what's it likeHow would you describe meeting your sponsored child for the first time? Can you sum it up with one word?

If you can, please do. If you can’t, please use all the words you need.

And if you haven’t met your sponsored child, or think you may never be able to, live vicariously through this 29-minute subtitled video, which recently aired on Dutch television. It documents a young sponsor’s trip to meet her child for the first time.

Watch it and you’ll understand what the sponsor means when she says,

“It’s beautiful to meet him. Yes, it’s worth everything.”

You can also view this “What’s It Like” Compassion Netherlands television documentary on Vimeo.

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  1. Amy
    Apr 21, 2010
    at 7:51 am

    Oh, I can’t wait to watch it! My “kids” and I always talk about meeting each other some day!

  2. Apr 21, 2010
    at 8:11 am

    Enlightening — because finally we could ask each other questions and get answers immediately. I learned so many new things about these two special young men!

  3. Apr 21, 2010
    at 9:38 am

    Memorable. Affirming. Reassuring.

  4. Marvin
    Apr 21, 2010
    at 10:03 am

    We have visited 3 of the 4 children we have sponsored over the lat 20 years.
    In one word – Difficult

    2 of the children I visited twice, the second visit was much easer.
    Visiting is very different for men and women. In the country I visited (Philippines) a lot of the men looked drunk and from what I was told its common for them to leave families without any support. All 3 children we have supported in the Philippines have been fatherless at one point. One child had the father come back after being gone for 10 years. This is similar to the inner-city housing projects in Chicago. This type of situation makes it difficult for men when we don’t or can not bring our family. The older kids had abandonment issues. If the mother re-marries the children are not welcomed into the new family, they end up living with the grandparents or relatives. One child we support lives with the grandparents…the mother lives in a different town. And when you are the 4th child out of 8… they don’t get much love and attention so it’s hard to relate to the sponsor…it takes time. The second visit is always much better.

  5. Anne en Canada
    Apr 21, 2010
    at 10:29 am

    My mind goes completely blank! (And that’s saying a lot, because I usually ask the most questions on the trip!)

  6. Misty
    Apr 21, 2010
    at 11:31 am

    One word (well sort of) life-changing.

    I have had the priviledge of meeting several of my sponosored children. Each experience, it’s a little different. The children are usually so shy and so amazed that the sponsor is really there, that they seem very quiet or reserved. But I know, from their letters after the visit that they were so excited to meet me. And several have said if I come back, they won’t act so shy!
    God bless.

  7. Apr 21, 2010
    at 12:05 pm

    This is a nice video! I have visited my children in Bolivia three times now. I noticed a general pattern in the visits. The first time, the child was a bit shy and overwhelmed, but still you could tell that they really love the sponsor. The second visit, they just see you and run to you and give you the biggest hug. For some reason, the third visit was very emotional. They really show their love. I’ll be doing the fourth visit this summer and I’m wondering if there is a pattern there too. I can tell this that most of the Compassion children, if you were to ask them what their biggest dream is, it would be to meet their sponsor.

    Also, I think this was more for the TV camera, but you’ll never be walking through a wood or so alone to meet your sponsored child. You’ll always be accompanied and the same I found with the child, at least one parent and one person from the project is there.

  8. Kerrie
    Apr 21, 2010
    at 2:36 pm

    Amazing!! It was an answer to prayer for both of us.

  9. Apr 21, 2010
    at 3:38 pm

    Humbling.

    The experience meant more to me than I ever could have imagined.

  10. Esther
    Apr 21, 2010
    at 4:05 pm

    We went to see our sponsored Child in Columbia one year. Compassion workers brought Her to the Cruise port to meet us. She arrived within a half hour of the Arranged time. They rushed in rather out of breath. Our child seemed glad to see Me. She and I talked and I was able to give Her some woman to Woman advice while we talked privately. When she wrote to me later she said she remembered my words to her and would heed my advice. It was Godly advice of course. Great
    visit. We took some small gifts ,Watch,make-up, Camera.
    She didn’t know what to do with the camera other tan take pictures of the trees . We had others take pictures of us together witch became her prized possession.

  11. Mike Hailey
    Apr 21, 2010
    at 4:28 pm

    Humbling….to fully ‘realize’ at that moment that this little human being depends upon and loves me.

  12. Marci in MO
    Apr 21, 2010
    at 4:40 pm

    Emotional. It was such a blessing, I leaned so many things on that trip. I think about it almost every day, still.

  13. Mike Stephens
    Apr 21, 2010
    at 5:00 pm

    victorious, mindboggling, relief, exciting, lovely. I also really liked “Difficult” as well but the more difficult the more victorious ;)

  14. Mike Stephens
    Apr 21, 2010
    at 5:03 pm

    POWERFUL! That sums it up best for me POWERFUL and AWESOME! I know those are not very descriptive but that is what it is like.

  15. Jon
    Apr 21, 2010
    at 5:45 pm

    One word? Unbelievable.
    Okay, I can’t do one word! It was a moment I will never forget. It was the moment that the child became real to me…more than just a picture. It connected us in a new way. Our letters took on a whole new dimension. I thank God that I was able to make that trip back in 2006 that launched my yearly excursions to El Salvador to see my child.

  16. Apr 21, 2010
    at 7:17 pm

    I met my oldest child last year. She was 18, and it was such a blessing. Waiting until she was older made the time we spent very meaningful. She opened up so much, and had “girl time” just like we were sisters being reunited. It was better than I even could have expected.

  17. Rachael
    Apr 21, 2010
    at 7:35 pm

    Emotional. I got to visit my oldest girl, Yessica, in Colombia almost a year ago, and it was a moment I had been looking forward to for months, and it still surpassed my wildest expectations and dreams!

  18. Mike Stephens
    Apr 21, 2010
    at 8:24 pm

    That video was awesome! yeah Else!

  19. Jane Gillis
    Apr 21, 2010
    at 10:34 pm

    It is an incredible blessing from God!

  20. Lindy
    Apr 22, 2010
    at 5:47 am

    This is such a beautiful video! Else, you are a blessing, and I pray that God will comfort your heart as you remember your dear grandfather. Marto’s joy in that video must bring you great joy! I pray that many new sponsors will come forward as a result of your generosity and love!

  21. Apr 22, 2010
    at 7:33 pm

    What a beautiful, life touching story this video consumes. Many people do not realize how children are a blessing. Showing this video has given hope, closure and peace to all who wonder what it is like to see someone who cares about you regardless of what measure has to be taken. Sponsoring a child is so much more rewarding than one can imagine. This is an opportunity to give and to touch a child’s life forever. I love it! Keep on giving Compassionate people.

  22. Steve Williams
    Apr 23, 2010
    at 10:52 am

    The one word description for me would be “priceless”.

    Why priceless? Some, including myself at first, question spending so much money on the trip. I originally thought: would God have me do something else with that money, like sponsor another child? The answer for me was obviously no, because the trip changed me so much that when I got home I sponsored two more children!

  23. Handinata Tanudjaja
    May 11, 2010
    at 11:51 am

    I am deeply moved by Else’s sacrificial love towards her sponsored boy.
    Thank you for making this documentary. This is very special to me since I,myself,am an Indonesian.
    Now, I am planning to play this video as part of my Compassion Sunday to a group of Indonesians here in the States.
    Thank you again for inspiring us!
    “Terima Kasih”

  24. Heidi Tabor
    Sep 2, 2010
    at 11:37 pm

    Leya is my absolutely beautiful 7 year old who lives in Uganda. I got the opportunity to meet her while I was living there last summer for a missions internship. She gave me the culturally appropriate and respectful greeting of bowing, but she wasn’t bowing for long as I was almost immediately on my knees looking her straight in the eyes. All the words in the world couldn’t describe that moment when her eyes met mine. There is no way I could choose just one.

    It felt like home. like we were connected by something incredibly deep. Like i wanted to wrap her in my arms and never let go. like there was some kind of God-love running through both of us. Different than any other connection I have had with another human being. I felt like I had discovered lost family I had never known existed.

    It was beautiful. and even that doesn’t do it justice.

  25. Alison
    Sep 8, 2010
    at 2:25 am

    wow thats all I can say about the story this video shows and what everyone is saying about their visits to their children. I have just started sponsoring 3 year old Estefany a little girl in Guatemala and hope that I will be able to visit her in a couple years. I am planning to start selling cheesecakes to make more money so I can save to visit Estefany, send her gifts and sponsor more children. I am extremely excited to receive my packet so that I can begin writing to Estefany

  26. Dec 28, 2010
    at 2:52 pm

    Wow. I love reading all of these comments! I don’t have an answer yet but I will soon! My husband surprised me and I am meeting 2 of my sponsored children in less than 3 WEEKS! What an awesome Christmas present for me!

  27. Margaret M.
    Jan 2, 2011
    at 7:27 pm

    I met my 16-year-old sponsored child in Uganda in September 2010. She was very shy, and our time together started out awkward. By the end of our time together, the relationship had totally changed to one of warmth and love, and leaving each other was hard. I plan to return in a couple of years, and I will have three sponsored children to spend a day with!

  28. Jenna
    Sep 28, 2012
    at 4:09 am

    I was able to meet my sponsored child of 7 years last summer while I was on a missions tirp with another organization. Compassion set everything up for me! It was amazing! They brought Sicely to a location that worked for us both and we got to spend the entire day together in Antigua. I got to meet her mother and pray with them both! Before we even reached each other, we were crying tears of joy. I highly recommend meeting your child. Writing them letters will never be the same again. There is a connection there already so don’t worry about what you’ll say. Siclely and I had such a love and connection formed before we even met that it shocked even the translator. What a blessed day!

  29. Joe Lisi
    Jun 2, 2013
    at 2:05 am

    My wife and I recently received our first info about taking a trip with compassion to meet our sponsored child.. My first impression of the whole idea was.. “I can”t believe how much it cost”!! We then talked and continue too pray about it.. The next trip to Burkina Faso is in Feb 2014.. That is 8 months from now but is conflicting with present schedules However we will be on the next one.. Our decision was surly helped along with our prayers and one of the answers was for God to point us to this blog with all of these amazing stories about your visits and also all of your prayers even from those who have not visited… I’m not a blogger or a reader of blogs (or wasn’t) but I will be sure to bookmark all of compassion’s blogs and sites for future reference.. Thank you all for such positive stories and for allowing God to use you all in an awesome way…

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