All of us have had a few highlights in our lives that changed us forever. Right now, I’m in the middle of one. I’m in Uganda gathering stories for Compassion. It’s my first trip to a developing country.
There’s only one problem. The thing that I was afraid would happen has happened. I have fallen head over heals in love with every child I’ve met. At each village we visit, children run up to you, wrap their arms around you, and before you know it, steal your heart.
Because poverty is so overwhelming, always before, I tried to distance myself from the stories. Without meaning to, I guarded my heart. But now these stories have faces and I’m completely attached.
But the surprising thing is, I don’t feel helpless. And that had been my biggest fear—finally coming face to face with poverty and feeling powerless to do anything. But I keep hearing from caregivers and children how much their lives have changed through Compassion’s programs. I can’t help but feel hopeful.
One mother today told me today how thankful she is that Compassion pays for her son’s malaria medicine. This has saved his life. Another told me there is no way her daughter could go to school without Compassion helping with school fees. Dickson, a student enrolled in the Leadership Development Program, said, “I hope Compassion sponsors and donors know their support is not in vain. You are helping to transform lives.”
So if you’re a sponsor or donor out there, I want to pass on these messages of hope. I pray they encourage your heart as much as they did mine.
Robyn Spencer, a full-time writer for Compassion International, is currently on her first Compassion trip to Uganda. Robyn is experiencing Compassion’s life-changing work first-hand, so she can educate sponsors and donors when she returns home.