Do Dreams Really Come True?

Do dreams come true? It’s an interesting, if not rhetorical, question.

Since I was a small child I have suffered from horrible, graphic nightmares. I have been chased by bears the size of Volkswagens, alligators the size of a school bus or dark figures hiding in shadows, waiting to pounce. I have fallen off jagged cliffs or struggled to hold my breath in deep, murky waters. And what’s worse, I remember every dream vividly. Some have haunted me for years.

So, to be honest with you, my initial response to that somewhat whimsical question is, “Geez, I hope not!”

But often, when someone asks “Do dreams come true?” what he or she really means is, “If I want something badly enough, will that make it happen?” When you “wish upon a star” do dreams really come true?

Right now, Compassion has more than 1,500 students attending university through our Leadership Development Program. Those students, sitting in college classrooms, studying things like politics, theology, engineering and medicine, all started out in extreme poverty — an all-too-real daytime nightmare.

group of smiling young people behind a green table

They grew up in homes with cold concrete or tin walls and little or no electricity.

two children at a table inside a home

There were days when they wondered if they were going to eat. They slept on hard, uneven floors, lined up against brothers, sisters, parents and cousins crammed into a space smaller than most of our master bathrooms. And it was there, in those conditions, that dreams were born.

They imagined breaking the chain of poverty in their family. They dreamed about going to school, perhaps even university, and having a good job someday. They wondered what life would be like apart from their dire circumstances.

Those dreams are coming true.

Those dreams, birthed in the hearts and minds of children in poverty, are being realized in young Christian adults who have broken free from the shackles of impoverished life. So, yes, I believe dreams do come true.


Sadly, not all children in poverty will have the opportunity to see dreams of a better life come to fruition. Not every child out there has a sponsor or advocate who is working to help make his or her dreams come true.

Recently, I was able to view a pre-release screening of the 58: film. One scene in particular grabbed me: It was a group of young boys from India sitting together on the floor.

The narrator asked, “If you could ask God for anything, what would you ask for?”

The youngest child grinned with widened eyes and responded without hesitation, “Sweets!”

Another giggled as he said, “A bicycle.”

But the older brother, about 12 years old, gave an answer that broke my heart. He would ask God to take his dreams away.

“I do have desires, but my dreams will never come true. So let me not have any dreams at all.”

No dreams at all? That crushes me.

Poverty has told this child that there’s no chance of life getting better. And he believes that lie.

At Compassion, we have the honor of making dreams come true. We have the privilege of speaking truths that reveal the lies of poverty. We get to chase away the dark, shadowy figures that prey on the minds of the innocents. We get to pull children from the depths and catch them before they fall off the ledge.

painting of a girl dreaming

As long as there are children who are willing to dream, we need people who are willing to help make those dreams come true. No little boy should have to ask God to take his dreams away. Ever.

Dreams are better incubated in safe classrooms and playgrounds. Dreams thrive in safe water and under the protection of a malaria net. Dreams breathe when tummies are full and needs are met. So when you partner with Compassion, you play a role in making dreams come true.

Do dreams come true? Yes. Not by wishing on a star. But through the actions of committed Christians who are willing to live out their faith in practical ways. You. Me.

We may not give them their dreams — but we can give their dreams a fighting chance.

7 Comments |Add a comment

  1. JustMe April 22, 2019

    Wow…that’s really sad how the one boy wanted no dreams at all. 🙁 But I can say that dreams for the future will come true if they match up with God’s will. I dreamed that my girl would send me a Bible verse and that she would tell me she treasured my letters and our friendship and she did! <3

  2. Jessica August 30, 2011

    That. Is. So. Sad!
    I just wrote an essay not too long ago about poverty and one of the main points was that, “every child should have the chance to live his/her dreams.”
    People need to step up and help break this chain of poverty!

    ps… please pray God’s will for me. I don’t know where, but I am praying about going on a missions trip. 🙂

  3. K-eM August 30, 2011

    Now you’ve made me go and cry again.

    “I do have desires, but my dreams will never come true. So let me not have any dreams at all.”

    I too saw the preview and couldn’t stop crying after I heard that child say that. My instinct is always to hide my tears, but I think that statement requires them. That child can’t cry for himself so we must do it for him.

    My tears will remind me to make a difference and when others see them it also gives me an opportunity to tell them how to make a difference and release the children of this world from poverty.

  4. Mike Stephens August 30, 2011

    Well the further we fall the higher we can bounce, but that is only if we are bouncy balls, if we are eggs the higher we fall the more mess it will be 😉 Although in my own life the worse things get the more desperate I try to go after my dreams b/c not much else is left. But I don’t think I’ve been completely crushed yet, after a while it’s hard to laugh, although it seems there is always something to laugh about 😉 I think we can be confident to always hope in God.

    Look at Daniel he was thrown into a lion’s den, I don’t doubt he was ready to die, but God saved him. Then Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah they were hoping to die 😉 But again God saved them. God please give us the attitude of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah who would rather disobey the king then disobey you 😉 Amen.

    God thank you that the dreams that you give are so impossible that without you we might as well not dream.

    I Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”

  5. CAROL STEPHENS August 30, 2011

    Thanks you really opened my eyes to how these children live.

  6. Amy August 30, 2011

    My sponsor child hopes to become a police officer! I hope to pray and encourage him until his dreams come true!

  7. Nathan Cary August 30, 2011

    EXCELLENT post!! Thank you.
    My heart’s passion is for the Western Church, the people, to get over themselves and begin to see the needs that they can address, personally, all around the world, in the name of Jesus. Where is there a more fruitful mission field?
    I am distressed by Western Christians living life as though it was all about self, pursuing the American Dream. What a shallow existence that is! I was one. I know.
    Thank you for this very motivating and inspirational blog.

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