Folks, I cannot tell you how my life has been changing over the past 6 or so months. God took my places I never knew I would go, he showed me things I never knew I would see. I will post more later this month on Culture Shock and how, honestly, it has only been the past month that I have been able to start the process of reflecting on the best summer of my life. One of the things that is weighing heavily on my heart is Raphael, the child I sponsor in Kenya.

Here’s the truth: I miss him and love the heck out of him.

Here’s even more truth:

When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. – Mark 10:14

I met Raphael. I met the child I sponsor. Who does that?!?! I began sponsoring Raphael in late July/early August of 2008. I had wanted to sponsor a child, but until then could not affort to give a child $32 (now $38) a month. But I felt the time was right, and at BigStuf I picked the child I wanted. Who would know that less than a year later I would be meeting this kid?

Here was my whole perception of child sponsorship before.

  • The money does not all go to Raphael.
  • They are asking for too much.
  • The kid really doesn’t get my letters.
  • I won’t make a big impact.
  • I won’t meet him
  • All the Artists, Musicians, and Actors that promote Compassion or World Vision every stinking concert are commissioned or paid.

But here is what has happened since I began sponsoring him:

  • Raphael is real
  • I met him
  • I paid for his medicene when he was sick
  • I fed him.
  • I bought him new uniforms
  • I gave him a Christmas present
  • He has pictures of me in his family album
  • His mother has cancer
  • And on and on…

If I could just tell you the change that has occured in my heart ever since I began sponsoring him, but, now even more after meeting him….It’s indescribable.

I pray for him every day, and think about him multiple times a day. He is my little brother and I have BIG DREAMS for him. I want him to continue his education, and then I want him to go to college (which most of his friends will never do) and I want to pay for his college education. I want him to achieve his dreams. I want him to be the policeman, doctor, soccer player, or president of Kenya.

I am making a difference. I am making an impact. And it is making a phenomenal impact on my heart.

Raphael & I on Swings

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. – 1 John 4:18

I don’t want Raphael to have fear for anything. I want him to love others and love God unconditionally. I don’t want him to be afraid to chase after the things he loves. I want him to be safe and worry-free. And I know he is praying the same thing for me.

I am praying that you will consider sponsoring a child. I have three Compassion kids that I am trying to get sponsored for Christmas. Their packets are being mailed to me now. You can change their life and yours forever… I mean it.


Look for more stories soon on my experience with Raphael.


  1. Hey Trent, we recently picked a little girl in Guatemala to sponsor. We just got our packet last week and so we haven’t exchanged letters yet or anything. But I wanted to let you know, because we’ve been talking about this for a long time, but I think the final push was seeing your pictures on facebook from Kenya. It made it so much more human to see you and Raphael together. He’s a real little boy and I can’t get the pictures of him with the soccer ball and the huge smile out of my head. So thank you for sharing your experiences with us and I hope we can help our little girl half as much as you have impacted Raphael!

    1. Wow! Once she hears she has a sponsor her life will be changed. She’s probably crying with tears of joy at the news because now you have opened up the doors for all her dreams and goals to become reality and no longer hopeless wishes.

      I am so excited!!!!!

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