Hi there! My name is Mushimiyimana Ange (yes, I know it is a mouthful! You can call me Ange), and I am one of Tim and Jennifer’s sponsored children. They began sponsoring me exactly one year ago. Today I want to share a little bit about me, and how being in the Compassion program has impacted my life.
First of all, I live in a small village in the hills of Rwanda not far from the Congolese border. I was born on October 22, 1995, a year after the terrible genocide that took the lives of over 800,000 Rwandans. Do you know what? Compassion came to Rwanda in 1980, so they were already on the ground when the terror began. They lost sponsored children in the genocide, and while they did have to shut down temporarily during the fighting, they stayed and helped people behind the scenes.
And just as importantly, Compassion stayed in Rwanda after the genocides, helping our country to heal and rebuild in the aftermath. I am proof of that!
I will be turning 17 in a month and I live with my mother; she works when she can at farming, so we don’t have a lot of money for food and things. My father died, so it is just the two of us. When I am not in school or helping my mother, I love running and playing with my friends. At home I help with cleaning, washing clothes and preparing meals. We do not have a home of our own right now; my mother’s dream is for me to finish school and get a good job so that I can build a house for us. She has worked very hard her whole life for very little, and she knows that school is our best hope for me.
Compassion has made a way for me to be able to go to school. This takes a great burden off of my mother’s shoulders! I can’t say for sure what my life would be like without Compassion and my child development center, but I do know that things would be a lot harder. There would be a greater chance that I would have to leave school altogether to work small jobs here and there. I would also be at greater risk for abuse and exploitation.
I am sure that you have plenty of opportunities to help children in your own country and in other parts of the world. But I do hope that hearing my story will lead you to consider sponsoring a child through Compassion. In addition to school, children in Compassion’s programs also receive regular meals and snacks, health check-ups and hygiene training, the care of a local church and (most importantly!) we get to hear about Jesus. And we get to experience Jesus’ love firsthand when we are cared for and loved by you.
I will conclude with the same blessing I send to the Touseys: I wish you God’s peace and abundant blessing, and one day to see our Lord Jesus Christ.
*Of course Ange didn’t really post today, but I wrote based on her letters to us and the information we have about her. Ange is our second teen girl from Rwanda; our first moved unexpectedly to an area without a Compassion program. We chose Rwanda because of the genocide. I remember as a teenager reading about the horrors over there, and feeling angry and helpless. I still feel angry and helpless about it. But one evening, after talking about Rwanda and how I felt after all these years, Tim and I realized that we weren’t totally helpless to help undo some of the wrongs that were done. No, we aren’t making up for hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of displaced families or devastated land. But we are making a difference in the life of one young lady, and in turn she will be able to make her once war-torn country a better place.
Is there a country or region of the world that is dear to your heart? Maybe you’ve traveled there, or maybe you’ve just dreamed of going. Have you looked before to see if Compassion is there? Just like in Rwanda, Compassion was in Haiti when the earthquake hit. They helped dig through the rubble and their country staff worked tirelessly to account for every single Compassion child. Maybe you have felt helpless as you have seen all the destruction that still persists in Haiti, of millions still living in tents. Compassion offers you a way to step out of helplessness and into giving hope.
I know this is a long post, but this is my last this month for Compassion. I hope that you have at least considered sponsoring a child. If not, will you pray about it now?
As promised, I do have a book to give to one reader. The book is Just a Minute by Dr. Wess Stafford, the president of Compassion International. In it he shares story after story of children and adults who have been children in need or who have helped children in need. These are amazing stories of God’s redemptive power, and of his love for his children.
How do you win? Easy! Just click over to the Compassion site and find a child in a country that is dear to your heart. Any country! (You can find the country tab in a drop-down box to the right of the page.) No, you don’t have to sponsor them (although that would be AMAZING!). I just want you to look at the face of one child in a country of your choosing. Write their name down and commit to pray for them this week. That’s it; just find a child to pray for. Then please come back here and leave a comment with the country you chose and the name of the child you will be praying for this week. I will join you in praying for them.
I will close out the comments on Sunday night and I will announce the winner on Monday.
I can’t wait to hear all about the children you see!
On April 21, 2011 this little blog had 1,668 views. That day stands as my record for most views in one day.
That was a big day- Charlotte’s first full day after her last open-heart surgery and naturally everyone who had ever heard about her wanted to check in and see how she was doing. (Or my grandma just kept refreshing her browser for new pictures… love you Gi Gi!)
As a mama, I love having a way to keep everyone up-to-date about Charlotte’s heart issues as well as just everyday things going on with Sam and Charlotte and our family. I appreciate so much the quick responses I get here when I ask for prayer or share something on my heart.
But truly one of the greatest privileges I have as far as this blog is concerned is a tiny little role I play for Compassion International. As you know by now, I will occasionally blog about children in poverty. And do you know why I do that?
Because their mamas can’t blog for them. Their mamas don’t have electricity or clean water, much less a shiny laptop and unlimited internet access. When Charlotte is going in for a heart cath or when Sam is having a hard time dealing with loss, I can plop down on the couch, write a quick post and soon enough the prayers are going up and the encouragement is being shared.
Every single day 10,000 babies under one month old die, and 10,000 more are stillborn. I’ve had thousands of people praying for my one baby, but thousands of babies are suffering and dying with no one to pray for them.
That’s why we love and support Compassion. They are giving a name and a face to over 1,000,000 (that’s million!) children all around the world. Compassion excels in orphan prevention and in giving children a hope and a future, in Jesus’ name.
I know that my posts about Charlotte will always get more attention than my posts about Compassion. I’m okay with that; I’ll keep writing anyway. I will blog for all those mamas out there who can’t.
If you are a Compassion sponsor, then you can be a Compassion Blogger. If you haven’t already, go check out the new Compassion Bloggers site; it’s pretty awesome!
I would love to answer any questions you have about Compassion. In addition to being a blogger, I am also a Child Advocate for Compassion. This is a new role for me, but I am excited to use my gifts and experiences to make more people aware of Compassion and, by God’s grace, release more children from poverty.
Have you ever been left out of something? Do you know what it feels like to miss out on something that all your friends are doing?
Tim has often told the story of being a high school kid who desperately wanted to go to the county fair with all of his friends. He and a friend were on the track team and due to a meet or practice, they would only be able to go to the fair really late one night. Tim’s parents were not thrilled at the idea of Tim driving down a poorly lit country road in the dead of night, and so they said no. An argument ensued; Tim felt wronged. He knew all of his friends would be having the time of their lives at that fair (at least it felt that way) and he would be stuck at home.
Tim was still able to go to school with all of the cool fair-going kids, and he was still friends with them, but they had a shared experience that Tim did not have. As a result he felt slighted and left-out.
Tim will be the first to tell you that missing out on that fair was not really a big deal. Yes, it was hard in that moment, but it really does not feel important now. He’s not bitter over it, and his life was not permanently impacted by his parents refusal to let him go.
But there are kids in this world right now who are being left out of a much more important event. Yes, they are able to attend school. Yes, they are making friends. But they are missing out on one very crucial thing.
Right now there are over 500 children attending Compassion International programs without a sponsor. Children who have been waiting over 180 days (six months) or longer for someone to come alongside them and love and support them. To make them feel special and loved.
Will you stop the waiting for one child today? It will only cost you $38 a month (less than $10 a week!) and the time it takes for you to write a letter every month or so. I won’t try to guilt you into sponsorship, but I will say that if you are reading this post on a computer at your home, or on a phone with a data plan, then you most likely have a measly $38 a month to spare.
But these children don’t have any more time to spare. Every day that goes by that they see their classmates receiving letters and gifts and photos from sponsors, while they sit empty-handed, is another day that the Enemy whispers a lie into their souls that they don’t matter.
Your sponsorship will tell them the truth, that they do matter.
I read once that, “God’s will is where your ability intersects with someone else’s need.” It’s really not all that complicated.
$38 will end the wait for one child today. And Compassion is being especially generous right now and offering a free scrapbook with a new sponsorship. They are very kind like that!
Here is a quick rundown of how things work for the kids:
If you need a little more convincing, here is a precious video that is sure to persuade you right over the edge into sponsoring a child:
Seriously, what in the world are you waiting for?