I love Compassion International. If you spend more than 2 seconds on this blog that should be evident. I am a volunteer child advocate for Compassion and I love to share with people how they can help change the world through child sponsorship. Currently my family and I are sponsors to two beautiful girls. Mwajuma from Tanzania & Wannaporn from Thailand. I also correspond with 9 other children from all over the world for Compassion. They are our international family and we love them.
But what made me take that first step to sponsor a child? For years I had done like a lot of people I know. I would attend a concert or conference, hear the artist or speaker talk about sponsoring a child, avoid eye contact with anyone passing out a packet, and then go about my merry little way. Sponsorship came up in conversation with my husband occasionally, but it was always connected to these words…some day. Some day when we are making more money, some day when this bill is paid off, some day I think it would be good to sponsor a child.
That all changed in 2008. That year Compassion took a group of bloggers to Uganda. One of them was Carlos Whittaker. I was a regular reader of Carlos’ blog and enjoyed his gift for weaving words and sentences into blog posts that were challenging and full of authenticity. I read his words and watched the video updates. I began to read blog posts from others in the group, but the photos were what grabbed my attention. As a photographer, I love how a good photograph can capture a moment, convey an emotion, and move an individual. That’s what happened to me. The photographs began to move me to action.
God spoke very clearly and said it was time that “some day” became “TODAY”. My husband agreed and with our children we chose to sponsor little 9-year old Mwajuma from Tanzania.
That move from “some day” to “today” started me on an incredible journey. We began writing and building a relationship with this special girl. “Some day” again made its way into my vocabulary when I thought about sponsoring a 2nd child. In 2012, God clearly said again “TODAY”, and we became the sponsors of Wannaporn from Thailand.
I kept following the various Compassion blogging trips through the years and was inspired over and over by the beautiful photographs. Some conveying hardships, some conveying joy, but all conveying the hope that can be found by releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.
Earlier this year God blessed me with the opportunity to create my own inspiration. I traveled on a sponsor tour to Tanzania. After 6 years of seeing our precious Mwajuma only in photographs, I got to hug, laugh, and just be with her.
I got to see first hand the difference that sponsorship makes not only in the life of a child, but also in their family and community. I have many photographs from those incredible 12 days. Photographs to remember wonderful memories and hopefully to inspire a whole group of new sponsors.