My 50th Birthday Wish: 50 Kids Sponsored Through Compassion International

My 50th birthday is fast approaching…February 26!

My family asked me how I want to celebrate the day and we’re having a small celebration with just close friends and family and I’m looking forward to it!

As I thought more about this milestone birthday, I discovered that I have a birthday wish:

My 50th Birthday Wish

Hearts at Home has been partnering with Compassion for nearly 10 years and over 2200 children’s lives have been changed through that partnership.  But there are so many more children who desperately need help and a sponsor can make all the difference.

My daughters and I as well as a couple of Hearts at Home team members had the opportunity to travel to El Salvador with Compassion International in 2008. My life was forever changed on that trip and I knew without a doubt that I was called to be a voice for children who don’t have a voice.

photoThis past August, three Hearts team members and I had the opportunity to travel to Tanzania, Africa to both meet our sponsored child and to see first hand the experience the difference child sponsorship makes.

It was a powerful trip for me and since our sponsored child has now aged out of the program, it’s been my privilege to continue to communicate with her through email during the past few months.  Not all sponsorships continue after the child ages out of the program, but I am grateful I’ve been able to continue to encourage Theresia.

But that brings me to today….and my birthday wish.  I’m blowing out the candles and making a wish today that I hope you’ll help make come true for me and for a child who desperately needs you.  

Wanna be a part of my 50th birthday? Here how you can join the fun! 

1) I blogged about both of those trips and I want to encourage you to take a few minutes to read through my posts from those two trips. If you have the time to do that with your spouse and grade-school or older children, it could also bring about some great conversations about life in other parts of the world.

2) Use this opportunity to give (or ask for) a unique Valentine’s gift.  Do you really need another bracelet or could you and your spouse instead send a love message to a child by providing them with food, education, healthcare, and a family who loves them and believes in them?

3) Allow yourself to be stretched and challenged. I hope to share some of what I’ve learned about moms and kids in 3rd world countries who can be helped in such a simple way on our end and such a transforming way on their end.

4) Anytime you go to the Compassion site, please click through from my blog or blog posts. This will help us keep track of how many children are sponsored for my 50th birthday wish!  In fact, Compassion created a special page for this occasion…I feel so special! You’ll find it at (or click on any graphic or link on the page and it will take you there!)

969291_414547115332845_1616621982_n5) If you already sponsor a child, consider sponsoring a second or third child.  Or use this birthday wish of mine to prompt you to pray for your sponsored child, write to your child, or give a extra gift to your child’s family.

6) I want to hear about your child! Whether you already sponsor a child, or choose to do so to make my birthday wish come true, please share about your child by leaving a comment!

I’m not much for celebrating my own birthday….but I’m sooooo excited about this!  I hope you’ll join me in making this milestone birthday something to remember and making a difference in a child’s life! 



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21 thoughts on “My 50th Birthday Wish: 50 Kids Sponsored Through Compassion International

  1. I sat through the Compassion program at Hearts at Home for many years before I found the courage to participate. I am so glad to be a part of the program now. We sponsor a young boy in Tanzania who is the same age as one of my sons (11 yrs). Thank you, Jill, for putting these precious little ones out there for us to learn about and help! You are such an inspiration in so many ways!

  2. Our sponsored son’s name is Girma. He lives in Ethiopia. He just turned 7 years old in January. We just this week got new pictures of him this week and he has grown so much! It brought tears to my eyes! The last pictures of him were taken when he was five and he was still such a little boy, but now is starting to look like a young man! He has two parents and two siblings who are all day laborers. I am so happy that he gets to go to school and learn about Jesus. He walks to school and loves math. He also loves to help his family and loves to learn! He has huge gorgeous brown eyes. My dream is to one day be able to travel to Africa….like you did Jill. It’s my life dream. More than anything else. I want to go to Africa and while I am there, I would love to meet my sweet Girma! So happy that Hearts supports Compassion and that you have chosen what you did to celebrate your birthday! What an amazing way to celebrate!

    • Casey, maybe someday you can make that trip. What could you start doing today to practically make that dream come true? Even if it’s just setting aside $10/week…it can add up!

      • What an excellent idea. We are a Dave Ramsey debt free family and save for everything. For some reason, starting that saving now…without a plan of going or when never crossed my mind! But, I know it is something God has shown me, so why not?!?

  3. We are currently sponsoring our second child through Compassion. We sponsored our first just before we got married, and she was “our” child for 9 years before she promoted out of the program. Now, I actually keep in touch with her on facebook! She doesn’t speak a ton of English, but we get by! She recently told me I’m her second mom!

    Our current sponsor child is 3 days younger than our daughter. My daughter loves to get letters from Valentina, and almost always writes back the same day! They draw pictures for each other, and Valentina calls my daughter her sister!

    Though we’ve met neither of them in person, I love the relationships developed through Compassion! What a wonderful program!

  4. Hi Jill,
    We sponsor 5 compassion children and one world vision child. We chose six because we have six children. I was introduced to Compassion in college when our Christian Campus Fellowship sponsored a child. I love that Compassion keeps Christ center of the practical ways of support such as food, clean water, and education. Also I am thankful that Compassion not only cares for the children, but the whole family is given support as needed. We hope to take our family to visit some of our children through Compassion.

  5. We support two six year olds in Haiti. They have been our ‘girls’ since they were five each live in a different part of the country and have different types of affluence. For a birthday gift one received a chicken the other received a small party from her mom.
    We sent extra birthday money.
    I figured it this way, we can fritter away 38 dollars going out to dinner so why not spend it one someone who needs it worse. It is a blessing to receive the letters from them.

  6. Jill, we’ve had our 2 girls from Compassion the last 7 yrs. Finally called after hanging out @ Hearts at Home:) 1 in Brazil, 1 in India. They have birthdays the same days as our 2 biological daughters. We talk about and pray for our Compassion girls on each of our girl’s birthday. Forever a tie of being born on the same day 🙂 The letters make me tear up every time. Their pictures are on my fridge.

  7. Jill,

    As you know, your trip to El Salvador and how you passionately blogged about it, prompted me to sponsor my second child, Jennifer, from El Salvador! Now, several years later, she is 17 and a beautiful young woman who writes to us often. My experience with Compassion and sponsoring has been such an amazing gift from God and my life is so blessed from it. Last summer I was blessed to take a trip to Guatemala with my daughter through Compassion and meet our 1st sponsor child of 7 yrs, Belsy, as well as sponsor another little girl, Norma. What a blessing it has been to get to meet these two incredible children of God and to let them know how much we love them, pray for them and think of them back home. I plan on returning to Guatemala next January to once again love on these two girls. God willing, I plan on also traveling to El Salvador while I’m down there to meet Jennifer for the 1st time. Please pray that I’m able to accomplish both these wishes. Thank you for your continued support of Compassion and I pray that 50 or more kids get the sponsors they so desperately need in time for your birthday!!!

    • Debbie, I’m so excited to hear that you are planning more trips! What a blessing to you and to your sponsored children!

  8. At my second Hearts at Home convention, your message really spoke to me. I prayed that God would give me a sign if we were meant to sponsor a child. The first packet sent down my row was of a little boy that was born the same month/year as my own son. That was all it took! I signed up to sponsor Gilbert (he was 8 at the time) and went to the booth to find a little girl with my daughter’s birth month/year. We added Vivienne (she was 5 at that time). It is a blessing for us to be able to sponsor them and for my kids to be able to write letters and draw pictures for them. Thanks for all you do, Jill! Happy Birthday!!!

  9. We’ve talked many times about sponsoring, but yesterday we actually did it. Thank you for your challenge. We picked Gianella because she has waited the longest (352 days) and has many things in common with our oldest (also an 11 year old), who enjoys art and dolls…and performs above average in school. Kudos to you for choosing this way to celebrate your birthday!! Happy early birthday, Jill!

  10. I have been sponsoring a 6 year old boy from Ethiopia named Dawit for 2 years now through another organization. It has been such an awesome experience getting to know him and his family a little bit. I have been wanting to sponsor a little girl now for awhile so when I read your post I got pretty excited. The little girl who I now sponsor is also from Ethiopia, near the same area as my little boy. Sooooo I am hoping that one day when my daughter LyLah, who was adopted from Ethiopia, gets old enough I will be able to take her back there and visit the place she was born AND meet our 2 sponsor children! What a blessing this is not only for the children, but for the families sponsoring as well! Thanks for doing this, Jill