Tuesday, September 10, 2013

One Sponsor's Story

Sometimes I have the privilege of exchanging emails with sponsors and learning a little bit more about what motivates them to sponsor children through Compassion. I had one of these exchanges recently and was so moved by what this person told me. I asked his permission to share his story with you, and he said I could. I hope you are encouraged by what he shares....

I was commenting a bit about where this sponsor lives - I know the area a bit and have some ties through college there. In response he wrote...
I write all my boys (21 now, includes one leadership student) at least once a month, often twice, and I most always include at least one picture with each letter. They absolutely love the scenery, etc. pictures from this area. I made a snowman last winter just so I could send a picture of it to my boys to show them what a snowman looked like. My leadership student in Brazil was fascinated. (Average temperature where he lives is 98°.) He was most impressed that I made it just so I could send him a picture. He even gave it a name, "Hope." He's quite a remarkable young man and we have a great correspondence relationship. Sorry to ramble, but I can talk about my boys for a long time. Nearly all my boys do good at letter writing.

Me:  That's so cool that you have 21 boys you are pouring yourself into. What a blessing you must be to them! How long have you been a sponsor? Have you gotten to meet any of them?
I think this December will be 11 or 12 years since I've been a sponsor. My first child, Tekalign from Ethiopia, completed the program in February of 2012. He was scheduled to graduate from university in July of the same year. He was doing well, so I assume he did. I miss him and often wonder how he is doing. (He was not in the leadership program, but his good grades got him into university.) I lost Braulio from Mexico when his mother moved to a part of the country where there was no Compassion project. That was hard, as we had a very good relationship, and we share the same birthday. He sent me a wonderful good-bye letter, the kind you pull out and read whenever you wonder if you're making a difference. No, I've never met any of my boys. If I only sponsored a few I could probably save the money to go, but I see all the kids who need sponsors, and there goes my money. I have a hard time knowing where to draw the line. Some people may say I have overextended myself. They may be right, but the Lord has supplied my needs so far. I felt so strongly about sponsoring my leadership student that I took two years of support out of my retirement account. I don't regret it. I'm saving now to pay his next year. I'm starting to learn what a sacrifice really is. It's not giving up something we want; it's giving up something we need. The Lord has still supplied my needs. (emphasis mine) Several years ago the Lord provided a nice one-room efficiency apartment. It's very small, but also very low cost. It's amazing how little a person really needs. I do miss my washer and dryer, though! Being alone, though, it's workable. I know it wouldn't be practical for everyone, especially a family. Living in a small space, I don't collect much "stuff." My kids make life worthwhile. I wonder what I did without them. Stuff is temporary. My kids are forever. I thank the Lord for them. One of my little guys thanked me for loving him so much.  

This particular sponsor also shared an incredibly neat idea with me that I'll be sharing with you soon! 

I am so encouraged by hearing other people's stories and this one I find so inspiring. I hope you do, too! Thank you, James, for your example of obedience to God. 

If you have a story you'd like me to share, feel free to let me know either in the comments or through email - fiddlejill(at)yahoo(dot)com. 
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