Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I'm a Compassion Mama | Guest Post by Kelli Johanesen

Please welcome my cousin and friend, Kelli Johanesen, to Our Little Bit Of Wonderful! I have known Kelli all my life, and I am so happy that she has agreed to write a guest post for my little blog. Kelli has the biggest heart of anyone I have ever met, and if you are touched by her story as much as I am, I hope you will leave her some comment love *smiles* Oh, and Kelli? I'm sorry I messed up all your Barbies' hair when I we were kids - I know I was such a little pest! *wink*

I'm a Compassion Mama
by Kelli Johanesen

Many people blog about their family.  When Alena asked me to write a guest post for her, I decided it was time to showcase my family.  I am a single woman enrolled in grad school and I have twenty-three children.

You may be scratching your head right now, so let me clear a few things up.  I have never been in the same room as any of my children.  Actually, I have never even been in the same country as any of them.  I sponsor my children through Compassion International, a charity originally created in South Korea in the early fifties.

Picture Drawn of me by Hans, Colombia
Picture Drawn by Fajar, Indonesia
Pictures Drawn by Edwige, Burkina Faso
My children and I communicate through letters.  To some people this may not seem like much, but we make the most of what we have.  These letters allow us to encourage, pray, rejoice, and educate.  There may be exciting letters or boring letters, form letters, guided letters, or letters written by family members, but that doesn’t matter.  The love is always there.

“Kelli, I pray for you to always be blessed by God.  Please pray for me to get smarter.” –Emon, Indonesia
“Pray for my father because his house is almost broken, he’d like to build it.” –Edjens, Haiti
 “I learned here in project, talent is special and of course it is special because it is given by our God
and we need to use it and share it to others.” –Cirelle, Philippines
“We celebrate birthday programs at the project.  We sing Jesus songs, pray for the
person whose birthday we celebrate.” –Susanto, Bangladesh
“At home I sweep the compound, fetch water, and listen to Anansi stories in the evening.” –Alex, Ghana

Sponsoring a child requires only a few things: love, commitment, and, of course, monthly financial sponsorship.  You do not have to be perfect.  You do not have to be a fantastic writer.  Like being a parent, you simply need to be committed to love your child and do your best.  God will take care of the rest.
Rizki & his sister in Indonesia
Jose & his mother in Guatemala
Alex & his family in Kenya

I encourage you, if you are able, to sponsor a child today.  Sponsorship costs $38 a month for children ages 3-21.  Children are available in twenty-six different countries.  You can see pictures of available children on the website.  You may also choose to sponsor a child in the Leadership Development program, which is for young adults attending college.  Check out the website to see what is available through Compassion.  For those not living in the United States, many other countries have their own office for Compassion International.  Just Google Compassion International followed by your country to see what is available.

Lastly, I know many people are skeptical of organizations like Compassion.  There are many organizations claiming to do the same thing, yet keep most of the money for themselves.  I advise you to investigate Compassion through the “about us” link of their website (click on the picture to be taken there).


Kelli Johanesen lives in Montana and attends the University of Montana as a graduate student.  Her passions include scrapbooking, reading interesting biographies, and working with children of all kinds.  The most important fact about Kelli is that she is Alena’s cousin and poor Alena is stuck with her for life.  Please offer Alena your condolences.  She will certainly need them.
~ by Kelli Johanesen


  1. Thanks, Alena! Wow, I've never had an offical blog post before. Thanks for posting mine. :D And no, I do not forgive you for the Barbies!

  2. very nice! Wow! 23 kids...you are one busy mommy!

  3. Great blog post, Kelli! I'm impressed that you have 23 children! They are blessed to have a "mommy" like you!

  4. I'm proud of your Kelli ...and of my 23 long-distance grandchildren! Your commitment to be continually writing is great! Your kids are all loved so much! I know that they can feel it.

  5. :) I love that you have such a heart for kids - here and around the world!

  6. Ah, no fair, I apologized in public and everything! :P Thank you for coming on my blog, Kelli - you're welcome back any time! :)

  7. A great post and what a wonderful thing to do. I'm sure each and every one of your 23 children appreciate your commitment to them and this organization.


Thanks for reading my blog post! I can't wait to hear your comments. If you have a general question, or want to contact me about something not related to this post, please use the form found on my Contact page. Thanks! *smiles*