Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Happy Sponsor-versary!

Three years ago today, we clicked the “Sponsor This Child” button for the very first time.

I had heard about Compassion International in passing from a friend. Something in my heart led me to look into it more and being somewhat of a skeptic, I researched for about two weeks. I used my Google-Fu skills to search high and low and didn’t find anything about the organization that put up red flags. Then, I approached my husband about it. We are a single income family and we’re certainly not rollin’ in the dough, but I thought it would be really good for us to do something for at least one child living in poverty. I had looked through most of the children on the Compassion website and was drawn to this precious girl in a yellow dress with a shy and somewhat apprehensive look on her face. Her name said it all ~ Precious.

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We had a small piece of land up for sale and had quite a few bites, so my husband said that if we sold it for the price we were asking, we could go ahead and start sponsorship. A few days later, the sale went through and we had a down payment in our hands. I can remember the moment clearly, being down in the basement woodshop talking to Jay and he said, “Ok, go ahead. We can sponsor Precious now!” I cried tears of joy and did a happy dance and then ran up to the computer, hoping that she’d still be there on the website. She was, and the rest is history. It wasn’t until the sponsorship went through that I noticed that we had missed her birthday by one day. The Compassion website has an option to send a financial gift to your child or family (they get 100% of the gift money), so I talked to Jay and we sent her $20. We knew it would take a few months to get to her, but better late than never, right?

A few months later, we received this photo.

Precious is here with her grandmother and father, siblings and many of the children from her project ( GH220 ~ Bisease Methodist Child Development Center) With that $20 she received a dress, shoes, sponge, toothbrush and toothpaste, paints, books and had enough left over to treat her friends to some soda, a rare treat! Twenty dollars. I was blown away when the reality of it hit me.

These three years of being involved with Compassion have been incredible and life-changing. It has changed how we look at “wants vs. needs” and the resources that God provides for us. It has helped up to see that we can change the world for one child without a huge sacrifice on our part. Now, a year later, we have 12 beautiful Compassion children in our family and I praise God for having them in our lives.

In three years, we have seen Precious change from a girl so shy she didn’t want to raise her head for a picture, to a girl with an aura of confidence.

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When my friend JD was able to visit Precious last November, the project staff said,

Precious' health hasn't been well before she was registered, and since entering the program, not only has her health completely improved, but her personality and confidence has bloomed.

(Read more about JD’s visit here.)

Our journey started with one little seed, unknowingly planted by a friend when she mentioned Compassion.  Don’t underestimate the power of sharing this organization with people in your sphere on influence! 

In honor of this special day, will you join in a challenge?  I would love it if you could mention Compassion International to at least one person today. Share their link through social media, tell the person at the post office who you’re mailing a letter to, tell a friend about a recent letter you received…. Plant a seed.