Dustin Hardage

By Juli Jarvis
Compassion Sponsor, Advocate and Area Coordinator

I had the pleasure of returning to the Dominican Republic, having gone there in 2002. On my first trip, I met a precious boy named Francisco who was in need of a sponsor. His neighbor told me his family desperately needed Jesus, and especially needed help at that time because they were very poor and the father had just been severely injured in a motor scooter accident and could no longer work.

As a member of the Advocacy Network for Compassion, I told the neighbor I would pray and look for a sponsor for Francisco. Soon, God led me to some friends of mine, Mindy and Richard, even though they already sponsored a child. I asked if they would sponsor Francisco, and they said yes and then Mindy said she would like to sponsor a little girl in Haiti too.

Five years later she asked me to go with her to the Dominican Republic in order to introduce her to Francisco. I thought Richard should be the one to experience this great blessing, but God had other plans.

I came to the country wondering why I was here, and every single day He gave me a specific reason. Each reason is connected with the face of child, a member of the country staff, a Leadership Development student, a project worker, sponsor, or a Child Survival program participant.

I have learned over the years that although the poor certainly need us and we are so happy to be able to bless them with  support, I need them every bit as much. I am far more blessed by their lives than they are by mine — in their joy, contentment, spiritual depth, prayers and self-sacrifice.

God has once again filled my heart to overflowing by the love, presence, joy healing, and friendship that He showered upon us in the Dominican Republic.

P.S. Everyone in Francisco’s family is a very vibrant, beautiful, caring and courteous Christian now. Compassion works!

Praise be to Jesus.

View all the photos of sponsors meeting their sponsored children.

Mindy with her sponsored child Francisco.

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