I want to scoff at those who think child sponsorship doesn’t work. Those who think that their money can be spent better elsewhere than on those who Jesus commanded us to take care of.
Yesterday we received an updated picture of Nikita. The young girl we sponsor through Compassion. We’ve sponsored her for nearly a year and a half now. I love that God has allowed her to be a part of our lives. This young lady who loves dogs, calls us Uncle and Aunt, always sends hugs and kisses for us and our doggies. This young lady who in part we think of almost like a daughter.
The photo we received yesterday showed her with a study desk that she was able to buy with money we’d sent for her birthday. The initial picture in her sponsorship packet show a sad, maybe even scared little girl has been replaced with a smiling, happy young lady. As soon as I saw her picture my eyes brimmed with tears. I couldn’t believe the change.
Sponsorship works. It works for them and it works for those who sponsor. Every monthly amount, every birthday gift, every family gift, every care package with stickers, coloring pages, paper dolls, puppets, construction paper, little books…..
One of the biggest changes I’ve seen in my life from walking this going on 4-year journey of waiting, changing, waiting, readjustment, waiting has been God’s revamping my attitude of those in poverty.
What started out as a small flame erupted into a burning desire to rescue those in poverty when we started sponsoring Nikita. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it till the day I die, sponsorship changes YOUR life. Allowances you made before, you’re no longer willing to make. Your perspective changes.
I love what Compassion does. I love how they minister to not only the children who are part of their services but their whole family. What touches the child doesn’t stop the moment the leave Compassion’s Child Development Centers. They carry it home held in precious little hands & hearts. I love how as I sleep at night this beautiful young lady is being ministered to spiritually, physically, emotionally. I really do ♥ Compassion!!
Do you sponsor? If so what organization, and where does your child(ren) live?
I take for granted that my heart works. It vigorously pumps blood throughout my branching veins. It thump-thumps in rhythm like the beat in a great song. Sure it goes a little fast some times, skips a beat, but all in all…..it works well.
Meet Achile. Achile’s heart doesn’t work very well. He is an 8-year-old boy in Burkina Faso with a congenital heart defect known as tetralogy of Fallot. On Jun 17th, he arrived in India for heart surgery. This precious little boy needs heart surgery. His pain is great, and for the last five (5) years has been unable to attend school on a regular basis.
Achile has the privilege of being in the Compassion program in Burkina Faso. More than that, when Compassion HQ contacted Shaun Groves that he needed to pull his child sponsorship info from the boxes that would be shared at concerts & conferences Shaun more than stepped up to the plate. Actually…his son did.
Not only is Achile part of Compassion, he’s sponsored. By none other than Shaun’s son. He get’s the chance for life years from now, and gets to hear about Jesus, and gets to be loved on by a little boy and his family in Tennessee, USA.
Of course with any surgery, this isn’t cheap: $20,449. You can help. I encourage you to give towards helping pay for the surgery & airfare to save this little boy’s life.
In Matthew Jesus tells His disciples that when we’ve given to the least of these (the poor, the needy, the alien, the orphan) we have done these to Jesus himself. Click the link below, donate. Touch not only the heart of Achile, but also the heart of Jesus.
Update on Achille.
I know that certain dates can change your life. Your wedding day. The day your child is born. The day you get that job. However, I didn’t realize on the evening of April 30, 2009 that this date would forever change my life.
It rocketed my perspective and my desires to a completely other place than they’d ever been before.
More specifically, it took my heart and shipped it to a slum outside Nagpur, India.
On April 30, 2009 Shawn and I decided to sponsor our first child through Compassion due largely in part because of this Bloggers Trip (Anne‘s posts had my crying like a slobbering fool). We always say that sponsoring her was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. And we’re completely serious. I didn’t think that sponsoring Nikita would change my life, I thought we’d change hers. Provide her nutritious meals, schooling, health checkups, etc. But she’s changed ours in so many ways. They way we are choosing to live our lives. What we find important.
Sponsoring her has made me fall in love with India. Praying that God would redeem and save India. That He would break apart the hierarchy of the caste system and open the eyes of the leaders to the poor dying outside their major cities.
I can’t believe she’s been apart of our lives for a year already. We do our best to write her often and send gifts. I want her to be the little girl that always gets something from her sponsors.
I pray for her salvation and that of her parents and two sisters and brother. This is hugely important to me.
I wear this ring as a reminder of her. To pray for her and her family and her friends.
She is as much part of our family as our own child would be. Even across thousands of miles.
As part of celebrating we sent her some special gifts.
A card, a little wallet size card that reminds her she’s special, Disney Princess stickers, My Little Pony coloring pages, monkey finger puppets I found in the Target Dollar Spot, and a beautiful prayer Shawn wrote for her.
We celebrate this day with great joy and pray that we will continue to celebrate for many, many years.
For the last week, Shaun Groves has been in Kenya with other various bloggers documenting and sharing how Compassion International is serving and rescuing the people of Kenya. When I say people I mean more than just the children that are sponsored through Compassion. The sponsorship of these children changes their entire family’s lives.
Shaun is doing a very thought provoking image blog category while on this trip called Third World Dictionary. Photographic images of everyday things you and I take for granted. There was one image that really hit me especially hard.
It seems over the last year I’ve grown to hate doing laundry. And that is only laundry for Shawn and I. No children. It just seems to be a bother. Remembering to transfer it to the dryer and don’t even mention folding/putting it away. Ahhhh.
I’ve only had to do my laundry outside for a few months……and it was still done in a washing machine. I haven’t had to brave inclement weather to wash my clothes. I’ve never washed my cloths in tubs smaller than a plastic kids swimming pool. I’ve never washed my laundry in dirty water.
I felt convicted over my complaining when I have it so easy. I printed out this picture and have hung it up in my laundry area. A reminder of this advantage I have. That I shouldn’t be complaining but should be grateful.
If you don’t want to be messed up. Don’t want to be convicted or have tears streaming down your face, do not click the link below.
If you want to see lives that have been changed. If you want to see hope in the eyes of beautiful people. If you want to be a little uncomfortable click the link below.
I have felt so helpless lately. It started a while ago seeing images of precious people living on nothing just trying to get by.
It came roaring at me two weeks ago with the earthquake in Haiti. The images of poverty stricken, broken people floated before my eyes. I didn’t close the websites or stop reading the Tweets because I wanted to look.
Last Sunday at church God literally wrecked me. Our pastor decided to forgo communion after the teaching and allow people to pray for Haiti while worship was led. We watched this video done by Pastors Mark Driscoll & James McDonald who went to Haiti to help churches just days after the earthquake. Within seconds of the video starting I was crying. I hadn’t cried for Haiti yet. All I could do the rest of the service was cry and plead to God to save: spiritually and physically.
It isn’t just Haiti though. It’s all children and families that are in devastating poverty. That is what breaks my heart. I want to argue with God and ask Him why are you allowing this to happen to your creation. Why are you allowing the flesh and blood you wove together to be eaten away by diseases and malnutrition?
Today Shawn showed me pictures that Tony Morgan Tweeted from his trip to Burkina Faso through Compassion. All I wanted to do besides cry for these children, was bring them into my home and take care of them. Love them.
I know it isn’t an accident that God has placed these feelings in my heart. I’ve pleaded with Him over and over to break my heart for the things that break His. This is an answer to prayer. Yet, I still feel so helpless. We sponsor our precious, beautiful little Nikita in India and fully plan on sponsoring more in the future. Yet, I still feel so helpless. I pray. We donate to Haiti, and yet… I feel like there is so much more I could do and don’t know how or what.
I just want to be open to what He has for Shawn and I. I guess my feeling helpless means I just lean on Him all that much more and He’ll be the work in me that moves my hands the way they need to be moved.
When I logged onto my computer at work this morning I read this headline for this story on the BBC feed I use Haiti Quake Toll May Be 200,000. My heart just breaks. It cries out for God’s mercy.
Last night I was praying for our little girl Nikita in India, and the people in Haiti. Both India and Haiti are amongst the poorest in the world. Haiti being the poorest in the Western Hemisphere, and India having the largest concentration of poor in the world. This utterly breaks my heart. I began asking God to save and come quickly. I am becoming more and more aware of the effects of sin on our world and our own selves. In Genesis 3 man fell from the grace of God. Sin entered the world and all that was in it and on it became cursed. I long for the day with great anticipation when Jesus returns. When sin and it’s effects are no more.
In the mean time all we can do is serve God, which includes others; and pray and give. As I said in my last post I do not wish that you would give lightheartedly. To treat it as the easy way out. The truth of the matter is these people need Jesus more than they need money. It seems like a harsh thing to say, but I’d rather die homeless in a gutter and have been saved by Jesus, then to die in a mansion and never know Him.
If God leads you to give then do it. Don’t hesitate. And pray, unceasingly. My husband and I gave through Compassion Intl. You can donate by clicking the Help Haiti image below.
For whatever you do thank you.
The end of April Shawn and I sponsored a little girl in India. It is something we’d talked about doing, but never actually took the steps until we read the blog postings by the Compassion Bloggers that were in India at that time. I prayed that God would give us the girl that he wanted for us to sponsor. We chose Nikita. A beautiful nine year old girl.
Since that time we have become interested in the goings on of this very large nation. India covers 1,269,210 square miles. The estimated population for 2009 is 1,198,003,000. When most of us think of India we think of Bollywood or those hour long conversations with a call center for our computer’s hardware or software OEM. We don’t generally think about the residents that make up the rest of the country. According to The World Bank, India has the highest concentration of poor people in he world. According to The World Bank 42% of India’s population lives on $1.25 or less a day (http://xrl.in/34sy). That means that at a population of 1,198,003,000 approximately 50,316,126 people live on what we pay for a soda at a fast food joint. India also has a higher malnutrition rate of than any other country in the world!!
So, I’ve tried to think of India in this way. Forgetting the call centers and the movie musicals and focusing on that 42%. God has really been laying on my heart to pray for India when I pray for Nikita. This is her home for the next dozen years at least. I want it to be a place that cares for it’s people. That seeks the welfare of all it’s population not just those who are in a caste that they feel deserves their respect and time. Through prayer I know that God can change a nation.
Statistics taken from here, please visit the site for more detailed citations.
Prudence is a 30-something writer who lives in Arizona with her husband Shawn and their chihuahuas Lengua and Zeus. She writes her life, her experiences and her crawl back to hope. Eventually, she hopes to visit India – a place that’s captured her heart without ever stepping foot on the soil.