Friday, September 28, 2012

I am nobody.

(This is a fictional story of a child living in poverty)

I am nobody. My mama didn’t want to have a baby. After she gave birth to me, mama tried to leave me in trash heaps on the outskirts of the slum. Only, I cried too loudly and a Ugandan police officer found me as mama was hurrying away. He made her keep me. Mama tells me every day how much she hates me. She tells me I’m stupid and an ugly girl. I try to block out her mean words. It doesn’t work.

Ugly. Stupid. Nobody.

I wake up, sweating. Sometimes I try to dream good dreams. I pretend my mama loves me. But then I wake up.

I get up from my straw pallet, trying not to wake mama. My bare feet touch the dirt floor and my head hits the straw roof. I bend down to pick up the yellow water container that sits by our door. I leave our mud hut and start the two mile walk to the pond to fetch water. I reach the pond just as the sun begins to rise. Trying not to scoop up floating bugs and animal dung, I dunk my water container into the dirty water. I lift the heavy container and sit it on top of my head.

When I make it back to our house, I see a woman talking to mama. The woman greets me with a smile as I set down the filled water container.

“I was just telling your mother about a program at the local church called Compassion.” The woman says to me.

I look at the ground.

“Don’t mind her. She’s stupid.” Mama says to the woman.

“I think she’s very bright,” the woman tells mama. Then she turns to me, “and you are such a lovely young lady too. I think you would do well in our program. How would you like to come with me this morning to the church and sign you up to become a Compassion sponsored child? You will receive homework help, have a warm meal every time you come, and get to enjoy singing and dancing with other kids your age.”

I lift my head and stare at the woman.

She thinks I’m bright? She thinks I’m lovely?

“How much do I have to pay?” Mama asks, putting her hands on her hips.

“Nothing. Your daughter will receive these benefits and more with no cost to you. She will be sponsored by someone in another country who pays for her program expenses.”

“Fine.” Mama says shortly.

“If you come with us, you can help fill out the required forms for you daughter.”

“I have to work.”

“I understand. Then you will need to sign this form.” The woman says, handing mama a piece of paper and pen. Mama quickly signs it then pushes me toward the woman.

“Stay as long as you want. Less time I have to deal with you.”

The woman leads me up the dirt path, away from mama and our mud hut. She reaches her hand toward me. I flinch. But she only pats my shoulder nicely.

“My name is Grace, but you can call me Auntie Grace. And what is your name, sweetheart?”

“Princess.” I murmur to the ground, ashamed of my name. When mama tried to get rid of me like the worthless baby I was, the police officer told her to ‘cherish this Princess you were given’. Mama named me Princess to mock me and make me regret being a burden to her.

“What a beautiful name for a beautiful girl! You are indeed a Princess. After all, your father is the King isn’t he?”

My father? A King? I don’t even know my father. I shake my head no.

“But of course. Your Heavenly Father is King of all nations. And you, his daughter, are a Princess.”

We walk in silence the rest of the way to church. I keep thinking about what she said. This woman I just met, Grace, has said nicer things to me than mama has my whole nine years of living.

When we arrive at the church, many people are waiting in line outside. I stand in line with Auntie Grace as she tells me more about Compassion. Every time she says the word, my heart tingles and I smile a little. This program, this Compassion, sounds like an answer to my prayers. But could it possibly be that good? Would people be nice and helpful instead of mean and hurtful? Could this Compassion want a nobody in their special program?

Auntie Grace helps me fill out my information sheet. I easily tell her my family, where I go to school and what grade I am in. But then, Auntie Grace asks me what I’m good at. She asks what my favorite school subject is. I don’t have any answers. I know I’m not good at anything, I’m a nobody. I used to have favorite subjects in school, but when I told mama about them, she reminded me that I was stupid and didn’t know anything.

“I’m… uh… not good, I can’t do anything.” I am close to tears. I realize that Compassion will never allow me to be in their program, I am no one special.

“You must like something. Everyone enjoys learning something.”

I take a deep breath and tell Auntie Grace what I like to do, even though I know I’m no good at it.

“I like to read books.”


I was accepted into the Compassion program! Soon after that Saturday morning, I began attending the activities held at the church. I even got a sponsor; a family from the United States who chose to sponsor me. At the church, I learned proper hygiene, was helped with school work, given medical checkup and best of all, I learned about Jesus! Mama always told me Jesus didn’t die for ugly, unwanted girls like me. But at Compassion, they told me Jesus died especially for ME! At first I didn’t believe them. Then I got my first letter from my new sponsors:

Beautiful Princess,

I am so pleased to be your sponsor! My name is Matthew and my wife, Janet, and I chose to sponsor you because of your name. We have never been able to have children, so when we saw you, a lovely Princess of God, we knew you were the one. The other reason we chose to sponsor you was because we saw that you love to read. What a talent! Not everyone enjoys reading. You are a smart girl! Princess, we will write to you often. Please write to us because we care about you and want to be a part of your life.
We want you to know that Jesus loves you! Even when you feel you don’t deserve His love, you do. Jesus will always love you!  Janet and I love you too, Princess. We look forward to learning more about you through letters.  

With love always,
Matthew and Janet

The story of Princess is fictional, but not so unlike the story of many girls around the world that are told they don’t matter. Compassion can help change their self-image and show them they are precious in the eyes of Jesus. But Compassion can’t do it all. Please consider sponsoring a child, your letter may be the very thing she needs to hear.

Give hope to the Princesses of our King.

Sponsor Alemnesh
Sponsor Meskerem
Sponsor Maame
Sponsor Iren
Sponsor Risma
Sponsor Naila
Sponsor Egidia
Sponsor Ahura

Monday, September 24, 2012

They grow up so fast!

This past week I received a letter from the handsome and comedic Ulrich from Burkina Faso. In the letter was a picture of him wearing his birthday gift clothes. I was surprised by how tall and grown up he appeared!

This is the first picture I have of Ulrich, taken at about age 5

This is Ulrich at age 7 (March 2012) soon after I became his correspondence sponsor

This one I received in May 2012 (what a beautiful family)

Then, all of a sudden, Ulrich is all-grown-up!

It's weird to see this boy grow up before my eyes. Eight months ago, I didn't even know where Burkina Faso was, and now I know a real child that lives there. What a crazy thing! I find myself looking at these photos and exclaiming "they grow up so fast!" as if I was Ulrich's mother or close family member. But, oddly enough, I feel like he is part of my family. This boy I've never met is constantly in my thoughts and prayers.

I'm linked up with Blogging from the Boonies' Monday Mail Call

God bless,


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pinterestings news from Compassion

There's been a lot happening during this month to get the word out about Compassion! This week is no exception. Compassion is holding a Pinterest contest for Compassion sponsors. Basically all you need to do is create a board and pin a picture of you and your sponsored child and pin this logo...

Every repin will add you name into a drawing for a $25 gift for your sponsored child or a $100 gift for your sponsored child's family. Pretty cool right??

Follow this link to see all the details of the contest.

I have to admit, I'm a technologically challenged teenager. This month I've done more blogging and pinning and whatnot on the internet than I have in the last five years. I honestly didn't know what Pinterest was until this past Monday when I created an account. I think Compassion is really smart, though, in using social media to let people know about child sponsorship.

You should definitely check out the contest, it may lead your friends to sponsoring a child, or you may win a gift to give to your sponsored child!

So, from a technologically challenged teen, here's one more link...

Click here to follow me on Pinterest

God bless,


Sunday, September 16, 2012

A note to God

It's week two of Blog Month, and I'm finally getting around to the second post :) The assignment for this week is to write a letter to God about child sponsorship.

I thought this song was fitting...

When I talk to God about Compassion and the children I sponsor, my conversations are usually grateful and angry, which is an odd combination. They look something like this...

Dear God,

Thank you so much for placing Luisa, Kendy, Ulrich and Salif in my life. They are so beautiful, Lord, and they've impacted me more than they'll ever know. Through their letters, they teach me what it truly means to appreciate life. They don't have much, but they give generously and without complaint. One of my kids, Ulrich, has written repeatedly about his favorite food: beans. He tells me how much he loves beans, even though its one of the only foods he has to eat. God, the letters and pictures I receive from these children are very precious. Thank you for the organization of Compassion. They are doing so much good in the lives of these children, and all in the name of Jesus. But God, to be honest, I wish there was no child sponsorship organization called Compassion. I wish no child would know about hunger and lack of education and poverty. In a perfect world, children wouldn't die from the flu and every child would be cared for and loved by their families. But, this isn't a perfect world. This world is full of horrifying imperfections and I don't know why babies die, and toddlers are orphaned. I don't know why clean drinking water is hard to come by, and  school is an unreachable dream for some kids. I don't know why. And I never will. But I will continue trusting in you Lord, and ask you to comfort the hurting. I will continue praying for my sponsored children and writing them letters of encouragement in the hope that they can see Your love for them. I hate that poverty exists, but I'm grateful to know Luisa, Kendy, Ulrich and Salif and I'm grateful for the wonderful work You are doing through Compassion.


                                                  Sponsor a child today

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday mail call: perspective changed

After an overly busy weekend, I headed to the mailbox today, taking a small break from doing homework. On the walk there, all I could  think of was deadlines and projects. But then, I saw that beautiful cream-colored envelope with the blue letters that spelled Message From Your Sponsored Child in the stack of mail. I ran back to my house and plopped down on my bedroom floor, tearing open the treasured letter. It was a letter from my sweet Kendy.

She (through her mom) wrote about receiving the picture of my dog and how cute he was. But the next sentences hit me hard:

Kind Dionne, this month in our area, there was a hard wind and Kendy's roof  was damaged. Kendy was very scared, but she's grateful to Lord Jesus who keeps loyal to accompany her and her mother. 

Wow. I'd been worried about getting my schoolwork done, but never scared that the roof might cave in on me while I studied. Little Kendy and her mom have such a strong faith. Their letters constantly remind me to be thankful for each and every day, and praise God during my minor struggles, as they do during catastrophes.

Please pray for Kendy and her family, that the Lord will keep them safe.

God bless,


 By the way, I'm linked up with Blogging from the Boonies Monday mail call 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

It's September already?

In the midst of returning to school, studying for ACT's, reconnecting with friends, and getting back into the swing of things, September appeared! Out of nowhere, one day it was August, then the next... September! Even though the weather is still very, Very, HOT, I can't help but envision all the wonderful fall-like things September brings. Leaves changing colors, Friday night football games, cinnamon tea, and new experiences. With the beginning of Fall, there are many opportunities to try new activities and change things up--just as the season is changing.

A new experience for me this September is participating in Compassion International's blog month.

Compassion International is an organization that is very close to my heart! Compassion is a child sponsorship program that connects loving sponsors to kids in need of love in third-world countries. But it is so much more than donating a little money each month to a child whom you hardly know. As a sponsor, you have the opportunity to correspond with your child through letters and pictures (and I know from personal experience how FUN it is to write and receive letters from your kids). Another amazing thing about Compassion is  they work on developing every area of a child's well- being: Physical, social, financial, emotional, and spiritual.

The goal of blog month is to get 3,108 children sponsored in the month of September. WOW! Imagine all the precious lives that can be changed this month...

So, since this is the month of September, the month of trying new things and change... why not start by changing the life of a child in poverty? It may just change your life too!

 If you feel that this is something you'd like to look into, hop on over to this link below, where you can find out more about sponsoring a child and see children in need of a sponsor today.

God Bless,