Rescued From Wealth

"I avoided coming to visit the poor for a long time. I was afraid my heart would be broken by their condition. Instead, today, I found my heart broken by my condition."
-a quote from the book Too Small to Ignore,
by Wess Stafford,
President of Compassion International

A little girl's dream of a refrigerator covered in faces is coming true:

Do you have room on your refrigerator for this face (an orphaned boy from Ethiopia)?
Tell me about your sponsored child....or your plans to sponsor one.....


Prairie Rose said...

I adore my kids! Staurin is 18 and lives in the Dominican Republic. He was my first Compassion kid, and therefore will also be the first to leave when he graduates next year. I am so unprepared for that! :o(

Milton is 16 and lives in Uganda. He is the most spiritually mature teenager I have ever had the privilege to know and I can't wait to see what God does through his life.

Angie is 13, and lives in Colombia. I was so excited to hear that her parents have become missionaries in the local marketplace!

Marsabi is 7 and lives in Mexico. She and my niece, who share the same birthdate, are penpals. This worked out really great when my niece's class did a project on Mexico for a multicultural unit requirement.

Rebecca is also 7, from Uganda, and is the most darling little thing ever. Every letter she wants to know when I'm coming to Africa. When I explained I can't right now because of how much money it costs to go to Africa but that we will both pray and if God wants it to happen, He will do so, she replied that she is praying for God to triple my income so I can come and see her. A child whose large family lives on a dollar a day is praying for God to triple MY income? How humbling is that!?

And my newest little girl (yes, this has become an addiction, I can't seem to make myself stop!) is Michelle, 5, from Colombia. With her fair skin and blonde ponytails she reminded me so much of my niece I had to sponsor her. I laughingly say I've probably got the only blonde-haired blue-eyed Compassion child there is! :o)

Jennifer said...

We have sponsored a little girl, Roza in Tanzania, for the past year. She is such a joy to our family!

Michelle said...

Thanks to your story and a campaign at our church, we are now sponsoring a six year old boy, Chalib from the Philippines and a 5 year old girl, Susan from Indonesia.

TDM Wendy said...

Too Small Too Ignore is such an amazing book. Is there any doubt it should be a movie!

panykattack said...

We sponsor a little girl in Tanzania named Witness. Don't you just love that name?? She is 10 and we've been sponsoring her for a few years now. Ever sense Pastor Ryan went on this trip (we found your blog through his) we've been considering sponsoring a second child but didn't really have the money. Well, our condo association just lowered the monthly fee by $30 so I think we might have gotten a little nudge.

Kathy said...

Our 'first' born is Louisenie, a precious girl from Haiti. She brings us so much joy. She's been apart of our family for 7 years.

Jess said...

After reading all your stories from Afria,with Compassion, I knew that this was something I would do. Im still in the process of convincing my husband that we can afford it. I'm hoping that we will have sponsored a child by the end of this month.You and your family are really amazing, and have really been an inspiration to me. I cant wait to have a photo for my fridge :0)

Evergreen Elle said...

We just sponsored our first girl, Emilya from Armenia, through World Vision. She shares my oldest daughter's birthday, but a year older at 5.

We've enjoyed writing to her, sending her coloring pages, sharing about her at preschool, and having all their friends at preschool color pictures for her and find where she lives on the globe.

We hope that we're able to touch their lives and have our lives touched in the process too!

Donita said...

We have two boys in Zimbabwe to correspond to the two boys we have at home.
Their names are Praise and Witness.
Are those not the most beautiful names ever!

Sherri M said...

I currently sponsor 11 children, 10through Compassion and one through World Vision. I adore them all!!
Our first four kids were all 5 yo when we sponsored them, two girls and two boys. They are 9 now.
Yelisa in Colombia, Marina and Alexander in Nicaragua and Lisandro in Dominican Rep.
Three yrs ago w added two 3 yo who are now 6. A boy, Lidetu, in Ethiopia and a girl, Tong, in Thailand. Almost 2 yrs ago I added an 18 mo old boy, Kavindu, in Sri Lanka. He is my WV baby and he is 3 now. I wanted a Sri Lankan child as I was an exchange student there in hs and Compassion doesn't have kids there.
After finding your blog during your Kenya trip I was re-inspired. In April we added a girl named Dian,3,from Indonesia. Twin boys named Edem & Edemvi, 5, from Togo and just today another girl, Masame,7, from Ethiopia.
I'll keep adding as long as the Lord gives me the means to!

Sara said...

Our family sponsors Jose, 6 years old, from the Dominican Republic. He is a cutie and sends us precious pictures he has drawn!

Michelle said...

Hey Kristen, We almost clicked the button last night! I am so excited that we are about to sponsor our first child! Thanks for letting us share.

Did you pray before you picked your kids or did they "pick you"? (I feel like one boy has my heart already.)

Also, did you let your kids help in the decision? Do you have any thoughts about that? I thought it would be great for our 3yo to choose his friend, but I'm afraid it's too much weight for his shoulders, once he realizes the true meaning of his choice.

God bless!

Jennifer said...

We were sponsoring a girl in Colombia who (unfortunately) moved & left the program. Compassion sent me info on a new girl. As I was reading it, I realized that she lives in Monteria - which just happens to be the place I stayed for 3 weeks while I was adopting my daughter 2 1/2 years ago!! I love it!!! :-). Hopefully, we'll be able to visit sometime!

heather said...

I have been wanting to sponsor through Compassion for about a year. Procrastination took over and got in the way. While you were in Kenya, you shared Vincent with us. I was so touched by him and was inspired to sponsor two boys also from Kenya.

I spent a good couple of hours looking at and reading about the many children needing sponsors in Kenya. Then I found *my* boys.

Their names are Mabruk and Charles. Initially it was their pictures that caught my attention. Charles was so precious in his shorts, button down shirt and tie. And on his feet were plastic shoes covered in dust, actually the dust rose to almost his knees. It looked like he did a lot of walking. Mabruk is also very handsome.He looks like any boy that my girls would go to school with.

As I read their biographies, I found something about the two of them that stood out. That was different and to me-amazing. With all of the adversity and hard times they must face in their life of poverty, they are both "above average" students in school. That wasn't a criteria I had at all. But it brought me right back to Vincent. I have such high hopes for them!

I haven't corresponded with either boy yet. I can't say it's due to procrastination. This will sound odd, but I'm not feeling quite worthy enough for them. Deep down I know that I am more worthy than nothing, and will be communicating soon.

Thank you for bringing this opportunity to me.

confusinglady said...

I got my first sponsor child in January. A little girl, Zoraidys, who is turning 6 in a month. I want to sponsor many more as time goes on, but at the moment am in University and can barely cover this little girl.

Rebecca said...

My sponsored child is Kelvin from Kenya. I sent him a letter, but have yet to hear back. I can't wait to hear what he has to say...I only hope I'm making a difference. that's so true.

Amy said...

We sponsor Subham through World Vision. Sadly, I have not kept up communication with him because of 3 moves, an Army deployment, a new baby and hubby leaving again. I need to get better at it, and your posting about it has helped me prioritize it. We are going to the store today to find some inexpensive items to send to him. Plus, I'm talking with hubby about sponsoring a Compassion child. Thanks for the inspiration! :)

Kristen said...

You guys are awesome! I LOVE hearing about your kids.

Pannykattack-yes, I love the name Witness!

Sherry M-we just got our 11th too. Proud of you for making a difference!

YOU are their sponsor. No one else can write them and it will mean everything to them to receive a letter from you. When you feel the time is right, GO FOR IT!
I'm so proud of you!

Kristen said...

Wow, Prairie Rose! You guys are blessing me!

Michelle- I hope you got my response on Twitter...we've felt strongly pulled to a child before, let our kids pick, and just sort of guessed. The great thing is you CAN'T go wrong. They all need loving sponsors!

Brad Ruggles said...

I'm so happy for you guys and proud for the changes you've been able to make in your lifestyle. Little sacrifices for you means changed lives for those children.

Whenever you're ready to have your worldview turned upside-down even more, check out "RADICAL - Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream" by David Platt. I think it would really speak to some of the changes your family has been making.

Keep up the great work proud of you and your family.

Anonymous said...

We've got a little girl named Jennifer in Uganda. The story behind choosing her is totally God. She just turned 6 and my husband said Uganda was on his mind and we prayed over the girls and he felt God leading him to one girl and me the same one! He's a crier, but getting her letters and seeing her picture from Christmas where she had just gotten a new dress, food, and a soda was awesome. I'm sure she remembers her Christmas better than my two that I birthed.

Anonymous said...

We've got a little girl named Jennifer in Uganda. The story behind choosing her is totally God. She just turned 6 and my husband said Uganda was on his mind and we prayed over the girls and he felt God leading him to one girl and me the same one! He's a crier, but getting her letters and seeing her picture from Christmas where she had just gotten a new dress, food, and a soda was awesome. I'm sure she remembers her Christmas better than my two that I birthed.

JD said...

I agree with Brad's recommendations about Radical... it is life changing.

We started sponsoring through Compassion 5 years ago as of next month. A little girl named Bessy, from Honduras. She is delightful and very much a part of our family and daily conversations. I was on medical leave at the time and had no income, so my mom agreed to sponsor her if I agreed to take care of the correspondence. What an enormous life changing gift for me, for Bessy, for all of us.

As soon as I began working, I started sponsoring Martha, and then Emily, both in Honduras. Emily's mom would post the photos of my three children all over the walls of her tiny home, and would introduce them to all her visitors as her family, which touched my heart to the core... because she didn't know... Emily's photos were displayed everywhere at work and at home, and we introduce her as family too.

Emily and Martha both left the Compassion program a few months ago in January (one due to a move outside the Compassion area), but through communicating with other Compassion sponsors, I was aware that this happened sometimes, so I was somewhat prepared emotionally. I took great care in writing my last letter to them, three pages, typed, remaining upbeat and positive and carefully telling them to remember my words, my love, my wisdom, and all that I had shared with them... and because they were so young, I gave them an analogy of playing hide and seek, in the end telling them that no matter where we are, we will never be hidden from the view of God, He knows where we are, and He loves us right where we are.

We decided to choose two more children to sponsor in light of Emily and Martha's departure. We chose one little girl in Thailand, her name is Suwanna and she has the face of an angel... the other is Lizbeth from Bolivia, she has the shortened version of my best friend's name, and she shares the same birthday as our late daughter.

During the Blogger trip to Kenya, Brad Ruggles inspired me to sign up for Compassion Advocacy here in Canada, and within days, I had signed up for their trip to Honduras this June. 1536 hours left until my heart is broken down even further, beyond comprehension... and I can't imagine anything better. I will be blogging about the experience in the same way the Compassion Bloggers do, and pray that many Canadians will feel the calling to sponsor and have their lives changed, to be delivered from wealth as they deliver these children from poverty. I also have a feeling our sponsored children family will grow very, very soon.

God takes my breath away.......

Jessica Miller Kelley said...

Alpha is a ten-year-old boy in Tanzania. He was our first and we let him be chosen for us. It didn't feel right to choose, somehow.

Kelin is a fifteen-year-old girl in Honduras. I picked her because in contrast to Alpha, who doesn't write his own letters, I thought maybe an older girl would be more forthcoming. That and I took Spanish in school, so I thought maybe I could write her in her own language. We haven't corresponded beyond the initial letter yet, though.

Roberta said...

Cool beans...the girl you linked from Ethiopia has been sponsored :D AND there is only one more little boy left to sponsor from Kenya at this point. I sponsored my second child on Monday/Tuesday when McMama made a similar post and then there were only about five children left. Our first child's name is Derrick and he is a sweet 8 year old boy. I write to him at least twice a month and was so excited when you, Kristen posted in March about how we could send for small gifts/momentos along with our letters to our sponsored children. Our newest child is Linet and she is an 18 year old young woman who I am so excited about connecting with. What can I say about "how to pick a child"...YOU just know when you see your child. AND about "writing to your sponsored child"...DO IT NOW, don't wait! This experience is about making their lives better and full of hope and not about waiting until you are comfortable. In other words...don't make this about's about them. Hope this helps, fondly, Roberta

kim said...

We just signed up for our first child, Deborah (5 years old) from Tanzania. We wrote our first letter a few weeks ago - and hope to hear back from her soon! My 4 1/2 year old prays for Deborah and her family every night....its amazing!!!

C.C. said...

I followed your journey through Africa and my heart aches for the children... You've inspired me to not only start sponsoring a little girl from Ethiopia, Tsion, but also to get others involved.


Amy D said...

I clicked over to Compassion to see who the one child left was and THERE ARE NO AVAILABLE CHILDREN TO SPONSOR IN KENYA! When we chose our sponsor child, there were 551 children available. Praise God for his goodness!

We sponsor Maxwell, from Kenya. The funny thing is, that it wasn't as a result of the Compassion International trip over there. I really felt God laying it on my heart to sponsor a child, even though we "don't have the money". I found Compassion International and started researching it, and then started following blogs on the trip. (After researching, I found out about the trip from a friend!) We still "don't have the money". Seriously.... my husband brings home enough to make the house payment every month. Barely. But I felt God call me to do it, so we put our faith in Him to provide. Somehow, it's working out. <3

Oh... I had a hard time choosing, as well, but I did it by birthday. Maxwell shares the same birth DAY and birth YEAR as my son. He's family now!

Jill said...

We've sponsored a little girl named Lia from Indonesia for more than a year now. She has been such a joy to our family and our girls love coloring pictures for her and sending her letters. We can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for her!

nicole said...

We just started sponsoring a Kenyan child. I still have to write a letter and talk to my kids about her, but I'm excited to see what is done through this relationship.

Kristen Love said...

Have one biological child-Carter who is ten. But God knew the desires of my heart-I have always wanted LOTS of kids...
Now I have:
Yesu in India
Paola in the Dominican Republic (Met her this January)
Emma in Kenya
Rabia in India
Emmanuel in Ghana...
all sponosred through Compassion International.
I love God and the way He works!

Kendra said...

We have two sponsored kids. Both are in Dominican Republic. Michael is 5 and shares a birthday with my husband. Our 3 boys have names that start with 'M' and our oldest is 5, so those parameters led us to Michael.
Through World Vision, we sponsor Eva and she is 9 years old. I am surrounded by boys and really wanted a girl to enjoy.
We just sponsored both of them, so I am looking forward to our first letter from each of them!

Julie (Dan) said...

How exciting, the child you posted was sponsored! :)

I recently started my sponsorship. My child is Efrata. She lives in Holeta near Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. She is 7 and BEAUTIFUL!
I am now a correspondent sponsor for Nanese in Haiti. She is 19 and will graduate soon. I hope I can bring her hope and love before she leaves the program.

ANC said...

Filemon is my only sponsored child for now :-) He is nine years old and from Kenya. Following your journey along with the other bloggers helped God to open up my heart.

On a random note, how did you get the large pictures of your sponsored kids? I would love a larger picture to put in a frame but only have a very small one that Compassion sent.

Loretta said...

We have yet to sponsor a child, but since we have recently had some finances freed up it is something that I've been thinking about. We will most likely look for a child from Bolivia or South/Central America as that is an area we have both traveled to so I think we will be able to make it more real for our boys.

annaehoward said...

We have 6 Compassion kids.
Our 2nd newest one is named Mary,
she is 13-years-old and lives in Kenya. My mom was reading your blog, Kristin during your trip to Kenya and felt God leading her to sponser another child from Kenya so we went on and we got Mary! Thanks so much for your blog!
And our newest one is Wendel who is 5-years-old in Indonesia. He is crippled in both feet and because of that he can't go to school. We are still waiting to get our first letters from these two :)
And then we have Harold who is 8 in Colombia, Francis who is also 8 in Nicaragua, Romjan in Bagladesh who is 6 and Yasmine who is 4 in Burkina Faso. I love them all so much!!!

Tim said...

We currently have three that we sponsor. Marcelo is 13 from Bolivia. We have sponsored him for almost a year now and have received about 10 letters from him. As many of the others have said. He has become part of our family. A few months ago, we found out about Compassion's correspondence sponsor program and now have two more boys. Feyber from Colombia and Somi from Indonesia. We just got our first letter from Feyber. What a wonderful boy he seems like. We can't wait to get to know him better. He is also 13. Somi is our youngest, only 9 years old. We haven't heard from him yet, but are looking forward to it. They have been such a blessing to our family. We all write to them all of the time. In fact, when we were calling Compassion to ask to sponsor a Correspondence child, the worker looked at our record and all of a sudden I heard "Holy Cow, you write to Marcelo a lot!" I was so funny. We love our Compassion kids.

Jill Foley said...

Our refrigerator has 18 smiling faces on it...

Bulu, Ayon, Suresh, and Rubi live in India

Josseling lives in Nicaragua

Dominic lives in Kenya

Nowanda lives in Indonesia

Claudio and David (LDP) live in Peru and I'm going to meet them in August!!!

Bildad (LDP) lives in Haiti

Yoselin and Hondy live in the DR

Portia lives in Ghana

Mekdes lives in Ethiopia

Lian lives in Columbia

Luis lives in El Salvador

Orm lives in Thailand

Cristine lives in the Philippines

It seems like there is always room for one more! : )

Brandi said...

I don't read too many blogs on a regular basis. I just don't have the time.

But I read yours--everyday almost.

I know when I come here I will be challenged in my faith. I love your vulnerability and honesty. I can't tell you how many times I have teared up over your posts.

My family has been quite economically challenged for the past 2 years since my husband's job loss. He does have a job now, but we still have to be on foodstamps etc. Very humbling and NOT fun. He will be getting a HUGE promotion in July Praise God!!

I said all that to say, I hope and pray we are financially able to sponsor a child by this time next year.

Thanks for all you do!

Kristen said...

Thanks, Brandi--so sweet, praying God's best for you!

Tim-that is SO awesome...going to check into the correspondence program...

Wow, Jill, I'd love to see a picture of your fridge!

ANC-I emailed Compassion and asked about the pictures...hope to have an answer for you, but I think you can also call and ask for one maybe?

AnnaeHoward-so touched by your comment.

Love you all...thanks for being moved w/Compassion enough to sponsor or consider sponsoring a child in the future!

Meg said...

Love this! Our two photos of our sponsored child, a 6-year-old boy in the Philippines, is on our fridge for daily viewing, too. The second photo is one he sent of him with his parents and two sisters, too. Precious. The decision to sponsor a child through Compassion has been one of the best decisions we've made as a family, hands down.

Sarah said...

I have two sponsor kiddos and one correspondence kid. I started sponsoring Caroline last May during the Bloggers India trip. She is 9 years old (10 in July!) and lives in a small village in Uganda. One word for her: SASSY! She asked me to pray that she can play dodgeball with her best friend and she wants to grow up to be a nurse, live in London, and "see the white people." She bought a goat with her birthday money last year and her project sent me a picture of her and her goat and I swear I have never seen that big of a smile! She also writes in perfect English!

I just sponsored Mwongeli in Kenya after reading your blog during your trip. She will be 8 this summer. I have not received a letter from her yet, but I am excited!

I signed up as a correspondence sponsor and received Toni in the fall. He just turned 20 and lives in Indonesia. He is very kind and thoughtful. He calls me Mama Sarah and my husband Papa Justin, which I just love!

Compassion has opened my eyes and my worldview and expanded my family by 3 kiddos!

Tara @ Feels like home said...

We sponsor Evelyn from Ghana. Her birthday is the same as my daughter's and she really stood out to us. We've only sponsored her since December, but we treasure her letter. I'm sure we're going to have a long relationship with her.

love said...

i LOVE seeing your fridge filling up. love, love, love it.
we sponsor 2 little girls in guatemala & a little boy in kenya. we're hoping to add a child from our son's birth country of Uganda soon, too! my husband has met the little girls in guatemala and i pray that we can meet dennis in kenya someday, too. what treasures!

sherri said...

When I first responded to this blog I had 11 kiddos. Now I have 16!! Your trip to Kenya inspired me to not only add, but to be a more active sponsor. Since the Kenyan kids were gone, I just added from other countries. But,I noticed this morning there were 63 children from Kenya up, most waiting 6+ months. So we added Rebeca, who is 8. NOW I have my Kenyan beauty, in honor of your trip. :) I just wanted you to know.