A Gift for Ireine

A Gift for Ireine

By: Brandy Campbell with Marsalina Lekan, Indonesia Communications Specialist   |   Posted: September 16, 2010

Ireine receives her first Christmas gift through the support of her sponsor.

Four-year-old Ireine receives her first Christmas gift, a pink dress and a pair of shoes, thanks to her sponsor.

Give a Christmas Gift for a child in poverty today.

Think of your favorite childhood Christmas present. Was it your first bicycle? A favorite doll? That puppy you begged your parents for?

Four-year-old Ireine didn't have a favorite Christmas present. She had never received one. Never unwrapped a brightly wrapped gift that she pulled from under a decorated tree. In her impoverished community near Manado in eastern Indonesia, personal gifts are simply beyond the means of most residents.

Christmas for a Child in Poverty

"We cannot buy anything except our daily needs," says Moudy, Ireine's mother. She and her husband work as rice farmers to support their family of six. "We have to pay for our debt first when we have sold the crops. Then with the rest of the money we can buy our needs for that month.

"At Christmas we teach our children to understand the condition of our family. We always ask them to be thankful to God through their prayers, even though we don't have new clothes to wear or something to eat."

Ireine and her family had another reason to be thankful when she was registered with Compassion at the Esther Student Center. She immediately began receiving the benefits the center offered, including medical checkups and food support. But Ireine's first Christmas at the center brought a surprise her first Christmas gift!

The Love of a Sponsor

Thanks to the support of Compassion's Christmas Gift program, Ireine received a pink dress and a pair of shoes for Christmas. The gifts were simple, but the smile on Ireine's face was radiant. The gifts were more than a package to unwrap on Christmas day. They were a symbol of her sponsor's love and support. 

Little Ireine's smile continued as she put on her new clothes and went to the Compassion center's Christmas celebration. She played with her friends, who all wore their new Christmas clothes. And when she was asked to pray at the party, Ireine had no shortage of praises.

"I am really grateful because Ireine can celebrate Christmas this year with the present that she received from her sponsor," says her mother. "It is an invaluable gift for us. We don't know (her sponsor), but I want to say many thanks for his generosity for giving my daughter something that we are not able to give."

What did you like about this story?