Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Child Waits

One warm, summer slumber party day at my house, my dad and I set up a makeshift picnic table out of two sawhorses and a piece of plywood. I remember one girl whispered to another of our friends, “I didn’t know Helene was so poor.”

Well, me either, not really. Life sure wasn’t perfect. The farm crisis of the 1980s was upon us. Farm debt was growing as the responsibility to care for our family, and provide food for the world, weighed on my dad. Our house hadn’t been painted in years.

But I went swimming every Wednesday, and took piano lessons from my great aunt during the school year. Mom took us to church and Sunday school. I wore cute clothes because my mom worked in a small department store, and received a generous discount because of it.

My parents provided for me. But around the world, a lot of parents experience many more challenges in giving their children what in the United States we take for granted.

Compassion International offers a child sponsorship program, one that brings kids health, nutrition, life skills training and education benefits, givens in our American lifestyle. When a church in the developing world establishes a relationship with Compassion International, parents go to the church and put their children’s names on a waiting list for sponsors, a waiting list that offers the hope of those benefits.

Sometimes sponsor-child match-ups happen quickly. But not always.

Some children wait longer than six months. But the people at Compassion want these kids’ needs covered.

Sponsor a Waiting Child from Compassion International on Vimeo.

Pray about it. Are you the one to befriend a child who’s been waiting a long time for a sponsor?

I love the experience of sponsoring a boy in Guatemala. I don’t just love the experience, though. I love the boy. You’ll grow to love your sponsor child, too.