"In spite of never having met [my sponsors] or never having seen them, they were like parents to me. Receiving help from them was like a commitment for me, to see all that love and help expressed toward one person, me, made me feel important and special."
— Ronnie Solis, 33, an accountant in Bolivia
Ronnie Solis gives a lot of credit to his sponsors, Michael and Lisa Silipo, for making him feel special. The couple from McKinney, Texas, sponsored him from the time he was registered as a 5-year-old at Compassion’s child development center in Cochabamba, Bolivia, until he graduated from the Child Sponsorship Program.
Ronnie says the Silipos motivated him simply by taking the time to write to him.
"Each time I received a letter, it was the best time," Ronnie, now 33, says. "And with every letter, I felt loved."
Growing up, Ronnie’s mother didn’t work, and his absent father provided no support. “So we didn’t have money to satisfy any of our needs, [from] food to education, clothes and everything it involves,” Ronnie says.
But Ronnie says the Lord always found ways to provide for them, especially through Compassion, which offered meals, school supplies and a message of hope. He says that in the Child Sponsorship Program, he learned to take care of his needs and those of others.
Being sponsored, he says, "made me more sensitive and helped me give value to everything I have and to what the Lord gives me."
Ronnie, who studied auditing at a university in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and now oversees accounting at an auto-parts-importing company, can’t imagine how different his economic situation would be if it hadn’t been for the sponsorship program.
"But the most important thing is that through the project I was led to the Church,” Ronnie says. “And the principles and values one learns there are the most significant."