Mue-blue-tu, the sponsored girl in the photo above, lives with her mom, brother and stepdad. This is their home in Thailand.
No two families look the same. They live in different homes, wear different clothes, speak different languages. Some kids live with a single parent, grandparents or other relatives. With so many differences, what makes a family a family? To find out, let’s visit some families of sponsored children around the world!
Some of the following photos include questions to help you look closer and think harder. We bet you’ll notice details in the pictures that you didn’t notice at first glance!
Brisnel, 4, and her brother Frayner, 7, live with their mom and siblings in the Dominican Republic. They are happy and healthy today, but two years ago they were sad. Their dad left their family, and their mom had no money for food. So they all grew sick. To sleep at night, they had to squeeze onto one chair, their only furniture.
Then a family friend showed them love: She said they could live for free in a home she owned in another town! They happily moved into the home pictured above. Their mom took the kids to a church, where Brisnel and Frayner joined Compassion’s program!
Now, Brisnel and Frayner’s family has grown! It includes their sponsors, who write them letters (which they’re reading in the photo at right). Their family also includes their church family at the Compassion center, where they receive food, Bible lessons, health checkups and more!
“With the last gift my sponsors sent me, my mommy bought me school supplies and a pair of shoes. They love me and I love them so much.” — Frayner
“I love receiving my sponsors’ letters, and I love to see the photos they send. They always tell me that they love me.” — Brisnel
What do you see in Brisnel and Frayner’s yard? Do you have any of the same items in your yard? Which items are different from those in your yard?
Pictured above is 11-year-old Lenkai (in the purple sweater) with his mom, uncle and cousins in Kenya. They have an unusual story about how God brought them together as a family!
Nasinde, Lenkai’s mom, lived with her brother and his wife. One day she heard crying and followed the sound to a field. Someone had left a newborn baby there! Nasinde worked with police, but they could not find the baby’s parents. So even though Nasinde had no money to care for a child, she adopted him and named him Lenkai, which means “God’s son” in their language.
Nasinde gets help caring for Lenkai from a local church, which found a sponsor for Lenkai! He goes to a Compassion center to learn, play and dream. He wants to be a doctor someday. Lenkai’s favorite Bible verse is Philippians 4:4: “Rejoice in the LORD always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
This is Lenkai and his mom in their kitchen. Does your kitchen have any similar items in it? How is your kitchen different?
What do you notice about this photo of Lenkai’s family outside their home?
This is Lenkai outside his Compassion center. How is he feeling? Why?
What do you notice about the room where the family is sitting?
The three siblings pictured above live in Thailand at a home for children without parents. They went to live there after their parents died in a fire. The woman in the photo, Em Mui, is their caregiver. The siblings also have sponsors and go to a Compassion center at a nearby church.
There are 24 other kids who live in the home. The picture on the right shows Em Mui serving them a meal. Many of them are sponsored. The church makes sure that Em Mui always has enough food for all the children who live at the home!
Eduardo, 10, is pictured on the right with his family — Valdinar, 28, and Mrs. Raimunda. They became a family in an unusual way! When Valdinar was a baby, his parents abandoned him. That means they left him alone without finding someone to care for him. But God sent Mrs. Raimunda, a kind woman with no children of her own, to find baby Valdinar. She became his foster mom and raised him with love.
Then when Valdinar was 18, he found a baby who had been abandoned like he was. That baby was Eduardo! Valdinar took him to Mrs. Raimunda, who said she would be his foster mom too. Valdinar helps Mrs. Raimunda care for Eduardo. They get lots of help from their church family, who welcomed Eduardo into Compassion’s program and found him a sponsor!
Above, Eduardo and Valdinar are washing clothes outside their home in Brazil. How is this different from how your family does laundry? How is it the same?
God brings families together in so many unique ways! Families around the world have many differences. But they all have one thing in common. This one thing is a gift from God that brings people together, gives them joy, and keeps them strong when challenges come. Can you guess what it is?
_____________ MAKES A FAMILY A FAMILY!