Kent Shaffer is an organizational strategist who has become a major resource and influence to many leaders and creatives across the globe. He co-owns a design and marketing firm called Bombay Creative and also heads up the popular ChurchRelevance.com, a site that serves churches and other organizations by helping them to communicate effectively and efficiently.

Earlier this month, Kent journeyed to Kenya with Compassion International to help tell their story. Compassion International is a remarkable organization that works to release children in over 25 countries from “spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty.” They sought out bloggers who were using their influence to transform lives and asked them for support. Kent is most certainly one of those bloggers.

On the journey Kent met several inspiring young people including 8 year old Owen, the child he and his wife sponsor. He introduced his readers to other beautiful people like Eluid, an 18 year-old orphan who wants to be a doctor or a graphic artist and Nelson, a 14 year-old who wants to be a journalist and an actor.

Here is what Kent wrote about meeting Nelson. He was kind enough to allow us to share it with you:

Today I met 14 year old Nelson Juma Dbongo of the Mathare Slums. He wants to be a journalist and an actor.

He has what it takes. In his free time, he goes to the library to read and learn how to improve his writing composition. He has already written 8 comedies and a few dramas on tough topics like AIDS and drug abuse. Since 2001, Compassion International’s Mathare Community Outreach has made this possible. It takes him 30 minutes to get there (or 1 hour if he walks slowly).

THE FUTURE

Nelson wants to attend university, hopefully in America. He wants to be a successful actor and journalist so that he can help the poor and the sick. He offers this wisdom:

“If you have money, you can’t just keep it for you alone. You share with the poor people what you have.”

Nelson says that many kids in the Mathare Slums are unhappy, have bad habits, and don’t go to school. But he says that you can help by praying for them, visiting them, and sponsoring them. Nelson is very grateful for his sponsor, Kevin.

NELSON THE PERFORMER

I hope Nelson does attend university. His speaking ability, poise, and confidence stunned me! I hope to one day see him in movies. He is a good performer and will only get better (college talent scouts should snatch him up!). You just have to see it for yourself:

The video doesn’t do his performance justice. His eye contact and engagement was amazing!

THE PAST

He hasn’t always had the opportunity to read, write, and practice his gifts. By age 4, both of Nelson’s parents were dead from disease. His brother George (who was 14 yo at the time) has raised Nelson and his other three siblings for the past 10 years. As a baby, Nelson was diagnosed with a heart problem, so he can’t play soccer with his friends. But he can act and joke with friends, particularly his best friend, Charles.

Becoming a sponsor of a child like Nelson is easy, simply visit Compassion.com and sign up.

Visit these links:

Compassion International
KentShaffer.com
ChurchRelevance – must read Kent’s account of meeting the child he sponsors.

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One Comment


  1. Kiprono:

    I was really touched by the expression of so much justice, compassion and love, wholly.

    I really thank God for Kent, Brad, Shaun and all the other Compassion International bloggers that tagged along.

    6:17 pm on March 30th, 2010

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