I first learned about Compassion International at a Women’s Dessert Night in the fall of 2013 at ENCOUNTER. I had been invited to attend because I was a part of the MOPS Leadership Team and had been offered a free ticket. I accepted knowing I’d be sitting with other MOPS Team members. When I arrived I was told there were two MOPS tables, and I was seated at the one with a group of women I did not know. At the time I had a two young boys at home and was completely exhausted. I’m also an introvert. The last thing I wanted to do was to make small talk with people I didn’t know at 7 pm. I thought about leaving. All I wanted to do was be sitting on the couch next to my husband, unwinding from my day.
As the evening progressed a select group of women got up on stage to share about different ministries they were apart of. I listened to Arlonne Monroe share about Compassion International and how sponsoring a child can release the child from poverty and also teach them about God. Honestly, I wasn’t that moved. I went to help myself to a cup of coffee and when I picked up the carafe I saw a Compassion card with a little boy’s picture on it. As soon as I looked at him I knew he belonged with me and I belonged to him. His name was Kazimili and he had just turned 3 years old and lived in Tanzania. I had never felt such a connection to someone just from a picture. I immediately texted my husband and asked him if we could sponsor Kazimili. I knew that it was a monthly commitment and since he was so young, we would be committing for many years. My husband kindly told me we could talk about it when I got home. This was unacceptable. I knew I couldn’t take Kazimili’s card home unless I signed up to sponsor him and if I didn’t sign up to sponsor him I knew I could lose him. I couldn’t lose him. I texted my husband back again and explained the situation, that we had to sign up tonight or I had to give Kazimili’s card back. I begged him to trust me on this one. But he wouldn’t budge. He said he wanted to research Compassion and make sure they were a reputable non-profit.
I was desperate. I didn’t know what to do. And then Arlonne, the Compassion International representative, sat down next to me. I turned to her and begged her to have mercy on me and my situation. I told her I couldn’t let Kazimili’s card go and that I promised that I would drive the card to her house the next day whether we could sponsor him or not. I think I even told her she could have my first-born son if I went back on my word. Arlonne said, “Of course you can. I trust you!” I nearly jumped for joy.
I now knew the reason why I was at the Dessert Night at a table full of women I didn’t know, making small talk. I was there so I could meet Kazimili Fimbo, so that I could help change his life and he could change mine. Since agreeing to sponsor Kazimili, my husband and I have also started sponsoring another boy in Burkina Faso named Ousmane. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing this experience has been for me and my family. Knowing Kazimili and Ousmane has changed our world. And it has shrunk our world. Suddenly Africa doesn’t seem so far away. We have two boys there who know us and we get to pray for them and write them letters. They tell us what they are struggling with and how we can pray for them. They tell us they are praying for us too. How amazing is that?!
If you’d like to sponsor a child through Compassion, please visit me at the Compassion table this weekend or go on line to www.compassion.com/encounterlife