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.