A New Name


This month, I’m participating in Compassion Blog Month, an opportunity to raise awareness and interest in child sponsorship through Compassion International. The goal is to find sponsors for 3,160 children. There are just eight days left in blog month; are you feeling the nudge? Take a second to just look. That’s all I ask. Just click a link and look at the faces. How can you help today? A prayer? A sponsorship? 

 The third prompt is to choose a picture and tell the story behind the image. “This is a creative writing assignment at its finest!” Please note that this account is fictional! Pictures’ source: Compassion on Instagram.


I thought my name was Useless. Forgotten. Left behind.

I remember that morning. Crouched behind that metal drum, I thought myself invisible. I curled my toes in the dusty ground and hooked tiny fingers along the hot, rusty rim, watching people in their back-and-forth routine in my village. No one noticed a small boy keeping watch. If I did think someone had seen me, I’d dart back into the darkness of the room I shared with my grandmother. She wasn’t there–she was out looking for work–so I didn’t stay long. It was cramped and quiet and lonely.


When a man came to my home, promising help, my grandmother was skeptical. “He won’t come back,” she told me. “Everyone is full of promises.” She didn’t smile. Neither did I.

But he returned. And she began to smile, and so did I. He brought us to a center where all the children were smiling, too. They were learning. They sang, and they played.


I began coming to the center regularly, and I continued to smile. The workers greeted me by name. They told me I had value. They taught me about staying healthy and keeping safe. They helped me with my schoolwork.

I learned of a man named Jesus who loved me, of a God who watched over me. A God who provides for me.

Then I began receiving letters, letters from a family who lived on the other side of the world. In these letters, they told me how special I was. They told me I was like a member of their family. They told me that they loved me, that they prayed for me. My grandmother cried when I read her my letter, and I didn’t know why, but she assured me that she was happy. Grandmother told me to tell this family how thankful we were for them.

These letters spoke Truth to me. Pain and poverty spoke lies, but the Salvation and the love I was shown by my sponsor family and my friends at the Compassion center replaced those lies with Truth.

My name is Beloved. My name is Strength. My name is Child of God.

You can speak this same Truth into the heart of a child. As I wrote about in this post, many children in Compassion’s program live with grandparents, have lost one or both parents, and hear the lies of poverty and loss that tell them they cannot succeed. Through Compassion’s ministry and your encouragement through your letters and support, you can change “their name,” giving them hope and a new path for life.

At 7, Zarata is one of 12 children. She lives with her grandmother.
In her community in Burkina Faso, an average adult earns $4 a day.

If you are participating in Compassion blog month, take a second to leave a link to your post in the comments!


6 responses »

    • Thanks, Hannah! Isn’t she darling? Zarata is actually no longer on the site–I’m so excited that she’s probably found a loving sponsor! And above all, I want my sponsor kids to know that power of God–that’s why I love Compassion’s church-based approach.

  1. Beautiful post, Breanne. While reading, I thought of the many children waiting for sponsors, I thought of a little boy who lived the first paragraph of your story. This same boy who I now call son and you call cousin. And I thought of our God, our Redeemer, who is Might to Save and how AMAZING it is that we are called ‘Child of God’.

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