Selfless living changes lives. It changes others. It changes you.

Written by Rebekah Malbrecht

Sosina’s mother was only 13 years old when she had her. Despite being so young, her mother worked hard to raise her daughter by washing clothes and baking Ethiopian flatbread called injera. She gave everything she had to be a good mother despite the enormous challenges she faced. This was the first place that Sosina saw selflessness in action.

Even with all her mother did to support her, they were struggling to have enough money to get by. Sosina’s mother found out that a local church in their area was helping children and their families. She registered Sosina into the Compassion program at this church and the Compassion staff invested in her in a way that transformed her life.

“Being in the program didn’t only fulfil my basic needs, but I received a lot of counsel and motivation from the project staff,” says Sosina. “I have the values I have now because of the things I learned at the centre.”

Sosina encountered selflessness yet again when she learned that a woman from another country chose to sponsor her. She came to treasure this relationship forged through her sponsor’s generosity.

“In all her letters, my sponsor tells me that she prays for me. Knowing that motivates me and makes me feel secure,” she says. “Her encouragement has made a huge difference in my life. If a woman who never met me cares enough to support and pray for me, I thought I would follow in her footsteps. I was inspired to live for someone other than myself.”

One Sunday morning, Sosina’s pastor announced the church’s new community outreach initiative. Church members were encouraged to support local children in poverty, similar to Sosina’s story.

“Even though I didn’t know how I could support a child, I wanted to learn about the possibilities. I left the church feeling excited,” she remembers.

The church found a way to support children in their community. For 100 Ethiopian birr ($3), church members could commit to supporting a child themselves. Sosina couldn’t stop thinking about ways she could afford to support a child. Her only income was the 400 Ethiopian birr ($12) to cover all her living expenses.

After a prayerful discussion with her mother, Sosina decided to use what little she had to make an impact. She began supporting a girl named Deborah, helping her to attend school and meet her basic needs.

Just as she received encouragement from her sponsor, Sosina talks with Deborah about the importance of working hard to achieve a dream, being strong, and trusting God. She tells her she is valued and prayed for her.

“It’s not all the time that God puts others in our path. But when He does, I believe it is not just others who benefit from what we can offer,” she says. “I think blessing others also brings blessings to us. I never lacked money for what I need. This is the blessing in giving.”

Sosina is an example of how selflessness can change lives. Not only did selflessness have an incredible impact in her life, it is also sparking her own selflessness. Once you have encountered the love and generosity of selfless people, you can’t help but want to live like them. Sosina chose to do good with what she had because her mother, the Compassion staff, and her sponsor chose to do that for her.

Will you choose to live a life that sparks selflessness?

Learn more about Compassion.