How I discovered Compassion

1 08 2013

A year or so ago, Compassion UK launched a campaign where they encouraged their sponsors to share their Compassion story, how they heard about them, how they came to be a sponsor. I started writing mine but never finished it, then this evening as I was scrolling through unfinished blog posts I found it again and finished it off, so here goes!

I graduated four years ago in 2009, a year or so into the recession, and was told I had something like a 1 in 48 chance of getting a job. I decided I’d really like to work for a Christian charity, but struck a deal with myself as I knew that was a pretty narrow net, that if I didn’t get anywhere after a while I’d widen to charities in general, and then start to look at all companies if there was no success there. All I knew was that after years of homework and coursework, I quite wanted to get evenings and weekends back, and with my degree most likely being a lower second, graduate schemes and further education just weren’t the way forward for me.

I started off applying for an unpaid web internship with BMS which looked great, but I didn’t get an interview for it. Then I applied for a job I saw on a general charity job website with one I’d never heard of called Compassion as someone in Supporter Relations, which I also applied for and also failed to get an interview for. But as I was discovering new charities all the time in my job search, they got added to the list of vacancy websites to check regularly. After my exams I applied for another job with them, this time for a 6 month maternity cover post in the IT team. This time I got an interview, but in the middle of it couldn’t even remember half of the question I’d just been asked and had to bite back the tears, I didn’t think it was my best attempt! As I left it I rang my parents to say how it went, my sentence was: “Well it went ok, but I’ll judge them if they employ me!”. It was the first job application I’d managed to get an interview for, and slightly surprisingly I was offered the role!

I started in the autumn, and it became clear so quickly why God had this role in mind for me rather than the one I didn’t get an interview for. Now every day I’m immersed in data and queries, and I love it! I don’t think I’d ever have been that useful on the phones!

Within a couple of days of starting on the job I’d found out more about this unknown-to-me charity, who they were, what they were about, and I was totally won over! I sponsored my first child – a little boy called Hamad in Tanzania. I now have the privilege of watching him and the others that I write to growing up, writing to me and telling me all the things they’re learning in the project, and one of them even told me she got baptised last year! We get to hear such amazing stories and testimonies in the office, of things that happen in the field for the children of course, but even at events we attend in this country!

This really is life saving work!! I’m totally in love with these kids, and with the work of Compassion. Through the programme they receive physical, spiritual, social and economic help, this isn’t just child sponsorship, this is child development, and according to recent independent research, it works!!

If you’d like to join me and sponsor a child and save a life, please do check out the website!!

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