I’m going to Mexico! And I want you to come with me.

I was left behind once, and I’m grateful it wasn’t in the “missed the Rapture” sense. Because of that experience I will do my best to make you feel like you’re in Mexico with me.

I’m going to Mexico as a co-leader on a sponsor tour, not as a Compassion Blogger.

My first responsibility on the trip is to support the sponsors who are traveling with us to meet their sponsored children. However, you will always be in my thoughts.

I intend to:

  • upload photos to our Flickr photostream, and I’ll add the best ones to our Flickr group, which you can see in the sidebar under Your Flickr Photos.
  • tweet – send regular text updates of what’s going on – so follow us on Twitter
  • write colorful and moving commentary you’ll find here, on this very blog
  • take some Blair Witch/Cloverfield amateur-style video to share with you when I get back
  • eat lots of beans and rice
  • hug lots of kids
  • et cetera

I don’t sponsor a child in Mexico but if you do, and they’re at one of these child development centers, let me know. I will TRY to get a photo of your child for you. I cannot promise anything other than I’ll try.

The child development centers are:

  • The King’s Children Ambassadors Student Center (ME-730)
  • The Jesus’ Friends Student Center (ME-737)
  • The House of Bread Student Center (ME-708)

Please don’t leave your child’s name or number in your comment. Just let me know you have a child at one of the centers and someone will contact you via email to get the information.

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  1. Aug 13, 2008
    at 10:32 am

    What a great idea. Any chance this could be perpetuated to all sponsor trips? I’d love to get information/pictures or contribute stuff for the kids when Compassion hits Tanzania next year, and the next time they hit Ethiopia. I know Kees mentioned he has delivered stuff for other sponsors when he travelled. Travelling on a sponsor tour is something I’m working towards, but unfortunately not in the next 12 months.

  2. Aug 13, 2008
    at 11:01 am

    This “experiment” will give us something to work with when we knock around ideas and on how we can use the web to help you feel closer to your kids.

    There are a lot of variables that affect whether this idea is really feasible on a reoccuring scale, or even on this small “rogue” effort.

    But we are trying to come up with ideas that all sponsors can benefit from.

  3. Aug 13, 2008
    at 12:30 pm

    I’m really excited about the fact that ya’ll are trying such a unique way to make us feel closer! How lucky are we that Compassion cares so much about not only the kids but the sponsors?

    I’m sure suitcase space on a trip like this is incredibly tight, but it sure would be great if all the sponsors for a particular center you are visiting had an opportunity to send something small to their child – maybe not a huge gift but perhaps something a wee bit bigger than 8.5×11 and 1/8″. And even if individual requests for pictures etc aren’t possible, if you could share pictures from the trip including labels of kids’ names (at least first ones) those of us with sponsored kids at those centers could see them in group shots.

    I know the stories on the main site and here that have moved me most have been about specific stories/kids/individuals. I’ve spent time on the ‘net trying to find a map of Tanzania with the specific town my child is from, without much luck. Perhaps your country staffs can provide you with more source material about their countries such as more detailed maps & general pictures of their areas?

  4. Aug 13, 2008
    at 12:49 pm

    Oh, I wanna go! My sponsored child is in Mexico, but not in any of those centers. Bummer :-(

    But I know the photos of the other children will be just as precious!

  5. Aug 13, 2008
    at 2:36 pm

    How exciting! Send me a widget for your blog and I’ll help direct people to the live stories from Mexico! Also — if you meet a child in need of a sponsor, when you return send me the child packet, a photo of you with the child, and some details you learned by speaking personally with the him/her. We’ll see how long it takes me to find a sponsor. I have a theory — that all of us are not far away from another person who is willing, able and eager to sponsor a child in need, if we are only willing to ask and tell about our own experiences as sponsors.

  6. Aug 13, 2008
    at 5:25 pm

    Juli, what a great idea… we can all direct any interested traffic (not that most of us have as much as the likes of you and Shannon) to these kids.

  7. Shelly Quigg
    Aug 13, 2008
    at 5:29 pm

    Carolyn,

    I too have searched the internet to try to find the exact locations of my children. I actually used the “contact us” link and sent a request for a map with the project pinpointed on it. They said that for the children’s security they don’t pinpoint the location of the project, but they will send a map with the project numbers pointing to the general area where they are at. I was told that current or prospective sponsors can request one. I hope they don’t mind that I shared this! I received the maps within a day or two of my request via email.

    Also, I am pretty good with Google Earth if you would like me to help find the location on your child’s city.

    Shelly

  8. Shelly Quigg
    Aug 13, 2008
    at 5:49 pm

    I just wanted to publicly thank the Compassion staff for all they do to bring the children and their experiences to us. Reading the blogs, stories, and photos about the children and how the programs work really enhances my sponsorship experience. I am sure that the knowledge increases many sponsors’s committment to their children and encourages them to become more involved.

    Just yesterday I had a message on my answering machine from someone at Compassion. At first I was worried that something had happened to one of my girls, but it wasn’t that thank goodness. I believe his name was Greg and he was calling to answer a question I had asked in an earlier comment on this blog. I never had a response on my question and I was very impressed that he made the effort to call me and to give me the answer to my question. I feel so confident in Compassion because of the way they really do try to help both child and sponsor.

    I would also really love to have a message board/discussion area online so that sponsors can share experiences with each other. I would love to talk to other sponsors with children at the same projects as mine.

    Thanks!

  9. Sara Benson
    Aug 13, 2008
    at 9:43 pm

    I look forward to hearing about oyur trip! i do not have any kids in mexico but I hjope this goes well because I would love to be able to get gifts to my kids. I am saving up so that I can see them one day.

  10. Sara Benson
    Aug 13, 2008
    at 9:47 pm

    Shelly, I aggree that the message boards would be cool. I would love to be able to get in contact with other people who sponsor kids from the same project as i do.
    I did hear that the web staff is working on making some kind of social network for sponsors.
    Chris do you have an update?

  11. Aug 13, 2008
    at 11:18 pm

    Have an aweseome trip, Chris!
    I wish I have a child in Mexico for you to visit. I hope to see images / footages of you doing all those things you intend to do … especially ones where you’re receiving lots of hugs from the kids!

  12. Andrzej Gandecki
    Aug 15, 2008
    at 5:14 pm

    Hi Chris!

    I’ve got a child in the House of Bread center!

    I would love it if you could meet her and give my greetings to her. Of course, a new picture of her would be a great joy for me, too.

    When does the trip start?

  13. Aug 15, 2008
    at 10:31 pm

    Andrzej,

    Oops! I didn’t mention when I’m going. I leave Saturday, August 16 and return Saturday, August 23.

  14. Helen O'Neal
    Jan 8, 2012
    at 6:48 pm

    Hi Chris! i’ve enjoyed your blog posts so much, but just recently ran across these from your trip to Mexico. I know a former Compassion child who used to be at ME708, and I was just wondering if you had/have any video footage or photos from that student center. Muchas gracias!!

  15. Jan 11, 2012
    at 2:53 pm

    Helen,

    I don’t have any video from ME-708, but you can find photos from the center towards the end of this Flickr set.

    Chris

    • Helen O'Neal
      Jan 17, 2012
      at 4:27 pm

      Chris, THANK YOU SO MUCH for these photos!! i really enjoyed seeing them, and so did our young friend who used to be in the program there at ME708!

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