Jeffry, the 1 millionth child registered in Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program.
Recently, Jeffry entered the "million club." He became the millionth child Compassion currently serves through the Child Sponsorship Program. The day he was registered there was little fanfare. Reporters did not visit the home he shares with 14 others in a rural Nicaraguan village. The only picture that exists from that day is the one that will one day end up on his sponsor's refrigerator door.
Yet Jeffry represents the enormous growth Compassion has been blessed with thanks to sponsors and supporters who are dedicated to children living in extreme poverty. Compassion began in 1952 helping just 35 children in a Korean orphanage. Since that humble beginning, ministry efforts have spread to 25 countries. Nearly 2 million children have been served by Compassion in its 56-year history. And now, more than 1 million children are receiving the health care, nutrition, educational opportunities and spiritual guidance they need to be released from poverty in Jesus' name.
And though Jeffry's grandmother doesn't fully understand that her grandson represents a milestone for Compassion, she does know that he represents a milestone for their family.
"Jeffry is of great value to me, very special in my heart and in my life," says Fidelia, Jeffry's grandmother and guardian. "I felt happy when the program director gave me the news. I was not expecting it. I wish the Lord gives me strength to see him grow. I want him to be prepared and be a good person."
Fidelia says she prays young Jeffry will one day be able to finish school and perhaps even attend university. Those prayers reflect a hope that many in her community do not have. Only half of the children there finish elementary school. And less than half of those complete high school. There are no libraries or universities in town. The average family makes less than U.S.$3 a day. Children are hungry, houses are falling apart, and poverty has a stronghold.
Fidelia and her family are no strangers to that poverty. She and her husband have struggled for years to raise their children and grandchildren. Presently, 15 people live in their crowded home. Some of her sons are day laborers. Her husband is unable to work because of complications from diabetes.
But in the middle of this despair, Fidelia keeps her eyes trained on Jeffry. He may be the millionth registered child for Compassion. But he is the only registered child in her eyes.
For more information on the millionth registered child and to read a firsthand report of a visit with Jeffry and his family, visit the Compassion blog.
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