Monday, July 25, 2011

Guest Post – Cory Martin

Cory Martin is the husband of Tracie and father of three children, Jessica (17), Jeremy (15), and Stevie (14). Cory joined Compassion’s Volunteer Network in 1990, following a life-changing visit to his child, Evelyn, in Guatemala. Today, Cory is on the new Advocate Coach team. He has plenty of openings available for Advocate coaching, so if you want to move your ministry forward, please don’t hesitate to contact him at


Cory and his family on Angel’s Landing, Zion National Park, Utah.

Sponsoring Children as a Family

When Tracie and I were married in 1993, she knew very well that she was marrying into a “family” I had already built up of ten sponsored children. By this time, I had already visited my children in Guatemala and the Philippines, and I was fully convinced that Compassion was doing a great work in fighting world poverty.

We introduced our own kids to our sponsored children at the earliest possible age. We would read their letters together and pray for them. We adopted Stevie from Romania in 2000, and even though he is autistic, he still knows that these children we have on our wall are very special to our family.

We are a home schooling family, and Compassion has been a part of providing them with a broad cross-cultural education. Tracie, who is a doctor at a rural hospital, superintends our school and also teaches on Thursdays. Over the past ten years, we have increased our sponsorships to a total of 25 -- one in each country that Compassion works. I try to write each of our sponsored children every two months. Two of the children are assigned to Jeremy, one to Jessica, and one to Tracie for letter-writing. I manage the remaining list, to make sure every child gets a letter.


Jeremy writing to his sponsored child.

In 2008, Jessica and I traveled to Ecuador on a short-term missions trip. We set aside a day to meet our sponsored child, Myriam, and her mother while we were there. We had a wonderful day, and really connected with Myriam.


Jessica, Myriam and her mother, and two Compassion staff, after a great day in Guayaquil.

The following year, in October 2009, we decided to take the whole family to the Dominican Republic to meet our sponsored child, Lorena. We also visited with Tracie’s parents’ sponsored child, Dayana. This was a great opportunity for all of us to experience the life and community of our sponsored children together. The greatest blessing was to stand together and pray for these precious families in their own homes.


Our family at Compassion’s DR office with Lorena (pink top) and Dayana (light blue dress).

We do all we can to celebrate our sponsored children regularly in our home. If possible, on a sponsored child’s birthday, we will have a special birthday dinner. We will try (!) to cook a traditional meal of their country, put their picture and flag on the table, and play their country’s traditional music in the background. We’ll take some snapshots and send them to the child, telling them how we remembered their birthday.

Our child in Ethiopia, Jemila, gets a special birthday celebration each year with an “Ethiopian Coffee Ritual.” We all sit on the floor around our coffee pot, have popcorn, and read Jemila’s recent letters. I’m guessing she is always amused when she hears about this.


Our Ethiopian Coffee Ritual in honor of Jemila’s birthday.

Jessica thrilled me this past year after she got a part-time job at a nursing home and sponsored a child on her own in Peru. She is so happy to be doing this on her own and writing her own checks. I’m sure she will go on to become a lifelong Compassion Sponsor.

So that’s our story about making Compassion Sponsorship a family event! The key is to be intentional about including your sponsored child as a part of your own family. Celebrate their birthday, read their letters together, pray together, and write letters back to them! Include with your letters drawings, snapshots, and special messages from the whole family. God is in this, and He will add His blessing to all you do.

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