A Compassionate Monday
It is a first for me – I have a Compassion-assisted child who will be graduating from the child-development sponsor program.
Sakwa was registered at the age of 10, and soon received news that he had a sponsor. No, it wasn’t me. He has had a few sponsors. When they were unable to be invested, Sakwa was able to stay in the Compassion program. There is a fund called the unsponsored child fund that helps ensure that he still receives the benefits of a sponsored child.
- School uniforms, books, and any fees are covered so that the child can attend school.
- Medical check-ups are provided for the children so that they can stay healthy
- Food and nutritional supplements are provided.
- Social interaction and development
- Christ-centered teaching and activities
These are just some of the basics, as it seems like there is so much more involved. The centers in Embu helped teach women to care for their children, men to learn to do fish farming, and there was even a library open to the community that had books in Swahili and English.
The responsibility to stay in the program was also up to Sakwa and his family. If his father or mother decided that Sakwa needed to stay at home to work, he might have been pulled from the program. Sakwa also had to make a decision to continue participating. This can be hard as one becomes a teenager, especially if other friends are quitting or the family is having a hard time.
I am not sure where I fall in the line of sponsors that Sakwa has had, but I became his sponsor two years ago. He was 20 and that day was his birthday. I wanted him to be able to continue well as he graduated. Teens without sponsors are far more likely to drop out of the program early. It seemed as if God drew me, letting me know that there would be great reward.
I had the opportunity to visit him in Nairobi, Kenya. He had traveled for 7 hours on a bus. I had traveled for 22 or so hours by plane. There are no words to describe how special this is. I finally saw his hardened face crack with a huge smile. After that, he hardly stopped smiling. It was beautiful.
I got the opportunity to see that he is a real, living person that has benefited from Compassion’s assistance. I had the chance to figure out how to hug a young man that stands more than one foot and a couple of inches taller than I do. He is 6’5”!
He also has chiseled arms as though he works out. Yet, I have the feeling that it is because he is a hard laborer in the fields and with his pigs. This is the same person that I exchanged letters with and I never even knew that he had pigs. I saw his file that had recorded his sponsor letters and information. He took all of my information down on a sheet. I learned about the day he accepted Christ. I also learned that he struggled in school, but that he persevered nonetheless. You learn a lot on a sponsor trip. You learn a lot through exchanging letters.
My joy is in knowing that he has finished so well. He has Christ Jesus. He has finished high school and completed a training class for driving trucks. He plans on pursuing a college education, and I believe that he will do this. He wants to continue to help the children at his center where he learned much. Because of Compassion, he will have a bright future. He has hope.
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