10 words to describe you: A story of Compassion supporters

Here’s how you described yourselves—and what it tells us about you
  • By: Rebekah Malbrecht

Have you ever done the exercise of telling a 10-word story?

It’s exactly what it sounds like: you tell a story in just ten words. It can be a sentence or a collection of words, but ten is the limit.

It is a great reflective practice. While just ten words can be limiting, it can also highlight what’s truly important as the excess is stripped away.

Well, this summer we wanted to collaborate with you on a 10-word story: What is the genuine experience of a Compassion sponsor like you? We asked you to tell us about your experiences and feedback—and as usual, you came through! We received a variety of calls, emails and other connections letting us know just how you feel about your experiences with Compassion.

A girl in a colourful dress holds up two sheets of paper and laughs.

Receiving feedback is an interesting practice, and it would be easy to make it all about us. So much of your feedback warmed our hearts, encouraged us in our work and made us deeply proud to partner with you. But to truly listen, we knew we had to learn more about you.

In reading and reflecting on all that you shared, several common themes wove through your comments and stories, giving us a window into who you are. We analyzed and compared all your responses for the most common words each of you used to describe your experiences as Compassion supporters.

The results are in! Here is our 10-word story about you:

Faith. Relationship. Sponsorship. Children. Letters. Blessing. Finances. Trust. Positive. Experience.

1. Faith

God | Christian | Church | Jesus | Believe | Heaven | Lord | Faith | Scripture | Worship | Gospel | Saved | Glorify

Children run into a yellow church building that has two wooden crosses standing in front.

By far, the most prominent theme in all your feedback was that faith matters to you. You engage in sponsorship and other aspects of our ministry because it is an expression of your faith and you value that our model of ministry is done in Jesus’ name.

Read: Why Jesus is central in our ministry

2. Relationship

Connected | Love | Relationship | Heart | Partnering | Friendship | Share | Family | Friends | Community | Caregivers | Parents

A woman smiles at a baby in her arms by a yellow door.

The second most prominent theme found in your experiences was relationship. Your Compassion experience is full of multi-faceted relationships. You love the relationship you have with your sponsored child. You love how Compassion fits into your family’s values. You share about Compassion with your friends, and you love the experience of being partners in ministry with Compassion. It’s obvious that your heart is in it.

Watch: This Virtual Visit with Compassion alumna Ria highlights the rich, meaningful and lasting relationships that form through Compassion’s ministry.

3. Sponsorship

Sponsor | Support | Sponsored | Sponsorship | Sponsors | Supporter | Supporting | Sponsoring | Support

A boy in a uniform stands in front of a group of children with his hands in his pockets and smiles.

Though this theme might be obvious, we felt it was an important part of your feedback. Why? Because it shows us that sponsorship is something you value. Sponsorship is the vehicle that puts your faith and your desire for relationship into motion. Sponsorship provides a relational solution to the problem of poverty and when we align your values with the opportunity for justice, you want in.

“I have been a supporter of Compassion for approximately 45 years. I have sponsored girls in the Philippines, Korea, Bolivia, and Uganda. I feel I have been a part of these girls' lives. I have watched them grow, mature and leave the program. The correspondence with Compassion and with the girls has shown how important Compassion is in their daily lives. The programs have helped them mature and find employment in their country. I like the connection that the local church has with the families. The church helps them to meet other youth and to grow in their faith. I feel that my dollars for sponsorship have been well used. Keep up the steadfast, loyal Christian work serving children and families across the globe.” - Ruth

4. Children

Child | Children | Children’s | Youth | Kids | Young

A boy sits in a yellow playground tunnel and smiles.

Another common theme in your experience? Children. You care about children and you have partnered with us to help the most vulnerable in our world. For you, it really is all about the kids.

5. Letters

Write | Correspondence | Letters | Writing | Corresponding | Cards | Correspondent

A young girl in a colourful dress holds up a letter and smiles.

In a similar vein to the resounding emphasis you placed on relationships, letter-writing was a key component of your Compassion experience. For many of you, the ease with which you can create a meaningful connection with your sponsored children through correspondence brings you joy. And you recognize that this part of Compassion’s program is equally important to the children we serve.

“I have been sponsoring children through compassion for about 10 years now. I got to meet two of our children in Rwanda several years ago. I love Compassion. I am especially blown away by your website. The ease of sending gifts, cards, pictures and letters and accessing all of my and my Compassion children’s information is phenomenal. I would definitely recommend Compassion to anyone. I am so impressed with everything. God bless you for what you do!” – Hannah

6. Blessing

Bless | Blessed | Blessing | Blesses | Blessings | Rewarding | Encouraged | Encourages

A girl in a white shirt lays amongst sunflowers.

Threaded through much of your feedback was something that warmed our hearts: you felt uplifted by your involvement in releasing kids from poverty. The wonderful thing about this is that it creates an endless cycle of blessing: you are blessed by blessing others; they are then blessed and also become a blessing to others. And on and on it goes…

Watch: One sponsor’s generosity empowered Martin to serve others

7. Finances

Financial | Money | Dollars | Finances | Funds | Monetary

A young boy is gardening.

Financial integrity is very important to us. And it is important to you, too. It is clear not only in your feedback but in every interaction we have with you that you steward your resources with care, you expect a high standard of transparency and you want your donations to have the maximum impact. We 100% agree.

Read: 4 answers on exactly where your money goes when you sponsor a child

8. Trust

Trust | Confident | Responsibly | Recommended | Professionalism | Trustworthy | Reliable | Results | Recommend

Two girls hug while looking at the camera. They are wearing yellow and standing in front of a green wall.

The big sister to financial integrity is trust, another unmistakable element you touched on when talking about your Compassion experience. We specifically separated this concept from financial integrity because your feedback gave us insight into the many areas you feel are important to establish trust: finances, ministry, leadership, child protection, child dignity and more.

“Compassion offers practical hope and help to children and their caregivers. The organization is run responsibly, for supporters, the children and the Christian community.” – Maureen

9. Positive

Wonderful | Phenomenal | Impressed | Remarkable | Best | Good

A girl in a yellow shirt holds up a white flower to her face and smiles.

If the overwhelming evidence has not already pointed out the obvious, our supporters are positive people. The above words, while directed at how you felt about your experience, also shone a light on your heart. We are regularly reminded of how sincere, passionate and encouraging our sponsors are—and your recent feedback was no different. Let us take a moment to say thank you.

Read: Compassion comes alive coast to coast

10. Experience

Feel | Experience | Feels | Involved | Seen | Happy | Joy

Two young children wear graduation gowns and caps and hold their hands up to their eyes.

Last but certainly not least, is the element of experience. Our supporters shared that a very important part of their Compassion experience is… the fact that it is an experience they can fully participate in. It elicits feelings of joy and happiness, and it has impact they can see and be involved in. It is not a transaction, it is a transformation—on both sides of sponsorship.

“I chose to sponsor a child named Joy because being a Compassion sponsor gives me the "joy of the Lord." I love this ministry because supporting children brings me joy.” – Priscilla

Do these ten words resonate with your Compassion experience?

If so, here’s another 10 words:

Together, we can release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

Sponsor a child