Compassion graduate Richmond Wandera is back in Australia to share his incredible story on his ‘I Am Not Forgotten’ tour. We had the pleasure to catch up with Richmond ahead of his tour to ask him about the most defining moments of his life. His answers demonstrate how much being part of Compassion’s programs can change the life of a child living in poverty.
09 Jun, 2016
The 5 most defining moments of my life
When my father passed away. The day my father passed, that changed me. I think on that day I hit the bottom rock. I thought life had ended. I was confused. I saw my world crumble before me. I was only a child but in Africa when you lose a father, whether you’re a child or an adult, you know what that means.
Hearing I was sponsored. When I was told, “Richmond, you’ve got a sponsor”. I knew exactly what that meant. I had admired the Compassion children—the way they play, the privileges they access, their opportunity to go to school, to easily find food and health care. I knew the moment I got the news that my life had changed.
Founding the Pastors Discipleship Network. The day I stood before 1500 pastors, knowing that God had allowed me the opportunity to lead them, train them and equip them. It was overwhelming to know that God would take a child from where I was to where I was standing on that day in 2010. To this day, [the ministry I began, the Pastors Discipleship Network] has continued to train over 4000 pastors.
Gaining a second father. When I joined Compassion, I knew life had changed but I still did not have a father or that sense of security and belonging. One day in morning devotion, Pastor Peter was sharing the story of Joseph to 300 kids. He put his hand on my right shoulder while looking to the other children and I had an overwhelming sense of ‘I have a father now’. Pastor Peter saw me later that day and saw I was very emotional. He said to me “I am your dad, okay? You can come to me”. That day, stability came to me.
Realising my life’s calling. When I graduated from the Leadership Development Program, the then-president of Compassion International commissioned us with words from Isaiah 61 and 58. I remember feeling a sense of calling when he said the reason God rescued us from poverty is not so that we will run away from poverty as fast as possible, but that we will take everything we’ve learnt back into our communities and make a difference. I want to be the one who is called a restorer of broken walls. This was God’s plan all along, that I could go back and be the message.