TBT: Thief or Prostitute

Today's Throwback Thursday post was originally published on May 25, 2011. I wrote this post around the time I was preparing to run the Rock n Roll Half Marathon to raise money for Compassion International. The little girl I mention, Jasmeet, is the child that I still sponsor through this wonderful organization. I just recently received a letter from her with new pictures! This post was written a couple years ago, but I still stand by every word. I believe Compassion changes lives.

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Two weeks ago I heard the story of Jey Mbiro. I was sitting in my cushy seat at Catalyst Dallas and we were being asked to consider sponsoring a child through Compassion International. I was only half listening because I already sponsor a little girl (Jasmeet – she was my Valentine this year!). But then a young man stepped up to the microphone and shared his story. A story that reminded me why I sponsor Jasmeet, and why I am running for Compassion.

Jey was born in Mathare, Kenya. In one of the largest slums in the world. This is a place where families don’t ask if the newborn is a boy or a girl. They ask if it’s a thief or a prostitute. Families rarely have enough food to go around, and definitely have no money for medical care or education. Jey’s family was no different. He had eight brothers and sisters, and his family was unable to provide for them.

At only nine years old he was arrested for theft. Like most kids he grew up with, theft wasn’t seen as a crime. It was a necessity. It was the only way to survive.

But Compassion International stepped in and changed his life.

Jey was chosen by a sponsor. Someone who decided to commit $38 a month to Compassion. Such a small amount changed his life forever. He no longer needed to steal to avoid starvation. Through Compassion and his sponsor, he received meals, medical care, and something most kids he grew up with could never have: an education.

Now Jey lives in Atlanta, Georgia working as a Christian music DJ. He was at Catalyst Dallas to tell his story. To remind us that sponsorships matter. They truly change lives.  Most of the people Jey grew up with are either dead or in prison. But thanks to Compassion, Jey has a different story.

Are you willing to change someone’s story?

To sponsor a child like Jey, go to the Compassion International site.