Compassion International

In January of 2010, I opened an email about Compassion.


I had never heard of the organization up until that point, but I remember that night as clear as a bell. It was freezing outside, and I was sitting on our mattress in our bedroom- checking my email on our laptop. The bedroom door was closed, but our room was warm thanks to an electric oil-filled radiator my Mom hooked us up with that Christmas. (Our HVAC was broken at the time…brrrr!) The woman who sent me the email was encouraging me to check out a website called, so I clicked on over and spent the next good-while taking it all in. I was so moved by everything I read.

After that, I scoured Google in search of blog posts about people’s experiences with Compassion. And after that, me and my teary-eyes got up off the bed to go find Kevin, so that I could show him everything I had discovered.

Long story short, that night ended with a lot more tears, and a sponsorship commitment to a little boy from Thailand named Wat. We received a photo of him in the mail about 2 weeks later…

Since then, we’ve received several letters from him (he’s too little to actually do the writing right now, so a project worker asks him questions and writes the letters for him), and we get so excited when we open our mailbox and find an envelope from him inside it! He loves playing, walking, and art (my kinda kid!), and he always includes a color crayon drawing with his letters. And lemme tell ya- Mr. Wat can rock the Crayola!

We received an updated photo of him this weekend, and I can’t believe how much he’s grown over the past two years!

Our sponsorship allows the staff of the Mae Um Lo Child Development Center near his village to provide him with Bible teaching, medical exams, recreational activities, academic support, hygiene supplies, and nutritious meals. But after reading a post called Lame Sponsors of the World Unite by Lisa-Jo at Gypsy Mama, we realized that it’s our words (not our $38/month) that are probably the most valuable to Wat. Lisa-Jo said, “We can literally change the course of a child’s history by investing in the person, not just the payment plan“. We want Wat to know that he matters. We want to encourage him to keep creating his amazing art, and we always remind him that we’re praying for him and his family.

When we feel like sending him an email (as opposed to a handwritten letter), we can log into our Compassion account, pick a letter template (there’s all kinds of cute ones!), attach a photo to it right from our computer, and Compassion will print it out and mail it to Wat for us. SUCH a neat service!

Sponsoring a child through Compassion will definitely change the life of a child living in poverty, but I have to tell you- your life will change too. You’ll be inspired to build a meaningful relationship with your sponsor child through letters, photos and prayers- and you can even visit them, too!

This isn’t a Compassion-sponsored post, and I’m sure most of you have already heard of or are already working with Compassion- I just wanted to share our experience with them. And who knows, maybe there’s someone reading this that hasn’t heard of them, and just found this post by Googling Compassion blog posts, like I did back in January of 2010.


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* We’re not sponsored by Compassion, we just think they’re an amazing company and our experience with them and Wat compelled me to write this post!


Today, give a stranger one of your smiles.  It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.  ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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  1. says

    Oh I love that you’re sharing this message – thanks so much. I’m still amazed every time I think about how far our letters travel and how treasured they are.

    ~warmest wishes

  2. says

    There is no better feeling than the one you receive when you help a child in need. Bless you for your compassion.

    Susan and Bentley
    @ Ash Tree Cottage

  3. says

    Loved reading your post on Compassion International. We have been a sponser to 2 girls through World Vision. I think it is nice that through Compassion you can send email, and even visit your child. World Vision doesn’t have those options. I have heard about Compassion a lot on the radio and have been thinking of sponsering another child. Now I just need to take action! Have a great day!

  4. Lisa says

    We sponsor Jenifer and Oscar in Guatemala and I love that our two children write to them and pray for them like they are little brothers and sisters. We are blessed just by trying to be a blessing to them! Just goes to show… you can’t out-give God. ;-)

  5. says

    So happy that you two are sharing about this wonderful organization. We “have” two children – one we’ve had for 6 years and one for 5 years. We cherish their letters and are so glad our own children adopted them at summer camp and have someone to write and support. And the best part – the name says it all -compassion in Jesus’ name!

  6. says

    This is one of those posts that makes you feel good. :) Each year I try to find a present to give the entire family (just my husband & two kids) that serves others and I think this might be it this year. Thanks Layla!

  7. says

    Hi Layla, what a dear little boy Wat is. We are also Compassion ‘parents’ to 10 year old Eliezer in Nicaragua for the past 4 years. This is a wonderful organization and I believe our letters and photos give these children such pleasure and joy as well as the necessities of life with our monthly support. We have so much and they have so little. What a blessing! God bless you and your friend that showed you Compassion! Pamela

  8. says

    Our church has been in a partnership with a church in El Salvador through Compassion, and lots of people from our congregation have had the opportunity to go for mission trips. They have actually been able to meet (and hug and kiss) their sponsor child and their family. They have spent 1-2 weeks at a time caring for the group of children that come to the little Compassion school that now helps more than 400 children daily. It’s been so amazing to see our church grow in their love for those around the world and to see the sponsorship of children around the world grow, simply because of personal experience. But the best part was seeing how the kids changed our lives, not the other way around :) It’s an AWESOME program!

  9. says

    I love my Compassion child, Sofia! She was only five when we first sponsored her, but now she’s almost 11 and can write her letters herself! I love hearing from her, and I love that she confides in me and asks me to pray for her family.

  10. says

    As newlyweds, we began sponsoring a child through Compassion. It was wonderful to watch him grow over the years and see him finally graduate with many more opportunities than anyone in his family had previously had, headed toward a bright future. Terrific program.

  11. says

    Hi Layla! I stumbled across your blog today and was so excited to read this! I have a child that attends the Mae Um Lo Child Development Center as well! She just turned 5 and had a recent photo update, just like Wat. How precious to think that our sponsored kids know each other. God Bless!


  12. says

    I LOVE you!!!!!!!!!!! Wat is so cute! We have Kalfin in Thailand. How cool would it be if they were in the same village???

    We are totally lame about writing to our kids…I had NO idea about the email thing! Totally gonna get on that. And I love that we can attach photos!

    Thanks for sharing this, El. Love your heart.

  13. Tiff says

    I have a friend here in Australia who works for Compassion and gets to travel a couple of times a year to different projects around the world. He has been able to meet his sponsored child twice and he & his wife have been able to keep a strong relationship going with her even though she is too old for the program now. He speaks so highly of the work he sees going on first hand across the world.
    It gives me the confidence to sponsor a child through them knowing that they truly make a long-term positive difference in the life of a child (& the child’s family). One time Compassion even called me personally on Christmas Eve to tell me that my sponsored child’s father had died. I was thankful to know so we could pray for her and write to her straight away.
    I hope you guys get to enjoy a great relationship with Wat for the rest of your life.
    (sorry I rambled!)

  14. says

    We love Compassion. My hubby and I have sponsored 2 children since 2005. Julieth is 12 now and lives in Colombia. We love the new technology on the site…it’s so easy to write a letter and send pictures to them. We had a little boy named Marlon but he was taken out of the program by his family for unexplained reasons in 2008. We still think of and pray for him. Compassion is a terrific organization! Love this post.

  15. says

    Thanks for sharing this post. For the past several years we have sponsored a boy through an orphanage, Living Hope, in Mexico. He his now grown and recently left the orphanage but we enjoyed getting to know him through the years and see him develop into a young man. Last month we were switched over to another young boy. I am excited about getting the chance to correspond with him and watching him grow up!

  16. says

    we have been sponsoring children through compassion international for over 20 years……it is a great organization, one i am sure actually helps the children!!

    hugs for doing this too!!

  17. says

    Compassion International is a wonderful organization! We sponser two children from Guatemala and one day I’d like to be able to take my own kids over there to meet them!
    Glad you decided to sponser!

  18. heidig says

    We love Compassion. We sponsor a girl in the Dominican Republic and a boy in Kenya and we treasure their letters like they treasure ours. It’s wonderful what Compassion does for underprivileged children around the world. Check out their site – you’ll be glad you did!

  19. says

    My last post was on Compassion, too! I was giving for Christmas and thought I’d send an e-mail when I discovered they’ve updated the online letter writing abilities. You can choose your paper, upload three photos and just send it with the click of a mouse! I’t’s a wonderful option for us while we’re stationed overseas!!

  20. says

    Layla! This is so awesome! Your heart is so big. :)
    I have heard of Compassion, but I should look into it more. I think my boys would love sponsoring a child!
    Bless you and thank you for sharing this.

  21. Ariel says

    Compassion is an excellent organization to partner with. Their mission is Christ-centered and their financials are remarkably good for a non-profit.

  22. says

    We sponsor a little guy from India, but we’ve been horrible about writing. :( Thankfully, my little people are getting a bit older and LOVE writing to him–so now we actually have it scheduled into our week. And just noticed how easy it is to write online–love that! But I had no idea that you could attach pictures–that’s awesome!!!!! Sending things in the mail is an absolute weakness on my part–but doing things online is so easy–thanks for writing this post! :)

  23. Merry says

    Goodness, Layla!! Can you even believe how many of your readers sponsor children thru Compassion?? I, too, have 2 children that are in their teens now. When I was a new Christian, Compassion came to my church and we started with a little girl in Uganda named Racheal, then a couple of years later, met Sanjith from India. Having notes going back and forth is absolutely wonderful! I just imagine their faces when they get their letters! THANK YOU FOR SHARING as this will bring a wonderful way to help children everywhere trapped in poverty! Bless you both!

  24. says

    Good for you! I have a little baby girl I sponsor from the Phillipines with World Vision. If every family sponsored one child, we may not have so much child hunger in the world. Thanks for doing your part!

  25. says

    We sponsor 2 kids through compassion! We actually got a letter from one of the girls, today! :) We started this when we had Andrew. Then, when we had Alex we decided on another. We figure that both of them will be able to write to them once they can write. For now we are going to send pictures and write about them and learn more about their families. Good stuff!

  26. says

    My family lives in Shell, Ecuador and we are missionaries with Mission Aviation Fellowship. A lot of our flying is for Compassion Int’l. I just thought I’d let you and all the many who have commented on this post know that Compassion uses your money like they say they do! I know sometimes people are leery about sending money and knowing for sure where it’s going….but, we can attest that it is being used in a mighty way!

    Just one of those ways is for “camp week”. Camp week is always an exciting time for the pilots. They fly all of the Compassion kids out of the jungle (at least those that have completed their assigned Bible book work and memorization homework) and then they are bussed to the beach for a week of camp. For some, it’s their first trip out of the jungle, and for most their first trip to the ocean! I can’t even imagine what that’s like for them!

    Anyway, I could go on and on. But, I just wanted to also say thanks for your sponsorship too!

  27. Annelies says

    We are blessed to have a darling young boy named Wedston as our sponsered child. Our church introduced us to Compassion International. The respose from members was amazing. Our sweet boy is from Haiti and we sponsered him just weeks before the devastating earthquake. It took a LONG while of prayer and patience to learn he and his family were safe.
    Thanks for the information about the email communication. I did not know that was possible and now I can’t wait to take part. Blessings and Fall hugs from ME!!!!

  28. Alecia Shannon says

    That is AWESOME! I Love Compassion International…they do such a great job of reaching out and making a difference around the world.
    Your little Wat is PRECIOUS! :-)
    Thanks for sharing!

  29. says

    Thanks for the reminder to contact our kids–we have 2 and don’t do a good job keeping in contact with them. :( Compassion is an amazing organization!

  30. Shawn says

    Hey Layla, Thank you for this wonderful post! It is such an encouragement to see how families are involved with Compassion. We have fallen love with our children, Michephainia a precious girl from Haiti and Issac from Uganda. I feel I have received so much more than I have given.
    All the best,

  31. says

    Thanks for this post! I tend to forget at times just how blessed the hubs and I are in our snug little house in Dallas. We’ve been looking for a way to give back. Our church does sponsorships through World Vision, but looking at Compassion’s website, I’d really like to think more about their organization.

    Thanks again for sharing.

  32. says

    Hi Layla and Kevin! How wonderful! We’ve actually been sponsoring a little boy from India for a little over a year now. Honestly, it has been a wonderful experience. I, too, get excited when I see a letter from him in our mailbox and agree whole-heartedly that the letters we write are just as important, if not more, than the monthly support. It’s neat to see that even though we are thousands of miles away, we can love and serve the same amazing God. Thanks for sharing!

  33. says

    We have Juliet in Uganda with World Vision! We have never heard of Compassion before now but it sounds very similar to WV. We love sending Juliet gift boxes, getting a recent photo and a picture from her. You’re right, it’s soooo much more than just a financial plan… it’s so to her as well as our family to have her in our lives. Thank you for this post, hopefully it will encourage more people to sponsor children!

  34. says

    Hey girl! What a wonderful post! Mr. Marvelous and I have sponsored a little girl in India for the past 2 years and we just think the world of Compassion and the amazing Compassion Bloggers. Way to spread the word! Love you! E

  35. Brianne says

    I sponsored a little girl (Jackie) in Columbia through Compassion while I was in college, and I sponsor another little girl (Subira) in Tanzania through World Vision now. I think both organizations do such a great job loving these kids and showing them how much Jesus loves them, too. Thank you for sharing this post!

  36. Elizabeth B says

    Thank you for sharing this! I sponsor a little girl through Compassion, and you’ve given me the push I need to write her!

  37. says

    We sponsor Maria from Indonesia! So happy to hear that you are sponsoring Wat! I love Compassion and look forward to sponsoring more children in the future.

  38. says

    My husband and I have sponsored two children from Uganda since the Fall of 2007 and it is amazing to see them grow through their letters and updated pictures. The first time I got a letter from them I cried. It is such a special thing to be a part of. I am glad we get to take part in His Kingdom in this way. :) I love love love Compassion International and what they stand for and do!

  39. Susan Wheelis says

    Thank you for sharing such a great post. I have sponsored a little girl name Lincey from Honduras for 5 years. It is such a great suggestion to send a note and picture over the internet. She will definitley get a word of encouragement from me today!

  40. Pam says

    As a Compassion employee the past 15 years, all these comments brought me to tears. It is such a privilege to serve the children and sponsors of Compassion every day. May I say:
    – You are correct, the letters to your child are of greatest value in letting them know they are important and loved by you and God.
    – The new web letter writing pages are truly fun, try it! Questions? call 800-366-7676, we will gladly walk you through it!
    – Sponsors, now is the time to send your child a Christmas Card; you can even send a musical card.
    Thank you, all you precious sponsors!

  41. says

    Thank you, Layla for sharing your experience with us. Our church heavily supports Compassion and we serve them by praying for the organization. Wat’s life will never be the same because of your support. Thank you! -cd

  42. Lindsey Millard says

    Oh Layla….You touched my heart!
    When I was a junior in high school I had the opportunity to travel to Thailand to work with missionaries that our church supported. We rebuilt the foundation of a house for a school teacher to live in at a Christian school there. We worked with the Karan tribe and let me tell you….those were the most appreciative, hospitable people I have ever come across. We worked side by side with boys and girls that benefited from that school. We couldn’t understand each other, but laughing is the same in ANY language!! I remember one day an ice cream tuk-tuk came by and our group pooled our money to buy everyone a cold treat on a hot day. The smiles!!!! Oh mercy, Thailand is called “The Land of Smiles” for a reason!! The students there come from the hill tribes around the area, so many of them have never had the means to travel into the city to get things like ice cream or McDonald’s! Thanks for letting me share my little experience with you in a comment. Even if you never read this, it sure made me smile just to recall my visit there and the lives we touched!! God bless you for being a part of an incredible organization like Compassion International!

  43. Sarah Nutter says

    Thank you so much for this!! These kids deserve to be seen and freed–and I know that you just helped make that possible because of this post.

  44. Karen B. from Saskatchewan says

    Thanks so much for promoting Compassion. I agree that they are doing a wonderful work around the globe! I began to sponsor a child in 1999 and since then our family is now sponsoring our 7th child, 2 of which were able to finish sponsorship as their family economic situation changed and no longer needed the support. We were very sad initially to not be able to write to them anymore, but also happy to hear that their family had done so well through the support of Compassion. In case there are more Canadians out there who would like to get on board and sponsor one of these sweet children, the Canadian site is found here:

  45. Allison H. says

    The day you made this post, I went to Compassion and we sponsored two children- little Mariette from Togo and Emmanuel form Kenya. Then last night we attended an Amy Grant/ Michael W Smith concert and they talked about Compassion and had sponsor packets. MANY people including my Mom :) were inspired and many children got sponsored last night. It was an awesome thing to witness!! Thank you for bringing this wonderful organization to the attention of your readers, I was not aware of it before your post. Now I have come into contact with it twice in the last 3 days! With continued exposure like this may Compassion continue to grow and may many more children be blessed and saved!! I will sing the praises of this wonderful organization to all I know! Thank you!!!

  46. says

    Hey Layla! I am sponsoring a little girl in Kenya through Compassion. Getting her letters are like winning the jackpot every time! Thanks for your post. Compassion is such a wonderful program. I love hearing everyone’s experiences.

  47. Nataly says

    Love this post! My husband and I were moved to sponsor a little girl named Lillian through Compassion 6 years ago and we just returned from Kenya where we got to meet her. It was an incredible experience! Compassion really is an amazing organization.

  48. says

    compassion is an incredible organization. we have sponsored children for years. there’s nothing better than receiving a letter from them:)

    your post was a good reminder to me to write a letter back. thank you!

  49. Leslie says

    Never underestimate the power of a blog post! It was Compassion bloggers who got me off the fence and into action! I have an “empty nest” now, but sponsor a little girl who shares my daughter’s birthday (Sruthi, from India); and a little boy who shares my son’s birthday (Breynor, from Guatemala). Our Sunday School class (I teach junior high and high school girls) also recently became Compassion correspondents — some kids are sponsored by businesses or individuals who are not interested in corresponding with them. I also read Lisa-Jo’s post about the importance of words, and our kids are now corresponding with Roubenson from Haiti, and letting him know he’s loved and prayed for! It’s a wonderful ministry opportunity for those who can’t afford the sponsorship but still want to make a difference in the life of a child! I LOVE Compassion!

  50. Debbie says

    I’m so excited you posted about Compassion!! They really are an awesome ministry. We have sponsored a little Brazilian boy for a few years now. If you have time, I also HIGHLY recommend a book written by their current CEO, Wess Stafford. It is called “Too Small to Ignore: Why the Least of These Matter Most.” It is part his life story, which is incredible, and part what God has to say about children. It is an incredible book!
    Thank you again! I really enjoy your blog and I probably will even more now that I know y’all are fellow Compassion supporters!! God bless!

  51. says

    This is the way to demonstrate faithfulness,love,trust to God.Kind Samaritan story give us the light to serve whom.

    We are very blessed that Jesus is our ever living God,Father,Friend and Provider.Source of all Sources.
    I’m fortunate to read this blogs’ comment about a sponsor and his feeling.We are ensouraged when we see the great attention to a child who is in poverty.As a Compassion field office staff this kind of sharing gives us alternative ways of thinking about holistic child development.

  52. LC says

    I just wanted to let you know that I sponsor a compassion child and I have visted a compassion school in Peru. The investment in these children and their families are worth every single penny. Seeing the ministry in action first hand solidified my commitment to this organization.

  53. Karrie Gee says

    We sponsor a 13 year old boy from Africa. His name is Noaga and my own boys call him their brother and love to share his info with their friends. We too get lots of drawings from Noaga and LOVE to receive them. I love the fact too that Compassion sent us a recent 5×7 picture of him (which we have framed in our living room) and wallets. It is such joy to receive his letters and for him to personally ask about my boys. Compassion is a great opportunity to help those in need and to help my family as well.

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