If you follow me on Facebook, then you know that we just recently got back from a trip with the youth group. We took them to a conference called Planet Wisdom. If you are a parent with a teenager, you will definitely want to tell your youth pastor about these conferences. The best way I like to describe this conference is “meaty”. The teenagers get the juicy meat of the Bible. It’s a “no-frills” conference not meant to appeal to the emotional side of the teenagers, but meant to challenge them in their faith and give them strategies and tools for facing real life. Short and sweet. Powerful and empowering.
And I did the ugly cry.
I didn’t mean to and it was definitely not expected. But this thing happened to me once I birthed two children from my womb. I developed a mommy heart.
And up on stage stood a grown man with an accent. He grew up in a country of Africa (I can’t remember which one now) and lived in extreme poverty. His parents would often tell him they had no food to feed him that day. He was expected to grow up and be a thief and a beggar. That was the path he was heading towards when Compassion International found him.
He looked us all in the eyes and said in his thick accent that whenever they got a call from Compassion, all the kids in his village would gather around and cross their fingers and pray that they would hear their name called – that someone had sponsored them so they could get an education and a meal and medical care.
And it broke me. What if that were my child? What if I had to look them in the eyes and say “I’m sorry my love, mommy has no food to feed you today.” No parent should have to do that. I think, in that moment, God gave me a small glimpse about how He feels about poverty.
We already sponsor one child – Sebastian. We have been sponsoring him for over 5 years. We get the sweetest letters from him and he asks us to pray for him. We enjoy receiving his pictures and watching him grow.
The teenagers in our youth group banded together and decided to sponsor another one. This child had been waiting for over a year for someone to sponsor him. Oh he is the sweetest little boy, I just want to cuddle him and smooch him and fill his tummy and tell him about the love of Jesus. I can’t do that personally, but Compassion can with our support.
My prayer for this blog is that it will be an encouragement to others, that it will help people live life abundantly, and that it will foster joy. Let me tell you, friends, there is no greater joy than making the difference in the life of a child who is living in poverty.
Do you sponsor a child?