One of my favorite ministries to partner with through this blog over the years has been Compassion International. Their dedication and heart to see children less fortunate sponsored literally changes lives. Changed lives can change the world. Below is a guest post from just one of those children that was formerly sponsored by Compassion International. As we reflect this week on all that we are thankful for, take a minute and read how sponsorship from one person gave Neha so much to be thankful for. For more information on sponsoring a child and changing a life like Neha’s, visit Compassion International.
Guest Post – Neha
I was born in a rich, Hindu family where my father was a businessman and I lived a life of luxury with my two sisters and twin brothers and my mother. But my dad was addicted to alcohol and because of his addiction we lost everything.
From a life where we had everything, our life became one where we had nothing. I remember having dessert after every meal and then life took a U-turn and I never got to eat a dessert again. I remember having a big house, a separate bedroom, a drawing room, a kitchen etc. Then everything became confined to just one room. I lived in a house where the roof leaked during rainy season. Our floor became our bed. Our clothes became our blanket.
Food for us was just water. Water as the daily meal and bread once every two days made me sick and skinny. You would not believe the condition I was living in. I had to leave school. We were on streets. I saw my 4-year-old brothers crying for food.
I never thought that money could buy happiness but at that point of my life, when people loved us when we had money and rebuked us when we had nothing, made me believe that money could buy happiness.
I had to start working at the age of 7 in my grandma’s laundry shop and one day while delivering the ironed clothes to a lady, she asked me if I went to school. Upon hearing about my family she took me to the Compassion project. I found a new life as I stepped into my Compassion project. My Bible was the first gift to me from my Compassion project. I still remember the day I received it, that I went home and read half of the Old Testament in just a few hours.
Before Compassion, I felt that no one loved me; my mom and dad were busy fighting rather than enjoying the small moments. Watching them fight and curse us became a daily routine for me. I thought of running away from my house and staying somewhere in peace. Then my sponsor shared the love of Christ in his first letter. He wrote this line: “Jesus loves you.” I cannot describe the joy when I heard that there is someone who loves me and that is my Jesus Christ.
I learned that someone can love me even if I don’t have money. I learned that money is not important. Jesus loving me actually gave me the strength to live. I started living for that love as I found a new life in that love. Compassion let me know about the God that loves unconditionally and that is my Jesus.
I started going to school again. My dream was to study and Compassion fulfilled my dream. The first day I stepped into my Compassion project I got my first meal of rice, vegetables and eggs. I don’t remember when I ate eggs last. Tears of joy rolled down my face. I thanked God for that day a lot. That was my first prayer to Christ.
I lost my daddy when I was in grade 7. I was completely broken and had no hope to live because I loved my dad the most. When I randomly opened my Bible, Psalm 62:8 gave me strength to trust God in every situation.
I was dead without Christ but Compassion gave me my life. I received a new life in Christ. I started praying and God showed me His faithfulness. He showed me that He is the living God. I accepted Christ as my personal Savior in my Compassion project.
When I accepted Christ, every bad situation became easier to handle. I started seeing problems from a perspective of prayer and trusting in God for everything and thanking Him for providing me the strength to live. I started living in the present without caring about the future because I believed that God would provide. He has never failed to provide me my basic needs.
From the $38 my sponsor gave me I received a snack and a meal every day. It gave me the opportunity to go to school. I received the basic needs of daily life like toothpaste, a toothbrush, healthy drink, shoe polish etc. These things were not only for me but for my whole family. My medical needs were met by the Compassion project. I suffered from malaria more than 6 times and was in a situation of dying when my Compassion project saved my life and provided for all the medical facilities.
Compassion is special to me because of the change it brought into my life. My sponsor decided to sacrifice something for himself and I got everything for myself. He changed my life by sharing the love of Christ. I would have never got to know about this amazing love of Christ if Compassion and my sponsor were not there.
The best thing about Compassion that I have seen is that they never uphold their name because every gift I received I have thanked my Jesus for that and not Compassion. Compassion taught me to know Christ better and accept Him as my personal savior. Every child is important in the Kingdom of God and Compassion does love every child in that manner.
My sponsor knows me better than my family. I remember when I first met him I shared what I love to do and in his next letter he sent me two books and a music player and he wrote “I know you love music and reading books.” I actually got a daddy from Compassion, far yet connected.
I got an opportunity to meet my sponsor this summer as I was sharing my testimony with young American kids at the Student Life camps. I met him after 12 years and I had no words to thank him for what he did and for all his sacrifices. At the end when we were about to say goodbye to each other he said, “I am so happy to see what a wonderful woman you have become. I feel like a proud papa.
When he said that he felt like a proud papa, I knew God is amazing because He never took my daddy away, he gave me a new daddy which was my sponsor.
Today because I know Christ, I know life and because I know life, I know happiness, joy, hope, and love. Thank you for letting me know my Christ and letting me know that He loves me. I found life today and I am a new creation.
Neha has had the rare experience of both a life of luxury and a life in poverty. Her sponsor helped her see what truly matters in life. Could you be the relationship that changes everything for another child like Neha? Sponsor a child and begin impacting a life today.