Today I have the pleasure of posting an interview I did with a friend who lives overseas (we did it through e-mail.) :).
I got the inspiration for doing interviews from one of my awesome sister's in law (thanks!) :).
I have changed the name of the friend I interviewed for her privacy. :)
Me: How long have you been involved with Compassion?
Suzy*: I have sponsored children with Compassion since December 2001 (although I have been sponsoring children for 32 years, the first 20 years were with other organizations, with whom I still sponsor two children).
Me: How did you get involved with Compassion?
Suzy: I got involved with Compassion through child sponsorship.
Me: How many children did you start with?
Suzy: I started with three children - Heiber from Bolivia, Erika from Peru and Yirlis from Colombia.
Me: How many children do you have presently?
Suzy: 112 Compassion-sponsored children in 22 different countries (114 in 23 different countries if you include the two children I sponsor through other organizations).
Me: Why do you sponsor so many children?
Suzy: I sponsor so many children because it is simply the best "return on investment" plan in the world today.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, compares to the rewarding feeling to know that you have been a source of encouragement to and changed so many children's lives and their eternal destinies by being the hands and feet of Jesus in this hurting world.
Me: How do you manage to sponsor so many children?
Suzy: I live simply, so that others can simply live. I have learned how to cut out all the "want" purchases from my personal spending budget, and divert every free dollar into child sponsorship.
I have managed to find cheaper alternatives to all my necessities in life, including taking public transit for over 30 years instead of buying a car.
Me: What has been the most rewarding thing about sponsoring children?
Suzy: The most rewarding thing for me about sponsoring children is to see them grow up into Godly young men and women, so willing to "pay it forward" and help others in need, as they have been helped.
An example of this is an excerpt from a letter from a 9 year old girl I sponsor in Kenya, "...when I grow up I want to be able to help another person like you have helped me."
Me: What is one lesson you've learnt from sponsoring children?
Suzy: The lesson I have learned from sponsoring children is to love more unconditionally.
Me: Have you visited any of your children? What was it like?
Suzy: Yes, I have visited 8 Compassion children (including two of the first three I sponsored - Erika in 2011, and Heiber in 2013). In 2015, I will be meeting Yirlis, my first Compassion-sponsored child in Colombia, who I just reconnected with after a 9-year separation.
There are no words to describe the emotion felt the moment you see your child face-to-face for the first time. A heart overflowing with unconditional love is about how best I can describe it! My plan is to meet at least 90% of my sponsored children within the next 8-10 years, Lord willing, starting in 2014 when I will be meeting 31 children in three countries (26 of them for the first time), to be followed in 2015 when I plan to visit another 16 kids in two different countries (15 of them for the first time).
Me: If you could say one thing about Compassion child sponsorship what would it be?
Suzy: UNCONDITIONAL LOVE! One thing that makes Compassion's child sponsorship model stand out from the other organizations is their Christ-centred, child-focused and church-based ministry working strictly through the local church in the developing world to release children from poverty in Jesus' name.
If Jesus Christ was not the centre of their ministry, Compassion simply would not exist, as their whole ministry is centred around Christ.
*Name has been changed for reasons of privacy.
It would be totally awesome if you wanted to sponsor a child today and release a child from poverty in Jesus' name! You may not be able to sponsor a 114 children but you can make a world of difference for one child!