Her name is Joan and she lives in Uganda. At age six, her favorite pastimes include storytelling and singing, and I have been her sponsor for a little over a month. As I searched and prayed for a child to sponsor, I kept going back to Joan’s picture and story. When my new sponsor’s packet arrived in the mail this month, I put Joan’s photograph on our refrigerator. I placed the Compassion bookmark imprinted with Joan’s picture and suggested prayers in my Bible.
Many small steps led to my decision to sponsor a child. In the summer of 2013, I heard a pastor speak about how women and children have suffered from violence and poverty throughout history. Children have been specifically targeted from the days of the early lives of Moses and Jesus to the present day violence in Syria.
“Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.” Jeremiah 31:15 (KJV)
I never had children of my own, and I wondered what I could do to help a child. As a freelance writer and blogger, I have shared my Christian faith and to be inspired by the faith of other bloggers. I noticed that some of my fellow bloggers were writing posts about Compassion International. I visited the organization’s website and was impressed with its holistic approach to releasing children from the cycle of poverty.
My husband began sponsoring a child from Ghana through Compassion International in January 2014. Soon our refrigerator was covered with drawings and letters from my husband’s sponsored child. We could see the difference Compassion was making in her life. I felt an irresistible pull to sponsor a child as well, but I hesitated. We were preparing to move out of state and besides, what if my freelance work became scarce? The last thing I wanted to do was begin sponsoring a child and then have to stop.
I had forgotten that we have a Lord who provides.
“So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” Genesis 22:14 (NIV)
When higher paying, more reliable work came my way, I followed my heart and became a sponsor for $38 a month. Besides, the gym I had been attending had closed, and it was no coincidence that the membership fee that I was no longer paying had been $38. The Lord knows I like to have confirmation, to see the numbers.
The day that I was able to write Joan a letter and tell her that I believe in her was one of the happiest days of my life. I was able to tell her that I am proud of her for helping her family at home, and that I like singing and storytelling, too. I read about Uganda and looked at the map. Joan is in my prayers and thoughts, as are the children who still need sponsors. In the years to come, I cannot wait to see how the Lord works in our lives.