s in her mid-teens, that I see how important the relational aspect of sponsorship is. I had anticipated the satisfied feeling of ‘helping’ a child, a stranger; instead, I’ve found family. I share my life with her, and she shares hers with me. We pray for each other, and I almost forget that it all started with financial support.

Sponsoring doesn’t just release a child from poverty. It connects God’s global family of different cultures and languages and backgrounds. I’m not a fortunate Canadian helping a poor Ugandan. I’m a sibling forging a relationship with family I didn’t know I had.

Sponsoring changes the sponsor’s life, too.


Written by: Aveleen Schinkel

Aveleen is Compassion Canada's Multimedia Storyteller. Her passions include videography and photography, spending time outdoors and sampling tea from every country she travels to.