Buffalo, Friday August 19, 2011 -
Last week in Chicago before the Bills’ preseason game against the Bears, Buffalo
safety Jairus Byrd crossed the final hurdle in getting his partnership with Compassion International off the ground.
While in Chicago
, Byrd met with and heard the incredible stories of two young adults who were given a new life thanks
to Compassion International. Both are now college students at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and well
on their way to a bright future, but they started in very different places and without any hope.
Abbel Joseph of
Haiti and Lois Nangudi from Uganda both told their stories to Byrd, who was clearly moved.
Bears defensive backs coach Gill Byrd, and Jairus’ mother
Marilyn were also
in attendance and were both visibly touched by what they heard.
and Joseph spoke in detail about their lives growing up in ultimate poverty. They painted a vivid picture of what life is like for a young child living in the most dire of circumstances and how their lives completely changed
changed just by the simple fact that acknowledged their existence. That recognition came from
Compassion International when both were around eight years old. Afterward, with their basic needs being met
and armed with their newfound hope, they both flourished and eventually enrolled in college here in the United States.
spokesperson for Compassion International, Byrd also recorded a promotional video prior to meeting with
Nangudi and Joseph. Then he got a chance to see photographs of the two children from Brazil who
he sponsors himself and insisted on taking the photos of the children with him to the Bills team meeting
later that evening. Byrd’s website, www.jairusbyrd31.com and Facebook page
both feature a prominent Compassion International link at the top of the page
challenging people to join Jairus in sponsoring a child.
"Abbel and Lois’ stories are unbelievable,” Byrd said. “I believe in Compassion because it gives me a way
to make a big difference for children I’ve never met. I sponsor two children myself, Giovanni and Victoria in Brazil, and I know they get their needs taken care of, simply because I give up thirty-eight
dollars a month. I want my life to leave a legacy – if it’s in the way I play football, or the way I treat my friends, I want my life to be about something bigger. I want to be the best athlete I can be, but life is bigger than the sport I play or the job you have.”