The India communications manager wrote this short article about the recent sponsor tour to India for the country office’s internal newsletter. So we thought we’d share her perspective with you.
In the midst of turbulent economic times, political uncertainty and a global food crisis, 29 of our sponsors proceeded with their decision to come to India to experience this great ministry among children.
It is one thing to hear marvelous stories about sponsors and how far they would go to support a child, but it is definitely a red letter day to meet them in person. For most of the sponsors, the sponsor tour we recently hosted was their first time in India, and they surely were thrilled by the sights and sounds around them.
Churches and projects in Bangalore, Yelagiri and Chennai welcomed the visitors into their community, and the sponsors had the opportunity to witness the harsh realities of life for our children, and the hope that Compassion offers through the child development centers in our various programs.
The home visits enabled the sponsors to have a feel for the poverty surrounding the communities, as well as the traditions and superstitions that some of the communities are bound by.
The traditional welcome with garlands, sandalwood and rosewater, personal testimonies of children and parents, and the cultural events by children at the centers left each sponsor humbled.
Amidst everything, the one thing the sponsors would not give up were those personal moments of interaction with the children. The sponsors connected with the children through songs, skits and crafts. They learned, listened, laughed with the children, and cried every time they had to leave a center.
The “fun day” planned for each sponsor to interact with his or her own sponsored child was assuredly the defining moment.
Surrounded by the Bay of Bengal on one side and luscious green pastures on the other, VGP Golden Beach was ideal for fun in the sun. Every sponsor wished this day would never end.
Bidding farewell to their precious little children by giving gifts they brought all the way from the United States continues to amaze me. Hugs, handshakes, loads of tears, and treasured memories made the day worthwhile for these faithful sponsors.
Another sponsor tour has ended, and I am grateful to God for the way he led us in putting it all together. As I look back, it gives me even greater satisfaction that those 29 sponsors who explored and experienced the work of Compassion in person left India with more than just a bagful of memories! Compassion is indeed blessed with such wonderful and committed sponsors.
Please continue to pray for these sponsors that God would bless their efforts as they serve as advocates for India. Please pray also for the many unsponsored children in our ministry.