10 Questions With Kenia Servellon

1. How long have you been in your current position with Compassion El Salvador, and what is your job?

Two years. I am a supervisor within the Sponsor Donor Services department.

2. What are the main responsibilities of your position?

es-fieldstaffinterview3I make sure the sponsors have up-to-date information about the children. Not just the letters, but also new cases. I keep the biannual report updated. I make sure that pictures and information are high quality and are sent on time.

3. What is an average day like for you?

I start at 8 in the morning by reading. I like to read a proverb every day. I think it helps me for the rest of the day.

Then I read the mail; this takes about two hours.

Then I see the pending tasks with the associates, pending letters, the letters package we have to send [for the week], see if the departures were sent.

On Mondays we spend part of the morning in devotions. Then we have a meeting. And then we check the performance of each associate.

4. What is the most challenging part of your job?

We work on a weekly basis. The reception of the letters from the sponsors, we receive those on Monday, process them on Tuesday, send them to translation, and deliver them the next week.

All the information has to be sent weekly.

5. Why did you choose this particular area of work? And why did you choose to work for Compassion?

I think it just happened. I started as a translator, translating the letters from the children.

Then I had the opportunity to apply as an associate. I spent three years as an associate and have been a supervisor for two years.

It has been a great blessing. I have grown as a person. I have grown as a Christian. I have grown professionally, too.

I have received advice. I receive advice at church, too, but here I receive advice specific to my work.

I feel that being in this position is a challenge because I am a leader. Not a leader from the world, but a leader like the Bible says.

6. Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your job?

A big challenge is delayed information about the children. Regrettably, sometimes that happens.

Not to solve those as fast as I want, it makes me … we cannot just rush the children to write a letter, it is not something we can get overnight. I would like to have a faster response. That is what overwhelms me.

7. You used to work in a factory. How was it different from Compassion?

In the factory, they are outcome oriented; so is Compassion. However, Compassion emphasizes the way you care for people.

We care for people according to the Bible. Caring by being stewards, but also showing excellence, integrity and dignity. They all go together.

In a factory, it does not matter how you ask for things. The important thing it to get it done. Here, it matters. It is complete, holistic.

You realize that it is the Lord Who teaches you how to do the job. In that way, you grow as a person, as a leader and as a Christian.

Here you can see changes in the children, you see their development. Not only physically, but also emotionally and spiritually, you are helping in all areas.

In a factory you produce 3,000 sweaters a day, and it makes $3,000 or $4,000 of earnings. Here you see a complete growth, holistic development. You cannot get a monetary compensation for that.

Even though I, unfortunately, do not get to have much contact with the children because I am busy dealing with papers and photos, I am motivated when I see a letter that says, “I am growing, thanks to your prayers, I am getting involved at church, I study hard, I am being more obedient.” These are the things that motivate me to go the extra mile, because I do this for God and for the children of your country.

And this is also a motivation: I want our children to be presidents one day, to be in the senate, to become Josephs and change, truly change our country. And the only way I can do that is by working hard and keeping my commitments with the biannual reports, the letters, the pictures … it is what links the children to their sponsors. I think it is important.

8. What have you learned as a result of your job (about yourself, the plight of children or the way that God works)?

As a person, I have grown, [she looks at her belly, since she is pregnant, and laughs].

No, really, I have grown, I am more patient now. Compassion has helped me think about those values I did not have before.

Before, I knew I had to practice them, but I did not have as much motivation as I do now.

Professionally, Compassion has also helped me grow, through workshops, through Bible teachings. Willow Creek has been a blessing.

Like Paul says, I have not reached it yet, but I have a goal, and I am getting there.

9. Will you share a situation or incident you have experienced through your job that has touched your heart?

I have two children in mind, two cases.

One is Wendy. When I met her three years ago, she was a child. Now, she is a young lady. She is 16 years old.

When I met her, she played the guitar and lived with her grandparents. Her grandparents are not Christians, so you can imagine the challenges that face her.

She has grown as a Christian. When she sings, everything around her changes. I can see she wants to praise the Lord.

Where once I saw a child who was not close to the gospel, now I see a firm Christian. She wants to be a musician. Her vision is great, and her faith makes me believe she will accomplish her dream.

The other child had a skin disease, and nobody could tell what it was. The child received medical treatment. His mom is a Christian, his father was not. The child passed away because of the disease. He wanted to be a missionary.

It was hard. You cannot imagine how damaged his face and his body were. But to hear that child talk about God, he talked with faith and conviction.

After he passed away, his father came to Jesus because of his son.

10. Do you have a message for sponsors who support the children?

Thank you for dedicating your money, your time and your love to children you do not know. I thank you for that. I know God is using you to change this world, and leave a mark on the life of each child.

What you say to the children changes their lives, makes an impact and gives them vision.

You are transforming, from far away, the life of a child. An “I love you” or a “keep working hard” changes the lives of these children.

7 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Mike Stephens July 2, 2009

    I just wanted to add I am soooooooooo oblivious, I just remembered that God flooded the whole earth and only 1 family lived!!!!!!! So the next time I think God just sits around and watches things happen I can remember the flood 😉

  2. Paul van Laar July 2, 2009

    You are such a blessing!!!

  3. Dana July 2, 2009

    Thank you for sharing. I don’t have any children in El Salvador but I can imagine how similar it might be to my own children’s countries, esp. as most are in South American and one in Central America. I got my little Ana’s report card at Christmas and she’d improved in her studies, going up by about five points in each subject. I don’t know if my sponsorship made a difference, as I started sponsoring her around the beginning of her second term, but I love being able to encourage her and of course I told her how proud I was of her for working so hard and encouraged her to keep working hard. She asks for prayer for her school and her studies – that God will help her to learn to read and write – so sweet!

  4. Juli Jarvis July 2, 2009

    I loved hearing about the affect our letters can have on the children. Thanks for sharing about a day in your life.

  5. Cathy July 2, 2009

    I sponsor a child in El Salvador and I was glad to read and hear about how you are doing.

    Thank you for sharing the love of God

  6. Mike Stephens July 2, 2009

    El Salvador is often one of the countries I don’t hear much about that Compassion works in, thanks for sharing Kenia!!!!!!!

  7. Amy Wallace July 2, 2009

    “An “I love you” or a “keep working hard” changes the lives of these children.”

    This really applies to me and one of my sponsored children. I jsut got a letter from my boy in Rwanda, and he told me he isn’t doing very well in school, and didn’t pass by very much. So, I need to tell him to keep trying and never give up, even when he feels he isn’t doing very good.

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