SUBJECT: Responses to One on One With Anthony Njoroge – A Letter to My Fans

  1. Do you have a favorite Bible verse or story that has personal meaning to you?
  2. Yes, I do. My favorite Bible verse is Lamentations 3:21-25. And if you read the whole chapter you’ll see why even more.

    My favorite Bible story is the story of Joseph, for I can associate with how brothers (and sisters in my case) can disown you or treat you in a way that suggests that you are not part of the family, and how God uses all those bad experiences not only for His glory but also to lift us up and to bless others in the process.

  3. What piece of the Compassion program had the biggest impact on you and your life? (Fellowship with Christians, having access to medical care, meals that were provided, educational opportunities, or something else?)
  4. Gosh, it’s really hard to pick one program that had the most impact because all of them played a major role in my life as I was growing up, but the one that comes to mind was the Thursday Bible study I used to attend when I was 9 years old. It was here that I was exposed to the word of God, which gave me a chance to give my life to Christ (my best decision ever) and equip me with the basic foundation for the Word of God and fellowship with others – something I still treasure to date.

    By the way, I can’t forget the meals (which tells you I love to eat … Ha!) coz honestly, this was the only place where most of us children from the slums had the chance to enjoy three meals a day.

    And yes, educational opportunities, because I wouldn’t be where I am were it not for the chance to go to school.

  5. Are there things Compassion could do to improve their service to young people and families?
  6. Give more opportunities for many more young men and women to join the program, which in a way comes back to the issue of more sponsors, which are you and me.

  7. Do you have any tips for sponsors, having been through the process from the sponsored child’s perspective? Was there anything your sponsor did that was especially memorable or meaningful for you?
  8. Tips for sponsors:

    • Please write those letters. You have no idea the impact those letters have. Well, maybe you do. :-)
    • Pray for your children. They face a lot and battle with a lot.
    • If possible and God wills, try and visit your sponsored child. It will be like a dream come true for them.

    Memorable moments:

    • My first letter from my sponsor. (Unfortunately, this was during my time in the Leadership Development Program). By the way, I had that letter framed and it now occupies a prominent place on my bedroom wall, but don’t tell anyone … Ha!
    • The other most memorable moment was a visit by my sponsor, which to date is still one of the best days of my life.

  9. Where do you get your secretaries?
  10. Most of them actually volunteered. I guess they saw I will be a very important person in the future and they want to position themselves strategically. Ha! If you want, Kelly, you can also send in your application, and I can see what can be done. ;-)

  11. What is God teaching you personally right now?
  12. Good question. The need to slow down, stop running and just let go and let God.

  13. As you think back, are there children that were right there alongside you in the Compassion program whose stories have not unfolded as successfully as yours? Are there children who received the same loving care and benefits of sponsorship who have not thrived and overcome?
  14. Yes, and sadly to say, many.

  15. If so, what do you think was the difference? What are the factors affecting whether a child in Compassion’s program will succeed and overcome?
  16. It’s really hard to point to just one thing, coz it’s a combination of many factors. But one thing that comes to mind (and from experience) is the environment you live in, the people that you surround yourself with and the “voices” that you listen to.

    Most of the kids in the slum grow up in an environment that screams “you can’t make it,” “you will never amount to anything,” and if they aren’t careful they can end up believing this. That’s why one of the answers I gave as a tip for sponsors is to pray for your children and to write those letters to remind them to listen to the “voice of truth.”

  17. What are your hopes for the future?
  18. Many, but one thing is for sure: Take a chance on many more lives the same way my sponsor took a chance on me.

  19. Paper or plastic?
  20. Paper

  21. Do you happen to like chocolate?
  22. Is that a question or a test? :-)

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16 Comments Add a Comment
  1. May 24, 2008
    at 9:33 am

    Boo hoo! Meeting me wasn’t a memorable moment. :-)

  2. May 24, 2008
    at 12:16 pm

    Something tells me Anthony’s introduction to Chris was SO memorable, he’s trying to keep it to himself. I’m sure he’s treasuring these things and pondering it in his heart.

    Thanks for taking time to share your perspective, wisdom and wit, Anthony. You are priceless!

  3. May 24, 2008
    at 4:24 pm

    Wow, your sponsor is Chris!!! That’s awesome! Those are great thoughts by the way. I’m going to write to the children soon and give them that message that they can make. It’s funny, I just got a stack of autographed pictures in from one of the Lizzie McGuire actresses and she signed it to each child individually. And she wrote on each card the name and then message: “You can do whatever you set your heart on.” And then her name, so that’s a good thing to sent to the children. I’m visiting my children in 5 weeks. Hopefully, they’ll be as encouraged as you were with Chris. Do you have any suggestions on what to do during the visit?

    Blessings,

    Kees

  4. May 24, 2008
    at 9:04 pm

    Our sponsor tour group (Jan. ’07) in DR met a young man who absolutely should not have been successful: Miguel was “departed” from the program as a child who simply was not manageable and cooperative, but he had a sponsor who really, really cared. She met him when she went to visit the child who had been registered in his place; Miguel was at the project and sobbed, when she was whisked away. She later inquired, learned who he was and insisted on visiting him. Then she insisted, with his promise to obey, to work very hard, and to cooperate, that he be reinstated. He kept his promise, became an outstanding student and finished a university degree almost 2 years ago (with his sponsor’s continued help and no LDP). This, despite having a family in which *no one* believed in him or encouraged him. When he graduated from university, one sister admitted that maybe he’d done okay.

    But he had an involved sponsor who made all the difference.

  5. May 25, 2008
    at 4:21 am

    Kees,

    I’m not Anthony’s sponsor. We met at the LDP dinner on the Kenya sponsor tour in February 2007. He made the unwise choice of sitting next to me. I say unwise because he has done and overcome some truly amazing things in his life, and I insisted on talking to him about Hillary Clinton’s feet.

    I wasn’t a Compassion employee at the time. That occurred several months later, and now that conversation haunts him every time we speak. :-)

  6. Kalaya
    May 25, 2008
    at 8:02 am

    Anthony, It is so encouraging to know that you yourself now sponsor children. How many do you sponsor and which country are they from?

  7. May 25, 2008
    at 10:41 am

    Hi, Vicky,

    That’s encouraging. The first child I sponsored departed from the program after 1 year and 3 months, because her parents took her out. I still pray for her every year and I signed a release form to release my address to her, but I never heard back. I hope that she is okay, but I wish I could stay in touch and encourage her. I’m pretty easy to find on the Internet. Maybe some day, she might be googling me and come up with a way to get in touch too. At least she got saved before she left the program, so in the long run, she’ll be fine.

    Kees

  8. May 25, 2008
    at 2:41 pm

    Anthony, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I really appreciate being able to read your honest answers to our questions.

  9. May 25, 2008
    at 2:42 pm

    Hey, Kees,

    I have been so fortunate, in that every child I have begun to sponsor is still in the program. I imagine “losing” one of them would feel like a literal tearing of my heart right out of my body.

    I’ll e-mail you with a link to the whole story of Miguel, as told to me by his now-former sponsor.

  10. May 25, 2008
    at 7:18 pm

    It was tough, when that happened. I actually picked up the phone to call Compassion to make some arrangements to go see her. When they got to the phone, I was told that she had just departed the program. I remember being really saddened by it. So, then I sponsored Dulce right away. I was glad that I hadn’t booked the trip to Ecuador yet, because if she had left a week later, I would have booked a trip to Ecuador. I’m really happy to sponsor Dulce, though I still pray for Erica from Ecuador every day. Her parents took her out of the program. I never found out why.

    Kees

  11. May 29, 2008
    at 2:28 pm

    Anthony, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — you are an amazing writer!! What great & interesting answers to all of the questions asked.

    Thank you for sharing Lamentations 3 — somehow in all of my Bible reading I’d never read that chapter. Wow — it gave me chills. Very powerful

  12. Trudy
    Jun 10, 2008
    at 6:54 am

    Hey dear Anthony,

    Be sure that I’ll bring you chocolate, when I come to Kenya. Lots of chocolate!!!!

    Tru

  13. Mike Stephens
    Mar 28, 2009
    at 5:54 pm

    That’s amazing!!! Thanks for all the advice on sponsoring Anthony!!! It’s amazing to get such advice from a once sponsored child!!!

  14. Mike Stephens
    Mar 28, 2009
    at 5:59 pm

    Sorry for not puting this with the other post, but it is great to hear these success stories of the sponsored kids!!! Like anthony, Michelle, Richmond, Tony and Olive. For me if I see it happen it gives me such AMAZING HOPE with the kids I sponsor!!! Thanks for all of your hard work and prayers and relentlessness!!!

  15. Mike Stephens
    Mar 28, 2009
    at 6:29 pm

    Vicki that story was amazing!!! Thanks for sharing!!! That answers a question that I had had about a situation like that!!!

  16. Mike Stephens
    Mar 28, 2009
    at 6:30 pm

    @Vicki Small

    Vicki I am not but hopefully this question will show up on your email.

    How was the sponsor able to support Miguel through college not with LDP?

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