If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I've been a sponsor with Compassion for many years. My husband, Ben, works for Compassion now, but I started sponsoring before he and I even met.
I love the work they do and every time I meet a formerly sponsored child, I am further convinced of the great work they are doing with children living in poverty.
Compassion's blog team contacted me and asked if I would be willing to share a formerly sponsored child's story here on my blog.
This is not someone I have met, but the story is very similar to my friends' stories from Kenya and Uganda who have had relationships with sponsors through the Compassion program.
Compassion is not paying me to share this. I'm just sharing because I believe in the work that they do and in the hopes that more children can be sponsored.
Thanks for taking the time to read.
16 year long plan God had for me
My Story and My life
My name is Vicky Roy and I am from Kolkata, India. I had a difficult childhood. My father used to live in a state where there was prostitution, child labour, drug addiction, disease like AIDS, malaria, dengue etc. and colleges, schools and hospitals were very far away. After I was born he decided to move because the area where he grew up was not safe, He migrated to West Bengal, a state where nobody knew him. It was a totally different culture, different people, we had no place to live, no house, no food to eat and he did not have a job to feed us.
Survival was very difficult for us and my health was deteriorating day by day because of improper nutrition. The only food I used to get is my mother’s milk that’s all.
When I was growing up I would go near by the schools and hide myself and see children of my same age playing with many toys and wearing proper school uniforms. They looked so beautiful and at night I would put myself in their place and I would laugh in my sleep just thinking about playing with those toys, going to school, having many friends. Those were dreams that really made me happy. I was afraid to face the morning because my dreams would end and bring me into reality.
My father use to travel 3 hours just to earn Rs 80 a day which is not even $2 in the USA. So when sometimes he would fall sick we did not have Rs 80 that day.
I helped my mother in the household work because she had health issues. We got rejected by our people, relatives and communities. We were helpless as well as hopeless and the only option left was to commit suicide but my father could not do that because by that time he already had my 3-year-old sister and 6-month-old brother and I was five.
This was my life in poverty.
When I was five I got a chance to go to Calcutta Emmanuel School, where I would get breakfast and lunch completely free. Calcutta Emmanuel School is a project of Compassion East India. My father was really happy for me because it was an English school and I would get food there that was distributed in the family.
In the project our parents use to go and learn how to raise a child and all the teachings were through the Bible. This impacted my father’s life drastically – he started changing and he would share it with my mother as well and all of a sudden he found hope in Christ and a reason to live and he became a believer with my mother.
We had regular scripture classes and but that did not change me because believing in God was next to impossible for me. I have seen death very close. I have seen my father crying. I remember my mother’s face when she used to distribute very little food among five of us. I have seen my brother and sister suffering from improper nutrition and this made my heart like rock, there were no emotions left, there was no place for anyone and I hated people. I was against my father’s decision to believe in Christ and I would question him about the existence of Christ.
I got my first sponsor letter when I was 6 years old and I learned that there is someone who supports me, who pays for education, food, medicine, hygiene etc. The letter was very precious to me because it made me wonder why this lady is helping me without knowing me. It was really surprising for me because our own did not support me. She told me in that letter that she loves me and Jesus loves me unconditionally and it is Jesus who told her to help me. From that point on I started responding to her letters and every time she would write I would get excited. I used to wait for her letters.
One day she shared the verse Mark 10:14 which says, “When Jesus saw this, He was indignant. He said to them, ‘Let the children come do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these’” and this helped me understand how much God loves me and how much she loves me. I can proudly say that if she were not there for me I could have ended up as a criminal or an alcoholic. She changed my life, she saved me and helped me to know Christ and it is because of her that I accepted Jesus as my personal saviour when I was 15 years old. When she first started sponsoring me I did not know the reason she supported me but today I understand that it was God’s plan. He had a plan for me even before I was born and today this gives me courage to go and share my story with the world. I tell them that I am proud that I suffered from poverty because God wanted to release me from it by using one of His own people and use me as His disciple to help kids who are suffering just like me. It is because of my sponsor that I graduated with a Bachelor in Business Administration majoring in finance and marketing. It is because of her I can be called a man of God, a disciple, a Christ follower. She sponsored me when there was no one to listen to my voice and helped me to bring myself to the kingdom of God.
I know that God has something for me because He was faithful, He is faithful and He will be faithful.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Vicky’s sponsor didn’t just change his life … he changed the lives of Vicky’s entire family. Sponsor a child like Vicky and see what God might do through you!