Visiting your Compassion child can be a life-changing experience. Hear from Lisa Braun, one of our Volunteer Advocates, about her recent Exposure Trip to Ecuador.
How long have you been a sponsor?
My family has sponsored children through Compassion for about eight years, although we’ve always sponsored a child during our 25 years of marriage. When we heard about Compassion, we began sponsoring through them immediately. We now sponsor six Compassion children in Bolivia, El Salvador, Haiti, India and Ecuador.
What inspired you to go on an Exposure Trip to Ecuador?
I went on an Exposure Trip to El Salvador in 2012. After that trip, we knew we wanted to become Advocates for Compassion. When I received an email about the Exposure Trip to Ecuador, I asked our youngest daughter, Kyrstin, who is 17, if she’d like to meet her Compassion child, Ruth. When she responded with an enthusiastic “yes,” I knew it was meant to be. I knew it would be a trip that would change her life and completely change her relationship with Ruth. My heart’s desire is to meet each of our children’s Compassion children face-to-face someday.
What was one of your best experiences on the trip?
One of the best experiences was witnessing my daughter meet Ruth. It is hard to articulate what goes through a mama’s heart when she watches two young girls embrace each other for the first time. The emotion, the tenderness, the love, the joy, the smiles, the many questions—it was an amazing experience that I pray I will have with each of my children.
What is something you learned that surprised you?
It amazed me how beautifully and uniquely everyone works together, from the staff in the head office in Ecuador, to the translators who were with us daily, to the wonderful workers at the child development centres. Compassion has an amazing program that works and does amazing things in the name of Jesus. It truly is a God-ordained ministry, and the biggest difference is Jesus. It also struck me anew how Compassion affects the home of the child in such an incredible way. It’s incredible to see the impact it makes on the parents, the siblings, the child’s life and the home!
What is something that was confirmed about Compassion’s ministry on the trip?
The difference is Jesus. Without Him, the ministry would not be thriving as it is. Because of what Jesus has done in the lives of all the workers, they are able to help the children in ways that no other organization can. I don’t see how anyone could do this type of work without the love of God in their heart. The children are taught the love of Jesus on a daily basis, and the hope that a community receives when Compassion is in it is so very evident when we’re there.
What was your biggest take-away?
Wow! Amazing! Phenomenal! Incredible! Truth! Awesome! God-ordained! These are all words that come to mind when I think of the work that Compassion does in the lives of these children. Seeing how the ministry works firsthand is proof that only God’s compassion will bring about the greatest success in a sponsorship program.
What would you say to someone thinking about going on an Exposure Trip?
It will change your life. You will not be sorry. It will change how you see child sponsorship. It will change how you write your child and when you write your child. It is one of the best spiritual investments that you can ever make. Don’t think twice about it; do it! What it will do in the life of your sponsor child is far greater than what you can ever imagine. Don’t delay. Say yes, and God will provide the way.