I sat in a crowded, dank space and listened to the rain water dripping.

I squinted in the dark and leaned in to hear the quiet voice of Vincent, a sponsored child, living in the heart of Kenya, in the middle of Hell, known as Mathare Valley. He was an orphan, a child thrust into adulthood too soon, leading his family of siblings, alone.

A Kenyan teenager sits on his couch/bed in his home in the Mathare Valley slum of Nairobi

He answered our questions with a kindness in his eyes, eyes that lit up when we asked about his sponsor.

He said his sponsor’s name in a revered tone and told us words he’d memorized from his last letter.

Someone in our group asked if he had a copy of a letter.

He sat on the edge of his couch/bed and reached behind the thin, tattered sheet that divided a small sleeping place and pulled out a much loved, worn letter from under his blanket. Vincent held the paper and grinned as he held up a picture of his sponsor, lightly touching the edges, pride evident on his face.

In that moment I realized the significance of sponsoring a child through Compassion International.

Child sponsorship is a small part of our busy lives, but in many ways and circumstances, it is a child’s life.

As I watched Vincent cherish his letter. It came alive to me in that tiny shack. In his soft voice he spoke sincere words I’ll never forget. They echo in my heart: “I pray for my sponsor. I pray for him every day.”

It was something I heard every time a sponsored child was asked about his or her sponsor. They would run and get their letters and say, “I pray for my sponsor.”

If sponsorship rescues a child from poverty, that makes each sponsor a hero.

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Donating to a charity is an important decision. So when you’re passionate about a cause and want to make a difference, we encourage you to do your research. Compassion is 100 percent committed to financial integrity, stewardship, and using each dollar wisely. If you have any questions about Compassion or exactly how your donation will be used, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Special thanks to Kristen Welch, co-founder of Mercy House, for sharing this story with us.

Questions?

Please call us at (800) 336-7676, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. MT to speak with a Compassion Representative.

Heroes Don't Always Wear Capes - Compassion International