Lilliam Sánchez has been married to her husband, Francisco, for six years, and they are pregnant with their first child. She is the youngest of three sisters and one brother.
Lilliam was born in Ciudad Sandino, and she and her family have lived there for many years.
Lilliam is an active member of Betania Baptist Church. She has been at that church for nine years, serving as Sunday school teacher and church secretary. She’s worked for Compassion since 2003 and has been a Partnership Facilitator (PF) since October 2007.
1. What are the main responsibilities of your position?
As a facilitator, I help strengthen the church to reach results in the four areas of our work with children: spiritual, emotional, cognitive and physical.
For example, in the physical area, we want children to choose good health habits and to be healthy, so I try to see if that result is being reached or not, because we don’t want it just to be written in paper.
In the cognitive area, it is not about spending more money on a computer course for the children. It is about the child’s learning and how he or she is using the resources. And so on in each area.
The church partner also gives clear information of how the budget is being used, and facilitators help them in this administrative area.
I want to be clear and let you know that the results aren’t seen from one day to another. It is a process.
I believe my responsibility is to help churches become self-sustaining. I don’t want children to be sponsored the rest of their lives. I want a generation that can support themselves and sponsor other children.
I want churches spiritually and economically strong, to be light in the midst of darkness.
This also is a process. It might not be seen in one, two or five years, but we are putting the foundation down now to make them strong to reach maturity.
2. Describe what an average day is like for you.
I have two facets. One is the work I do at the office and the other, the work I do in the field.
The partnership facilitator’s role has changed and I spend most of the time in the field, supporting directly the partner churches.
Normally, I have one day at the office (Monday) to do the office work, like follow-up funding and reporting. I also coordinate monthly activities and evaluate activities of the previous month in the PF meeting, analyzing achievements and weakness to look for better alternatives.
The other four, five or six days (because sometimes I work Saturday and Sunday, if necessary), I am with the church partner. It is arduous work seeing how the children are doing, how the church is working, and looking for alternatives to do better work. Results aren’t be achieved if I stay at the office.
3. How many churches do you visit a day, and how often do you visit a church?
In general, it is one church a day. Sometimes two can be done in one day, depending on the topic or situation that the church is presenting, but it is usually only one a day.
We desire to give more attention to all centers to increase the results with the children. Each PF here in Nicaragua has been assigned a total of 12 centers and we each do 10 visits per month so we visit each church almost once a month. I will visit more than once a month only if it’s necessary.
4. What is the best part of your job?
I love the direct contact with children.
Many times I have to do many activities with church staff; however, there is nothing better than the contact with the children, because we exist for them.
On a church visit, I usually get to spend about an hour with the children. I visit each classroom to greet them, talk to them, pray with them, and see what they have learned.
5. What is the most challenging part of your job?
To empower partner churches to achieve the results with children. To empower them through training to do the work we want with the children.
6. Why did you choose this particular area of work? / Why did you choose to work for Compassion?
I join those who say that nothing happens for coincidence.
I feel it has all been God’s purpose, so I only ask the Lord to use me. The truth is that I didn’t choose to be here, the Lord did, and I love it!
I feel happy when I’m here, but I many times I think, Lord, why did you choose me? There were so many people with many abilities!
However, I recognize that this is His ministry and He brings us here because He wants to use us, and that’s what I’m doing. I said to the Lord, use me anywhere you think I need to be. He did.
Now I’m here to help these children. I like to feel useful in the hands of the Lord and to feel that this is not a job for me but a ministry.
7. Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your job?
Maybe if this was a means to survive or if I considered it as a regular job, I might feel overwhelmed because the amount of work is heavy. But in the midst of all the work that this position demands, there is something important. The Lord says “I am with you, I won’t leave you, not forsake you.”
I believe these words. They encourage me, and I say “Thank you, Lord, because with your help the work is easier.” Sometimes I wish the day would have more hours to go on and on and on, but sadly it only has 24 hours.
I love the fact that I work for the Lord. It makes me feel fulfilled.
I have the heart and disposition to serve the Lord. I am not serving man. I am not serving the country director. I work for God, the One who has given us life.
The fact of knowing that one day I’ll be in front of the Lord, and all I want Him to tell me is that I’m approved!
8. What have you learned as a result of your job?
The Lord has taught me that those things that for me are impossible, with Him everything is possible. There is nothing impossible for God.
I have learned that the root of poverty is lack of opportunities, that these children are the way they are because of little opportunities. But through our ministry and through the work the church is doing with children, opportunities are coming up.
9. Tell us about a situation or incident you experienced through your job that touched your heart?
There are many experiences, but one of them is the case of a 10-year-old girl that had no hope to live.
Her single mom did not have enough for a medical check-up or to give her the treatment. The girl was very sick with hemorrhagic dengue and the Lord manifested Himself mightily.
A whole church gathered in prayer. Compassion helped with economic resources to give the girl the attention she needed. Her platelets were extremely low and doctors said only a miracle could save her.
I remember how we were constantly calling the hospital, visiting the girl. It was a very hard situation. We had to take quick decisions in order to save her life.
Now it doesn’t matter how much was spent, but that her life was saved. The Lord worked there and her health was restored.
Many churches around and neighbors heard of the marvelous work of God and it was a great impact.
10. Do you have a message for sponsors who support the children?
Yes, I do. Sponsors are an important element in this ministry. This ministry is supported by the Lord; He is our foundation, but we recognize that the Lord touches the heart of people that help our children, and thanks to them we can support so many children in Nicaragua and around the world.
It always impresses me, the fact that someone without knowing a child can help him/her being so far away, not able to see each other face to face.
Thank you for giving some of your money that could be used for your own family. But you send it for a little one you don’t know, that’s awesome!
I want to encourage you to continue supporting our children because thanks to you, many of them are being released from poverty. Don’t give up!
The Bible teaches us that anything we do for a little one, it will be rewarded. So sponsors, Christians or not, the blessing of God will be with you if your heart is willing to help children. I encourage you to continue with the sponsorship.
Updated: May 18, 2009 – Meet Tiffany Blanco.