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Why Sponsorship Works

Richmond Wandera's Story

Two times a year as a church we have the opportunity to hear the importance of Child and Community Sponsorship and the impact we can have to show the love of Jesus to communities around the world. A few years ago we heard from Richmond Wandera, a former Sponsorship Child who grew up in Uganda and was sponsored when he was eight years old.

When Richmond Wandera was a eight years old, his father was murdered.

In his city of Kampala, Uganda, it left his mother, his younger sister, and himself in a state of poverty—unable to pay rent in their home, unable to pay for access to healthcare, and unable to even purchase regular food rations. They moved to a hill in Kampala called Naguru, where 19,000 families lived in the same state of poverty. Their home’s roof had slits in it, letting the rain pour in whenever it stormed, and Richmond realized his life was going to look very different from that point forward.

In an attempt to provide for her family, Richmond’s mother stood in line to be put on the waiting list with Compassion International. Three and a half months later, the same man who took her information that day in line came to tell them that Richmond had been sponsored by a 15-year-old girl named Heather.

“I knew in that moment that my life had changed,” Richmond remembers.

The moment he was given his sponsorship number, he felt like he was given a new identity. This number meant a lot of new things for Richmond and his family—it meant free access to the local clinic if he was ever hurt or sick, it meant food rations, it meant he could go back to school and get an education. But to Richmond, the biggest thing it meant was that he had the opportunity to be a child again.

Today, Richmond holds a master’s degree in Spiritual Formation from Moody Graduate School and Theological Seminary in Chicago, and is pursuing his PhD in Philosophy of Leadership. He’s spoken around the world at seminars, churches, and conferences, but when he’s not traveling he resides with his wife in Kampala, Uganda, and is the pastor of the very same church that hosted Compassion International’s program that changed his life.

Each LCBC location partners with an organization to adopt a community in another country where we sponsor children like Richmond and support community development. To learn more and make a difference in a child’s life through the program at your LCBC location, visit our Global Initiatives page.

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