child age out of the compassion program?

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Thoughts of staying in touch after child Ages out of the program
Photo of Cheyanne Moore

Cheyanne Moore

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Posted 3 years ago

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Photo of Denise Bailey

Denise Bailey

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Hi Cheyanne, I have been sponsoring for  little over fifteen years.  I have kept contact with two grads.  One is fine.  She is a Facebook friend and we don't speak each other's language so it isn't real close.  The other gal truly needed my help so I pursued it and it took a lot of effort on my part. I had a very strong reason for doing it, my girl was deaf and did not know sign.  After she learned sign (about 1.5 years)she ended up living with another Compassion grad.  That is the person that took advantage of me.  It is sad to regret that you became involved in helping someone that needed it so very much.  I am glad she learned sign but I sent way too much money after she had learned sign.  If there isn't a compelling reason, be very careful.  Do I wonder about my graduates I love?  Yes.  Do I wish I could know they are okay?  Yes!   But I have to entrust them to the Lord because He loves them more than I do!   I don't plan on asking to be in contact with any future graduates.  Just be careful.  I think if you make up your mind how involved you will be and what boundaries you will set then it could work out.  Oh, and unless Compassion has changed the rules, you have to have sponsored them for at least around two years.  Good luck whatever you decide to do!
Photo of Beth


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Thanks for sharing your experience, Denise. I always thought I would like to stay in touch when my children get out of the program, but now I am becoming unsure. I've already made up my mind I would no longer send money, but I have started to wonder 1) if the child or their family would stay in touch because they would expect money and 2) if there is a potential for other problems.
Photo of Steve


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Denise, this is a very good point!!!  I, too, have  been a 'victim' of trying to help someone and becoming an enabler.  This person was not a Compassion sponsored child and drugs were involved, but it went on for a very long time until I figured it out.

Still, I would take each situation on it's own merits.  I think it's like when we decide to sponsor a child.  I fret about whether to sponsor a child, but once I make a decision I have a peaceful conviction that I have made the right decision.

Photo of Susan


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Denise, thank you so much for sharing your story. Regrettably, over the years I have heard quite a few stories like yours in which people with good intentions can get into trouble. And regrettably, I have heard several stories in which people have gotten in over their heads and into more trouble than you did. These stories are the reason why Compassion discourages continued contact after a child completes our program. That said, I have also heard some heartwarming stories in which the continued contact went well and blossomed over the years into something really beautiful. It can be a really wonderful experience, but it can also be really dangerous. 

Here are some tips that I would give if you are seriously considering continued correspondence. It is important to exercise caution, good boundaries (most importantly the ability to say "no" when necessary), and wisdom when considering or going down the road towards continued contact on your own. Take steps to protect yourself. For example, I normally recommend that sponsors only give their email address. Know yourself and what you are capable of. From what I have seen, people who are able to safely continue contact with their child also have experience with international or intercultural relationships and are able to navigate cross cultural communication issues and some of the other issues that can arise. Best wishes and let us know if we can be of any further assistance or if you have any more specific questions.

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