They Were All 5 Born The Same Day, 1 Only a World Apart

We encounter the puzzled question often. “They were all four born on the same day?”  We nod and wait for them to process it all, and are reminded that our “normal” is not so every day for most. 

They share their birthday, it’s all they’ve known, and they seem pretty content with it all. So why not share it with another?

There is a boy named Jamali who also celebrates  February 2, 2007, as the day that God gave him life on this earth. He resides on the other side of our globe in Tanzania, and came to our family on Mother’s Day.  However, my heart for him started long ago.

choosing a child to sponsor in tanzania.jpg

Around the time Brad lost his job in October of 2009, the desire was placed on my heart to support a child through Compassion International. It got placed on the back burner for months as we waded through financial uncertainties, and then starting a business took our energy and resources. Month after month it just didn’t seem like the most opportune time to add another monthly expense. 

choosing a child to sponsor through compassion

Last October as I listened to Shaun Groves sing, my heart was stirring. I knew we could make sacrifices and make an impact on another life. I sent a text to Brad in the middle of the concert and let him know it was heavy on my heart.

Fast forward to May of this year, Brad and I were getting ready to head for bed, but before climbing the stairs to bed I  read aloud this powerful post from Nester, who was traveling in Tanzania with Compassion. The next day we found Jamali. He shares the same exact birthday as our boys, although his life is worlds apart. He shares a small concrete floor with his family of six, and struggles in a country that is short on hope. His “need” list is vastly different from our “want” list. Perspective is a great lesson to learn as a five year old.

sponsoring a child through compassion international.jpg

We certainly can’t save the world, we can’t even save a life – that’s for Jesus, but our hearts are already changed through our love for Jamali and we hope that his heart will be changed as well. Through our small support and the outpouring of a ministry that shines in the lives of the impoverished, Jamali’s life will be different, and so will ours.

sponsoring a compassion child as a family

The boys take turns praying for him every night, his picture hangs in their room, and their first letter has words that read:

compassion letter to sponsor child in tanzania

Oh how I long to teach these boys to love outside themselves!  I hope that we live life far from “normal” or “average”.  May we learn to love with brotherly affection and be a light to the world!

 teaching kids to love others.jpg

Are there sacrifices involved?  Certainly.  Is there blessing in the sacrifice?  Absolutely. Can we save the world? Not even close. Do we have to?  Nope.  Are we called to love and provide for the needs of others? Indeed.

Average-American-Infographic Compassion                                                                      Source: Shaun Groves

Five boys born on the same day. One a world apart who now has a serving of hope with his lunch.

And there goes a piece of my heart to Tanzania.

shaun groves compassion bloggers  Source: Shaun Groves

35 thoughts on "They Were All 5 Born The Same Day, 1 Only a World Apart"

  1. Crystal says:

    Yay! I’m so glad you’re a Compassion person, too! I’m an advocate (the person you see at concerts behind the table, among other places) and we have Barbie in the Philippines (she and Jack share a birthday!) and Kris from Indonesia (a Christmas present from Nick a few years back). And the Run for Compassion Salem I’m directing is THIS Saturday, so this post is very timely! I’m crazy about Compassion. 🙂

    1. QuatroMama says:

      It has my heart in a big way! Praying for your run this weekend!

  2. Smiling!
    The ways of our God!
    Is there anything better than to be bread, broken and given, for the glory of Him?

    Press on, sister!

    1. QuatroMama says:

      His calling, His ways, His beauty – so humbling.
      Ann, your quiet generosity is a blessing to my heart. Thank you.

  3. The Nester says:

    Jen, oh my goodness this was and is so precious! Thank you for sharing!

    1. QuatroMama says:

      No THANK YOU! It was your post that FINALLY made us answer the call. So thankful…

  4. *LOVE* It was during a Compassion (or World Vision… I can’t remember now) trip that we found our Imon. I searched for someone who shared my (deceased) brother’s birthday, and there he was. 🙂

  5. Gussy Sews says:

    Oh I could just cry. Last Sunday the sermon was on Global Missions and I cried the entire time. What a beautiful gift your family is giving Jamali!!!!!! xoxoxo

    1. QuatroMama says:

      Maggie, your trip made it all come together – all to His glory.
      And PS Did you find a church you like?
      And PSS SheReadsTruth has been sooooooo good.

  6. Oh, Jen! This is why I love you! I simply love when you write like this!

    Such a beautiful post–and beautiful pics of your sweet boys. Our Compassion kids have changed our lives. So excited about your quintuplets. (Is that right?)




    1. QuatroMama says:

      So that beautiful comment makes me want to cry with love for you. Thank you, Lovely Friend.

    1. QuatroMama says:

      It’s so mutual. <3

  7. JessieLeigh says:

    So many tears… your precious boys’ words… I can’t even form a coherent comment. But I LOVE this. xo-JL

    1. QuatroMama says:

      Oh JL- Thank you. Truly.

  8. Alaine says:

    Sponsoring a child through Compassion has been the greatest blessing in my life. God multipled the blessing by providing the way to join our church mission team to Kenya and two visits with my child and her family. Compassion International so impressed me with their concern, the records they keep, and their help in arranging the visits. Your post is beautiful and your heart will be stolen even more when you get your first letter from Jamali.

    1. QuatroMama says:

      Oh how I dream of one day visiting Jamali’s village. So impressed and energized by Compassion’s mission.

  9. Alia Joy says:

    I love this post! We have a teenage girl in Tanzania and two other children in Burkino Faso and Ethiopia and they have become such a huge part of our lives. My three year old calls our sponsored child, my friend Jonathan. “Is that letter from my friend Jonathan? Can I go play with my friend Jonathan?” Thanks for sharing this. I especially love the heart your boys have and their genuine love for their “brother.”

    1. QuatroMama says:

      Love it, Alia. So so beautiful.

  10. Amazing!! Thanks for sharing and congrats on the commitment of your 5th boy – your heart always finds room for more, doesn’t it? Love the pic of your hubby sitting and discussing the letter w/ your boys – innocence and pure excitement from children are contagious!

    1. QuatroMama says:

      Their excitement and love for Jamali has been such a rewarding blessing of supporting Compassion. Yes, there’s room in my heart for another!

  11. Crayl says:

    I have a set of twins, and then a singleton, and a compassion child with the same birthday as our singleton. I get this…perfectly. 🙂

    1. QuatroMama says:

      Beautiful. Love that.

  12. Mandy Rose says:

    Love this post girl! You are wonderful and I adore your heart! A few months back we sponsored a little boy from the Philippines and we just love the Compassion program!

    1. QuatroMama says:

      I LOVE hearing from you, Mandy. So glad we made that connection at Blissdom. What’s your little guy’s name in the Philippines? So thankful for Compassion and how they are impacting this world for Christ!

      1. Mandy Rose says:

        His name is Jed! We are in the process of actually adopting a child from the Philippines and I think it would be so neat if we could actually meet Jed when we go to pick up our new child!

        1. QuatroMama says:

          Oh my goodness that would be amazing! Praying for Jed and your soon to be child today, Friend!

  13. Anna says:

    Thankful for your bold witness for Christ and your demonstration of his heart! I know he is well pleased with you! 🙂

    1. QuatroMama says:

      Thank you, Anna. I hope that He is glorified through our small sacrifices.

  14. Julie says:

    I wanted to let you know that I found your blog after running into your and your family outside the elevators on the 22nd floor of the JW Marriott on Monday night. Your boys were adorable and I knew there was probably a story to go with them! All it took was googling Indianapolis and quadruplets and here I am! I enjoyed getting to “meet” your family and talking briefly with the boys before our elevator ride together. We were in town for an Early Childhood conference there at the hotel, so you just added to our experience! My coworker and I were quite impressed that after a ballgame (and what I assume was past regular bedtimes) that you and your husband would take the time to satisfy your little boys’ curiosity and take a side trip into the hotel. I knew that you must be a special family and after reading around on your blog, I realized I was right! I commend you and your husband for your parenting of your boys and raising what seemed to be very well-behaved children. I look forward to following along on your future adventures.

    Julie from SC – (I was the younger one with red hair) 🙂

    1. QuatroMama says:

      Julie, I read this aloud to Brad (loudly)! AMAZING! You were such a sweet encouragement to our hearts. Thank you for taking the time to look us up and write these words. We also appreciated the way you were sweet to our boys Monday night. I think the hotel was just as much a highlight as the game, so I’m glad we took the side trip. =)
      Again, thank you and I look forward to keeping in touch! Hope you had a great time in our city!

  15. Jenny Marrs says:

    I LOVE this post!! I’m a huge advocate for Compassion and sponsorship … It is such a beautiful way to share Christ’s love in a very tangible manner. The act of sponsoring kiddos around the world has change our family and we pray it has changed theirs! Thank you for this beautiful post!

  16. This is inspiring, amazing, a God thing – all rolled into one! Blessings to your sweet family.

  17. natalie says:

    Dear Jen,

    Wonderful, wonderful story.

    Years back I did the same thing with my kids. We found a sponsor child that shared the same birthday for each of our kids. Instantly it created a connection between them and this other little stranger. They shared a birthday and basically nothing else, but it was enough. Its been years now and we have watched with each birthday they *ALL* have grown so much.
    Even in tough financial times we have made it a priority and its always more a gift to us then to those receiving it. We have expanded our crew and now sponsor children in 4 different continents around the world. I loved how said that a piece of your heart was in Tanzania. I totally relate! My heart now resides in North, Central & South America, Africa & Asia. *wink*

    Its stretched our childrens hearts too and broadened their perspective of how blessed they truly are. Instilling a compassion to reach out to those less fortunate.

    Just wanted to say how much I loved your post and pray a special blessing for you & your beautiful boys.

    xo nat

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