Thursday, June 2, 2011

Giving Up

As the Compassion Bloggers have been posting about their visit to the Philippines, I have been soaking up each post that they’ve published. (If you haven’t been reading their posts, I highly suggest you go here and check them out!)  I am finding the comments after the posts to be just as moving and inspiring as the posts themselves.

Yesterday, Tsh from Simple Mom published So That Others May Simply Live, which had my eyes misting up.  Then, I read through the comments are read something by my friend Amy of This Treasured Life.

“My daily coffee was what I gave up to sponsor my first child. Buying books was what I gave up to sponsor my 2nd child. My pride is what I gave up to sponsor our 3rd child. There are so many ways to come up with the money to sponsor.”

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I know that the financial commitment is what holds many people back when they are considering sponsoring a child through Compassion International.  When we stood on the threshold of the decision to sponsor our first, Precious from Ghana, the thought of coming up with $38 every month was intimidating.  We live on one modest income. We don’t have a lot of extras to give up. But, we decided to take a leap of faith.

In the book of Malachi, we are given an ultimatum by God.

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Malachi 3:10

We took the challenge and we have indeed been blessed.

When we took on the sponsorship of our second Compassion child, Bertille in Burkina Faso, my husband had just broken ground on a shed.  Anticipating the opportunity to stop paying the monthly bill for our storage unit, Jay blew my socks off by suggesting that we take the extra in our monthly budget and take on another sponsorship. I jumped on it.  Now, a year and a few months later, the shed is only part done and we are still paying for our storage unit, yet we still have the means to sponsor Bertille.

Our other seven Compassion children are correspondent children so we do not pay their monthly sponsorship.  But, we have committed to sending financial birthday gifts and family gifts.  In this financial commitment, we have always been given enough to share with our children around the world, even if I needed to get creative and sell some art to do it!

All this is to say, if you feel that God is leading you to sponsor a child, I think that He will make a way for it to be financially possible.  I know all sorts of people in different seasons of their lives who have made some sacrifices to pay for sponsorship ~from teens to an older woman living on a small disability check.

Maybe you can give up coffee drinks, manicures, trips to the movie theatre, dinners at restaurants.  Perhaps you can scale back and use a Tracfone instead of a fancy phone with a data plan.  What about using the proceeds from a yard sale to start off the sponsorship of a child? 

In the case of my friend Amy, she gave up her pride and put out a call for help, asking friends and family to pitch in to help sponsor Agnes from Rwanda. Her call was answered.  Maybe you could split a sponsorship with a friend or two or twelve?

So, I am asking my readers….  Did you decide to give up anything in particular when you sponsored a child through Compassion International?  Did you have fears about being able to make the monthly payments? What have you learned?

Ultimately, our family hasn’t had to give up anything to sponsor through Compassion. Giving has been a joyful blessing.

~Michelle