3 Children in My Life.. But I Don’t Have Any Kids


Recipe for a Trip of  a Lifetime

  • 8 flights in 4 days + 1 missed international flight.
  • Temperatures exceeding 100 degrees F (40 degrees C).
  • It’s so hot and humid that I’m drenched in my own sweat.
  • My jeans are stuck to my leg and my handkerchief is soaked from all the perspiration. (Can’t believe they call this winter)
  • Top it off with lugging around bulging backpacks filled with gifts.

But when you meet your special sponsored child for the first time, and the moment he runs out to greet you and gives you a big hug, you can’t help but smile and feel how amazing life really is.

I can only describe the events of my first week in Colombia in one word. Indescribable.

My wife called it the best possible wedding anniversary gift because it is something that she will never forget.

Compassion. Indescribable.

It’s too hard to describe in words what I felt and saw, and it’s even harder for the experience to be conveyed through words so I’ll keep it short.

I sponsor 4 children through an organization called Compassion. Three of them live in Colombia and I made the decision to visit them this October in order to see them face to face and to encourage them and let them know how much we care for them.

People mentioned that they were expecting blond haired elderly couple, and it was a big surprise to see young Korean’s for the first time. The places we visited were also small rural towns so it was the first time for many people seeing a foreigner. We were greeted like rockstars everywhere we went. Crowds of children, cameras in our face, photos with so many people. It made it even more fun and interesting that we were Asian.

Day 1: Visiting Elifeleth

The boy holding the picture Bible is the child we sponsor. If you look immediately above my wife’s head, there is a photo of my wife and I in the corner of that big picture at the back. The family proudly hung our photo in their home to show their gratitude. Made me ashamed at all my previous complaining.

We don’t speak any Spanish so we had an interpreter with us, but in the end the only intentional language needed was hugs, laughs and tears.

Day 2: Visiting William

It’s not often you get to enjoy real coconut milk. You also don’t see too many homes that own a pig, horse, chicken and dog. William is a young lad that touches my heart. I remember the encouragement needed at that age and so I wanted to let him know how much we cared for him. William’s family live on about $50 a month. They live a very simple life with nothing but the necessities. No internet, no phone, no modern kitchen. The kitchen stove is just a pit with a fire.

In the 12 years that the sponsored school was opened, we were the first to have ever visited.

Day 3: Visiting Kelly

Adorable Kelly. She’s only 5 years old and cried for about 20 mins when she saw us. Probably because my head is twice the size of hers…

But that all cleared up when we all spent the day at the zoo.

Each of the we homes we visited didn’t have the luxury of a carpet or even floor. Dusty cement floors was the norm. No insulation or walls either. Walls were created by simple cotton curtains. The children didn’t have toys, books, coloring pencils or even paper to draw on.

But the children and families are happy. They didn’t worry endlessly and their hearts were open, inviting and embracing.

It reminded me of how much I have to be thankful for.

My Thanks to You

In 3 days of visiting each child, I didn’t care one bit about how my portfolio was doing. There could have been another flash crash and it wouldn’t have mattered. I love investing and I find so much enjoyment when I study companies and create spreadsheets but thankfully, I experienced first hand the joy and love or something bigger.

But what I do want to say is how thankful I am for you and this website. It has helped in numerous ways and I want to make sure that you know I appreciate the part you have played in growing this website.

I’m not making millions off my investments and this website, but I’m not making zero either. Do know that from your involvement with this site, you are helping a child receive support to do well in a tough society. Thank you.

For the past 3 years, you’ve only known me by my writing and as OSV, but as we get into our 4th year and beyond, I hope to change things by sharing a more personal involved side with you.

  • TI

    Hi! Jae,

    Nice to know you (and your beatiful wife) again from another dimension.

    You are investing in a more greater and useful world through helping these kids. Even without making millions or billions for yourself so far, you are making other lives happier and heathier. I think this is the your best portfolio and investment!

    Very impressed by the fulliness of your life, make me think …

    Keep up the good work! Jae.

    God bless!

    Regards
    TI

  • Gene Garfield

    You are a good man, Jae. Thanks for letting us get to know you better.

  • Todd Rolek

    I have just recently found your web site and have found the information extremely valuable.

    I too sponsor a child through Compassion. I enjoyed your recap and the pictures of you and your wife with the children.

    Keep up the great work.

  • james pockstaller

    thank you for sharing, very touching.

  • Salsero

    Great post. I really loved it. Thanks!

  • Great post. Good on ya, Jae!

  • Jim Hooton

    Jae, I really appreciate your investing software and now I appreciate it even more, knowing the good works you are committed to. Thanks.

  • Thanks everyone. The response has been amazing. All I did was post a few pictures and a couple of other people have been moved to act in sponsoring a child.

    I shared with a person through email that my dream would be to sponsor 1,000 children. I can confirm that another 2 signed up so I can count it as 6 being sponsored. We are all family here.

    This is fantastic.

  • Hugo

    Jae, reading these lines and looking at the photos was once of the most interesting posts. In the end the best thing is to use the knowledge and fortune we have to share with other people more needed. Great job !!!

  • lei

    hello,jae . Are you chinese?

  • John

    Jae, Thank you for posting your pictures and story. The admonition \to whom much is given, much will be required\ has been heeded in a beautiful way by you and your wife’s actions. Even \small-time\ investors such as I have \much\ compared to other people in our world, and it is sobering to see that even a very small amount of my \much\ can make such a big difference for a needy child. Compounded on that is the reality that I had no part in choosing my place of birth, being given a healthy body, a capable mind, etc. Those gifts, rather than being a source of boasting and pride, should instead make me more responsible for caring for my fellow humans.
    Thanks for the story and for your spreadsheets!

  • floris

    Awesome!

  • @ Hugo,
    Thank you 🙂

    @ lei,
    No I’m Korean.

    @ John,
    We all have compassion. It just gets buried inside. Our blessed life can be a curse sometimes but it’s this kind of journey that breaks your heart and wakes you up.

    I’m no philanthropist and to be honest, I’m embarrassed and flattered at these comments. I just ask myself one question when it comes to these things, will $40 a month change my life? And the answer to that is usually a profounding no.

    @ floris,
    Thanks

  • Charlie

    Just awesome. You rock and are a true inspiration.

  • Thanks for sharing! It reminded me of the more important things in life.

  • lei

    Hello,Jae. which stock screen do you usually use?

  • russ

    Jae, I’m thrilled you had such an affirming experience for the compassion you have shown the children and their families. That really is wonderful and your post is an important reminder of what is truly important in life. Thanks for sharing such an inspirational story.

    Russ

  • Ernie

    Bravo man…Bravo! The best investment you have ever made.

  • Pat Connell

    Good for you Jae. You and your wife are good people.
    Thanks for sharing your story. Pat

  • Thanks for the supportive comments guys.

  • Yin

    Jae,
    Thanks for sharing this side of your life. I think I really like that side of you. My wife is also from S korea and we might have more in common that we know.

    Yin

  • Mark

    Jae,

    Thanks for sharing. We too support a child through Compassion. It never really dawned on me that we could go and visit her. You have given me food for thought. Galatians 2:10

    Mark

  • Great job and great story, very inspirational. I would love to do something like this someday.

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