“When you are young, and when you experience hard times, you grow up with lessons in courage and perseverance. You realize that you will make it and that God will provide.” — Ana MoralesContinue Reading ›
I celebrate my sponsorship with Compassion because through the relationship with my sponsor, I caught the fire of hope. Sponsorship puts hope in the hearts of children and in return these children serve the rest of the world with that hope.Continue Reading ›
The Pastors Discipleship Network (PDN) is an initiative begun by Leadership Development Program graduate and Moody Bible Institute scholar Richmond Wandera. It exists: “to train and equip local pastors in Africa with basic study tools for accurately interpreting God’s Word through monthly seminars, accountability relationships, and the provision of study resources.”
As soon as I completed my Advocate training, my first thought was to host a Compassion Sunday at my church. I was on fire, passionate, and thought that was the obvious next step. I was wrong.
So, an emperor, a chief and a queen are all in a room together. The emperor is from Uganda. The chief is from the Dominican Republic. And the queen is from the Philippines. Who’s in charge?
Clip two from our video interview with the Moody Bible Institute scholars.
In this clip, Tony explains how Leadership Development Program students are missionaries to their classmates.
In late July we interviewed our Moody Bible Institute scholarship recipients using questions you submitted here. We filmed the interview and will be sharing clips from the session with you over the next few weeks.
In this first clip, which is just over 13 minutes long, you’ll get to see how Richmond, Tony, Michelle and Jimmy interact with one another.
You’ll get a taste of the strength of their relationships with one another and with God.
And you’ll get a little insight into what Jimmy probably asked his sponsor when they met at Catalyst 2009.
Beyond getting to know them a little better, by learning what these agents of change are studying at Moody and why they chose their fields of study, you’ll also hear, among other things:
- Tony speak about his call to serve teenagers
- Michelle and Richmond share about their desires to develop strong Christian leaders in the Philippines and Uganda
- Jimmy relate what life was like before he was sponsored
You can also view the Agents of Change video on Vimeo.
As I write this, there are tears splattered on my keyboard and mascara smeared on my cheeks. I’m not much of a crier, perhaps being desensitized as a result of reading painful stories every day. But this video of Jimmy Wambua meeting his sponsor has made me cry like a baby.
The reason why is I know Jimmy. Jimmy stayed at our house for two weeks, so he went from being a former participant in Compassion’s sponsorship program, an African, and someone with a different culture and accent, to being a friend. To a human.
As much as we don’t want them to, our differences — culturally, geographically, economically — can separate us. “Others” can seem so very other. So unlike us. So “unrelatable.”
Yes, we have compassion for them. But it’s hard to really relate to them. Understand them. View them the same as we view ourselves, our neighbors, our family.
But Jimmy is my husband’s age. The two of them sitting on our couch talking about girls made Jimmy so utterly real to me. He’s someone who despite all our differences is so like us. Someone who simply had a sponsor who loved him, who told Jimmy that Jesus loves him, and set his life on an entirely new path.
So when I watch this video, I don’t just see some African who some Canadian “saved.” What I see is myself in another situation, another time, another circumstance. I see that this could have been me. And I see that this can be my sponsored child.
You can also view this Catalyst 2009 video on Vimeo.
Moody Bible Institute scholar Richmond Wandera shares how the telling of his story and one woman’s response to it reminded him that child sponsorship is a part of God’s work.
I don’t know how they do it, but the sponsored children always seem to turn the tables on us. We visit a country to be a blessing to the children, and end up getting blessed as well, maybe more.
I have a friend who wrote to her child that she was praying for the family, and the child wrote back that they were praying and fasting for her weekly.
Last month, I stopped in Colorado Springs on my way home to Wyoming from Phoenix. I had heard that the Moody Scholars were going to be participating in Compassion’s chapel, and I attended because I greatly wanted to meet them.
Jimmy Wambua, the newest Moody Scholar, was asked to pray during the service. Now, I’m used to praying for children all around the world, but he was praying for all the sponsors. That was really special for me to hear.
Following the service, I was invited to join Tony, Michelle, Richmond and Jimmy (from left to right) for lunch, which was more than I had hoped for.
I was excited to meet each of them because I practically had them on pedestals, like celebrities. Instead, they treated me like a celebrity!
And even though I had lots of questions for them, I ended up answering far more questions than they did.
- How long have you been a sponsor?
- How’d you find out about Compassion?
- Would you tell us about the children you sponsor?
Lunch was anything but a solemn time. These students were funny, joyful, hilarious — teasing each other, and “breaking in” the new member of their group. (more…)
About two weeks ago all the Moody scholars were in Colorado Springs, in advance of the new academic year at Moody Bible Institute. That was when we got to meet Jimmy Wambua, the newest Moody scholar, for the first time.
The four Moody scholars led worship during chapel, and afterward, Tony preached about the work God is doing in the world.
Now, here’s your opportunity to join us in chapel. The video is long, just short of 40 minutes, and Tony doesn’t begin preaching until the 8:30 mark, but if you have the time, we think you’ll enjoy getting to hear him speak.
Plus, those first eight minutes are good too. Jimmy, Michelle and Richmond share about what it means to be given an opportunity to study at Moody.
You can view the Tony Beltran video, and several more of our videos, on Vimeo.
The video does works, but there is about a 10 second delay between pressing play and then seeing anything happen.
Recently, my husband and I had the opportunity to have one of the Leadership Development Program Moody scholars stay with us. You’ve met Richmond, Michelle and Tony. Well, “Jimmy from Kenya,” as he likes to call himself, is our newest scholarship recipient.
With Jimmy from Kenya (a.k.a. Jimmy Wambua) as a house guest, we were treated to the first reactions to life in America from the perspective of someone who had grown up in poverty.
After the first couple of days, I asked him how it was going and what struck him most about life in America. It was the cheese.
“In America, you are so particular about what you want. You take me to Subway and they ask, ‘What kind of bread do you want?’ ‘What type of dressing do you want?’ ‘What type of cheese do you want?’ In my country cheese is cheese. It’s this or it’s nothing.”
The variety in general was a bit overwhelming to Jimmy.
“When I asked Mike for tea, he opened the cabinet and there was so much. Tropical tea, dessert tea, tea cocktail. Even in cars you have variety. You have a car for different kinds of weather and different activities.”
At every turn, we seemed to be asking him to make choices. And let’s not even talk about our trip to Walmart.
He was also quite struck by our home and our neighborhood. We live in a fairly typical middle-class American neighborhood and home.
Before he came, I had felt a bit self-conscious because the other hosts of the students were older with nicer homes. I secretly thought he’d be disappointed to stay with us. I know this is a silly worry considering he was coming from a one-room home without indoor plumbing, but I was thinking about the Joneses.
His perspective was different than mine.
“This is the home of a politician. These are the couches of a politician … . This is what I’ll call stinking rich. You live in posh environments, but you don’t feel they are posh.”
Jimmy stayed in our basement, which has an attached bathroom. He said,
“When you first showed me my room, I thought, ‘This must be the main part of the house, the best part of the house.’ Then I saw it was just the basement. In my country, I could work for years and still not have something as nice as your basement.”
I asked Jimmy if it frustrated him or made him angry to see people with so much. I always wonder that when visitors come — are they secretly judging us? Jimmy was gracious.
“Someone without my background who is struggling might be angry. But my feeling is biased because of Compassion. I understand why God blesses Americans — what you give. I believe that spirit of giving has gotten into American culture. You’ve been able to be content with what you have and give to others instead of keeping it for yourselves. Because of your generosity, God has blessed. God rewards you for listening to his call.”
I hope I can live up to Jimmy’s generous attitude toward us.