A few years ago, my friends came back from a trip to the Philippines, where they’d seen the work of Compassion firsthand. I had no intention of sponsoring any more children, but both my girls were in the Philippines, so I was keen to learn about their environment.
They had visited Bohol, home to the world’s smallest monkey. The did some typical tourist things…and then came the shock. They also did a Compassion home visit – a home you had to climb a ladder and manoeuvre through a hole to get into (in the slums, homes are often built on-top of each other).
They asked the family what they were having for tea. Triumphantly, the woman showed them the egg she would boil. This wasn’t one boiled egg each. This was one boiled egg … between seven people! That had such an impact on me. I’ve never been able to forget it. I knew I wanted to do more. On Compassion’s website, I found two boys in the Philippines.
I decided to sponsor, Russel who is probably the sweetest of my children. He’s nine now. He wants to be a seaman, and dreams of coming to the UK to spend time with me. In a recent letter, he said: “I thank God for giving me a sponsor like you. … When I grow up, I want to help you also”. Wow! Did I think like that as a child? Can you imagine, ‘Dear Gran. Thank you for the present you gave me! When I grow up, I want to help you?’
I never included that in any of my childhood thank-you letters; it never even entered my head. This boy is amazing!