She’s a beautiful woman now.
When we began sponsoring her, we believed in her possibility and we hoped for her future.
Today hope and a future are reality.
Theresia, now 22, is changing her world.
Where do I even begin to share about all that has transpired today?
We met Theresia. The tears fell freely as I hugged her and was so moved by the reality of this moment. She was no longer a picture but a beautiful young woman who is now employed and on her way to breaking the cycle of poverty in her family.
Why? Because a group of moms in Illinois said yes to God seven years ago.
It works. Child sponsorship changes lives. It changes families. It can change the world.
Today I learned that ten years ago, 35,000 children died everyday from preventable diseases. Now ten years later, the numbers have dropped to 25,000 children who die everyday from preventable diseases. While 25,000 grieves my heart, the fact that 10,000 children are alive because of programs like Compassion encourages me that it makes a difference.
Today I had the privilege of seeing Theresia’s grades. I went through a binder of her health records. I read social worker notes from family visits that the Compassion organization made regularly to the home. We talked with Theresia about the difference it made in her life. Even more powerful for me was talking to her mother about the difference it made for her family.
Let me share with you where Theresia grew up. Going to her home was humbling. The family lives in one 10 x 12 room in a stick and mud “house.” There were holes in the roof, so when it rains outside, it also rains inside…onto mud walls and a mud floor. Theresia’s mother, Josephine, is a single mother. She and her daughters sleep in one “bed” which is really just a wide bench, while Theresia’s brother sleeps on a “love seat” sized bench.
This is the where Josephine prepares their meals. She told us that she often only makes two meals a day when there isn’t enough food for three meals a day. Many times when we sent Theresia gifts for birthday or Christmas, part of the money was used to purchase food for the family. Josephine communicated her gratefulness for that.
Josephine has tried to support her family selling vegetables, however she said that did not meet their needs. Now she does her best to buy wholesale goods and to resell them to retail establishments making a small profit on her mark-up. It still barely provides for her family. Josephine was 16 when she had Theresia. She is not educated and job opportunities for the uneducated are very slim.
Theresia is changing that for her family.
After graduating for high school, Compassion helped place Theresia in a higher educational opportunity. She secured a 1 year certificate in hotel management. She now lives about one hour away and works in a hotel. She is supporting herself and her family now.
Hope now blooms and a changed future is reality.
It works. Child sponsorship changes lives, families, and communities.
Tomorrow we experience church in Tanzania…although I must say I believe I attended church today based upon James 1:27, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
Have you been asking God how He can use you?
(You can find more pictures from our first day on my Facebook page here!)
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Theresia’s story is what we hope and pray for our 2 compassion girls! Their letters in their own handwriting mean the world to us
Sponsorship does work, and I always love reading stories like this one of people who have the opportunity to see how Compassion is working first hand.
We have had the privilege to have sponsored 5 children through Compassion over the past 19 years (currently sponsoring 2). We have not seen the hope of a future realized yet for our children. Two were out of the program before graduation and one has passed away. However, we are still sponsoring two children (one is the sibling of the one who passed away so we have been connected with his family for almost 10 years now).
I know that it has made a difference so far in the lives of those children and their families and to my children as well, particularly my oldest one who is nearly 24. We pray for those children and their families every day and look forward to their letters. I don’t think I will ever have the opportunity to visit them (one is in Tanzania too) but I can’t wait to see them in Heaven 🙂
Chris, do you know the name/number of the Compassion Center your child is in? There are about 100 in Tanzania, but if it’s one we’re going to, I’m happy to seek him/her out for you!
The name of the centre is the TAG Miyuji Student Centre. It’s located in Dodoma the central region of Tanzania.
I read today’s post about what Compassion continues to do for the youth and I’m so thankful to sponsor children through Compassion. I’m praying that our current children will make it through the program so that they will have a better future.
I received a letter recently from pastor of the church associated with the Compassion centre and it was filled with hope in how the whole community is being changed. Many parents are coming to Jesus and others feeling like they have hope. God is definitely working here 🙂
I just checked, Chris, and we are not visiting that center tomorrow. Oh how I wish we were because I would certainly give your child a big hug for you!
I’m sorry you aren’t either, but I thank you so much for offering to connect with Simon if you could for us. I’m happy that you have been able to visit your formerly sponsored child.
Our other sponsored child Denise, is in Haiti. She is already 13. We started sponsoring her when she was 5 years old. My oldest daughter misses the second girl we sponsored. She was the same age as her. She decided on her own to leave the program when she was a teenager and that was very sad for us.
It really helps to read these stories because it is sometimes difficult to understand their circumstances and what we actually do (besides providing education, food and clean water) through our sponsorship. I’m pleased to hear how much it helps the whole family.