Planning for the Unforeseeable Future

planned-giving I met Bill in November and we started dating almost right away. I was 38 and Bill was just a few years older.

One day the next April, he was getting ready for work. Something just felt off to him physically, and he dialed 911. He had an aortic aneurysm.

After surgery, he lingered a few days, hooked up to machines and heavily sedated because he instinctively fought the machines and tubes and because the pain was excruciating. I talked to him, but he was never aware enough to respond.

Then just like that, in his early 40s, he was gone.

It’s been a few years since Bill’s death, and I am still shocked that someone so young could be gone so quickly. But it happens. I am now very aware of this fact.

A number of years ago, I took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace class through my local church. Being single, I had never thought much about additional life insurance. But the class talked about the possibility of giving to the church through life insurance.

As a sponsor of two girls, Kayirangwa in Rwanda and Litzy in Ecuador, that class made me think:

What happens to sponsored children when the sponsor passes? Do they go back on the waiting list?

Kayirangwa will be 13 in a few months. My perception is that it is harder to find sponsors for older children.

Group of children in Rwanda

When my employer had a sign up for extra life insurance I learned that for $9 a pay period, I qualified for a $150,000 policy.

Most people estimate the amount of life insurance they need based on their family situation. Will their spouse and children be taken care of? I don’t currently have those concerns. But what about two children I love as my own. Could having this policy provide for them?

I checked out Compassion’s website and learned that, yes, planned future giving is a possibility.

No, the money won’t go directly to my girls, but it can pay up their sponsorships until they leave the program and who knows what other countless good that money might do with very little extra cost to me each month.

I know I am in a unique situation without anyone else to think about once I am gone. Spouses and children do need to be taken care of. But can you set aside a portion for that child halfway around the world that you have come to love?

For now, I am healthy, and while I don’t want to dwell on the end, I like knowing that I have made Compassion International one of my beneficiaries.

My children often call me their Godmother. I suppose in that way, God has granted me children. And I love the idea that I am able to plan for their future in the same way so many of you plan for your biological children.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Amy Brooke has been a sponsor since 2007 – sponsoring a child in Rwanda and one in Ecuador. In addition, she corresponds with a boy in the Dominican Republic. She has a personal blog at

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7 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Caitlin October 25, 2011

    I was thinking about this the other day, and I was wondering, does Compassion allow you stipulate that these children will be assigned correspondence sponsors, should you die and have their sponsorships provided for? I would want to know that my kids were still getting letters, and that they would be getting frequent letters, if I died. It would seem to me that their chances of getting frequent letters would raise if they were given a correspondence sponsor, rather than getting put back into waiting for sponsorship(in the case that I didn’t provide for them in my will), since a correspondence sponsor signed up specifically to write.

    1. Jacquie Parella October 26, 2011

      Caitlin – Give us a call at 800-336-7540 and ask for Patty. Patty works with our planned giving and will be able to answer your questions. Jacquie

  2. Kimberly October 25, 2011

    We have biological children, but we still included our sponsored children’s sponsorship (through LDP if they are accepted) in our will. We have told our sponsored children that we will pay their way through LDP if they are accepted. Our passing should not prevent our promise from remaining valid.

  3. Ruth October 24, 2011

    The majority of my estate will go to family but some sizable insurance policy bequests will go to Compassion and other Christian charities. It is wonderful knowing that my sponsor kids will be taken care of, and so many more kids in need will be helped!!

  4. Jack Wellman October 24, 2011

    What a touching article. A parent is as a parent does. May God richly bless your labor of love in the Lord.

  5. Doris London October 24, 2011

    This is such a great cause to correspond or to be a sponsor for a young man or woman in trouble in a third world country! I am touched by the story of Amy and I hope there are more people like her! I admire her and I hope she find happiness!

  6. Nina October 24, 2011

    I am correspondent sponsor for a young man in India whose sponsor died, and his sponsorship was paid for from the estate of the sponsor. This has been a blessing to both of us, because his sponsorship is assured, and because we have been able to correspond for his last couple of years in the program. He is able to have the love and encouragement that he needs. He is a bright, fine young man, and I am so blessed by this opportunity, given to both of us. I thank Compassion for making this type of arrangement possible.

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