Ted and Helen Rollinson are an ordinary couple who are making an extraordinary difference to the lives of their Compassion sponsored children. With a big family of their own and an extensive Compassion family, they are taking it one step further to ensure they leave a lasting legacy.
30 Jun, 2015
Ted and Helen had been Christians for 40 years before they first heard about the work of Compassion. Ted vividly remembers the first Compassion presentation they saw at their local church.
“I was instantly moved,” says Ted. “And I said to Helen, ‘I think we ought to sponsor someone’.”
Together they chose Josiane, a young girl from Rwanda which began an enduring relationship with Compassion.
Three years passed before they spoke of the possibility of sponsoring another child.
“We decided to pray individually and then compare what God was telling us” says Ted.
The next morning, to Ted’s delight, Helen said “I think we could sponsor two more”. They added Sylvie and Mucyo—both from Rwanda—to their growing Compassion family.
Ted and Helen loved reading the letters they received from their sponsored children. Ted especially remembers some of Mucyo’s letters that were written by his grandfather as both his parents had passed away.
“I would often have tears in my eyes,” says Ted. “You would have to say they are pretty standard letters, but you read between the lines and see what’s going on in their lives. They are pretty special letters to me and carry a lot of weight in my life.”
After sponsoring a fourth child in 2013—15-year-old Rushian from the Philippines—Ted and Helen thought their Compassion family was finally complete. When they received the Compassion Magazine: In Asia in April 2015, they decided to sponsor another five children, taking their total to nine, the amount of grandchildren they have.
“I read that magazine from cover to cover” says Ted.
“Reading the stories about places like India wrecked me. These countries have so many people but there is so little. Once again I said to Helen ‘I think we can do more.’”
Ted deliberately looked to sponsor children who were older.
“I realised that it is often easier for young children to be sponsored as they catch the eye because they’re cute. But I had a conviction: we needed to help the older children. They need a shot too.”
Happy with the size of their Compassion family, Ted had a moment of ‘Godspiration’ which led him and Helen to consider what’s best for their sponsored children in the future.
“Helen and I tend to look at our Will every two to three years to ensure everything is in order when I had a thought, ‘Hang on, we have made provisions for our children and grandchildren, but we have no provision for our sponsored children’.”
“I knew we had to do something; we need to provide for our Compassion children, so they will be taken care of when we are no longer here.”
Ted and Helen discussed the idea of leaving a bequest to Compassion in their Will. It is their intention to provide sufficient funds to ensure that all nine children are supported in the Child Sponsorship Program until they graduate.
It’s a big decision to make, but one that came naturally for the Rollinsons.
“I love that Compassion has an emphasis on God,” says Ted.
Ted prayers and hopes for his sponsored children are the same as his own children.
“We’re hoping that each one of them will know God, not just know about Him but know Him in a personal way, trust Him and look to Him to be the one who guides them in life.”
This is the legacy Ted and Helen are leaving their children; all of their children.
If you’re considering leaving a gift to Compassion in your Will, you can find out more information here. Ted’s advice to you is this: “Talk to God, see what He’s leading you to do. Don’t hesitate to respond because whenever you give to God, He gives you back more.”
Words by Rebekah Faith