Chynna Stole My Heart


I met Chynna yesterday. She stole my heart.

The poverty we’ve been seeing around parts of Manila in the Philippines over the past few days has touched me deeply but it suddenly became real when I met Chynna, an 11 year old girl that our family recently started sponsoring.

When we arrived at her local church, a church which partners with Compassion, Chynna and her mum were standing outside waiting. They were excited and nervous. So was I. Chynna’s mum bent down and said something quietly in her ear then pointed towards us.

We walked inside and I was introduced to a nervous, shy, but very happy little girl. Both her and her mother were beaming. They had been told that today they would meet Chynna’s new sponsor. Chynna had been sponsored previously but for whatever reason, her sponsor had cancelled her ongoing support. I was more than happy that our family could step in and begin supporting Chynna so that she can be released from poverty in Jesus’ name.


I gave Chynna a number of small gifts, including a small photo album with pictures of our family and Australia. There’s still room in the album so that we can send more photos. I’ll certainly send a few that were taken at our meeting yesterday so that she can remember that very special day.

Chynna’s home is a short walk from the church and I was invited to visit. As we walked out of the church Chynna grasped my hand and walked beside me. We followed her mother through the street and down a small alleyway. Their home is just one room, about 3 metres by 3 metres. There is one double bunk inside. 9 people live in that one home. Despite the limitations of housing that many people in that space, the room was neat and orderly. Other family members warmly greeted me and those that were with me.

After spending some time there I had the opportunity to pray for the family, specifically Chynna and her parents. We then wandered back to the church.

We spent a little more time together while we had a tour of the facilities used for the Compassion project and more more of the children being helped by the local church. Then it was time to go.

Chynna’s mum once again expressed her thanks and Chynna gave me a goodbye hug. It was hard to leave but it was time to go.

The letters we write to Chynna will now have greater meaning. The letters we receive will hold great significance. We can’t be there each day to support Chynna and her family but by sponsoring her I am convinced she is part of a community which loves her and will ensure the very best for her as she continues to grow.

If you sponsor a child, never underestimate the significance of your contribution. If you’re not already a sponsor, please consider sponsoring a child today through Compassion.

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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