Wednesday, June 16, 2010

One Child

Last night, I gathered up the necessities and headed for the Homeschool Curriculum Sale at FLN. I had the display I made, my tote with my Compassion International tablecloth, various brochures and papers, pens, clipboards and thirty child packets for children who are waiting for sponsors. I’ve never been to the annual sale, so I didn’t know what to expect. I was surprised how packed the place was, even before the customers were let in. I set up my table (forgot to take pics like I had planned!!), prayed and put on my smile.

When the first rush of customers was let in, it was pure madness. People had specific books on their lists and were dashing from table to table, barely glancing at my table before moving on. After the first hour, I had a few more people make eye contact or stop by and take a quick look. I was able to hand out brochures, tell some people about Compassion and what it does and plant some seeds. The people who stayed to chat with me for more than a few minutes were usually already sponsors and I really loved the chance to share stories about how being involved in Compassion has changed our lives along with our sponsored children. That was the common theme to every discussion I had with a sponsoring family. Compassion International TRULY changes lives. I was also able to encourage a few of the sponsors to write to their children more and make it something they get to at least once a month.

With a half an hour left in the sale, I still hadn’t been able to find a sponsor for any of the children on my table. Then, a sweet young Mom came over to talk to me, telling me that she had been thinking of starting a sponsorship for a while now. We talked for quite a while, I showed her some of the letters and photos we’ve received from our Compassion children and she told me she was sure she wanted to do it, she just needed to call her husband and check in about it. About five minutes before it was time to pack up, she came back to the table and chose handsome little Ammanuel from Ethiopia. :cheers:

When the final call was made to close up shop, I will admit I got somewhat emotional. Thirty beautiful children on my table, hours of work in prep, and only one child found a sponsor. My eyes started to well with tears. I’m not proud of it, but I started to think negative things about the few people who had made harsh comments and those who were dropping hundreds of dollars on curriculum. As quickly as it all came, it stopped with a feeling of peace. What came to my mind is this: If Ammanuel was standing in front of me asking me to find him a sponsor, would I put in all of the work and effort to find him one. In a word ~ Absolutely. No doubt. I thought, “God sent me here to find Ammanuel a sponsor, to plant a few seeds in people’s hearts, and that is what happened.” I was convicted of this just a few minutes later when someone told me the very same thing, in slightly different words. My tears of disappointment turned to tears of joy. This is God’s work I am doing, I am merely the vehicle to spread the word about Compassion International. My job is to tend and cultivate a bit, but the fruit is all His.

So, I continued packing up the child packets and pens when a pair of girls, maybe 8 years old, came up to me. “Um, hi. My friends and I did a raffle and, well, it isn’t much but we want to give this to Compassion.” One girl shoved two balled up dollar bills and two quarters in my hand with a smile. I was able to thank them and give hugs before they skipped away, but it left me smiling and feeling (teary and) joyful.

It all comes back to the saying: You may think that you can’t change the world, but you can change the world for ONE child. Shortly, Ammanuel will be told that he has been chosen by a sponsor. For that, I am very thankful. It was worth EVERY ounce of effort.

7 comments:

inktarsia said...

Think of how many people you encouraged to be better sponsors, too! What wonderful work you are doing. Ammanuel: God with us.

Rebecca said...

My heart rejoices for Ammanuel, and the sponsor family whose lives will soon be changed :)

Tim said...

Remember the stories of the lost lamb and the lost coins? Remember the theme of those parables. The Heavens rejoice when just one lost child comes to Jesus. Who knows the impact that Ammanuel's new sponsor will have on him? Because you took the time to stand at that booth for a few hours, Ammanuel might see Jesus' face in Heaven some day.

Tim

PS. Thanks for the encouraging message on my blog.

mamabear said...

Praise God for your heart for these kids, and for the seeds you planted, and for the sponsoring relationship you facilitated!

Chenning said...

Yes, Ammanual will be thrilled to have a sponsor! I remember once someone told me that we may all be striking at a wall with clubs, mallets, etc., but it's the last strike that makes it fall down. What am I saying? Although the evidence of the work did not appear fully until the last strike that knocked down the wall, it was all those other times it was struck that caused its structure to be compromised, develop cracks, microscopic fissures, and shift in order for it to finally fall over at the last strike. Take heart and be encouraged (it sounds like you are!) that you are planting seeds and making little cracks in people's hearts so that they will open to a Compassion child. I try to remember this when I get so discouraged about my parents (who have yet to come to believe in Jesus) after so many years of praying for them and trying to share with them about Jesus' love. Actually, your coming to the Lord, Michelle, greatly encouraged me to keep trusting and having hope for their salvation.

Michelle said...

Thank you all for the encouragement! I'm blessed by your loving words. :)

JD said...

Amen, I love this story, and I love your heart... you ARE making a difference! You may have planted a seed in someone who will later become a sponsor, that's important too!

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