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I Met Luis in a Peruvian Zoo

Compassion Sunday is coming up! This weekend, we will hear Pastor Tom Oyler’s reflections on his Compassion vision trip to Guatemala for pastors. Each of us will have the opportunity to forever change the lives of children through our prayers and support. Following Compassion Sunday, there will be an opportunity to attend Compassion 101, an informational orientation for anyone who has considered or is participating in child sponsorship. Below is the story of one GFCer named Jennifer who chose to sponsor a child and had the privilege to meet him and his family on a GFC Compassion trip.

When I left for Peru, I thought God had prepared me for meeting our sponsored child, Luis, but little did I know how much God would use Luis to change my heart. The first time I saw him, he was standing in front of the zoo with a gift for me. At that moment, I was overcome with love. At first, Luis was shy and would only smile at me. He would not talk to me without the urging of the interpreter. After a quick boat ride through the zoo, he warmed up to me and grabbed my hand, leading me to all the animals he had never seen before.

During lunch, I was able to talk to Luis’ father about God and how blessed I felt to have them in our lives. I asked him what we could be praying for them upon my return home. Luis Sr. only asked me to pray for my family and that God would continue to bless us. He thanked me for sponsoring his child and told me how much it meant to them to have someone care and love them. God showed me what selflessness looks like through Luis’ father.

Our journey ended at the park. We had some playtime and made good use of the soccer ball we had brought for Luis. We ran around the park laughing and hugging. When the time came for us to say goodbye, I saw the shy little boy change into a loving soul who didn’t want to leave me. He hugged me so tightly and cried so hard! It was incredibly difficult to watch Luis and his father leave. A piece of my heart left with them.


I am excited to continue the relationship that God designed. Having had the incredible privilege of spending the day with them, I now have a much deeper understanding of the impact of our sponsorship and prayers. My time with Luis has inspired us to work harder, communicate more often and encourage others to sponsor a child. Even though we can’t see Luis every day, we know our daily prayers intercede for and cover him and his family. We look forward to receiving his letters so we can get a glimpse into how God’s blessings are working in and through our lives. God’s love binds our families across the distance separating us.

~ The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped. – Proverbs 11:25~

Jennifer Lawson

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