Wednesday, October 8, 2014

From Our Middle East Correspondent (A Guest Blogger for Reals This Time!)

Yes, a guest blogger for reals! I'm not making it up this time! My friend, Josh, took time out from his studies in Turkey to write about his personal experience with Compassion International for us. Here's what he had to say.

        My name is Joshua MUGISHA, born on 16th February, 1993 in Uganda. My parents are both Rwandese. This’s why after 1994 Rwanda genocide against TUTSI, we came to live in our Homeland.
I was only 6 years old when I joined Compassion in 1999 and signed out in 2012 after completing my secondary school. In those years I spent with Compassion, my life changed physically and spiritually.

First and foremost, I was very young when my mom registered me in Compassion and I couldn’t realize why or the situation at home, whether my parents will be able to educate me. But it was not later until I started seeing my elder sister dropping from school, followed by my brother, who later joined Army (Rwanda Defense Force) in 2005. There is no doubt that it is a hand of God worked through Compassion to finance my education.

Secondary, all the classes we attended at Compassion were teaching us more of having moral behaviors, respecting parents and loving others just the way Jesus loved us and died for our sins. There are various lessons I learnt from Compassion, helping others, socializing, praying, entertaining, having dreams about the future, and others. One of my dreams was to pursue my university studies abroad. I remember one letter I sent to Mrs. Andrea, my sponsor, requesting prayers to pass advanced level national with highest points and thankfully it happened and got government scholarship to study at Middle East Technical University in Turkey.

Even though am no longer being sponsored through compassion, I still feel a part of it because it is the foundation of where I am now and I can't get enough to thank God for using Mrs. Andrea to sponsor my education, writing to me, sending Christmas gifts and Prayers. May God bless you and family abundantly. I hope one day we shall see each other and praise the Lord.

Thank you for taking the time to share with us, Joshua! 

I don't know what kinds of dreams Fedinand or Douglas or Radha will eventually have for their own lives but as a sponsor, some lucky person will get to find out and encourage him or her and watch a beautiful story unfold. Please give sponsorship some thought.  :)  

Release 3: Joshua's Bright Future in the Making

Sometimes God blesses us with something new and unexpected, such as the time I found an abandoned puppy on the side of the road right when both of my kids abandoned me to go to college and live their own lives. Other times God blesses us with what we need far in advance, way before we even know to pray for it.

Take my friend, Joshua, from Rwanda. God blessed this young man with an extra helping of brains at birth.

So cute. Josh at 14.
I first met Josh a few years ago when he was eighteen years old and still a part of Compassion International. I remember a couple of his letters included requests that I pray for him to have success in school. By that point, it was already apparent that this kid was bursting with smarts.  I thought, "I'm pretty sure God already has you covered on this one but, yeah, I'll pray for that."

Then one day I was messing around on Youtube and happened across a Compassion International video about a super generous Australian woman who put her sponsored kid through college.

I sort of panicked.

Let me pause a moment to be perfectly clear - it is NOT, NEVER, NOWHERE expected that Compassion sponsors pay for their sponsored child to attend college!!

And yet, I seem to enjoy internally spazzing out for no real reason.  My desire to be a kindly, generous sponsor and my unfounded concern that I had bitten off more than I could chew collaborated to create a perfect NON-reason to panic: I couldn't afford to pay for my own two smart kids to attend college, so there was no way I could measure up to that crazy-nice Australian lady and help my sponsored child attend college.

So just like I prayed that God would provide a way for my two kids to afford college, I started praying that He would make a way for Josh to get a college education, too, if that was something Josh wanted.

I was pretty excited when I later learned from Josh that, after much research and hard work on his part, he had applied for and WON a full scholarship to a university in Turkey.

Josh is now in his third year at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, studying petroleum and natural gas engineering. He is doing amazingly well. He conquered a challenging English proficiency exam, earns excellent grades and recently did an internship. My favorite thing is that we're now friends on Facebook and I get to see pictures like this:

Exemplary (and handsome) student!

Looking cool.

Sight-seeing with friends in Turkey.

Must've been chilly on Mount Nemrut.

I think it is amazing to look back and know that a few years ago, Josh and I were both praying for the very same thing without realizing it. And our prayers were answered. I didn't have to stress out and feel badly that I lacked the means to help Josh out more. I just did what little, tiny bit I could and God provided Josh with the intellect and drive to pursue his big dreams.

Josh is very much looking forward to returning to Rwanda, his homeland, "with beautiful mountains and good people," and getting a job. I am very much looking forward to watching what other amazing things God does in his life.

Stop by tomorrow if you are interested in reading what Josh has to say from his dorm room in Turkey. He took a short break from homework and learning to play guitar to tell us a little bit about Compassion International.