Compassion International

Something interesting happened a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

I came in from picking up the boys from school one day, and there was a message from Compassion International on our answering machine. That was a little odd, we’ve never gotten a message from Compassion before, just letters and emails that sort of thing. What they said kind of caught me off guard a little. Made me think back several years ago when we started with them. 

About 11 years ago, shortly after the birth of our first child, we decided we needed to do something to help someone else.  We decided we needed to help another child and his parents if we could.  I kept thinking about what it would be like to love your child as much as I loved mine, and not be able to give them the things they needed to grow up healthy, or even to grow up at all.   I knew that if  I were in a situation like that, I sure would want someone, anyone, to come alongside me and help.  So we decided to sponsor a child through Compassion. 

We signed up and sent all the paperwork off to them. We let them pick the child and the country he or she was from.  They sent back a package of info with a picture of a skinny boy named Gamaleyan, a 9-year-old from India.  We put his picture and info on the refrigerator and began to sponsor him. We began to pray for him. From time to time we would recieve progress reports from Compassion on how he was doing in school and such, and also letters from Gamaleyan. “Dearest Uncle Seaton and Aunt Kristin, Thank you….” began the letters, and they would end “I am praying for you.  Affectionately yours, Gamaleyan”

So for the next 11 years, every month, Compassion International took out $32 from our bank account and Gamaleyan went to school, had food to eat and clothes to wear.

Back to the present.  The message from Compassion International was to notify us that Gamaleyan was now an adult and had graduated from the program.  He had made it through school, was trained as an electrician and looking for work.  We were no longer his sponsors. 

It was a strange feeling. 

It still is.  

It doesn’t feel like we did very much, a letter every now and then, a little extra money at Christmas so he could have a gift. We surely didn’t do as much as we could have.  Somehow I feel a little guilty, a little embarrassed.  It was so easy.  We didn’t miss the $32 a month. As a matter of fact, we didn’t even think about it most months.  But I’m glad we did it. 

And thankful too. Because he was interceeding on our behalf, and only God knows how much we needed it, still need it. Maybe we were more in need than he was. Sometimes I forget the letter to the to the angel of the church at Laodicea. I may not say that I’m rich, well fed and in need of nothing, but I sure do live that way. I forget to look beneath the veneer of stuff, and remember that I am poor, pitiful, blind and naked and very much in need of the One who stands at the door and knocks.

Now it’s time to do it again, to start over with another child.  Soon we’ll have another picture on the refrigerator, each month $32 will transfer from our bank account to Compassion International and somewhere, I don’t know where yet, a child will begin to go to school, eat every day, have clothes to wear. Maybe she will pray for us.

And maybe a parent, both here and there, can give thanks.

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13 Responses to “Compassion International”

  1. Tom Says:

    Awesome post! I sponsor a child with Compassion too.

  2. seaton garrett Says:

    Thanks Tom.
    I checked out your blog. Good stuff.
    I’m looking forward to reading about the trip to Uganda.

  3. Chris Says:

    Excellent! I can imagine the feeling of not really having done much. You just wrote and sent a little money. The heart and the head can send two different signals. But without what you did, Gamaleyan wouldn’t have had an opportunity to leave poverty behind. He may not have graduated. You gave that to him. It was in every envelope you mailed. You were consistent and faithful to Gamaleyan and to Jesus. And even if your head knows it, I imagine the heart “sees” it the same way, but differently too.

  4. seaton garrett Says:

    Chris- Thanks for the encouragement, and thanks for doing what you guys do day in and day out.

  5. Shayne Says:

    Hi Seaton,

    Came here by way of Shaun Groves. This post is beautiful. Thanks to Shaun, and BooMama, and Shannon, I now sponsor a child. Somehow I feel guilty for saying “I sponsor a child too.” Like it’s a fad or something, when in essence, it’s such a blessing I can’t even describe it. Relax in what the Lord has given you to do and trust that He sees it. Congratulations on a job well done and thank you for your obedience and faithfulness.

  6. seaton garrett Says:

    Hi Shayne,
    First, thanks for stopping by. Second, thanks for sponsoring Ivan. It sounds like a lot of kids now have sponsors because of the traveling bloggers. It’s all good.

  7. Christi Says:

    I found you through Shaun’s site too. What a beautiful story! Thanks so much for sharing it! I have started sponsoring a child as of last week, and can’t wait to learn more about him!

  8. seaton garrett Says:

    Christi,
    Thank you too for stopping by, and for sponsoring a child. Lots of good stories over at Shaun’s blog. It’s really good to hear that their trip has been used by God to prove His love for these kids.

  9. Barb Derksen Says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. I’m praying for all the sponsors this week. God Bless.

  10. Scott Says:

    Before I was married my wife sponosored a child. Shortly after we got married we got the your child has graduated and then we promptly signed up for another one.. Time flies as we just got the latest update and pictures and she is already 10. We have had her now for almost 6 years. It’s an awesome feeling.

  11. seaton garrett Says:

    Scott,
    It’s all good isn’t it?

    Barb,
    Thanks for praying.

  12. outtahere Says:

    My child will be 18 this year. She is still in school so I don’t know when her time is up. However, I am dreading the day when they contact me and tell me that I am no longer her sponsor. Like you the $32 is forgotten and I am trying to write to her monthly. I do love her and pray for her. Again like you, I am glad that she prays for me because sometimes, it feels like she’s the only one that does. (sorry for sharing that vulnerable moment. )

  13. Human Being Says:

    What good is feeding a child if you’re just going to kill their brains with jesus bullshit?

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