LDP Students – Hope for a Future Through Compassion
STACEY GAGNE – Last night we sat in the presence of 2 young adults that are changing the world. Our staff had dinner with students from Compassion’s Leadership Development program. Bezaye Alehaligen and Sisay Aseta are already dynamic leaders in their community and are being equipped to do even more amazing things.
Love is a powerful thing. As we listened to the testimonies of Bezaye and Sisay and heard from the LDP Specialist Amanuel; it was evident that the love and hope that children receive from their sponsors and the leaders from the churches that invest in their life completely changed them. Thinking about the little boys and girls that I saw yesterday morning and their mothers looking to us in desperation and hope for sponsorship; and knowing that these 2 came out of the same situations and are on their way to being Engineers and Counselors was very inspiring.
As is the case with many children here, both of these students grew up in a single parent home where much was required of them. Bezaye is a young woman who lost her mother when she was 14. Her father worked nights and was unable to give the children any attention. She was required to fill the mother role for her family. She was blessed to have grown up within a Christian home, but as she shared “it was once a normal life but that all changed”. She shared how Compassion came along side of her and besides helping them financially and spiritually… she was very impacted socially as she got involved with the church, gained friends she would never had a chance to have and gained hope for a bright future. Now she is at University studying to be a counselor with the desire to sponsor her own child out of Ethiopia. She also hopes to have a family and adopt one day. She is highly involved in the community and her church and besides all of her studies; she is a film actress, singer, clothing designer and more. She shared about how she would wait in suspense for the letters from her sponsor. LDP Sponsorship is $300 a month. Can you imagine putting someone through college, Biblical and life skills training, mentoring and volunteer programs and more for that price in the U.S?
Sisay is a young man with HUGE dreams for the future. As he is studying to be an engineer with the goal of working in Aviation; his long term goal is to be Prime Minister of Ethiopia. For these students, the goal of seeing their community transformed for Christ is great. He shared both at dinner and during our sharing time that He longs to see someone in leadership that follows the Lord and leads with servant leadership. Sisay lost his father at age 4 and said that his CDSP sponsor from childhood became like a father to him. He would even write letters to him saying “Dear Dad” and “Love your Son”. He shared how he spoke into his life in many ways including socially, spiritually and about education. Sisay’s prayer request was for the rest of his family to know Jesus. He lit up to share that he does have some aunts and cousins that have accepted Christ. Sisay said “Compassion is an angel on my shoulder. When I went out of line there was always someone there to bring me back in line”. He gushed about the church leaders, project directors and social workers that taught him discipline while meeting his basic needs.
We have the opportunity to speak into the lives of children who have the potential to be world changers. Our letters may come at a time that they need to hear the voice of God through us encouraging them to press on and reminding them that they are loved. I hope that you will consider this opportunity to sponsor a child. February 20 and 21 we will be giving you more information and offering you an opportunity that will change lives!