I have devoted the last twelve years of my life to sponsoring with Compassion International.75 kids sponsored from 26 countries. I have also visited over 40 kids and their families in 12 countries.
11 of the 12 kids I visited on this trip were on behalf of friends, so on the surface this trip was "not about me." But given the amount of time and money I sacrificed, and due to my fallen humanity, I often made it about me. Internally I sometimes harboured attitudes of disappointment and frustration when things did not go as I expected or the kids did not respond as I'd hoped.
The Bible says that those who give to the poor are giving to God and He will repay them. On this trip I was repaid in full and then some left over. Everywhere I went I was the recipient of lavish and extravagant hospitality and love from staff and kids alike. I was welcomed and treated like some sort of hero when I don't really feel like I deserve it. Songs, dances, parties, smiles and hugs all especially for me. It was humbling
On this trip I visited 12 kids and their families at seven different Projects:
Visit Day #1 - Alice (BR110) on behalf of her sponsors Garry & Helen Zimmerman
Visit Day #2 - BR453 (just Project visit)
I had visited this Project twice previously when I visited Jasmiel and his family on behalf of his sponsors Brian and Lisa Crawford. Unfortunately Jasmiel had moved away and was no longer going to the Project, but I asked to come back anyway because of my previous experiences at the Project.
I visited these two girls and their families on my previous trip to Brazil in 2016
Visit Day #4 - Sara, Dafyne, Weverton (BR417) on behalf of their sponsors Naomi Harrison, Bill & Karen Berry, Elizabeth Berry
I visited Sara and her family in 2016, and was visiting Dafyne and Weverton for the first time.
I sponsored Jessica until I moved to the Philippines in 2014 and the Newtons took over the sponsorship. I have visited Jessica and her family four times.
I was asked by my friends the Candido family to take a gift to their sponsored child in Brazil. The plan was to give it to the Compassion office and they would deliver it to the Project. Two days before the visit I looked at the gift and they had written her child number, which started with 'BR329.' I thought "Hey! I'm visiting BR329 on my birthday!" and was able to arrange to meet Emily and her mum at the Project.
This was my first visit to BR322 and it was a great day. Both girls were very responsive and friendly and the Project is a shining light in a dangerous community. We weren't able to visit Lara's home because it was too dangerous to go there.
This was my first visit to BR432. The kids were curious and friendly and Lorene was bright, beautiful and talkative. After seven days of me having to drive all the conversations it was great to be able to sit back and listen to her talk.
Fun and Games: I love to have fun, and I always take Uno, Dominoes and an Australian football along to the Projects. When I get the chance I jump on a guitar or a drum kit too.
Welcome & Birthday Stuff
I was overwhelmed by the love I received at each Project. Banners, processions, songs, dances and cakes all for me. It was very humbling.