Monday, February 18, 2013

Changing the life of a child


For years, I would look at the abundance in my home and the ingratitude that seemed to accompany it and wonder how to infuse an attitude of appreciation into my children, how to demonstrate just how blessed we are.  Their young ages prevented taking them on a mission trip to a less fortunate part of the world, and mom harping with comments like "starving children in Africa would be happy to have that broccoli" accomplished nothing.  

Last summer, my husband and I agreed to sponsor a child through Compassion International and the impact on our family has been exciting.  Having a name and a face for our kids to pray for, write to, and associate with someone less fortunate has helped expand their world just a little.  On their own, they started a jar for spare change to save for Christmas and birthday gifts for their "African sister" Nashaki.  When her letters arrive, they can't wait to hear how she's doing.

The little girl with deep chocolate skin has expanded my vision as well as my kids'.  It  reminds me that while serious troubles may come my way, there are little ones out there in much more dire straits.  It reminds me to be open to opportunities where God may call me to reach beyond my borders to touch lives of His precious ones.   

It has struck me just how little it takes to change someone's life.  It is so easy, in our affluent North American culture, to spend the cost of sponsorship, $38, without batting an eye.  It's probably a fair guess that most people's monthly latte fund is more than that.  God clearly commands us to look out for the widow and orphan, for those less fortunate.  Most are familiar with the verses (see James 1:27, Matt 25:31-46) and would agree, but life creeps in, schedules fill, another week passes and we have done little to impact anyone outside our circles, let alone put food in the mouth of someone who is hungry.  April 21 is Compassion Sunday.  I know that God hasn't called everyone to reach out through child sponsorship.  But, I would encourage all to at least ask Him if sponsoring a child is something He would have you do. 

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