10 Questions With Dennis Tumusiime

10 questions? Yes. You asked ’em.

10 answers? Yes … kind of. They’re just not all in this post.

Here we go. 10 Questions With Dennis Tumusiime, a tours and visits specialist with Compassion Uganda.

1. Do the families that Compassion works with have a pretty good understanding about what the program entails, and are they open to their children being evangelized? Is there a balance between being so desperate that they feel they must enroll their children and thus expose them to the gospel in order for them to be educated and fed? (Kalaya G)

I’d say that 80 percent of the communities where child development centers are located have an understanding [at least partially] of our program components. There have been instances where children are denied the benefits of the programs by their parents because the parents have different beliefs and norms, but like you said, they are compelled to enroll the children because of lack of supplies to the children’s needs.

2. What are the qualifications for the project workers to work at the child development centers? (Kayla)

Each position, be it health, finance, or sponsor donor ministry has a professional element that an aspiring candidate should have. But Compassion also has a holistic approach to the work we do, and the same idea applies to the workers in the child development centers; they should be holistically qualified –- not just academically qualified. The applicant’s spiritual status matters, and it is paramount.

3. Can you tell about the time when you first decided to work for Compassion? (Catherine)

It was two years back. Let me say Compassion picked me from my home church [based and located in a local university] where I was doing mission coordination and planning for university outreach. It was a prayer answered, and I spontaneously accepted when the opportunity came. I just said this is “go for it.”

My first position with Compassion was as short term mission trip coordinator, and I was recently promoted to tours and visits specialist. I love it.

4. What goals do you hope to accomplish in your area? (Jason)

There is a whole cluster of goals that I want to accomplish, but I will mention this specific one –- the primary one. We have over 230 child development centers in Uganda implementing the three core programs; my goal is to expose all these distributed centers to the guests visiting, so that the guests may see the labor of their hands in these different communities.

5. What is the most memorable moment you can think of during a sponsor tour? (Kalaya G)

This is from a recent tour. Guests were visiting the country, and they all had sponsored children in Uganda. We arranged for the children and guests to meet and interact on what we call a Compassion Fun Day. All happened as planned. While the guests were having one-to-one time with their children, all scattered throughout the play area, I took a look around and saw smiles on everyone’s faces. That was remarkable! The joy of the child first meeting his or her friend, mentor, mother/father and sponsor — meeting face-to-face, not on paper — was so awesome. Parting the two was rather hard at the end of the day.

6. After seeing the conditions in Uganda as reported by the Compassion bloggers, I want to send my Ugandan children the full $300 each year permitted as a family gift. My question is, is it better to give $300 in one gift, or is it better to give smaller amounts periodically, such as $100 every 4 months? On the one hand, I’ve thought the larger sum is better because if there was a more expensive project or job-starter that needed done, it could be, but on the other hand, I wouldn’t want to overwhelm them with such a large gift all at once and then absolutely nothing more for a year. Advice on this would be greatly appreciated. (Prairie Rose)

My take would be the latter, better to give in smaller amounts periodically. Smaller amounts are easier to manage for families, and if whatever project the family undertakes doesn’t proceed as fast as they would like or hits a snag, then they could kick off another project that would be of benefit.

7. What kinds of things can I say in my letters to best encourage my child? (Kalaya G)

There are several things that you could include in the letters you write to your child. Let your child know that you are praying for them and that you love them and God as well. You could share with your child some scriptures of encouragement.

(ed. Read What Should I Write About? and Are My Letters Really That Important? for more ideas.)

8. I sponsor both an older and younger child. I find it very easy to send small items along with the letters for the youngest (stickers, bookmarks, etc.) But I find it harder to figure out what small gifts to send for the older children. What do they like that will fit in the right sized envelope? Any suggestions? (Amanda)

You could send photographs of you, your family, your church and Sunday school children at your local church. Photos are always cherished. There are also cards that have scriptures written on them. This would help the older children with their scripture memorizing lessons.

9. Do the children whose sponsors do not visit feel left out? (Kalaya G)

  • (ed. Human nature being what it is, the answer is yes. Kees addressed this from the perspective of the child who doesn’t receive letters, and Edwin answered a few questions on jealousy and discouragement in his 10 questions post.)

10. Is the benefit to the child and sponsor worth the cost of the visit? I would love to visit my three sponsored girls, but I hesitate to spend a considerable amount of money for “my dream” when the money could be used to sponsor additional children or ministries. I think I would feel guilty. What are your thoughts? (Shelly Quigg)

3 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Mike Stephens March 27, 2009

    Dennis thank you for those answers!!! I was able to confirm some things!!!

  2. whittakerwoman August 6, 2008

    Dennis! You are the best. Miss you and thanks for sharing with everyone! H

  3. Melissa Coast August 6, 2008

    Thank you Dennis, for taking the time to answer our questions! I learned a lot!

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