a gift of belonging

In 1992, an 18-year-old lady by the name of Kenda chose to begin a journey of faith through sponsoring a 6-year-old Kenyan girl. That little girl was me, Nancy. And Kenda’s decision changed my life.

In her first letter, what was so striking was the fact she said, ‘‘I am so glad that we get to become friends. God loves you so much and so do I.” For me this was so surreal, to become friends with a woman in America was unimaginable.

Over the years Kenda made me feel so loved, cared for, and greatest of all, gave me a sense of belonging.

I was born out of wedlock and I lived with my stepfather and my biological mom. Society had made me believe that I was unwanted, and since my stepdad was an alcoholic, my siblings and I were always referred to as “the drunkard’s children.” Society went further to demean us by telling and making us believe that nothing good would become of us.

The letters Kenda wrote me always bore words of encouragement. It did not matter the career I would pursue later in life, all Kenda wanted me to do was pursue something I was passionate about, and above all to know God and be of exemplary character. She reminded me many times of how beautiful and gifted I was.

nancy at age six

In 1992, Nancy, then 6, was registered into Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program.

nancy in 2007

Here Nancy is pictured in her third year of university in 2007.

Upon my graduation from Compassion, Kenda documented our sponsorship and friendship journey in a scrapbook complete with copies of all the letters she ever received from me and pictures of what was happening to her life in those years. What a treasure and keepsake.

I wanted to be the best and most outstanding woman in life. I felt in my sponsor I had a strong pillar, a shoulder to lean on and great inspiration.

Kenda is married to Jay and has four children: Caleb, Hannah, Nathan and Rebecca. Kenda and Jay’s thoughtfulness, prayers and support have steered me into the woman I am today. For 17 years of my sponsorship journey, my birthdays were celebrated each year faithfully through kind and lovely cards and gifts.

Through an act of sponsorship you are changing a life. Kenda and Jay did it and so can you. It is a worthwhile journey.

Currently Nancy works as a public relations officer and personal assistant to the CEO and Chairman of the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC). She also mentors young women in her community in Kenya.