This morning is a little cold as the seasons change. I'm waking up, and I hope that sometime today I will be given some bread or some porridge. My tummy is very empty because my caretaker said I was bad yesterday and I did not eat. I have one beautiful toy and a small blanket, but I don't really do much during the day except to nap and play with my little doll. People come in and out, caretakers and strangers, but they don't say much and they don't pick me up. I hope someone, anyone, comes to take me home. I don't remember my parents, but I hope someone will want me. Until then I will sit in my bed and be quiet so I can get my hot porridge when it's time to eat.
This morning it is a little cold as the seasons change. I'm waking up, hoping to have porridge in my belly soon. After my caretaker cleans me up, we go to eat together in the common room. Thankfully, we have porridge and a bread and my tummy is very full. I am not old enough to start primary school, but we learn songs during the day and the children and I can play together. Sometimes we have church services and I learn about a man named Jesus. Sometimes we have visitors, too. Many times they will play with us, and some speak a funny language, but it's okay. Today after playing, my caretaker said I could read a letter from someone who is called a "sponsor". Her name is Gina and she says she is my friend from another country called America. Gina sends me little paper toys and I play with them and share them with other children. I get to tell my caretaker what I want to say, and she sends it to Gina in a letter. Sometimes I color pictures and send them, too. I also like to play with my stuffed lamb toy and dress in my nice pants and shirt that I got from Gina's birthday gift! They are so great! I hope that one day a mommy and daddy take me home, but for now I am happy and my tummy is full and I can talk to Gina and play with my friends.
There is a big difference in these two stories. And in 2009 (or 2012 for that matter) I'm sure stories similar to these happened right in Brazil. There are overrun orphanages where resources are slim and children feel unwanted by parents and don't know about God. There are also warm, Compassion International-assisted projects in Brazil where children are given enough to eat, learn about God's love for them, and are sponsored by people like you and like me... and they thrive! And of course this is not limited to Brazil, because Compassion International works in countries in Africa, Asia, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America.
Nate and I have been sponsoring Kelvin, a boy in Tanzania, since he was five years old. He is now twelve and we love him, though at a distance, as if he was one of our own! One of my dreams is to meet young Kelvin and give him the big, loving hug of a friend or auntie! I have kept every one of his letters and pictures and send him letters, photos, and trinkets several times each year. His photo stays in a special frame as well as over my desk, and we enjoy updating the frame when we get new pictures twice a year or so.
I know that Kelvin is getting a solid education, religious training and celebrations, enough clothing and food to eat, and is doing well in all of those areas. My hope for him is that he finds a very good trade and gets the education he needs to succeed and Nate and I will be there with him the whole way.
If you want to read a beautiful story of a child who was sponsored through Compassion International, thrived as a result, and now sponsors other children, read about Anita Charles on the Compassion Blog. You can also learn more about how to sponsor and the direct effects of child sponsorship by subscribing to Compassion International on their Twitter feed or their Facebook page. You may also read about their financial integrity (how money is spent) by visiting their Financial Integrity page.
Consider sponsoring a child through Compassion International. Your life will be changed for the better and so will theirs.
“If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one.” -Mother Teresa
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