It’s one of those human experiences that words cannot describe: meeting someone you’ve loved after years of ongoing friendship. We hope these precious captured moments of Compassion supporters meeting their sponsored children brings you joy, and an insight into these meaningful moments. Warning: tissues may be required!
13 Mar, 2019
1. Charlotte meets Rose in Tanzania
“It was the single most memorable day of my life. An experience that far surpassed any preconceived expectations. I witnessed the heart of God for His children and felt, in moments, as if I was glimpsing eternity. To put such a precious face to the name and hold the hands that have written me many words and drawn me many pictures. To greet the selfless staff that care for and teach these children was such a privilege.
To walk the grounds of a church whose gates are always open was an honour. To meet the family of this child who’ve allowed me to speak into her life and share my own was a blessing.
To see firsthand the impact sponsorship has on children in these communities was priceless. I’d travel the distance and do it all again in a heartbeat. But in the meantime, I will never take for granted the power of a letter. Truth be told, we think that by sponsoring a child we’re blessing them, but a greater blessing I’m yet to know than the love I felt through her embrace.”
2. Amanda meets Jacqueline in Guatemala
“A few years ago I got to meet the little girl we've sponsored since she was four years old. This photo is one of my most treasured memories!
In the minutes just before we met, I started crying; I was so happy to finally see her. She came running into my arms without a bit of hesitation and I wasn't sure she was going to let me go.
Later that day her mother told me she was touched that I was crying and so moved when we met. I told her that I hoped Jaqueline could think of me like a godmother. Her mother looked at me intently and said, ‘No. You are her second mother.’
I can hardly wait to get another giant hug from the beautiful young woman she is becoming, after having watched her grow from a toddler. She's the daughter I never had and my pride and joy!”
3. Maddie meets Tofik in Ethiopia
"This is when I realised that family is not those that have the same blood, background, or skin colour as you, but the ones that mean the world to you. Family are those that you love enough to pray for daily, love more than yourself, and miss greatly. There is no greater act of love than giving a child hope."
4. Pure joy in Uganda
“Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness.” – C.S Lewis
5. The moment Jillian caught sight of José in Brazil
“I was overwhelmed by the love that I already had even though I had never met José before or spoken to him. I was so overwhelmed by joy that I just couldn’t say anything, I just cried. This has been the most unreal experience. I almost didn’t come because I was so nervous and anxious, because I deal with some depression, but God kept pushing me to come. Then when I got here, our leader told us, ‘God wants you here for a reason’. And I was overwhelmed by God’s love for me, knowing that I was meant to be here, meant to meet José and his mother; my Brazilian family.”
6. Julia meets Ana Julia in Brazil
This was the moment a friendship stepped off the pages and into lifelong memories. Julia hugs her five-year-old sponsored child Ana Julia in Brazil. These two may live in different countries but they have a relationship that crosses oceans.
7. A moment of connection in Burkina Faso
"And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." - Colossians 3:14
8. Norman meets Andrews in Peru
After 14 years of sponsorship and correspondence, Andrews’s prayer was answered: his sponsor Norman visited him in Peru.
“I couldn’t believe it when I was told that my sponsor was coming to see me,” said Andrews before the meeting. “I can’t believe that I will see my sponsor face to face! It is amazing to know that he wants to meet me in person and talk to me; I am so happy and nervous.”
9. Straight into each other’s arms in Uganda
“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.”
10. Sienna meets Praise in Kenya
Sienna and Praise live on opposite sides of the world. But that doesn't stop these 10-year-olds from having a beautiful friendship! For years, the girls have sent photos like this back and forth. Just over a year ago, these two friends finally met after sending countless letters.
“What a wonderful gift to us that we can cross geographical borders with God’s love,” says Sienna’s dad Justin.
"One of the best things that has come from having our kids sponsor kids through Compassion is that they've got a relationship with a child who lives in a completely different part of the world. Just a small investment can change their whole family's circumstances."
11. Meeting Yublina In Indonesia
Ellie and her family recently went to the island of Sumba in Indonesia, where they visited Yublina!
"We have sponsored Yublina for many years, and it was amazing to meet her and her family for the first time!"
12. Brittany meets Saitan in Thailand
"Thousands of the world’s greatest minds, future activists, and voices for social justice are trapped in the cycle of poverty without the resources and support needed to reach their potential.
Sponsoring Saitan means that I have got to play a small part in allowing her to receive an education (she would like to be a teacher), and remind her that she is loved and supported regardless of her immediate situation.
I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be part of her life, to have met her, and to be able to send her letters so she knows that her big sister in Australia is thinking and praying for her always."
13. The nerve-wracking wait in Brazil
“I'm so happy because I have a sponsor who loves me. I love to write him letters and read the letters that he sends me. It's so good to know that someone on the other side of the earth cares about me. I'm really grateful for everything he has done for me.”
14. Paul and Linda meet Violet in Uganda
"She appeared out of nowhere. I didn’t see her coming. But she just threw herself at me. I don’t think I will ever forget that moment. It was like we had known each other ever since she was born, and that we had been apart for so long. This is, for us, a dream come true: to visit the girl who has been in our prayers, on our hearts and in our thoughts for 11 years."
There’s something so beautiful about the connection developed across borders between sponsored children and their sponsors.
You can learn more about Compassion's Insight Trips and how you can meet your sponsored child.
Photos by Bayly & Moore, Betsy Grandez, Tim Mitchell, Kimberlee West, Sara Navarro