Child sponsorship Our desire is that every child participates in our Child Sponsorship Program until completion. Regrettably, this does not always happen. After an average of 5.87 years in our program, 10.3 percent of children leave our program — for a variety of reasons.

In the contact center we’re responsible for processing the paperwork for every child that leaves our program — “departs” in Compassion lingo. On average, we deal with about 1,500 to 3,000 departures a week.

Staffing and workload limitations prevent us from calling each and every sponsor whose child departs our program. We call only in the most sensitive cases. The remaining notifications occur by mail.

However, our desire is to reach the point where we can handle all the notifications by phone.

Children leave our program for different reasons, some Compassion initiated, some chosen by the child or family.

We remove children from our program if they stop attending for more than two consecutive months (How can we provide the benefits if they don’t attend?) or if they are continually disruptive and cause issues for the other children.

Children may choose to leave because they are moving to another area where we do not work, their parents are not Christians and do not agree with the biblical teaching their child is receiving, they must begin working to help support the family, they lose interest in the program, or they don’t have time to attend due to a heavy load of school work, among other reasons.

No matter the reason for leaving, a member of the child development center staff always meets with the child’s family or guardians to discuss options for the child to continue in our program. Our desire is always for the child to continue, but that is not always possible.

After a final decision is made, the church staff fills out the departure paperwork. After being approved by our country office staff, we receive the paperwork in our office in Colorado the following day.

Once received, Jeremy, an Operations Specialist in the contact center, organizes and prints the paperwork. As able, phone representatives finish the departure process by completing the necessary data entry and possibly contacting the sponsor by phone.

Receiving a letter or call saying that a child you have been sponsoring is no longer in our program can be quite upsetting. We speak to sponsors every day who have received this news, and many of them want more information about why the child left.

Sometimes the person filling out the paperwork at the child development center provides a wealth of information; sometimes they only include basic information. Either way, our contact center staff has only as much information as the church in the field provides.

As of yet, none of my sponsored children have left or completed the program. When our relationship ends, for whatever reason, it will be a sad day. However, I find comfort in the fact that God holds each and every one of them in His hand and loves them more than I can imagine.

If one of my children departs the program before completion, I may not receive all the details I want or I may need to understand why our relationship ended so suddenly. But why do I think I deserve an explanation? Who am I to expect the intimate details of my children’s lives?

I simply must trust that God will take care of my precious children. And I excitedly wait for the day when I will see them again.

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  1. Teresa
    Sep 23, 2010
    at 6:48 am

    With all due respect, I do think we deserve some explanation. I don’t think asking why someone terminated early is breaching any kind of boundary into “intimate” details. One of the big marketing items by Compassion is that we build relationships with our children. Relationship is both give and take – it is not one sided. If you want to continue to market that Compassion is relational, then there needs to be bridge building from both the sponsor and the child / project. To not provide an adequate reason for ending the relationship is not giving the respect due a sponsor who has poured his/her heart into this child.

    One other thing to think about. This may be the last contact Compassion has with a sponsor. If they do not find closure and instead feel the abrupt ending of the sponsorship is lacking, how likely are they to sponsor again?

    I love my sponsored children. I look forward to the day they “graduate” from Compassion, knowing they will have been presented with education and training that can lead them to be successful godly men and women. If one leaves early, I am sure my heart will break, but yes, I will also trust that God is still watching over them and His love for them is everlasting.

    • Shaina
      Sep 23, 2010
      at 10:25 am

      I completely agree, Teresa. A relationship is not one way. Our desire is for the sponsored child and sponsor to connect deeply. We always receive information about why the child has left, and we share the details we have- but sometimes not a lot of detail is given. The information we receive includes the reason for the child leaving, if they will continue with school, if they are healthy, personality observations from the program staff, if they are a Christian, the education level they have completed, any vocational training received, and their future goals or dreams. Sometimes the staff will include more information, but we never receive less than what’s listed above.

  2. Sep 23, 2010
    at 7:38 am

    I wish Compassion would DIRECT the centers to collect more info. A form to fill out or something that has a bit more info than “They are gone”.

    After sponsoring a child for years, visiting her, and so on we just heard, “she has left the program”.

    That has been my one disappointment with Compassion’s methods.

    As to the writer’s comments: “But why do I think I deserve an explanation? Who am I to expect the intimate details of my children’s lives?”

    Who am I? I am the child’s sponsor. I am a partner with Compassion in trying to bring change to this child’s life. I have invested time and money into this relationship. I have invested tears and laughter. I have prayed… sometimes on my knees for this child.

    And YES… I deserve a better answer than “they are gone”.

  3. Sep 23, 2010
    at 7:48 am

    I completely agree that we don’t have any right to the intimate details surrounding some parts of our sponsored children’s lives. Being told that my child has left the program is adequate. If there is more info available, great. But ultimately, with or without the extra details, the relationship was a blessing while it was there. Knowing why they left the program isn’t going to make the separation any easier. And potentially could be MORE heartbreaking.
    Thank you for this post, which reminds me that God is ultimately the one in control, and knew before the beginning of time exactly how long my little person would participate in Compassion’s program. I can trust that and it puts my heart at ease.

    • Mary
      Mar 16, 2015
      at 6:26 pm

      Your response has helped me with this news that I received today that my young man has left the program. Strange how sad I feel. But your words of reason have added to my comfort. Though you wrote in 2010, your words have reached through 2015. Thank you.

  4. Sep 23, 2010
    at 7:56 am

    I’m not sure I’m understanding that statistic correctly.

    Are you saying that 10.3% of Compassion-sponsored children leave the program before graduation? And those children have been in the project an average of 5.87 years?

    If so…then that total number of cancellations processed each week is daunting! In a good way, really…if that many every week only ads up to 10.3%…then how many children are currently being sponsored? And how many new sponsorships are begun each week, on average? I’d love to have these numbers for my Compassion Sunday this weekend, if I can!

    • Shaina
      Sep 23, 2010
      at 10:00 am

      The percentage of children leaving our program each month is normally around 7-10%. This is out of the 1.2 million children currently registered in our program. At this time, we have about 1.08 million sponsored children.

      • Shaina
        Sep 23, 2010
        at 3:24 pm

        Sorry! Let me rephrase that. The percentage referred to is annualized, which means that we expect 7-10% of the children to leave our program each year. If I were to break it down, it would be about .7% to .8% or 8400 to 9600 of the children in our program depart each month.

        • Anna Pancake
          Sep 23, 2010
          at 11:50 pm

          Does this statistic include Graduating from the program, or are these all non-graduation departures?

          • Shaina
            Sep 24, 2010
            at 3:43 pm

            The percentage does include children who have graduated or completed our program.

  5. Greg
    Sep 23, 2010
    at 8:29 am

    My sponsored child, Stephany (from Colombia), moved from the sponsorship area after only 2 months of being sponsored. I got a call from a Compassion representative informing me of this. Even though the news was upsetting, I did appreciate the call. I sponsored a new child, Heidy, from the same Compassion project! :) I do think that a phone call is better than getting written notification.

  6. Marilyn
    Sep 23, 2010
    at 8:38 am

    Thanks Shaina for the great story on departures. This will really help all of our Compassion bloggers understand the process better.

  7. Marvin
    Sep 23, 2010
    at 8:41 am

    I agree I think we do deserve a decent explanation. On the one side compassion keeps asking us to write and get to know the children we sponsor… but then one day they say…your child dropped out and this is your new child. Compassion wonders why people only want to send money and not get too involved. You want our family to invest emotionally in the life of a child and not just send money but then you ask us to not get emotional when the child suddenly drops out. It seams like a contradiction to me.?

  8. craig downs
    Sep 23, 2010
    at 8:48 am

    I agree with you Teresa. We have a strong bond with our children and have included them as being a part of our families. I would think a good explanation would help with the sudden lost.

  9. Sep 23, 2010
    at 9:11 am

    Hi , i would to know how can send some kids in this compassion to help them from a sponsor , i have 40 kids the school will open to send them .
    thank you

    • Shaina
      Sep 23, 2010
      at 2:22 pm

      Our country offices register the children in our program. For more information about the registration process, please email us at

  10. Becky
    Sep 23, 2010
    at 9:32 am

    While I understand why we want to know all the details of that child and why they left the program, I do want to encourage us to write our children. Usually when we are regularly writing our children, they will send a “Final Letter” with more details. The project staff may or may not reveal all the details, but the child, if they are connected to their sponsor, will want to give an explanation. Therefore, I would encourage us all to send a letter to our children now, build these relationships now, so when our children leave the program they will want to send that letter of explanation. This may make the “departure” process harder on our emotions, but think of the lasting impact you will have on that child. They will probably save your letters and refer to them throughout the years to come. Perhaps a day when they are discouraged and down, they may pick up a previous letter and be uplifted and encouraged by the letter you wrote several years before.

  11. Wendi
    Sep 23, 2010
    at 10:56 am

    As a Compassion employee who has the joy (graduation!) and sadness (we don’t know…) of making departure calls, I can tell you that each call is unique. When a sponsor has been connected to a child for a long time “we don’t know” can be more difficult than sharing that a child has run away or married at a very early age. Our staff does make multiple efforts to keep the children in the program, but in the end it is the decision of the parents, and we must respect that. We also respect that they may not choose to share their reasons with us.

    I think of my co-workers at the church projects when they must share the news with a child that a sponsor has discontinued the relationship. Sometimes the sponsor will write a final letter to help the child reach closure and sometimes they do not. I imagine the child will have the same question of “why”? and the project worker, regrettably, will not have an answer.

    Even though it isn’t always easy, we choose to trust that God is in the midst of every circumstance. We continue to pray for every child and every sponsor who is no longer with Compassion and we are grateful for the time we could be even a small part of their lives!

    • Judie
      Sep 24, 2010
      at 9:31 am

      You are so right Wendi, I am sure the children who lose their sponsors feel very sad and wonder if they did something wrong to cause this. As a compassion employee and sponsor, we see children staying in the program much longer when the sponsors write on a regular basis. I feel sponsor do deserve an answer to why their child departed and we try and provide all the details we have.

  12. Sep 23, 2010
    at 11:15 am

    I was fortunate to receive an explanation each of the two times my child left the program, which actually was around 5 years in each case. I felt I received plenty of detail (mother opened a hairdressing salon so the family situation improved to not need outside assistance in 1st case and in 2nd case parents sent child to live with distant relatives, in an area Compassion doesn’t work in, because of the child’s bad behavior) in both of the cases. Even those 1-2 sentences of an explanation from the project director were huge to me, which was part of a larger letter from the director about what the child received at the program. I understand it may not always be possible to provide that specific information, but it would be nice if the project was requested to even just check a box ‘child stopped attending, child moved, parents didn’t want child to attend, family situation improved, etc.’ as it appears the centers all have that information in their records due to meeting with the family to encourage attendance before dropping the child from the program. I agree I don’t need all the intimate details, but having a emotional and financial relationship with the child, I would like a checkbox answer, for if nothing else, to more specifically pray for my child.

  13. Sep 23, 2010
    at 1:17 pm

    My mom and I have sponsored a girl in India for a number of years. Early on, she moved to another location where there was also a Compassion project, so the sponsorship was not interrupted, but Compassion sent us a letter telling us. Were my kid to leave the program, I think I’d prefer to get a letter with all the available information, if only because that’s the way I’ve gotten all the other info from or about her.

  14. Patricia
    Sep 23, 2010
    at 1:38 pm

    I have been sponsoring for around 10 years total and have had 3 children leave the program. In two cases I received a letter (1) the child’s family moved out of the area; (2) the older girl I sponsored ran away from home – she had been in vocational/tailoring school and was 19 – I got a letter from Compassion, and then I got two very nice letters – one from Upendo’s mother and one from the director of the project — at that time, they did not know where she was and all I could do was pray that she is okay and happy – she is a Christian so that made a big difference; and finally, (3) in the third case, I received a very compassionate phone call to tell me that my sponsored child had died of malaria – that is a heartbreaking call to receive and I’m sure very hard to make. It took me awhile to really “get” that Jennifer had died -she was I believe about 8 years old at the time. In each case, though, I felt that Compassion handled the situation just fine regarding the information I was given.

  15. Michelle
    Sep 23, 2010
    at 2:42 pm

    I haven’t had a child leave the program yet, but I’d be heartbroken if I didn’t get details as to WHY. I’ve been sponsoring my little girl going on three years now and have built up a relationship. I LOVE her. I anxiously await her letters and pray over her and worry about her just like I worry about my own son! I would hope that she’d give me a heads up if she were contemplating leaving, but with four months between the letter writing days (not a reciprocal country!) I can imagine situations changing and a letter being put by the wayside…….. But I truly think sponsors who have built up a relationship through letters, gifts, money gifts, and family gifts would at LEAST be given insight as to where their child’s path went astray and why…… It would be like having my own son run away or be taken and not knowing how he was doing or what his emotional state was ……… and would be devastating.

    I’m different in that I would so much rather be notified by mail. I’d feel very bad for the person who had to deal with my tears and heartbreak on the phone!! THAT would be very, very difficult on the phone person…. :o)

  16. Sep 23, 2010
    at 4:55 pm

    I can say from experience that in the projects that I have seen that they really do their best to bring these children back. After all, what the projects are really is churches…. Just like churches in the USA, what they want is to grow. They want these children to be with them. They really care for these children and they don´t want to loose them. Sometimes, just like the churches in the States, they lose members…. Children move away. Children don´t come to the center anymore…. or there could be myriads of reasons. So, someone from the project does go out to the child and their family and visit them… Ultimately, it´s the decision of the child´s family. Sometimes, the project might not even know what happened…. In other words, the child moved away and no one knows where the child or the family is… It´s difficult to give much details in those cases…. Though generally, the sponsors hear more about the departure of the child than most children hear when their sponsors cancel. This is also a very difficult thing for the child to go through…. All of a sudden, their sponsor cancelled.
    A few months ago, I spoke with Carol at BO523. I found out that she was sponsored by a Dutch sponsor. So, I told her that I was going to Holland in a few months and that I would be happy to make a video of her to show her sponsor. So, she made such a nice video for her sponsor, thanking him for the sponsorship and how much she loved him. Well, I came back in Holland and I went on the Compassion website of Holland and there she was…. Her sponsor had cancelled on her… I felt so bad for her… She was such a nice girl and she only had 2 more years and she was above average in her school and a future leader in the church….. i.e. I could see that she could become an LDP student, if she applied for it. She lives with her grandmother now…. Anyways…. I felt bad for her, but I doubt that she got much notice, outside of the fact, that the sponsor cancelled. (The project gets a report of all of the children and next to the children that got cancelled it says that the sponsor cancelled, Otherwise that column shows the sponsor name and number. That´s all the project knows about the sponsor)

  17. Shaina
    Sep 23, 2010
    at 5:13 pm

    I appreciate all of your comments greatly. Marvin, you make a great point. Our desire is to see the sponsor and sponsored child encourage and love each other- but the departure process can be abrupt. We realize that parts of this process are broken and we want to correct the issues- one of which is the amount of information and details. Do you have an idea or suggestion for what this process should look like, or how you would like to receive this type of information?

  18. Shaina
    Sep 23, 2010
    at 5:28 pm

    Here is another great post about children leaving our program. It explains very thoroughly the process the staff goes through to encourage a child to stay in our program.Take a moment to read through:

  19. Sep 23, 2010
    at 5:57 pm

    I completely agree, Teresa. A relationship is not one way. Our desire is for the sponsored child and sponsor to connect deeply. We always receive information about why the child has left, and we share the details we have- but sometimes not a lot of detail is given. The information we receive includes the reason for the child leaving, if they will continue with school, if they are healthy, personality observations from the program staff, if they are a Christian, the education level they have completed, any vocational training received, and their future goals or dreams. Sometimes the staff will include more information, but we never receive less than what’s listed above.

    • Sep 27, 2010
      at 10:02 pm

      I’m not sure how this happened, except something obviously interfered with my leaving a comment in response to the quoted material, above.

  20. Laurie
    Sep 23, 2010
    at 6:02 pm

    My daughter recently found out that a child she had sponsored for 9 years was hit by a car and killed. Tragic and devastating. But in order to have “something” good come from this tragedy, my husband and I have started our own sponsorship of another boy from Rwanda to honor Mutabasi’s memory. To safeguard this new sponsorship from our end, we arranged with our own son, that if anything should happen to either of us, he would pick up the sponsorship and continue to fund our child until he leaves the program. Just couldn’t start with a child and then let him down. That would be too cruel. Our children and grandchildren think of our sponsorship as us having an “African Grandchild” and are waiting to hear ongoing news of him from across the world as we receive it. And I do agree, these relationships are just too dear to just be told “He’s gone.” God bless all those who handle these phone calls. They are special people who have to handle difficult situations every day.

  21. Sep 23, 2010
    at 6:09 pm

    The information we receive includes the reason for the child leaving, if they will continue with school, if they are healthy, personality observations from the program staff, if they are a Christian, the education level they have completed, any vocational training received, and their future goals or dreams. Sometimes the staff will include more information, but we never receive less than what’s listed above.

    If the information listed above is the standard, the basic information that Compassion USA always gets, then a sponsor is not left to wonder “Why??” It may be that in the shock of learning that a much-loved sponsored child has left the program, the sponsor is unable to absorb all of the information.

    As for sponsors’ rights, or what we deserve, I have really struggled with that. Learning that a child is in crisis, I have chafed at not being able to get information, including some serious details, at all or soon enough. I have essentially yelled that Compassion really needs to expedite information when a child is in crisis.

    And then, when I finally heard from the child, who did not share many details with me, I sense that the Lord was saying, “There, now. Respect that, sit down and be quiet.”

    I am so familiar with the arguments given early in these comments–that as a loving, caring, involved sponsor, I have invested money beyond the sponsorship fee; I have visited my child more than once; I write to her, I pray for her and her family, I love her. But…I do not own her. She is not, in fact, my child, tho’ I refer to her that way; she is a part of my life for a while, and I will never forget her, whether or not I ever get to see her again. But she is not mine. I know she loves me, because she tells me so and because, the last time I saw her, she expressed a wish for me to move in order to live with them. But I don’t have a right to know anything she does not choose to share with me, for whatever reason.

    Yes, in our culture, that’s called respecting boundaries; in Compassion’s culture, it’s about honoring the dignity of the child and/or family. We are servants, not lords.

    The next time one of my girls is in crisis, I need somebody to remind me of these things!

  22. Bob
    Sep 23, 2010
    at 6:28 pm

    Teresa makes excellent points.

    I’d like to suggest two ways in which the departure communication process could be improved — leastwise, from my personal experience.

    Over the past year I’ve had two children leave their project. The first was unexpected and disturbing; the second was expected and joyous. However Compassion’s communication process seemed ill-coordinated internally. How? Let me explain. Prior to my first child’s departure, I noticed that her photo on “My Account” was missing, and replaced with an icon labeled “no picture available”. Initially I presumed that this was due to a pending web photo update (yeah, a new picture), but I was wrong. A week later her “no picture available” status was unchanged, so I emailed Compassion about the missing photo. For several weeks no one offered an explanation or a solution. About a month after I noticed the missing photo, I received a call informing me of my child’s sudden departure.

    A few months ago, another child’s photo disappeared and it too was labeled “no picture available”. In this case it involved a child I knew would soon graduate from the program, so I waited. Three weeks later the departure call came.

    Compassion needs to change this work process. Sponsors, please know, if your child’s photo has been replaced with an icon saying “no picture available”, you can be nearly sure that your child is no longer with the program.

    A second point I’d like to make is when the sponsor is first notified that their child has departed the program for reasons apart from graduation, please don’t ask us if we’d like to sponsor another child during the same phone call. Would you ask an expectant mother who just lost her baby if she planned to have another child or adopt? Of course not. Wait two weeks. Give us some time to process the loss and to pray for our child. Then follow-up with us.

    Finally, when you do notify us, please get the child’s gender correct. lol. I know that name alone doesn’t always convey gender, but you do have the information. My last call seemed so impersonal when the caller kept using masculine pronouns for my sponsored daughter.

    Although not mentioned in this blog post, I want to praise Compassion for enabling sponsors to write a “final letter” (and optionally, send a final gift) to a child who has left the program. Not only does this help bring about closure, but most importantly it provides an invaluable opportunity for the sponsor to reinforce their message of hope, love and assurance to their child, and to their child’s family.

  23. Sep 23, 2010
    at 9:11 pm

    We had a sponsor child cancel on us! Her aunt removed her from the program- apparently there was a misunderstanding and her aunt thought that she was sending her niece to a one day event. She was not really ever therefore properly part of the program. The problem is, we had chosen her to be part of our family. We had prayed for her earnestly every single day. We had written to her, and poured out our hearts to her in our letters. We loved her so much. It felt so bad to be told she was no longer our sponsor child, and had for that matter never really been. We were devastated.
    We actually did get contacted by phone about it, but I’m glad my husband took the call- I would have found it really hard. I appreciate that Compassion made the effort to ring us. Maybe it’s asking too much, but I would really have also appreciated some form of explanatory letter from the project centre itself.
    And the opportunity for us to send a final letter.
    I would also prefer that we didn’t get offered a substitute child in the same phone call. Personally I find that a little offensive and insensitive, especially as Compassion champions the uniqueness of each child. I think all sponsors would be aware that they could sponsor another child, in time, if they wished to.
    I think that the grief that sponsors feel on losing a child, is real, and needs to be handled as such.

  24. Sep 23, 2010
    at 9:27 pm

    I got a call from Compassion when my child left. I’m so glad that they called rather than sending a letter. They were so very kind and helpful. I was surprised at what shock and loss I felt. I thought they handled the situation with grace. Clearly Compassion can’t control when and if children leave the program, but they seemed to do a wonderful job of handling what they could handle well. I am currently waiting for the paperwork to come for my new child. I decided to pick up a child who was about the age of the one who just left the program.

  25. Sep 23, 2010
    at 10:39 pm

    I was so sad when I got the letter that my child had left the program and it was after I went on the sponsor trip to meet him. He was in my native country of Guatemala. I was born there and was adopted, so I hadn’t been there since I was 14 months old. I was so thrilled to meet my child, but also excited to see my birthplace. What a great trip. A few months later I got the news that he left the program. No details, but I figured God knew and He would still take care of him. I now have a girl in Rwanda and get letters all the time from here. I have a feeling, since she is 19, it may be time for her to leave the program and I will be sad to say good-bye to her, too. I will sponsor another child when that day comes, too. But I love the fact that Our Father always has them in His hand and will always take care of my kids.

  26. Linda T.
    Sep 23, 2010
    at 10:43 pm

    I have been a sponsor for 17 years and in that time I have “lost” 3 girls. The first, Maria, I sponsored for 3 yrs. and I received a letter from the project director telling me that she had failed an important exam and she did not want to repeat the grade in school and so left the program. The letter from Compassion said they would send me the packet for another girl from Ecuador unless I told them not to. I said nothing, so in a month or so I received a packet introducing me to Kerly. I sponsored her for 7 yrs. before receiving a letter telling me that she had dropped out of the program to help her grandmother in evangelistic endeavors. And that Compassion would send me another packet unless directed otherwise. This time they sent me Daniela. And I sponsored Daniela for 7 yrs. until this summer.

    During Daniela’s sponsorship I became somewhat computer literate and began a computer account and just recently joined So this time, the departure information came differently. I noticed the “picture unavailable” on my account, and then on OurCompassion. I noticed it on a Friday night so I had to agonize over what it might mean until Monday when I called the office to ask and was told that Daniela’s parents had removed her from the program and they would notify me when they received more information.

    I received a “final letter” just this week and was so excited to hear from Daniela one last time (I had sent her a final letter and gift in June). But, even though the envelope was marked “message from your child” it wasn’t. It was from the project. And basically just told me the child’s parents were no longer interested in continuing the program.

    I was totally satisfied with the way the first 2 departures were handled. I didn’t need intimate details, but I did get a basic reason. This time….. I hated finding out on the computer before being notified by mail (no, I don’t need a phone call, a letter is fine). If there is some way to make sure the computer info does not run ahead of sponsor notification, that would be great. And I would love to know more than just “the parents removed the child.” Do I NEED to know? No. But more info would be nice. The other point I would like to make is…. if it isn’t really a final letter from the child, I would prefer the envelope and note did not make it sound like it is.

    With all that said, I LOVE Compassion and everything you do and stand for. I will continue to sponsor children as long as I have the means. Is the system perfect? No. But I feel you are always working to make it the best you can. God has put such a love in my heart for each child I have sponsored and I treasure the time I have had with them. They are such a part of me, but they do not belong to me. They belong to their parents and to God who loves them even more than I do. Thank you for the opportunity to partner with you in showing Compassion to the least of these — God’s children.

  27. Anna Pancake
    Sep 24, 2010
    at 12:23 am

    I thank God that I have not yet lost a child from the program, and pray that I never do. At the same time, I have been giving some thought to this since first reading this blog earlier today.
    For me, personally, I felt like my desires are well expressed by other posters…at minimum, an explanation of why, like the “checkbox” suggested above, would be optimal.
    I also prefer the idea of getting a letter, instead of/in addition to a phone call, it’s hard to take in information like a loss that hits emotionally over the phone, but a letter can be reread until it all “sinks in”, plus I feel it would give me a better sense of closure.
    I also agree, that asking someone to sponsor another child in the SAME phone call as they are told of a loss is at best, grossly insensitive, and at worst, off-putting. Grief takes time, and to press a decision on someone as they just begin the grieving process does not always produce a rational response.
    Let’s just, for the sake of discussion, use the common adege of “If your dog dies, get a puppy”, which frequently results in that new puppy being unable to meet the EMOTIONAL expectations of the owner, and frequently (about 35-40% of the time) results in the new puppy being re-homed because of just being a puppy, instead of a well trained, well loved, older dog. Now, most animal behaviorists say you need a minimum of 2 weeks to a month to grieve the loss of the deceased dog, before giving serious consideration to a new puppy to help “fill the void”.
    Now, let me be perfectly clear here, I am NOT saying our children are dogs, or even dog like, what I am saying is that if we, as humans, can love a DOG, a seperate non-sentient, minimally communicative species to the point that our grief over the loss of one member of that species handicaps our ability to constructively relate to another member of that species, does it not then seem logical, nay, intuitive, that the loss of a relationship with one HUMAN CHILD might hit even harder, and perhaps damage our ability to relate to a “new” or “replacement” child unless we are given the time to properly grieve that loss?
    I’m not saying not to suggest another sponsorship to someone who has proven their commitment to one child, but it is because of that very commitment that I agree, waiting a couple weeks to a month to suggest another sponsorship in the long run may better serve both the sponsor and their next sponsored child.
    I think, at minimum, it is a matter for prayerful consideration.
    I have decided in advance for myself, that if I were to lose one of “my” kids (5 in total), I would opt to sponsor another child, but one as different from the “lost” child as possible, in order to be fair to them both as individuals, and not have an expectation in mind for my “new” child based solely upon the relationship I had with my prior child.

  28. Patricia
    Sep 24, 2010
    at 9:09 am

    I completely disagree with Anna & Bob about being asked to sponsor another child in the same letter/phone call at the time of being informed of the loss of a sponsored child. I GREATLY appreciated the opportunity to start helping another child in need as quickly as possible. It really helped me to deal with the shock and sadness, by knowing that God was already sending another child to me to help. I found it VERY COMFORTING to feel that I could honor my “lost” child by sponsoring another child from the same country as quickly as possible. I am very thankful to Compassion for that opportunity each time it has happened. Thank you!

  29. Jessica
    Sep 24, 2010
    at 9:28 am

    I think you did a great job Shaina. All of us sponsors have to remember that all of this is God’s plan and that sponsorship is not about us. It is about the children and blessing them anyway possible. Compassion does the very best they can and the reason is takes some time to process and call you is because they are trying to get details. And there are many people that need to be called. We all need to step back and remember that Shaina did not need to share any of these details with us but did to further our knowledge. If Compassion were not doing their very best they would not share details of operations. I know I couldn’t do any better with 1.2 million children!

    • Shaina
      Sep 24, 2010
      at 3:22 pm

      Thank you Jessica! I appreciate your encouragement.

  30. Rebecca Stoker
    Sep 24, 2010
    at 12:56 pm

    Glad I read this blog. As heartbreaking as it would be, I feel more prepared if my child left the program. I do not believe I would hesitate to sponsor another child if it happened.

  31. craig downs
    Sep 24, 2010
    at 2:02 pm

    I first started with compassion back in 2003 and sponsored a 6 year old from Thailand. I sponsored her for about 3 years when I got a letter from compassion. Instead of saying “message from your sponsored child” it said important information about your sponsored child. Before I opened it up I sensed something was up. It told me that my child had decided to leave the program and with it I got a final letter from a lady that work at the center. She told me all the information that I need to hear. She visited with the family a couple of times to try to keep the child in the program but the family said no. The grandmother was afraid the the girl would be converted as a christian so she wanted her taken out of the program even though the mother and daughter wanted to stay. Kees did have a good point I never considered about when a child learns that they had been dropped and don’t know the reason why.

  32. JW
    Sep 25, 2010
    at 10:07 am

    I think you just have to appreciate the time you had with them and consider yourself one of the many people that will be used in this child’s life along the way. The first child I ever sponsored exited the program after six years. I watched him grow up from a tiny seven year-old to a 13 year -old teenager and I was speechless when I received the letter. But, I realized I had done my part. I gave. The only other alternative was to have my address forwarded to the sponsored family and that did not seem the best thing to do either. I’ve sponsored two more since then who have exited. I guess that’s ministry. Some people get to plant, others water and some are front row for the reaping. Great job CI.

  33. Beckie
    Sep 25, 2010
    at 10:21 am

    Is there any information about what happens when a sponsored child “graduates” from the program? Are we given an option of staying in communication with them? Are we told that’s it? I would like to thin the relationship I am building with my “children” are going to be life long and hope that I have thatoption…Thank you for providing this :)

  34. Kelli
    Sep 25, 2010
    at 10:27 am

    It is sad to imagine my life without Catherine in it, even after she completes her program. I would hope to be able to give her my contact info at the end of the time… IF she chooses to reach back out to me on her own thereafter, that should be between her and I. Especially if a legal adult at that point. (I also understand the concerns with that. I am no fool.) Right now, I write her once a month and she returns letters regularly. She is my daughter in christ. WE LOVE HER!

  35. Paige
    Sep 25, 2010
    at 12:03 pm

    I got jsut such a call yesterday. Our little Jose from Nicaragua is no longer in the program. I crien a good majority of the day. We had planned to visit him in June! :(

    • Denise L.
      Sep 25, 2010
      at 9:08 pm

      Paige, I can so relate. After 3 years of many letters and prayers, my husband and I planned to visit Milagros in Peru. She had suffered the loss of her mom the previous year from cancer, and her dad was not in her life. So we made all the plans, bought non-refundable tickets to Miami, visited the county health nurse for innoculation advice, and I spent months finding gifts for Milagros and everyone in her family. Just about the time she would have received the letter telling her we were coming on the Peru sponsor tour, she stopped participating in the program. We were devastated, but the program staff had visited her repeatedly for a month, urging her to continue, and she wouldn’t. When I looked for another teenage girl from Peru to sponsor, there were 3 Milagroses, and I chose another. But I was so close to meeting the other girl, had learned so much about her, and loved her!

  36. Paige
    Sep 25, 2010
    at 12:07 pm

    We immeadiately signed up to sponsor another 9 yr old little boy in Nicaragua. :)

  37. Michele LaHue
    Sep 25, 2010
    at 5:40 pm

    My husband got a call a few weeks back that Hermon, our lodest child, but newest toour family, was leaving the program. But for a good reason – he is graduating from college.
    Way to go Hermon, we are SO proud of you!

  38. Sep 26, 2010
    at 3:42 pm

    I can’t imagine one of my kids leaving with no explanation; I know I would be very concerned. But then, I do understand that Compassion would send me all the information they were able to obtain. They certainly respect their sponsors, and want to maintain a strong relationship.

    At the same time, they also respect their sponsored children, and if the family desires to give no explanation, they have that right. After all, it is their information to give, not mine to force out of them. They or the child may have very private reasons. In this case, does Compassion inform the sponsor that the family did not wish to give out the reason that the child was departing?

    I think, too, that offering another sponsorship in the same phone call that a sponsor is told they lost their other child could be perceived as insensitive. At the same time, I understand the reason. Often, people want to sponsor right away. However, perhaps sending something out in the mail two weeks or so after the sponsor has been informed that their child has departed might be more tactful, as well as more effective. I know I probably could not immediately sponsor; I’d want to process the loss first, and then pray for the right child to sponsor.

    • Sep 26, 2010
      at 5:10 pm

      I know I’ve already weighed in, but I want to address another point that has come up more than once, to offer a different perspective. Some sponsors have received a phone call telling them their child has left the program and, in the same call, offering them another child to sponsor. This has seemed insensitive, even cold, to some sponsors.

      As a member of Compassion’s Advocates Network, I look for sponsors for children. I sometimes request children who have been waiting a long time–a year, maybe a year and a half. Were you ever the last one chosen for a team, during recess or other activities? Children who are kept waiting for very long wonder what is wrong with them. I once heard of a young boy with a problem with one arm; it was deformed, or something, and this bright, interactive child supposed that he had not yet been chosen by a sponsor because of his arm.

      Compassion is in the business and the ministry of releasing children from poverty, in Jesus’ name. Why would they not think that someone who had sponsored one or more children would want to share his or her love with another child, when one had departed the program?

      I just think that’s reasonable. And the grieving sponsor has the option of declining, for whatever reason.

      I know of a former sponsor whose child left the program after several years; this woman received another packet and reacted in severe anger and hostility which had not abated 6 months later. Again, I say, “It isn’t about us!”

  39. Garry
    Sep 27, 2010
    at 6:58 pm

    I have sponsored for 20 years, and had five leave. Three were due to graduation. The other two, ironically, the first two I sponsored, left for other reasons. Wendi, my first child, wanted to attend a computer school in Guatemala. The staff there tried to get her to stay, even if only coming to the student center a day a week, to keep the sponsorship. Her mother said no. Herlin, my second child, just stopped attending after 6 years. They couldn’t locate him, and for those of you who have been to see your kids, you know there are no forwarding addresses. A family might move to another house or property overnight. With the lack of possessions, this could be easily done. Would I have liked to have more closure with Wendi and Herlin…you bet! But I don’t know that anything more could have been done. I had these kids for a combined 9 years, and had a good relationship with them. With those relationships in mind, there was no question I wanted to sponsor other children. Of course, both didn’t leave at the same time. After Wendi left, I sponsored Ericelda, and 12 years later she graduated. I have two who graduated in 2009, and another will graduate next year. I stay in contact with them. It is hard to let them go, but they are off to another season in their life. There are bumps in the road no matter what you do, but I wasn’t going to let the bumps dictate how I would react.

  40. Sep 29, 2010
    at 9:43 am

    I just received an e-mail that my child has dropped out of the program. This is the second time this has happened to me. I am feeling lost and confused and I am waiting on a letter to explain why. This is like waiting on a test result and it’s bad news. I don’t know if I can go thru developing another relationship with another child. This is heartbreaking.

    • Shaina
      Oct 5, 2010
      at 10:58 am

      I’m so sorry to hear that. If you’ll call us at (800) 336-7676, we can give you any details we have at this time.

      • Oct 6, 2010
        at 10:26 am

        I called yesterday and they only told me that her mother had taken her out, but there was no reason given. It is frustrating and very heart breaking to have to experience this. I feel like I have lost a family member. They did ask if I wanted to sponsor another child, but right now I can’t commit myself to another child. I told them I would call back if I wanted to commit to another child, but in the meantime, I would send contributions thru the internet. I think this happens so much till, they are just trying to assist a needy child. I didn’t get mad because she asked, they are just doing their jobs and trying to get help for a needy child. That’s what they are about.

        • Ken M.
          Oct 6, 2010
          at 7:08 pm

          Bernadette, it’s alright if you can’t sponsor another child right now. I lost my first child after 18 months of sponsorship. When asked if I could sponsor another child, I said “I can’t right now”. Four months later I woke up one morning with the thought I’m ready to sponsor another child. Later I lost 2 more children, after 8 months and 2 months of sponsorship. One doesn’t get over it and forget because it is like losing a family member but eventually one is able to move forward. I still miss the children I lost but eventually I was able to take on other children and I love all 5 of them just as much as the children I lost. I’ll admit that I want to see my 5 Compassion children graduate from the program instead of leaving early but one doesn’t know the path life will take. You will know when you are ready to sponsor again.

          • Oct 7, 2010
            at 8:45 am

            Ken, Thanks for the kind words. It is hard to explain unless someone else has gone thru it, especially if you have built a relationship with the child. i started when she was four and now she is eight and in that time, her letters went from hello, I pray that you are well to asking questions, curious about me. Her questions were getting more and more advanced. My family was involved and my co-workers asked how my child was doing? I was not able to have any children, but I did adopt one and he is grown and in the Navy, but the desire to help a little one was still there and it really filled the void. I’m sure that God will help me and I have so many wonderful friends thru Compassion to help me also.

          • Ken M.
            Apr 2, 2011
            at 8:36 am

            The first time I read this article I felt apprehension. I felt that after losing 3 children after 2 months, 8 months and 18 months of sponsorship I couldn’t take losing another one. I asked God not to let me lose any of the 5 children I have now. Let me watch them grow up and graduate from the system. If possible let us keep in contact after graduation.
            I had to read this article again. This week I lost Micael after 2 years of sponsorship. He was 5 when I started sponsoring him. I would tell a friend of mine that Micael was the baby of my kids because he was the youngest. I had no intentions of sponsoring him. I saw his picture posted on the website for about a month or 2. Then, for some strange reason, something inside me said “Sponsor him.”
            Ten months later, after traveling hundreds of miles to Brazil to visit my 5 children, I almost didn’t get to see Micael. He was sick on the day sponsors met their children. I feared I would not get the chance to meet him. I prayed a short prayer and the next day Micael felt fine. I was able to meet him at a project we were visiting. As I laid eyes on him for the first time, I thought he looked like an angel. Here was this little guy wearing white shorts, a white shirt and a matching white cap. We gave each other a tight hug. I spent 5 quality hours with him. Too soon it was time for him to leave. As he walked away after saying our goodbyes I started crying.
            Reading this article again is giving me strength. I am reminded that some children are in our lives only for a short season. Only God knows why. Some of us are called to plant; others are called to harvest and some are involved in all stages of a child’s life. Even though I feel there is a hole is my heart, after reading my previous response, I have to remember that things will get better. The hole will fill again.
            Maybe tomorrow, maybe next week or a year from now I’ll be ready to sponsor another child in Micael’s place. There are many children waiting to be loved and supported. I will know when I’m ready.
            I will always miss Micael and wish I could have seen him graduate. But I thank God for blessing me to have Micael in my life these past 2 years.

            • Ken M.
              Apr 2, 2011
              at 9:35 am

              And thank you to Vicki S. for her words of encouragement.

  41. Kim Edge
    Sep 29, 2010
    at 12:13 pm

    I know I’ve already weighed in, but I want to address another point that has come up more than once, to offer a different perspective. Some sponsors have received a phone call telling them their child has left the program and, in the same call, offering them another child to sponsor. This has seemed insensitive, even cold, to some sponsors.

    As a member of Compassion’s Advocates Network, I look for sponsors for children. I sometimes request children who have been waiting a long time–a year, maybe a year and a half. Were you ever the last one chosen for a team, during recess or other activities? Children who are kept waiting for very long wonder what is wrong with them. I once heard of a young boy with a problem with one arm; it was deformed, or something, and this bright, interactive child supposed that he had not yet been chosen by a sponsor because of his arm.

    Compassion is in the business and the ministry of releasing children from poverty, in Jesus’ name. Why would they not think that someone who had sponsored one or more children would want to share his or her love with another child, when one had departed the program?

    I just think that’s reasonable. And the grieving sponsor has the option of declining, for whatever reason.

    I know of a former sponsor whose child left the program after several years; this woman received another packet and reacted in severe anger and hostility which had not abated 6 months later. Again, I say, “It isn’t about us!”

    Just another interpretation….perhaps the woman reacted with severe feelings because of the grief she has upon losing a child she had for several years. Everyone responds to grief differently. To her, it may be outrage at the thought that “Compassion thinks I can just replace the child I loved with another child…they don’t care that I am hurting.”

    The phrase that “Compassion is in the business…” is a telling phrase. God bless Compassion….but they aren’t in this business without our donations. We are funding their business. Maybe they can offer to moderate a support and prayer group for grieving sponsors on their social network, OurCompassion. We are investing love and money. I agree that it isn’t all about us, but it is some, and I appreciate that Compassion is listening to us and interacting with us through this blog. Gob bless!

  42. Patricia
    Sep 29, 2010
    at 5:33 pm


    Maybe they can offer to moderate a support and prayer group for grieving sponsors on their social network, OurCompassion. We are investing love and money. I agree that it isn’t all about us, but it is some, and I appreciate that Compassion is listening to us and interacting with us through this blog. Gob bless!

    Seems like I saw a group already set up at for sponsors to pray for children who have left the program. You might browse through the groups there and see.

  43. Kim Edge
    Sep 30, 2010
    at 2:07 pm


    Maybe they can offer to moderate a support and prayer group for grieving sponsors on their social network, OurCompassion. We are investing love and money. I agree that it isn’t all about us, but it is some, and I appreciate that Compassion is listening to us and interacting with us through this blog. Gob bless!

    Seems like I saw a group already set up at for sponsors to pray for children who have left the program. You might browse through the groups there and see.

    Ah, but I don’t mean to pray for the children. I mean, to pray for the sponsors who are grieving, and for them to have a place to talk.

    I haven’t lost my child yet…she will be graduating soon. These discussions help me to brace myself and prepare for the eventuality of losing her.

    I am so happy because I just received a letter from her yesterday in which she discusses that she understands how much I love her!!!! WHEEEEE!!!!! Chucha gets it! (Kim does happy dance) 😀

  44. Isa
    Aug 3, 2011
    at 1:03 pm

    I received a call today. The young girl I sponsored for 5 years has left the program. I met her last year in Thailand and I want to believe we are close. We miss each other, pray for each other, and want to meet again. Now, she has left the program, I received zero info as to where she is (we know she moved) or more importantly, how she is. And in the same phone call, I was asked to sponsor another child. I am upset. VERY upset. I lost my little sister like a needle in a haystack, I know she will miss my letters, and nobody can help me. Now, they want me to get over it and build a relationship with someone else, who might leave again, and once again we will be heartbroken. This is the second time it happens. I can’t imagine what it will be like to miss her and NEVER hear from her again.

    • Aug 3, 2011
      at 2:36 pm

      Isa, no. No one, certainly no one at Compassion, expects us to “get over it” and go on with another child. I already wrote about this interpretation, above, so I won’t go into it, again. You sponsored a child; therefore, Compassion hopes that you will find that same quality–compassion–in your heart for another child. Not that you will “get over it”; I don’t get over the loss of a pet at the drop of a hat, but we usually take in another pet pretty quickly, because so many need homes. If we feel that strongly, know that we feel even more strongly about our sponsored kids.

      I recently learned that one of mine had left the program. The only information I was given at the time was that her family had moved to an area where there is no project; just this morning, about 6 weeks after that first information, I received a call to give me what little additional information they had received: She had completed the 7th grade and continues to attend school, but just not the program. My prayer is that her family will continue to be able to pay the tuition and buy her uniform, books and supplies, when this term is over.

      I also learned that she had gained two skills, at the project: handcrafts and baking. These, together with whatever education she is able to receive, will enable her to earn some money. She is also sold out to the Lord, and with His help, I firmly believe she will land on her feet and get out of poverty.

      I don’t know if any of that is true of your former sponsored child, and I don’t know how old you are (you referred to her as your little sister). But I urge you to pray through this until you can accept that God put your child in your life–and you in hers–for a season, and that season has ended. Will you never, ever see or hear from her, again? You don’t know that. And certainly, if both you and she have received Jesus in your hearts and are committed to living for Him, you WILL see each other, again!

      I miss Maria. I am sorry that we could not even exchange a final letter. But I know she loves me, and she knows I love her; I know she loves the Lord, and she knows I love Him. We both know we will meet, again, and we both know that God is watching over both of us. That may not seem like enough for you, right now, but it is enough for me. And it has to be enough.

      I encourage you, once the pain diminishes enough, to let God grow your heart enough that you can continue to love your “little sister” and still reach out to another child. And yes, in case you’re wondering, I have chosen another child in Maria’s place. To replace Maria? Nope; that never happens. We do not replace one person with another. But each one needs our love.

  45. Isa
    Aug 4, 2011
    at 2:25 pm


    Thanks so much for taking the time to encourage me. I am very glad to see how well you are handling this.

    You are right, a lot of it is unknown to us and still God knows/controls it all. That does encourage me a lot. That being said, the facts remain, both for me and her, that we don’t have a means to contact each other.

    What upsets me the most is really Compassion’s methods, the matter-of-fact phone call, and the immediate request to sponsor another child. And I don’t understand how they can accept to have so little information to share with sponsors once the child has left. I’m not asking for an address (even though I would love that, I realize that’s not something they should give us). But maybe more than a list of insignifant info, such as “she likes to feed the chickens” and move substantial info as to why they moved, are they OK, etc. Why do they not request this from their field offices?

    During that last phone call, I felt as though relationships do not matter. Money does. Sure, it does. But BOTH do. Are we not encouraged to build relationships with the children?

    And how about asking the child if they want to write a quick last letter to their sponsor? My little girl would have, I’m sure. Because last I heard, she wants me to go back and introduce my husband to her. She’s met me and my parents. I met her and her parents. None of us got a chance to say good bye. Mission accomplished: we built a significant relationship. Four people met, became friends and pray for each other. Four people that suddenly lost touch. Such sadness.

    If this is not about me, then what about her????

    OK, I am done complaining. Nothing will change the facts at this point. Thanks for the support, Vicky.

  46. Aug 4, 2011
    at 5:36 pm

    Okay, Isa. I understand. You are grieving, and anger is a real part of grief. In your anger, you want to strike out at those who you think hurt you, and that’s Compassion. They have broad shoulders, and they can take it.

    You are correct in saying that “Nothing will change the facts.” But each of us chooses which facts we will allow to rule in our hearts and minds.

    I really wanted to see Maria graduate, both from high school and from the program. I thought she might, if her family could settle down enough that she could concentrate, be eligible for LDP, eventually. That isn’t going to happen. Now I pray that she will graduate from high school and, maybe, be able to take some college classes, at least. But that is out of my hands. She isn’t mine; she belongs to the Lord.

    I understand that project staff do the very best they can to keep children in the program, but if the family moves out of the area of any project, there is little Compassion staff in the field or in-country can do to satisfy our demands for more information.

    I’m sorry you feel that whoever called you was insensitive. I just re-read the article and was reminded that they handle 1500-3000 departures every single week. That can’t be easy. Calling sponsors, knowing they may be emotional, can’t be easy. Being met with a sponsor’s anger cannot be easy.

    Meanwhile, so many other children need our love. Give yourself time to heal and to forgive, and then share your love, your heart and your life with another child. Know that you might go through the same thing again. My friend Ken M., who has responded a few times in this thread, has lost more kids in the two or three years we have corresponded than any sponsor ought to have to bear. But he keeps loving the children he has and, as he can, he fills in the gaps.

    God bless you and heal you, in Jesus’ name.

    • Isa
      Aug 5, 2011
      at 8:32 am

      Vicky, I assumed that my comments might be helpful as your organization might seek to make some improvements. Especially because it seems that my experience is similar to that of others. But I realize now that it was a wrong assumption, as we are now talking about my “anger”, my “striking out” and my choosing facts that rule my heart (whatever that is supposed to mean). No problem. Let’s leave it at that, no need to argue, I am sure you have other things to do. I won’t check the blog again, so no need for you to respond.

  47. Shaina
    Aug 5, 2011
    at 7:31 am

    Isa, I’m so sorry for your loss, and completely understand your hurt. I apologize if the call you received felt impersonal. We give you all the information we receive from the field, but that can be limited information. Sometimes, the family will move without even telling the project- leaving them with very little information. I can’t say if this is the case with your sponsored child, but I hope it helps to explain a bit better.
    When I visited Zambia a few years ago, I met a little boy named John. I was immediately drawn to him and his story. I became very attached to him and was heartbroken when I had to leave to go home. I prayed for him for a year, hoping that he was safe, healthy and fed, but I still worried. A year later, I returned to Zambia. In a crazy string of events, I got to see John again. You can see our reunion picture here: I met his aunt and cousins and saw the house he lived in. It was only for about half an hour, but it was joy filled for me. I left that day not knowing if I would ever see him again. I was heart broken- and still am. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I still think about him, pray for him, and hope to see him again- even if I have to wait until Heaven.
    I know this doesn’t make it easier on you, but I want you to know that you’re not alone. Keep praying for her, loving her, and hopefully you will one day meet her again.
    If there’s anything else we can do to help you through this, please feel free to call us at (800) 336-7676. You’re welcome to ask for me specifically.

    • Isa
      Aug 5, 2011
      at 8:31 am

      Thanks so much for the support and for sharing this wonderful story. Thanks also for writing “I apologize”. It means a lot. Yes, the call felt impersonal. I wanted to share my experience because I hope your organization seeks to listen to “clients/partners” and make improvements. Thank you for listening, Shaina.
      Something tells me that my little girl’s parents did not move without a word. They are both very involved in the church and are friends with the pastor. I met them all, they seem to have a strong relationship. She probably went away for school like her brother. Maybe one day I will find out. I don’t lose hope that I will see her again, this side of Heaven. The Lord can make that happen, just like he did for you. And I pray that she knows I pray for her, and that she does not miss me too much. She is very smart, has a good family, and loves the Lord. She will do well. I’m an adult, I will probably do better with my grief. I pray that she’s strong. Thanks for your support, Shaina.

      • Jacquie Parella
        Aug 5, 2011
        at 3:11 pm

        We are always looking to improve Isa so I really appreciate you being vulnerable in your pain to let us know how you are feeling. As Shaina said, sometimes our information from the field is very limited and that makes it painful for our sponsors, like you, who care so deeply. Right now, I would just encourage you to pray and ask God to intervene. I don’t say that flippantly either, I believe in the power of prayer and you never know what the Lord could be doing on your behalf and on the behalf of your sponsored child. :-) And, if you think of other questions, you can always ask here but don’t forget Shaina’s offer as well. Jacquie

  48. Troy
    Dec 11, 2014
    at 7:43 am

    Has Compassion ever thought about automatically adding an unsponsored child to a sponsors account as a way to retain partners?

    • Emily Vanhoutan
      Dec 11, 2014
      at 12:09 pm

      Hello Troy! When a child leaves our program, we do reserve another child for the sponsor’s consideration. If a sponsor decides they no longer want to sponsor a child, they can contact us and let us know that they do not wish to take on a new child at that time. Some sponsor’s have given us permission to automatically place a new child on their account when one child leaves but we only do this when given specific permission. Otherwise, the child is reserved for 7 weeks for the sponsor to pray about and decide whether or not they would like to go forward with a new sponsorship. We certainly want to honor our sponsor’s who are giving selflessly to our ministry to bless these children.

  49. Paul S.
    Dec 14, 2014
    at 2:29 pm

    We are sponsoring our second child. The first child dropped out at 17. Despite requests there was no communication from the onsite teacher who probably had some idea as to the reasons and could give some closure. Instead we were given generalized excuses…

    • Emily Vanhoutan
      Dec 16, 2014
      at 9:10 am

      Paul, please accept my sincere apologies if you felt you did not receive closure when your child left the program. We value the impact you made on your child and the relationship you built with them. We know it is difficult to say goodbye to a child, especially when they leave suddenly and unexpectedly. Although our staff do everything they can to try and keep a child in our program until they graduate, there are several different reasons a child might leave the project whether it be they moved away for better jobs, or other family circumstances. We would be happy to discuss your child’s situation further with you and see if there might be a final letter from the project or your child on its way to you. Regrettably, I was unable to locate your account using your name or email address. Please email our office at and we are happy to give you information on why your child left our program and clarify any concerns you might have.

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