Last week I saw something about becoming a Compassion Blogger. I read the blogs of a couple different child sponsorship companies and I love the stories that I read. The bloggers for these companies are amazing. The stories they tell are real and inspiring. You probably know that I think highly of them because I link so many on my Good Stuff Saturday posts. I want to write like that, so I took the challenge. September is blog month at Compassion. Why? Their goal is to get 3,108 children sponsored this month. That is a crazy number! But that would be an amazing number of lives to change. So I don't want to just throw up a bunch of random facts copied from other places. My goal for this blog is to write stories about my real life. Child sponsorship is a part of my real life, so I want to tell stories about it. That is what I am doing this month telling stories about my experiences with child sponsorship in hopes of changing some lives, yours and theirs.
Photo Credit: cote
The idea of child sponsorship began when I was a kid and I saw those sad commercials. I suppose some would label them as propaganda. Personally, I would say truth and little bit of guilt which isn't always a bad thing. Anyway I decided when I grew up, I wanted to sponsor a child because I wanted to change a life. As I grew up, I worried about money and thought someday when finances are more settled. God didn't let me leave it at that though. He brought Compassion into my life as a young married wife. It wasn't the right time, but I was impressed with the company. As a soon to be mother, God brought them back again. The time was finally right. It wasn't right because I had all my finances in order. (HA!) It was right because I was getting ready to have a kid. I was going to be a mother and that connected me to so many other mothers out there. So I picked up packets from Spanish speaking countries and decided on Ina, as Ben calls her, from Guatemala.
I couldn't imagine what it would be like to be a mother and not be able to feed, house, or educate your child. These are very real concerns for mothers out there in 3rd world countries. Some have to make horrific decisions about who to feed tonight or who to educate or who to keep. These decisions can have such long lasting effects that only entrench these people further into poverty. It is a depressing cycle and can easily feel too big for
There is something you can do! You can change things!
Child sponsorship is a powerful tool for change! The money I provide every month ($38 x 2) will help keep my two kids healthy and full. When they are healthy and full, they can go to school. When they go to school, they can get a good education. A good education provides them with the ability to reach their dreams. When they reach their dreams, they become doctors, teachers, policy makers, community leaders, etc. Those are positions of power that have the ability to change the lives of hundreds. So my $38 x 2 a month can change 2 lives and those 2 can change hundreds.
Not only do these 2 precious girls get food, water, education, and health care, they get to know Jesus! Compassion provides a child development center for these kids and their parents. Parents can come to learn better parenting skills and sometimes job skills. The kids can come to learn more about Jesus and have some fun while learning life skills. Compassion works with churches in the area to ensure the children have a pastor. I have received letters from these pastors. They give me insight as to the dangers in these particular areas where these girls live.
However, letters from the pastors are not the highlight of my sponsorship experience. The highlight is the letters I get from these girls. Their letters and drawings give me a chance to get to know them better and to know how to pray for them. It gives me a chance to see what is going on in their lives. And most importantly, it gives me a chance to know them. It isn't just about the money. It is about the relationship I am developing with them.
I got sidetracked before I told you about our second girl. After following a couple other blogs, I developed a heart for Thailand. I searched for children in Thailand on Compassion's child sponsorship page. I narrowed it down to one area and God just put Ana, as Ben calls her, on my heart. I looked over the choices several times and she was the only one that touched my heart. So we sponsored another one even though we couldn't really afford it because Ana, like Ina was meant to be a part of our family.
Developing a relationship with them has not been easy. There are many times I feel like a total failure because my letter isn't heartfelt enough. It is a struggle to know what to say and what not to say. But nothing that is worth it ever came easy. It takes work to develop relationships and these are just like other relationships.
So what can you do?
GO TO THE SITE that I have linked to 8 times now.
Pray for one, ten, all the children there to get sponsored.
Sign up to be a correspondence sponsor and write letters to children who don't normally get them.
Become a sponsor and start creating your own relationship.
Be aware that you will be the only sponsor for the child and it is preferred that you will sponsor them until they complete the program (18 to 22 depending on country). This should be a long term relationship between you and this child and God. Please don't enter this lightly. Let Him call you to sponsorship and to the child you are to sponsor.
Will you at least go to the site , look around, and say a prayer?