This is one of the most inspiring guest interviews we have ever done on the podcast. And it involves one of our favorite organizations - Compassion International.
Kiwi is a Graduate Compassion Child from the Philippines. She started in Compassion at age 7 and now works in the medical field in Dallas, Texas. Her story is incredible! She talks about her journey of becoming a Compassion child and the impact it had on her life, her family, and her community. Now she is a sponsor to her own Compassion children.
Compassion is an organization that works with local churches around the world to sponsor children in need. One of the unique things they offer is this letter writing system where you can write letters back and forth with the child that you're sponsoring. And you guys know how much we love letters, so it is no surprise that we are big fans of Compassion!
We cannot wait for you to hear this story from Kiwi. It is really going to touch your heart and inspire you to take action!
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Our journey as the Roloff’s with Compassion
I (Auj) have been involved with Compassion since I was 10. My parents sponsored 2 Compassion girls so my sister and I would write letters and send pictures back and forth. It was really cool that our parents empowered us to do this at such a young age!
Writing letters to someone that you don't know is such a cool thing to do. It's also very powerful. Money is helpful and useful, but an actual relationship carries things across the line in the Kingdom of God. Letters go a long way to convey a lot of love and compassion to others.
Writing a letter to someone you don't know, whether that be through Compassion or letters to your future husband or child, leaves so much room for the Holy Spirit and God to lead you in what to say. You don't know the person, their story, or any life context - you have to give room when you start writing to let Him guide you. It is so powerful to go back and read those letters that you wrote or received and see how much God really was in the details and was leading your prayers.
Our Special Guest, Kiwi
My name is Kiwi. I was born in the middle of the Philippines and came to America 10 years ago to work as a physical therapist. My first job was in Dalton Georgia. I met my husband there got married, then moved to Dallas for his job as an executive chef. work at a hospital in Dallas, TX as a physical therapist. We have been married for 7 years now! I
How did you get to America?
I graduated from college in the Philippines and couldn't find a job. I started questioning, “Lord did I make a mistake in choosing this profession?” But God doesn't make mistakes. I went to church and God's word for me was to go to this land and you will be a blessing. I didn't have much money so I said: “God if it's your will, it’s your bill.” I applied as a physical therapist in Georgia (which at that time I didn't even know where that was) and soon after they interviewed me, they hired me and paid for everything - including a signing bonus! I was super eager to go to work because I wanted to provide for my parents, sisters, and relatives in the Philippines.
Let’s Backtrack… How did you grow up?
I was born in a very poor family in the Philippines. My dad is an alcoholic and I had three older brothers who all died due to a lack of medical attention. My parents couldn't afford it. I remember, we would go out, pump the water and boil it to take care of the germs. Often, I couldn’t sleep because I was so hungry. Even a rotten apple my parents couldn't afford to buy.
Growing up everyone would say “your dad is never going to change. He will die an alcoholic.” But one day, he picked up a Jesus track at work that invited him to a crusade. In that crusade, he heard about Jesus, gave his life to Jesus, and that was the first time my dad went home sober.
At first, my mom was so confused she thought, “what's wrong? What happened?” But my dad said, “no, I just received Jesus and we need to go to church.”
This was the beginning of my Compassion journey. At this church, they had the Compassion Project and since we were poor, they enlisted me into the program.
We continued going to church but I was confused. I thought the Jesus we sang about didn’t care about us because he didn’t provide for us. Why do we live this way? Then I got my first letter (at the age of 7).
My First Letter…
My first letter said, “you are a pretty person.” In the Philippines, we don't tell our children that they're pretty or awesome. So at first, I didn't believe it. But then I began to realize this is how the Lord saw me.
The only mail I ever received from my sponsor. He didn’t know me but he stopped and wrote me letters. It was like I mattered.
I began to go to the Compassion Project often where they would teach us how to brush our teeth and wash our hands, we had medical check-ups, and we would write letters back to our sponsors. One day my teacher said,
At that time, I began to open my Bible, dream dreams, and memorize the promises of God. I knew I wanted to go to college and I didn’t want to be poor anymore. I wanted a different destiny.
Journey to College and More!
At that time Compassion was partnered with 26 third world countries. And they didn't have a program for kids to go to college. But later that year they launched a college program and I was one of the first 42 students accepted into it. Now I am a physical therapist, working in a hospital in Dallas, TX. God is good!
How I Met my Sponsors...
One day there was a group of Australian Sponsors who came to the Philippines, and since my sponsor was Australian, they asked me to give a testimony. After I shared my story, they invited me to Australia where I was able to meet my sponsors. I will never forget - they were coming up to the stage and I couldn’t wait to meet them! I ran over, hugged them, and kept saying thank you over and over again.
Today, my mom is a pastor of a small community church in the Philippines. Two months ago we opened a kid's church in our backyard called Glory to God Kids Ministry.
All the honor, glory and praises to God!
The Faithfulness of God
It is crazy to imagine - I was hungry as a child then I married a chef. Now I will never be hungry again!
I am always reminded of the faithfulness of Jesus!
From Being Sponsored to Sponsoring
With my first sponsor child, I did it with other people because I didn't have a job at the time. We started sponsoring him at 7 and he is now 17. When I met him, he was crying and couldn't stop telling me "thank you." Now I sponsor 4 kids - 2 from the Philippines and one from Haiti and one from Bolivia!
Anything Else to Share?
Compassion is a world-changing movement. It has 1.3 million sponsors today! One simple yes can have an infinite impact for somebody, their family, AND their community.
2 Ways to Sponsor a Compassion Child
Text ROLOFF to 83393 and you can sign up from there.
That conversation with Kiwi really moved us and hope it moved you to. She spoke with such conviction on the word of God and we are so inspired by her story. We try to use our platform to share good things, and this is just such a good thing. The testimonies are true, and Kiwi is proof of the impact you can have on someone (and so much more than just one person) simply by saying yes.
Sponsoring a child has the potential not just to change one person’s life, but also a whole family tree and community. Also, it changes your own life. Partnering with Compassion taught me compassion from a young age. If you are a parent, you can do this with your kids, but let your kids write the letters. If your young, and feel led to do this, you can do it with friends! This is such a great movement, and we truly believe anyone can be a part of it!