“I Want to Reach My Dream”

big dreams “I want to be like my sponsor’s daughter. I want to be a doctor someday.” This was Nathan’s first statement to his mother after he read the letter from his sponsor. In that one simple letter, Nathan’s sponsor mentioned her daughter was planning to become a doctor, and it motivated Nathan to begin taking his studies seriously.

Since that time he has shown his enthusiasm to study hard and use his time wisely.

Three times a week, Nathan walks 150 meters to attend the activities at the child developmen center. He is usually accompanied by his mother, but lately he has taken the initiative to walk by himself. Nathan has attended the Ekklesia Student Center in Motoling, South Minahasa, Indonesia, since it was established three years ago.

Since Nathan joined the center, the 8-year-old boy has experienced much growth and progress. He is not only showing his diligence by attending the meetings, he also pays better attention to every subject.

In addition, Nathan loves to study, and he reviews his lessons again with his friends at home. This has helped him make impressive progress in his grades.

These aren’t the only positive outcomes he has achieved. Nathan is never absent from center activities. He has also shown particular interest in subjects like math and reading. Because of his sponsor’s letter, he wants to become like his sponsor’s daughter in the future.

“Mom, if my sponsor’s daughter wants to be a doctor, can I be a doctor, too?”

Nathan is now a goal-oriented young man. He used to be lazy, according to his mom. In fact, his nickname was 66 — because he would be out playing from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. But now, he is diligent in his studies.

“I want to reach my dream. I want to become a doctor someday because I want to help people in this village.”

On Friday, after finishing school, Nathan goes to the center. He sings and plays with his friends in free time. Nathan and 244 other children enjoy their time praising the Almighty One who has given them an opportunity to develop their lives. After the worship leader closes the praise and worship, all children go to their classes.

Nathan is one of many children at Ekklesia Student Center who have been changed by their sponsor’s letters.

“Sponsor letters really impact the children’s lives here. We hope there will be more sponsors letters that will inspire children here and motivate them to live better,” explains Linda Weenas, center secretary.

15 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Erlan Santoso December 9, 2010

    Wow… when i read this story and comments, it’s remind me about my life.
    My name is Erlan Santoso (27 years old) and am from Indonesia. I was a sponsored child as well and now I am working for Compassion Indonesia as a Tour and Visit Team Lead. I am organized all sponsor visit and group tours to Compassion Indonesia.
    Everytime, I am hosting and accompany the sponsors and seeing the meeting between sponsors and sponsored children is very touched my heart and remind me about my life and HIS Grace. God has an amazing and beautiful plan for my life.
    I was born and raised in a Buddhist family. We are Chinese descendent, and my parents and my big family are all Buddhist. I am the fourth child of 5 siblings. I have two elder sisters, 1 elder brother and 1 younger brother.

    To make the story short, when I was 9 years old, my mom enlisted my younger brother and me to the Compassion Project. This is where my experience with God started, through the Compassion Project I was shaped by God.

    When I joined the CDSP, I didn’t directly get a sponsor. I watched some of my friends directly had sponsors, and they received letters and gifts from the sponsors. Including my brother, he directly got a sponsor and also letters from them. It really made me sad, disappointed; I was angry and envious with my brother. I asked myself why my brother and all of my friends have got sponsors, but not me.
    It took me almost a year until someone from the US, became my sponsor. I was very happy and proud at that time, as I finally had a sponsor. I’ve been praying and waiting for so long, and finally I had a sponsor. But after a couple of months, I felt sad again as my sponsor decided not to sponsor me anymore. It was a very difficult time for me. I just started to feel that someone cared about me, but it only lasted for some months, and then the person is gone.
    I have to wait for a new sponsor. The CDSP mentors always remind me to keep praying so I can soon get a new sponsor. Finally I got a new sponsor from US, but only for a couple of months, as the sponsor suddenly withdrew, and I became sponsor less again for the second time. It was really the most difficult time for me, and I even thought that probably I am too ugly, I’m not as handsome as my brother, so no one wants to sponsor me. Sometimes my friends mocked me by saying, ‘you’re ugly, so no one abroad wants to sponsor you.’ I couldn’t say anything, I just cried. The mentors comforted me, saying that I would get a better sponsor, as long as I kept praying to God. At that time I also felt discouraged to come to the Compassion Project because I felt no one would sponsor me.

    So I waited for some months, and finally God sent Dave and Tracy Nichols from the US to sponsor me. When the CDSP Mentor told me that I got a new sponsor, I didn’t feel too excited, because I was afraid that I would lose them again, and in my heart I said probably they would become my sponsor only for a couple of months before they stopped sponsoring me.
    But I am grateful to God because what I thought never happened. Dave and Tracy Nichols are the most special sponsor for me. They sent letters, small gifts for me such as bookmarker, sticker, photo, etc.
    I am grateful to God because He sent Dave and Tracy for me. They really love me. In the letter, they told me that I was a good, handsome boy, and that I was valuable in the eyes of God. They also always said that they really love me. They also told me that they put my photo on the refrigerator, so they can see me everyday, remember me and pray for me. They also told me that sometimes their daughters took my photo and kissed it. When I read all that, I felt so special. I felt that there is really someone who really loves me. In their letters, they always motivate me, encourage me, and advise me. Through their letters, I grow to become a person who has self confidence.

    I am grateful that God sent Dave and Tracy to sponsor me. I receive many benefits and advantages from the Compassion Project. I learn English and computer in the CDSP Project; through the Project activities my ethics and characters are shaped. What’s most important is I receive Lord Jesus as my God and my personal savior, through the Project tutorial and mentoring. Since I received Lord Jesus, my life changed. I become a person with a high self confidence, because I know and I have faith that God has a beautiful plan in my life.

    In the CDSP, the Mentor always teaches me to serve god and give my life for God. I am equipped in the CDSP Project, and I start to learn to serve God as worship leader and Sunday school teacher. When I was in the senior high school I was also given a chance to serve the sponsored children by teaching math for the elementary school students. I also keep on building relation with God when I have my personal devotional time and through the reading of the Bible everyday.

    Praise God that God has chosen me to become His child. To make the story short, I have been supported by Compassion for 9 years, since I was 9 years old, until I graduated from the senior high school. After I graduated, I wasn’t supported anymore by the Compassion Project (because at the moment wasn’t LDP Program In Indonesia) and I decided to move to Bandung city and continued my study in a university in Bandung. I chose to take the major in Chemistry. When I moved to Bandung, I also volunteered as the secretary of the Association of Alumni Compassion Indonesia, and I also helped teaching math and physics in one of the Project in Bandung.

    When I was in the university, I had a dream that when I graduated from the university, I would go to Batam island and looked for a job there. Since my major is in chemistry and it was needed in industry, factory or laboratory. That was my dream at that time.

    But a few months before I graduated, I had a dream one night. In that dream, I was standing in a big hall, and there were so many children in the hall, sitting on the floor and I was talking in front of them. I told them about myself in front of them, I gave them motivation and encouragement. Then I woke up, and I was wondering what the meaning of my dream was. But then I forgot the dream.

    Few weeks after the night when I dreamt, Compassion Office contacted me. I came to Compassion Office, and I met Ms. Mary Salim (she is Program Communication manager). We both talked a lot and I shared about my life and experience with Ms. Mary. In the end of the conversation, Ms. Mary offered me to join the Compassion as the SDM Field Staff. At that time I could only say to her that I needed a time to think and pray. Ms. Mary gave me about 1-2 weeks. When I went home, I prayed to God about the job offering. I decided to fast and especially pray for that matter. On the fourth day of my fasting, suddenly God reminded me about the dreamt that I had a few weeks before. The dream where I stood in front of children. At that moment, I decided to forget about my dream of working in Batam island. At that moment I said, ok God, I know this is Your call for me to work and serve through Compassion. I told God that I would forget my own dream, and that I would give all my life and heart for God. God can use my life and put me anywhere He wants. After that, a week later I returned to Compassion Office, I met Ms. Mary and with certainty I said YES, I accepted the offer to work in Compassion. So when I graduated from the university (December 2005), I directly worked in Compassion Office and since 2007 i moved to position Tour and Visit specialist and now (since October 2010) became Tour and Visit Team Lead.

    I am grateful to God that now I can be in this place, I can be in this stage of life. It’s all because of God, because of His blessings. What’s more important for me is that I believe I can be what I am today because of prayers from my sponsor, Dave and Tracy Nichols. I am the fruit of my sponsors’ prayers. God has chosen me and shaped my life, and provided me with a future with hope, and that’s why I want to dedicate my life for God, to keep on serving Him and the children.

    I also pray now so I can meet my sponsors, because I want to tell them how God, through them, has changed my life. I want to meet them and hug them and say thank you to them for everything that they have given. I believe one day I will meet them.

    That’s my testimony; hopefully it can be a blessing for all. Thank you.

    1. Sherry W. December 14, 2010

      What a wonderful story. Erian, thank you SO much for sharing. You inspire so many sponsors with your words!

    2. Terri K December 13, 2010

      Erlan, thank you so much for taking the time to write out your story. It is exciting to me to see how God is working through Compassion and other sponsors. It is both an encouragement and a reminder of the responsibility we take on as sponsors. Sponsoring has been such a blessing to me, I only hope that I can be as much of an encouragement to my sponsored children as Dave and Tracy Nichols were to you. God bless you!

    3. Sarah December 10, 2010

      I can’t speak for others, but it was a blessing for me. Thank you so much for telling your story.

      1. Erlan Santoso December 12, 2010

        It’s my pleasure 🙂

  2. Megan – Faith Like Mustard December 9, 2010

    This post–and it’s comments–warm my heart. 🙂

  3. Joshua Miago Obiero December 8, 2010

    My name is Joshua, am a former Compassion child, a former LDP student. Now am in the Netherlands at Radboud University Nijmegen, taking a Masters degree called Molecular Mechanisms of Disease, am hoping to become a researcher in the area of Malaria and in particular my dream is to be involved in finding of a vaccine against this killer disease.

    When I read Nathan’s story, I remembered my situation not too long ago.

    I joined Compassion in 1993 at the age of 9yrs. And my life completely changed, not only did I receive financial support that took care of my education, food, school supplies but I also got the most precious gift; the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His saving grace.

    Something that is so dear to me which is sometimes overlooked is the power of letters. I remember very well that the first person to ever tell me I could make something out of my poverty stricken life was my CDSP sponsor Mrs. Beth Bell. And I am forever in-debt to her. Having lived in a slum all my life this was the only life line that enabled me to dream, everything else in my environment showed me the impossibility of ever changing my life. All the crime, the hunger, the poverty told me that I couldn’t make it.
    But the encouragement, the love that I received from my sponsor kept my dreams and nothing could put my dreams off.

    When I was young I thought that I wanted to be a mechanical engineer, then at some point I thought I should be an accountant but I ended up taking Biochemistry in my undergraduate degree. The beauty in this is not only was I able to dream but I had more than one, I could become anything I wanted just as Mrs. Beth Bell wrote to me years ago.

    Now am 25yrs old, at the point where am actually living all that God had planned for me. I still have the letters I got, and they are precious to me. The words Mrs. Beth wrote to made a difference in my life and they still do even after so many years.
    I recently started sponsoring a 5yrs old boy from Colombia, his name is Franco Padilla. I hope and pray to be to him what Mrs. Beth was to me.

    Not only am I sure that Nathan can be a doctor as he wants but also he can be anything he wants to be. But he has to be told, he has to hear words of encouragement, words of love, words that will inspire him. And you as the sponsor can make it happen just by writing a few words.
    Am so happy for Nathan’s story because it is so true in our lives as Compassion sponsored kids.
    God bless Mrs. Beth and the whole Compassion family. I am forever grateful.

    1. Sherry W. December 14, 2010

      From sponsored child to child sponsor! And so much more. Thank you so much for sharing. LDPs are heroes!

    2. Sayari December 8, 2010

      Your story is so encouraging! You are exactly of my age but you have seen so much in life. I hope the kids I sponsor would grow up like you did.The greatest strengths are always aquired through hardships. May God bless you always and keep you shining!

      1. Joshua Miago Obiero December 9, 2010

        Thanks Sayari.
        I am so blessed, I can only sing praise to Him who has loved me so much. Blessings

    3. Joyce December 8, 2010

      We just started sponsoring a little girl who is the exact same age as our older daughter (3 years old), and it is an encouragement to hear that both girls will have opportunities for success no matter the circumstances.

    4. Michael Patterson December 8, 2010

      Joshua, your story is why I love the LDP program so much. Compassion’s ministry is so much more than I realized when I first became a sponsor. The LDP program opens up limitless opportunities to those who would not otherwise have them. I am one of 12 people sponsoring an LDP medical school student. His CDSP live in Australia and wrote often, telling him of God’s love, and that he could be whatever he wanted to be.

      As a sponsor of an LDP student, I am truly inspired by his faith. His life is still difficult but his faith is strong. You can read about him at: http://blog.compassion.com/leadership-development-program-who-can-you-sponsor-with/

      I hope we will see follow up stories about Nathan in the years to come. Whatever he choses to do, he has a good foundation thanks to Compassion and a sponsor who writes to him!

      1. Joshua Miago Obiero December 8, 2010

        @Sarah, Thanks.
        @Michael, I just watched Juan David’s video. It was really emotional, then again it shows how words can affect our lives. Thanks. God blessings to you and your firefighter friends. You are making a difference.

    5. Sarah December 8, 2010

      Josh – stories like yours are so amazing and encouraging. Thank you so, so much for sharing.

      1. Terri K December 13, 2010

        Yes, thank you!

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