We chose her because we figured someday she’d be a mom.
That’s only appropriate for a bunch of leaders in a mom ministry, right?
While many of our families sponsor children, seven years ago, the Hearts at Home team decided to pool our resources and sponsor a child together. One of our volunteers wrote to her regularly and shared her pictures, drawings, and letters as they arrived.
This is the first picture we ever saw of Theresia (pronounced Ter-ra-see-a).
She lived with her grandmother and two younger siblings for many years.
We were notified by Compassion when her grandmother died and Theresia and her brother and sister were then living with their mother once again.
She drew us pictures…many that we still have. She shared scripture with us in each letter. She told us about her life and her family.
In her letters, we learned that she loved art and memorizing scripture was very important to her.
We sent money for birthdays and Christmas. Not much—$25 buys a lot in a third-world country. Compassion always sent a picture of Theresia with whatever the money we sent had bought. This picture on the right is one of my favorite pictures of her with a suitcase and outfit that had been purchased for her from a gift we sent.
We’ve watched her grow into a beautiful young woman over the years. She just graduated from the Compassion program and is now working at a hotel.
Compassion fed her body and her soul while she was growing up. Her life was changed because of our sponsorship through the Compassion International ministry.
Our lives were also changed because of our sponsorship, too. We thought outside of ourselves. We introduced Theresia to our children who would come into the Hearts at Home office with us and see a framed picture of her on a bookshelf. We learned about another part of the world. And we were reminded that people are people no matter where they live.
Today we get to meet Theresia…face to face. I can’t wait to share that experience with you on the blog tomorrow!
I need ask…once again…are you praying? Are you asking God what He wants to do in you and through you during this trip?
I can’t wait to hear YOUR story!
Want regular encouragement?
Subscribe to get Jill's latest content by email.
Jill, thank you for sharing this story with us. I would love to hear all about your encounter with Theresia. Many years ago, I sponsored a child from Compassion as well. I still keep her pictures in my photo album. I have her letters. Somehow, Compassion had an issue with the local agency that provided for these children. I received a letter that I could get reimbursed or the money could be used to help other Compassion needs. I decided to let Compassion keep the money. What I’m sad about is that we could not continue contact with this children. I don’t know what happened to her. I continue to pray that she would remember me and the positive experience of the program. I didn’t sponsor another child after that.
Rosario, I believe your experience is rare. Would you consider sponsoring another child this week during my trip? We are meeting so many children who need Compassion and need sponsors. FYI–If your child “graduates” from Compassion and then leaves the program as a young adult, they do give you the option of staying in touch with them personally. We will be staying in touch with Theresia now even though she has graduated.
I love the reason your group chose Theresia as your sponsored child. So sweet! I always love hearing how people have chosen the child they sponsor, as a Compassion Advocate, I hear many amazing stories of how God has brought them together. And what a special thing you are about to experience!! I pray that many people will read the stories of your visit and realize what a wonderful thing they can do for a child living in extreme poverty. It really doesn’t take much on our part ($38 a month, just over a $1 per day), but the blessings really are for the sponsor and the sponsored child. Not only do you change the story for a child living in poverty, your life is changed also. Thank you for taking the time to share about your trip!
Thank you, Yvonne. You are right…it changes both the sponsor and the sponsored child.
I love to read what you write. Big hug. Twon days ago we began sponsor a ten years old girl in Ghana. ( also compassian ). Your blogpost is an encouragement! Thanks.
I remember writing to her when I was there, Jill. So cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes, we all took turns in the beginning, Beth!
I love this! We sponsor James in the Philippines through Compassion. We love seeing his pictures and reading his letters. We feel like he is part of our family. We pray for him as a family, and he writes back that he prays for us! Isn’t that amazing!
It has truly been a blessing for us to support him. I’m so glad you get to meet Theresia. I hope that one day our family can meet our James!
Leah, those letters are so important to James. The children told me about their sponsor families today. They really know who sponsors them!
what a wonderful story about Theresia!!! Me and my family are very excited about your trip to Tanzania! It is wonderful how to lead God you and your Hearts at Home Team! We will pray you and travel with you via blog:)
Thank you for sharing Debbie’s letter, her story is so marvellous as well!
Me and my husband had similar experience to you, because this summer we were in Romania to visit one of the children’s homes of Sain Francis Foundation of Deva. (It is a non-profit organization founded by Csaba Böjte, a Franciscan brother.)
The main goal of our journey was that we would like to join to their christian parenting program, donating, adapting an orphan child.
We don’t travel 20 hours, but 6 hours….
There is big poverty in Romania, but the life in Africa can’t be compared with the Rumanian….But it was so amazing to discover the LOVE OF GOD through the children. We arrived at home in Hungary with unforgottable experinces.
Blessings from Hungary,
Nikoletta ( the member of the editorial staff of Hungarian Hearts at Home Newsletter)
Nikoletta, what a wonderful experience for your family! You gave your children a gift!