A Bed, A Bag of Rice & A Business

His name is Francios (said in my best French accent which sorta sounds like fancy Texan).

He’s six:

He’s one of the Compassion children our family sponsors. He lives in Togo, Africa. In the last six months, he’s written us five letters!

God blessed our family with some extra and we were able to send Francios a family gift a couple of months ago. Compassion allows you to send a financial gift every year to your Compassion children.

Last week, when my daughter opened a Compassion envelope, she gasped. I could tell it wasn’t an ordinary (although always special) letter.  This photograph was accompanied with a letter of thanks from Francios’ family:

With our family gift (small by American standards), this precious family bought there first bed! (There are 5 in the family) They bought rice and supplies and most importantly, they started a business! (selling used clothes)

One of my favorite things about Compassion is they don’t just help people out of poverty, they give families the tools to help themselves. They meet with the family when a family gift is given and help them decide how to spend it best.

This financial gift -that we’ll never miss- might have changed Francios’ family.

But it changed mine more.


Rescuing children from poverty is one of the most inspiring and beautiful experiences our family has ever shared together. It’s never too late to sponsor a child. You can do it today.


  1. 3

    Victoria says

    I wanted to share that the Lord used your blog to spur my family and I to sponsor our first child through Compassion, Bladimir in El Salvador. And to thank you for your prayers for my mother in law, Ellen. I had emailed you in July requesting prayer for her brain tumor. Praise God she made it through surgery and the rough recovery. Two weeks ago she returned to the doctor to find out about radiation for the remaining tumors (all were non-cancerous) and THE TUMORS WERE GONE. Truly we serve a God of miraculous healing and unfathomable love. He healed her completely and she will not have to do any radiation. Your blog is amazing, but your testimony and witness have already made forever impacts. God bless you.

  2. 5


    God is so good to allow us to be used! Our Compassion child just had a birthday this week, and we sent a little extra along. I pray that it will impact her family as well. Thanks for sharing your heart Kristen. It is because of your journey that we sponsor this sweet girl and now my husband is planning a Compassion Sunday in our church. Your journey also helped open our eyes and begin our own journey to Ethiopia to bring a son home. You are impacting eternity, and will probably never realize the domino affect your own personal journey is creating. Keep being used. Thank you so much for being tender.

  3. 6


    this just makes my heart so happy. thank you for allowing the Lord to use you to encourage people you’ve never met. and what a blessing to share the way God is using your family and Compassion!

  4. 9


    So cool!!! Isn’t it such a blessing to see how much just a little can change an entire family’s lives?! Love it! I’ve shared this post with many of my friends to keep the “compassion” going & growing! Thanks for all you do!

  5. 12


    I started sponsoring Maxwell in March, since then we have received 5 letters from him. LOVE! We are so blessed. This year, my husband, 4 kids and I have decided to do with less for Christmas, so that we can do more for Maxwell’s family. It is my prayer that it blesses his family as much as your gift blessed Francios’ family!

  6. 13

    Marcy M says

    That is so amazing! What a blessing to know that you made such a big difference in that families life! One of the boys we sponsor has a birthday next month and I can’t wait to hear what he bought with the gift we sent him. Sponsoring these children really does change you and the way you think about things.

  7. 15


    Hey! Your posts reminded me that we were always going to sponsor a child… but just hadn’t done it. Because of that, we now sponsor Kumar in India and Alfred in Uganda. Thanks for writing and kickstarting me into gear. =) I decided to try and do the same, so I put a plug for Compassion on my blog today. Thanks for your great example.

    • 15.1

      kristen says

      Ellen-SO PROUD of your decision! Kumar and Alfred will never be the same. Neither will you! Blessings.

  8. 16


    How wonderful! My parents sponsored a child for years through Compassion, and I’ve been thinking I need to do this myself. Thanks for the encouragement.

  9. 18

    Melanie says

    I so love reading your blog. You have touched me by your compassion for Compassion!! I tell everyone about your life-changing experience. We sponsor a girl in Haiti through Baptist Haiti Mission. After reading about your trip, we have scheduled a trip to Haiti to visit and missionary. My 2 children: ages 12 and 10 and I will leave just in 2 weeks. We are part of a group of 12. We will have a Vacation Bible School and will work in the orphanage. I truly believe that this could be a life-changing experience for our family also.
    Thank you for telling us about it.

  10. 19


    That is so awesome! I have no extra for family gifts right now, but have already decided that some of my April tax return will be going to my girls’ families.

  11. 20

    Diane says

    Hi Kristen –
    I’ve been popping in and reading your blog since you went to Kenya. I’ve been sponsoring kids through Compassion for more than 25 years and your team was able to meet up with my child Debborah in the KE-355 project in Nairobi.

    One thing that was very helpful to me was to see how a very little can impact the families there. Monthly rent is $5 or $6 per month, and the average wage in Debborah’s project is just $20 a month. Before the trip, I thought that it was only worth it to send family gifts of $100 or more, but since reading the reports from the Kenya blogging trip, I try to send a little extra each month for the family, even if I can only send $5 or $10. Even though it doesn’t have the life changing impact of a lump sum annual gift, those little amounts help relieve a lot of stress and may just keep the families in their homes for another month.

    So I encourage your readers to keep that in mind and know that even gifts that feel embarrassingly small to us are a huge blessing to them, as are letters with words of encouragement and support.

    Rejoicing with you over the impact of your family’s gift – both the one you gave and the one you got! :)

  12. 21


    I have been “too” busy (not really, but I told myself that) to write my sponsored child in the last few months. I starting sponsoring Olympia during your group’s trip to Kenya. I got my first real letter from her last month. I cried. It was AMAZING. I HAVE to write her in the next week. Seeing this post reminded me of that.

    And instead of saving for that new pair of ridiculous shoes that I will wear a handfull of time in a year…I think I will save for a family gift instead.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  13. 24


    Dear Kristen,
    this is the first time I’ve gotten on your blog. Some friends told me about it & that you are into great stuff! (we love Hawkins & just got done laughing at the jokes you posted!)
    My husband & I live in the backwaters of China (think Hillbillies) & run a small embroidery project among illiterate, impoverished Muslim women. Would you take a look at our blog & embroidery & let me know what you think? http://flowersofdx.wordpress.com/
    So encouraged by the Compassion children/family you all are involved with. Changing lives.
    Blessings & live like J’s coming back today!
    David & Stacy Deems

  14. 25


    My parents also sponser a boy named Francois!
    These pictures are great! Thanks for sharing them!!! I also read the post about your daughter and Precious and the entire story is also precious! God Bless!

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