A Gift of Encouragement - Compassion International

A Gift of Encouragement Benjamin

  |   Posted: July 24, 2018

a gift of encouragement

Hello! My name is Benjamin Nuñez. I grew up in a sugarcane village on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic.

As a Compassion child, I had the blessing of being sponsored by the Roush family, in Colorado. I still have every letter I received from Jan and Steve.

Letters meant a lot to me, especially since it was the only way to communicate with my sponsors. In those letters, I learned so much that I felt like I was a part of their family.

I remember that in the first letter they sent, they mentioned that they were going to pray for me and my family. I asked them to pray for my grandmother who had been sick, and in their very next letter they told me how concerned they were for her. In fact, Jan even took the time to tell me about her father, who was turning 75 and how she was able to visit him.

When I was 14, tragedy visited my family. I lost my father, and my mom had to face life with three boys to raise. During this season the encouragement of my sponsors meant a lot. When my family was falling apart because of such an event, it felt like this family from Colorado was holding us tightly.


A group of smiling children standing outside of a building.

One of Benjamin's favorite activities was Vacation Bible School
at the Compassion center.

Seven children each holding a placard with a letter on it. Together the signs spell Navidad.

Benjamin (second from the right) participates in a Christmas program at the church.

When my family was falling apart because of such an event, it felt like this family from Colorado was holding us tightly.

There is not one single letter in which they didn’t ask about my mom or the entire family, or remind me that they were praying for us.

When I graduated from Compassion, saying goodbye to Jan and Steve was very difficult. But we all could say goodbye with the assurance that if we did not get to see each other in this life, oh what a great hope we have to reunite with Jesus one day.

Benjamin serves as the director of Family Empowerment at Makarios, a faith-based organization that provides sustainable education and outreach programs in impoverished communities. He currently lives and works in the same Dominican Republic village where he was raised, and is grateful for the unique opportunity to engage in holistic, transformative and gospel-oriented solutions to poverty in his hometown. He and his wife, Vielka, are expecting their first child soon!