Compassion Blogging Trip: Day 1

This post was originally published May 6, 2012, during my time in Tanzania with Compassion International. Currently Compassion is in the Dominican Republic with a group of bloggers, sharing the story of how Compassion is releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name. Please follow their journey in the #compassionbloggers hashtag and through the Compassion site then join us Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on Twitter as we tweet live with the blogging team.

And now, my story begins…

Compassion Tanzania
“You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.” – Isaiah 25:4

Today was the first day of my week long journey with Compassion International, traveling to Tanzania with a team of bloggers to learn more about what Compassion is doing to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

I am a planner, but from the start, this trip has forced me to embrace the saying, “Let go, let God.”

Not one moment of the trip was in my hands from flight locations and times to dress code to the daily itinerary.  I decided very quickly after signing on to be part of the trip that this was entirely in God’s hands, and I needed to give it up to him.  I wouldn’t be creating spreadsheets to decide on the best hotel or writing daily itineraries on bright yellow legal pads.  Instead I would need to go with the flow.

Even so, I thought I knew enough about the plans to be prepared for what I would experience here.  I could not have been more wrong.  Yes, there were a few shocking moments on our way here, from missing our connection and spending ten hours in the Amsterdam airport to flying past Mount Kilimanjaro, it’s snow capped peaks so close I swore I could touch them.  But those moments could not even begin to touch the overwhelming surprise when we went to our first Child Development Center visit today.  

I was overwhelmed with the intense poverty I saw all around me as we drove to the center.

I was overwhelmed by the joy on the children’s faces when they saw us, joyful simply for our presence.

I was overwhelmed by the claps and ululations when, led by Compassion’s Shaun Groves, we went before a group of children and their parents and heard from one mother about what it has meant for one of her children to be a sponsored Compassion child.

Despite this sense of being inundated with thoughts, emotions, and information, there are two lessons from today that I must share before we begin it all again tomorrow.

1. When you sponsor a child through Compassion International, you are not only changing the life of that child, but you are affecting the entire family positively.  As we were told today by our leader Shaun, the opposite of poverty is enough.  The goal is not to move these children into the lap of luxury, and yet taking care of the basic needs of one child suddenly allows more resources to their siblings, less worry to their parents, a stronger opportunity for the entire family to form a relationship with Christ.  Simply moving the dial from not enough to enough is sometimes all it takes to change the life stories of whole families.

2. There are kids in Compassion’s child development centers who are waiting for a sponsor right now, and who are already receiving services. In fact, in the center we visited today in Mwanza, over 50 of the 230+ kids currently in the program are still in need of a sponsor for $38/month. Once those children have been matched to a sponsor, more places will open up for other kids in the community who could benefit greatly from the programs and services provided by Compassion.

What can you do to help?  All week while I am in Tanzania, I am asking my readers to think carefully and pray sincerely about sponsoring a child in Tanzania.  I look forward to sharing more about my experiences each day and hope you will continue to follow along!

Read the reflections from my fellow Compassion Bloggers at


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  • For anyone on the fence about sponsoring, I need to share that taking that faith step in 2009 to sponsor Precious in Ghana has been a defining moment in our lives. Our family has been radically changed since we listened to that urging on our hearts and clicked the “Sponsor This Child” button.

    Our perspective, our thoughts on giving, our walk with God…. so many things have been impacted by bringing that first sweet girl into our family.

    We’ve changed lives, twelve around the world and counting, and we’ve been changed. Immensely. Undeniably.

    We pray for the blogger team and for those whose hearts may be being tugged by your posts.

    You CAN do this.

    • Michelle,

      Thank you not only for reading and sharing in my experience, but also for your inspiring words. I wish that everyone could see for themselves the truly incredible impact that is being made throughout the world by Compassion International and their sponsors, and I hope to communicate and convey that clearly this week.

      Thank you again!


  • You say this all so well, Amy. Yes – the spreadsheet planning is impossible on a trip like this…I love the image you paint, that it’s not about moving these children into the lap of luxury, but taking care, one resource at a time – and how Compassion does that so well.

    Many are praying for your team.

    • Emily, thank you for your prayers and your supportive comment. And also for your sister who has been delightful to get to know this week! 🙂

  • Amy, When I learned you were joining this group, I was thrilled; you’ll bring in a host of new readers who aren’t already familiar with Compassion’s work and have the honor of being a harbinger of GREAT news :).

    You’ve always struck me as one who has a big heart for others, and now, I think it might even grow some more. Using your words and platform for this purpose is significant; how wonderful you said YES!

    The one thing I’m certain about where CI is concerned is the investment is multiplied as you’ve indicated here; it’s not just helping one child it IS relieving pressure on the entire family.

    Praying for you and all. 🙂


    • Thank you for reading and for your prayers, Robin!

  • I love this “Simply moving the dial from not enough to enough is sometimes all it takes to change the life stories of whole families.” … I am loving your experience and reading about it.

    • Thank you, Sara! Hang with us – lots more to come 🙂

  • I would really love to, but being on disability, and hubby looking for a different job makes things ify around here. Some day I would really like to sponsor a child and keep in touch with him/her. It would really mean a whole lot to me.

    • Dolly, I love that you have a heart for giving even in your own time of need! If you ever find that you are able and called to give, but not yet able to commit to a monthly sponsorship, check out critical needs giving opportunities with Compassion here:

  • Amy I am SO grateful to be able to share in your experience through your posts…keep them coming…you will change lives all over the world =)

    • Thank you, Molly! And I know that you shared that you were feeling called to sponsor a child now or possibly in the future. I can’t wait to hear more about the journey YOUR family is just beginning!

  • This is a beautiful post. As a fellow Compassion blogger, I’m eager to continue seeing these children through your eyes. Thanks for answering God’s calling!

    • Thank you, Tristine! We are all feeling your love, support and prayers.

  • Katie K

    I stumbled across this blog tonight and am praying for you all!! My Compassion child is in Tanzania, and it is a blessing and a gift to share the love of Christ her through the ministry. If you happen to meet a little girl named Paschalia, tell her I love her and am praying for her. God’s blessings on you all!!

    • Katie, I met many amazing little girls today and can imagine that her day to day life is very similar to Paschalia’s. Please know that your letters, gifts, and monthly sponsorship is doing incredible things not just for Paschalia, but for her whole family and the other children around her in her community.

  • This post had me teary. I love Compassion and I’m so glad you are getting to share what they do first-hand. Can’t wait to hear more!

    • Thank you for reading, Kristen! Wish you were here with us!

  • It is strange how when you are given the chance to change the life of someone else, God totally changes you instead. May you continue to be blessed and bless the life of others.

  • What an amazing opportunity, it will be a life changing event in your life no doubt! I went to Guatemala with Save the children in December and life changing is the only way to fully describe the trip. Being in the midst of the people and their struggles in developing countries is overwhelming.

    Sponsorship is also so important. We have been sponsoring a child in Bolivia for 17 years. Next month our sponsorship for this child comes to an end. The relationship we have developed with our sponsored child and his family is priceless!

    Keeping you all in our prayers this week! 🙂

    • Tiany, what an incredible experience for you and also how incredible for the child you have sponsored. Thank you for following along on our journey. The support of readers has been comforting and inspiring.

  • […] to enough is sometimes all it takes to change the life stories of whole families” – Amy, who’s now in Tanzania Tell Your Friends:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

  • Thank you friend for your willingness to step out and make a difference. Praying for you and your team. I love that you are serving, seeking to make a difference, but at the same time, I can hear you changing in your words! Love that and love you!!!

    • Becky, thank you for your prayers! Love the support of my prayer warrior friends 🙂

  • Will be praying for you all! This is a dream of mine, as I have sponsored a little girl from the Philippines for over 2 years. I felt God calling me to take this step at a time when my husband was unemployed and we were taking money from the piggy banks to make ends meet! It was absolutely the best decision I could have ever made. God has blessed me and my family over and over again, and I have never missed the $38(God provides)! Kris Ann (my sponsored child) has blessed me more than I could ever be blessed.

    • Kelly, thank you for sharing your Compassion story!

  • I don’t sponsor a child, but am a correspondent with a lovely young lady in Tanzania named Fatuma. If you happen to see her, would you be so kind as to give her a hug and a hello from Rebecca?!

  • Oooh, I love “the opposite of poverty is ENOUGH”. So so glad you’re on this trip, Amy! Can’t wait to hear more.

    Praying for you all!

  • Your descriptions and insights are so motivating!! I sponsor two children right now in Guatemala (long personal story), but you know there is always room for one more! I just signed up for Compassion to choose a little girl in Guatemala age, 3-8 that I will sponsor.

    As always, you inspire me! Looking forward to hearing more about your trip.

  • I am a new reader here – here because of the trip. I am so glad you are on this trip and so thankful that we, as readers, can come along and share in your experience.

    Thank you for going and thank you for helping spread the word about the work and ministry of Compassion International!

  • That photo of that little girl in the white dress – her pure joy and beauty and that smile! She is why Compassion exists. Children like her all around the world are living without ENOUGH and it’s just not right. I consider the little girl my family sponsors as a part of our family. She is our third child and we love her. Every child deserves to have enough.

    • Lindsay, thank you for commenting and for sponsoring a child through Compassion. It means so much to know that we have the prayers and support of so many back home.

  • […] “Simply moving the dial from not enough to enough is sometimes all it takes to change the life stories of whole families” – Amy […]

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