“Let the little children come to me.” The words rang in my ears as I turned the Compassion International brochure over in my hands. I had wanted to do this for so long. My heart burned with passion for giving children hope.
“God,” I said, “I think this is what you want me to do…but I am a doubter. So provide me with enough money for a quarterly payment and I will do this.”
I set the brochure down, trying to close the picture of the little girl on the front out of my head.
But God is forever faithful. I collected together the money that I had saved and had my mom write me a check. Then I took the little brochure out of my drawer again. Quickly, so I wouldn’t change my mind, I tore out the “Yes! I want to release a child from poverty in Jesus’ name!” paper and grabbed a pen to fill out my personal information. That was easy. I flipped it over and my pen hung in midair over the “Boy/Girl” checkboxes. Oh how I wanted to check “Girl”. I had always wanted a little sister. Always. But I felt that gentle nudge to check, “Either”. God, please, I thought. I really, really want this to be my little sister.
“No. Check ‘Either’. Trust me.”
So I did. Followed by “Any age” and “Any location”. All the while thinking, I hope You know what You’re doing here, God.
Then I sealed it up and sent it off.
A week or so passed. Then, in the mail was a large enveloped addressed to me, saying, “Your Sponsorship Information Inside”!
I slowly tore it open. For a second, my heart drooped as I saw the name “Bryan”. But then I saw his picture and stopped. He looked so scared, with his hands pressed tightly against his sides and his eyes wide as they stared at the camera.
Okay, I thought. Another little brother it is.
I came into the process with little knowledge of how Compassion works, but I quickly guzzled up all the information I could get. As I read the pamphlet of information on Bryan, I seriously thought, I can WRITE to Bryan?! TOO COOL! So write him I did. I made it a habit to write once a month.
Then there was a tug on my heartstrings. My relationship with Bryan was already blooming through letters and simply the love I began to carry for that little boy.
But I knew I could do more. I prayed about it, but I knew financially I couldn’t take on a sponsorship.
But I could help. I got together with a few of my friends and we sponsored the beautiful Maria, in Guatemala like Bryan. I wrote her letters when I wrote Bryan. Her letters began to pour in and my heart nearly exploded! Nine years old and already writing on EXTRA paper?! This girl is amazing!
Slowly, my Compassion family continued to grow as I learned through OC about the correspondence program and received Stephen in Ghana, Alex in Guatemala, Jemiratou in Burkina Faso, and Nahomi in Mexico.
But, getting a wonderful job, I felt like I could take on another sponsorship.
So I began to browse the Compassion website. I had a list of potentials…but I didn’t know if my heart was fully in it. So I took the advice many offered me, and I waited.
October 2012 rolled around and God gave me a dream. In it, I went to Bangladesh (a country I had given very little thought to previously). When I got off the plane, a little girl was waiting for me. She proceeded to act as my guide and answer all my questions. But when I asked her if the Bible was in her language, her answer was muffled.
The next morning I decided to get on Compassion’s website to see if my dream was anywhere near realistic. As I looked through the Bangladeshi kids, I thought to myself, Man, my dream was pretty accurate. The people in my dream looked a lot like this.
Then my heart stopped and my jaw literally dropped as tears flooded into my eyes. My sister, who was sitting across from me, said, “What? What is it?”
I made some wild gestures, then pointed at my computer scream, and then blurted, “Look! It’s the little girl from my dream! I can’t believe it! She’s wearing the same clothes and everything!
Of course, she didn’t know what I was talking about really, but my mind was whirling too much to explain.
And so, the beautiful Bangladeshi girl, my Shathi, was sponsored. Every time I see her face on my account, I think, God does care. For some reason, He preordained that Shathi and I would be together.
And all of the sudden, I was completely overwhelmed by the love of God.
And the love of these kids.
Some days I have to question, am I really the sponsor? Because I am the one who feels blessed. Every time I go to the post office and there is a cream colored envelope addressed to me, my heart leaps and my hands shake as I read the words of a child from halfway across the world, who is praying for me, thinking about me, and is taking the time to write letters to me. It’s often the encouragement I need right then and there.
God really does know what He’s doing.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
ComPASSION: God’s Story Which Kind of Includes Me
My friend Hannah was the author to my 299th comment! I usually do guest posts on the hundredth comment, but that was me. So that would have been weird! Anyway, Hannah is 16 and passionate for Compassion. She loves her sponsored children with her whole heart. You can find her on OurCompassion HERE.