Her final letter: B.C. sponsor leaves legacy of hope for young girls in Peru

Others, Sponsorship , Stories

Contributed by: Compassion Canada



If you could write a final letter to your loved ones, what would you write? Of all the things you’ve accomplished throughout your life and the person you’ve become, what would you want your loved ones to remember?

For Gail of Sooke, B.C., the answer came easily. She beautifully wrote about her life’s message—unwavering faith and deep trust in the Lord, even in uncertainty and pain.

A zest for life and a love for Jesus

As an elementary school teacher and reading specialist, Gail relished every opportunity to expand a child’s view of the world through the power of reading. She had an exuberant zest for life, intentionally sprinkling her interactions with messages of encouragement and hope.

Woven into the fabric of her relationships was a gentle but passionate sharing of her faith journey. She took every opportunity to share her love for Jesus with fellow quilters and those she supported who suffered from lymphedema, a condition she was also battling.

31 years of compassion

In 1992, Gail began pouring into the lives of young girls in Peru as a Compassion supporter. She desired that they would have vibrant lives full of hope and opportunities to thrive.

In a beautiful letter to 19-year-old Ana, Gail shared the depth of her faith that gave her strength in a significant health crisis. She was unaware that this would be her last message to the teen who held a special place in her heart. 

My sister is staying with me for the next few months as I have taken ill and will be for quite a few months. I am in treatment now and am trusting the Lord each and every day. I trust the Lord, for He has blessed me so much and has carried me through so much, too. I’m praying that you will grow in the knowledge and a depth of intimacy with our Lord, that will carry you through all the trials, temptations and blessings this earthly life will throw at you.


Leaving imprints on hearts

At just 69, after a brave battle with cancer, Gail went home to be with the Lord. Gail left an indelible imprint on the hearts of Iris, Anacely and Ana in Peru through her thoughtful Christmas and birthday cards and a faithful exchange of letters that consistently shared about her relationship with her Saviour. Her favourite Bible verse that she held close to her heart when facing her most challenging days was Jeremiah 29:11.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Gail’s sister, Dianne, deeply felt God’s presence as she cared for her only sibling during her final months of life. She was fully aware of Gail’s dedication to her Compassion kids. While grieving the loss of her sister and tending to the details of her estate, Dianne reached out to Compassion. It was important to Dianne that Gail’s currently sponsored child, Ana, would continue to receive support. Dianne’s thoughtful gesture was met with an unexpected response.

A final letter of gratitude

Ana was now 20 years old and had successfully graduated from Compassion’s program on May 1st, just three days before her loving sponsor, Gail, took her last breath.

Before her graduation, Ana wrote this final letter to Gail on April 18th:

Dear Sponsor Gail,

Please receive my warm greetings and special gratitude because you have been an important part of my life during this time. You have accompanied me in every area of my life developed through the project, especially in the spiritual area, and I have enjoyed many experiences in the churches where the project was located. You have helped me in many ways.

I was blessed with beautiful camps, learned some workshops and job skills, participated in Bible contests, special celebrations, unforgettable outings, delicious food, psychological support, pastoral counselling, youth meetings, and the most fun for me was the Vacation Bible School during school break.

For now, I am studying with the support of my family, especially with the help of my mother who is everything to me and who pushes me forward along with my brother. I want to move forward and fulfill my dreams to also help her in the future and be better than I am now.

I ask for your prayers for my health, improvement in my study plans, but above all for my mother’s health and job. She is the most important person to me. May my life always be blessed by God. My family and I will pray that our God continues to do His will in your generous heart to keep helping others, and may God bless you in each of your life projects.


An eternal impact

Gail’s impact on Ana’s life was beautifully witnessed by staff and volunteers at her Compassion centre in Lima, Peru, where they captured these life-changing results of Gail’s sponsorship:

  • Ana’s hope for the future: Ana hopes to advocate for children in need and share the love of Jesus with others, just as Gail did with her.
  • Gail’s impact on Ana: Gail encouraged Ana to continue her education and most importantly, encouraged Ana to accept Jesus as her Saviour.
  • The impact of Compassion’s program on Ana’s family: The gospel was shared with Ana’s family, and her caregiver accepted Jesus as Saviour.

The dedicated investment of resources, time and hope that Gail poured into Ana’s life will never be forgotten. Gail’s final letter was a beautiful reminder of the impact of a life lived fully for the Lord.

As one precious life ended, her love and faithfulness watered and nurtured the growth of a beautiful young life that is just beginning to blossom.