When I was young I remember someone came to my church and talked about the Compassion Sponsorship program and we were looking at the profiles of the beautiful children around the world, and I told my mom “please can we have one?!” My mom agreed and we got this little boy from Indonesia named Jordan. I paid half of the sponsorship and we would write him letters a couple times a year. I loved the little boy so much and I prayed for him but I didn’t know really the impact that the program was having on his life.
Later when I was in high school, I took on another little boy from Mexico named Albaro through World Vision, which was in 2008. He was adorable and I wanted to help more kids, then in 2010 I went to a huge conference in Atlanta, Georgia and I got to meet a man who had grown up in Kenya and was helped through the Compassion program, he told us his story and how he treasured each and every letter. He also shared how without a sponsor he would be living in the slums or even dead. My heart was impacted so deeply in that time, I knew truly how important sponsorship could be in someone’s life. So, that year I took on another little girl named Maryory from the Dominican Republic through World Vision as well.
When I moved to Africa for the first time in September of 2011 I fell in love with this little girl named Marie and she was a treasure to my heart, I got a hold of my mom and said, I know that I already have two kids of my own and we also have Jordan but I think we should split this little Marie as well, I love her so much. She agreed and we started to sponsor this precious angel who was less than 2 years old through an organization called Sheltering Wings in Burkina Faso, West Africa. The next year when I moved back to Burkina, my little Marie was going to be adopted so we switched to a little 4 year old named Gelilu who had stolen my heart as well the moment we met. Being these little ones sponsor was such a joy to my heart—because I knew the money was going to an amazing mission that is impacting so many lives in that area of Burkina. I saw first hand the kids and how they were being taken care of! It was a huge blessing, a few months into my time there; I was talking to a young man who was 19 years old and living in the orphanage. He was in school and trying his best to have a good life. He asked me one afternoon, Tenielle would you be able to find me a sponsor? I want someone to write letters too! That day I wrote my mom and said, okay mom, Aristide this precious young man who I consider my brother needs a sponsor and I believe we should split this one too. She said, I believe he should be a part of our family too! So, the next day I went to him and said I found you a sponsor! He said, really?! Who? I said, my mom and I, you are now in our family! Having him as a sponsor child has been such a blessing because we get to talk even more and I have a deep relationship with him from all of my time living in Burkina. He is such a precious young man, he always tells me how much he loves being my brother and how he wishes to meet dad and mom! Haha
This last year Gelilu was adopted to a wonderful family in the states so we switched to a young man that I have been so closed to since my first year in Burkina, he is 16 years old now and his name is Faycal. He is top of his class and is just amazing. I have always called him my son and now that I get to sponsor him to be in school and help out with his living costs, my heart is just so happy! When I was able to see them in January it was such a blessing. I love spending time with them, bringing them gifts, and just laughing with them. They are such precious angels! I definitely feel like they bless my heart more than I get to bless them!
So through all of this, we now have 5 children that we help and I am so blessed to have each of them as a part of my life and family! They are all so amazing and I am happy to be a part of their lives too. To be able to write, bless, pray and help them is a huge joy of my heart!
When we started this sponsorship program in Tijuana with City of Angels, I didn’t know how well it was going to work and I did know it was going to be a lot of work but finally people convinced me that it was what we needed to stabilize our everyday living for the kids in the orphanage. And wow we have gotten such a great response in the last 1-½ years. The children are really enjoying it more and more—and the sponsors have been such a huge blessings not only to the kids but also to the whole orphanage. Since we are so close to the states people can come more to visit and people can send gifts!
I want to challenge you all to sponsor a kid! All of these organizations are amazing—and you should choose one. I know I am working for City of Angels full time and my job is promote all that we need and do, and if it Is in your heart to help a child in Tijuana then we would love to have you! But maybe your heart is in another place in the world, which is great! I know I personally sponsor kids all over the place, and I don’t feel like I could ever choose just one of my own kids here in Tijuana since I know them all so well and live with them full time, haha! But pray about what the LORD is calling you to do! If you are interested in City of Angels Sponsorship, email us: firstname.lastname@example.org or if your heart is in another place, check it out! I mean what is $35-50 a month to all of us in the states really? Not much in the scheme of things but that money to those children can change their lives dramatically!
I sponsor because I know it makes a difference in the lives of so many children and people around the world. YOU TOO can make a difference, it will change your life too! :)