topiwo's floor

floor on my jeans






It’s been almost a year since I knelt on Topiwo’s floor and got it all over my knee.

The hearts by their names mean they’ve been waiting for more than 6 months for their sponsor.

Today is the day you’ve both been waiting for.

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  1. Oh my gosh that is so beautiful. What an amazing reminder to have in your home. Your creativity inspires me everyday.

  2. Nester,
    What a touching reminder or who is already in your heart.

  3. I have a big lump in my throat now.

  4. UGH! You made me cry…and with just pictures. What a beautiful idea and beautiful story. love your heart (the one on your wall and in your body!) and your creative mind.

  5. I think of Topiwo quite a bit. His story touched me when you first posted it and I carry it with me, in my heart.

    I love Compassion International and, nearly every day, I am looking for ways to spread the word, to help sponsors with their letter writing ministry and to get children sponsored. It is stories like the one you have shared that help make it…..personal. That push me to continue on in this ministry the Lord has laid before me.

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us.


  6. beautiful post

  7. You know I love this.

  8. I LOVE this.

  9. love.

  10. Ooooh, such a sweet idea!

  11. wow. simply wow.

  12. Oh, I’m crying after seeing pictures of dirty denim. One if the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. My heart remembers reading that post – it prompted us to join with Compassion. We now sponsor 2 kiddos. Thank you

  13. Cry. Ing.

  14. Nester, do you know why some children go so long waiting for a sponsor?

    • because no one signed up to sponsor them?

      is this a trick question? Halp!!

      • I’m sorry! I was vaguely aware that it was a stupid question when I posted it.

        I suppose I’m wondering if it’s their location, their age, the area they’re in. I don’t know. I picked the one who has been waiting the longest (his name is almost the same as my oldest son’s) and he had been waiting for 426 days. I guess I don’t understand why it goes on that long. I guess I assumed that there was something Compassion could do, though for the life of me I have no idea what that could be. It’s not like they can offer discounts. I’m sorry to confuse! I suppose I’m just trying to understand, myself. But obviously you’re right in your answer.

        • Statistically speaking, boys and older children usually wait longer for sponsors. People are drawn to the cute little sweeties much of the time.

          Also, children who are on the Compassion website have not been there the entire time they have been waiting for a sponsor. There is a “pool” of unsponsored children. Some children are on the US website or on websites of partner countries like UK, Canada, Korea etc. Some children are printed off on packets and sent to advocates like myself or on tours with various artists for events like concerts.

          A child’s profile wouldn’t stay in just one place, the kids are rotated here and there, after periods of time. A child’s packet may spend 2 months on a concert tour and then may go on a Compassion website for a month or two, then may get sent to an Advocate for a month or two and so on.

          Thankfully, a child who is waiting is still benefitting from the program, all except for the love and support that comes from a sponsor through letters etc. In many ways, that is one of the most important parts of the program. Letters go a long way to instill a sense of worth in these children.

          For those who have a heart to, Compassion does have a fund for the unsponsored children, to help pay for the benefits they receive while waiting.

          I hope this helps!

          • Thank you, Michelle! That does help tremendously. I had the impression that they were put on the website and then just waited for a very long time. I have very little knowledge of how things work behind-the-scenes with Compassion International. Thanks again for your response. I am really looking forward to writing to and getting to know the child I chose to sponsor.

        • OHhhhh, I get it, you were asking for specific reasons why some children wait longer. My brain is thick, so sorry! Thanks Michelle for being smart with amazing answers! And yes, it’s usually the older boys who are sponsored last and picked over.

  15. I love the idea of framing the jeans. That’s the kind of thing I want on my walls.

  16. this is quite possibly my most favorite post ever written in the history of blogging. ever. :) xoxoxox

  17. Such a beautiful way to keep that reminder. I love it.

  18. Aw, man, Nester. Love.

  19. Talk about meaningful art! So wonderful. You are an inspiration.

  20. Gaela Lashley says

    Thank you so much for inspiring us. Because of your blog, Augustino Arbogast Mboya now has a sponsor….our family! He had been on the waiting list the longest. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  21. I’ve been wanting to sponsor a child for a long time but am ashamed to say that everyday distractions always seemed to keep me from actually doing it. After reading your post today, my husband and I signed up to sponsor one of the children who have been waiting for a sponsor the longest (I tried to choose one myself and just couldn’t), and we’ll find out in a couple of weeks who it is when we receive the packet in the mail. I’m planning to sponsor another child this summer after our son is born so that we can find a child who shares a birthday with our Theodore.

    I’ve been trying to put myself in the shoes (as if I ever could really imagine) of a child who took that sweet picture over a year ago and has been waiting for a sponsor for over a year, watching his or her friends be sponsored and celebrate. The thought of that child learning that they finally have a sponsor after 400+ days of waiting makes my heart leap. I can only hope that our love and support will touch this child’s heart as much as he or she has already touched mine.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story!

    • chills Courtney. You will not regret this. And I predict that you will want to sponsor ALL of them by this time next year!!! xoxo

    • Cue the happy tears! :’ ) :sniff:

      So very happy for you! It is a step of faith, to be sure, but you will not regret this. Your child will probably do a happy dance when they receive their first letter from you! (I honestly do a happy dance whenever we receive a letter from one of our 19 CI kids! Love it!) God bless you and your family!

  22. I don’t know what this is about, but I’m clicking on the link above to find out…

  23. You are the smartest decorator I know. I love this.

  24. ohmyword
    that is the most awesome thing you have ever created. oh my…
    isn’t it beautiful to know that the lord placed you in Topiwo’ s life & HE knew ahead of time the heart connection YOU would be for him.
    so beautiful nester and what solidified my love for you!

  25. Wow. You are a very special person, one that people should learn from.

  26. Boom. Favorite.

    It reminds me of that Mars Hill video “Corner”. That thing changed me forevs. And I know it’s not popular in some circles to utter “his” name these days, but all I can say is: He nailed that video.

  27. They say a picture speaks a thousand words. These few pictures told an entire story. This warms my heart.

  28. I finally did it and am so glad that I did. I love the jean heart.

  29. Wow.
    I am not sure if you have every read something that makes you just want to Shut. Up.
    Like… for good. This sort of makes me feel like that. What on earth could I ever write or share that could even remotely be as impactful as the pictures and message above? I don’t have an answer.

    {I do know that spell check is telling me that “impactful” is not a word. It should be}.

    Our family has sponsored a little girl in Malawi, Africa for over two years now. We love love getting her letters so much – she is a doll and blesses us as much as {I hope} we bless her and her family. Maybe someday we will get to visit her village.
    I love this post so much and I agree with Dee.

  30. I love this. Everything about it. The idea, the frame you used, the nostalgia about it, the feelings it know it will evoke in you. Thanks for such a fabulous idea, with so much thought and love behind it. Beautiful!

  31. Nester – I love this post. I love how something as simple as dirt on the knee of jeans turned into such a valuable reminder. Amazing!

  32. Precious…a wonderful memory for you and a visual reminder to the rest of us that more needs remain.

  33. Beautiful!

  34. What a beautiful way to remember!


  35. Just. simply. beautiful.

  36. What a precious way to save a memory and enjoy it day to day!! I’m gonna raid my closet for things I can cut up now. haha :)BTW, loved your post today about meeting with other bloggers. What a wonderful thing.:) I hope to do that, too, someday.

  37. Wow, love this. I’ve been a compassion sponsor for years and always wanted to go on a sponsor tour, but have never had the chance. Maybe someday…

  38. So. stinkin. beautiful. Only people changed forever cut up their jeans like that. :) This strikes such a chord…I would love to go meet our Glyn Paul. Such precious kids.

  39. Speechless.

  40. I love that you did this!

  41. your art is so beautiful… and so is your heart

    my mom wore a pair of shorts the other day that had africa dirt worn into them… she grinned when she said she was so happy it hadn’t washed out!

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