Friday, January 24, 2014

Sponsorship Disappointment

It's always so easy to talk about the good and positive experiences when it comes to sponsorship, but the truth is, each time you invest in the life of someone through sponsorship, you are taking a risk.

Over the years I've had kids move away from the area where Compassion works, kids drop out because of family pressure, kids leave the program because their circumstances changed and even lost kids because Compassion shut down the project. Each time I've experienced disappointment at the loss of relationship with my sponsored child.

This week it happened again. Only this time, the stakes were much higher. I received a call from Compassion  explaining that our LDP student had quit attending her university classes and had run off to live with her grandparents. After several unsuccessful attempts to locate her and speak with her, Compassion was releasing her from the program.

20 months of sponsorship gone. No opportunity to send a final letter.

To be honest, it wasn't a total surprise. We haven't heard form her in a year. Despite our monthly letters to her, she hadn't been writing back. (LDP students are required to write reciprocally). We also knew she was struggling a great deal in her field of study.

I was frustrated. I was mad. I was disappointed. There was even a small part of me that wanted my money back.

I'm not frustrated or mad or disappointed with Compassion, though. You see, whenever you work with other human beings, you set yourself up for disappointment. Humans fail each other all the time.

So I sit here tonight, grateful for the influence Compassion had in C's life. As a graduate of their regular sponsorship program, she is a success story. I am thankful she had a little time to pursue higher education and received excellent leadership training through Compassion's LDP.

I will continue to pray for her and her family. I will pray first and foremost for her relationship with God - that although she has decided to leave university and LDP, she will not abandon her relationship with God. I will pray for her safety and health, as well as for her future.

And even though we've had two strikes when it comes to LDP sponsorship*, I still believe in the program. I'm sure we'll eventually sponsor another LDP student, but for now I'm taking a break and seeking God's direction.

I share this with you, in hopes of encouraging you in your own sponsorship journey. It's not all nice and fluffy. Sometimes it's scratchy and just plain hard.

*Our first LDP sponsorship also ended in disappointment, but for different reasons. 

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