Child sponsorship When I began sponsoring my little boy in El Salvador I had my heart and mind set on helping a child in poverty.

Tony with his sponsored child Cesar (right) and Cesar's brother

I saw the photo in the child packet, of this adorable creation of God and immediately wanted to throw on my superhero cape to save him.

I saw my child, who is an orphan, as a person in need of as much love and support as anyone could ever offer another human being. However, when I arrived at my child’s development center last month, God showed me something completely different.

I joined a room full of children whom I had never met before and was greeted as if I were a long lost relative. I was greeted by children, some of whom have been rejected and abused by the people who are supposed to protect and watch over them. Instead of hate or resentment, these children had warm hugs and smiles to give out.

How many of us after feeling the sting of rejection and abuse could do the same?

As I surveyed the area surrounding the development center, it was hard to see hope or anything remotely positive. I imagine that the average American looking at what I saw would think how sad or how awful it must be to live in a place like this.

But is it any more awful for a child in the U.S. to live in a home where that child is abused and feels neglected and uncared for?

You and I may not have to worry about where our next meal is coming from, but all too often we can go weeks without hearing a kind word or receiving a hug.

So there I was standing among the children, and I realized:

Sponsorship isn’t about us as sponsors trying to save these children; it’s about us working together to save each other.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tony Brizendine is an IT technician supporting our global staff. He visited El Salvador on the anniversary of his fifth year of employment at Compassion.

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16 Comments Add a Comment
  1. Erika
    Mar 4, 2011
    at 3:29 am


  2. Mar 4, 2011
    at 5:39 am

    I totally agree with the sentiment at the end. We are truly working together to save each other.

    We may be helping financially and emotionally–letting them know someone cares about them (especially when those closest to them don’t), but they help us spiritually. At least for me. I’ve come to realize (and I know I’ve heard this somewhere too) that the materially wealthy are often spiritually poor, and the materially poor are often spiritually wealthy. And if each party shares what they have, both will benefit.

  3. Mar 4, 2011
    at 12:20 pm

    This is SO good! It gave me chills.

  4. Donna McFadden
    Mar 4, 2011
    at 12:47 pm

    EXCELLENT!! I am so proud

  5. annalise
    Mar 4, 2011
    at 4:12 pm

    Where do the kids in El Salvador usually meet?

    • Tony Brizendine
      Mar 7, 2011
      at 5:51 pm

      They have the children meet at a the children’s musuem in San Salvador.

  6. Chris Chaikowsky
    Mar 4, 2011
    at 8:35 pm

    That last statement is a real keeper. I am going to use it in my next CS!

  7. Mar 4, 2011
    at 8:54 pm

    True that, Tony!! It’s amazing when we reach out to help those God calls to us to minister to, how quickly we can see that we aren’t just called to minister to them for their benefit, but for our own as well.

  8. Mar 5, 2011
    at 7:35 am

    What a wonderful story…I can’t believe how sponsorship blesses the sponsor as much as the child

  9. Cindi
    Mar 5, 2011
    at 10:36 am

    How very true. I just returned from a visit to three of our sponsored children. I realized how wealthy yet alone we are. Though they are poverty stricken, they have a wealth of community . My sponsorship saves me from becoming too self-focused. Now I find myself wanting to save more money or earn more with the greater purpose of making a difference in someone else’s life.

  10. Mar 5, 2011
    at 6:10 pm

    This is a great story, but this picture just begs the question. Are you all in an aeroplane there? If so, did the sponsortour include a planeride with the children? That would be really cool. Tell me about the picture.

    • Tony Brizendine
      Mar 6, 2011
      at 8:14 pm

      LOL, While it would be awesome to be in a real aircraft with the children, we however were at a children’s museum that had part of a real airplane on the property. The whole idea was to get the children to think about what kind of carreer they wanted to pursue. There was also a replica of the space craft that landed on the moon in 1969 not far away, as well as replica of a dental office. It really was a great place to interact with our sponsored children, and gave us lots to talk about!

  11. Kanu Gordon
    Mar 5, 2011
    at 8:29 pm

    I just sponsored a child and I’m so excited. The packet can’t get here fast enough. I’m also am aleady trying to think of ways to earn enough money to sponsor more children. All christains should do this.

  12. Mar 8, 2011
    at 7:50 am

    Well said!!

  13. kidist
    Feb 23, 2013
    at 9:38 pm

    compassion is working very good thing specially in Africa i would like to thanx all group next to God

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