A Serving Heart
I have debated writing about this, because there is SO much that could be said, and so many opinions on the matter, but Michael and I have embarked on something, and I want to share. We decided to sponsor a child through World Vision and have been immeasurably touched in just the very beginning of the process.
This is something I have always wanted to do, ever since I was in middle school and saw the picture of the little girl that my best friend, Jessica's family sponsored. I asked who she was and they told me they sent her money each month and got pictures and letters from her and it helped her live a better life. Fast forward 15+ years and Michael and I have finally made the decision to do the same.
Now I want to take a moment and say that there are an infinite amount of ways to follow the Lord's plans for you to serve others. It may be in your own friend or family group or it may be halfway across the world, it may mean giving up $50 a month or selling everything you own, it may mean donating your old items to a church yard sale, or becoming a pastor yourself, it may be smiling at someone walking down the street or singing in the church praise band. No matter what you choose to do, when God places something on your heart, don't question why it is so big or too small, just DO IT.
As Michael and I were browsing the various websites designated to sponsoring a child we were absolutely blown away by how many organizations there are (the two main ones being Compassion and World Vision) but also the sheer number of children available to sponsor. I could not help but think that if everyone in the US that had an extra $40 a month sponsored one of these children, how different the world would be. Of course not everyone is called to serve this way, but I had a desire for it years ago and could have sponsored a child to independence by now if I had done it when I first felt led to.
We decided to randomly select a child in Africa, and were paired with a precious little boy named Yaw who is 9 years old and lives with his mother, sister and brother in Ghana. We received our welcome packet today in the mail and I was thrilled to learn more about him and the community he lives in. It makes the materialistic desires of my heart melt away to read that the average annual income in Ghana is $1,550, the literacy rate is 72% and only 86% of the population have access to safe drinking water. I am constantly blinded by how insanely wealthy we are in this country, and how so many go with so little. What a precious reminder to want not and wake up with a grateful heart.
Sometimes I believe God calls us to serve because he knows WE need it in our own hearts as much as those on the receiving end need whatever we may have to offer. He works through us in this way. So the reason I even wanted to share this is to simply encourage anyone who may read it to listen to God's whispers and when he calls you to serve, no matter in what capacity, to hear it and to do so. I know I need to work on this more than I could possibly imagine, but I can already feel him working in my heart from the smallest and simplest of actions: sponsoring a child abroad who will grow up in a completely different world than my own. We cannot wait to build a relationship with Yaw and his family, pour on them all the love, prayers and even monetary gifts possible to help them live a better life. And in return I know God will continue to move in our hearts so we are ready to go forth and serve even deeper.
*We opted to make the decision to sponsor through World Vision over Compassion simply because they pool the money to address the most immediate needs of the child's community. We felt this was a productive plan as far as creating an overall better life for that child, but absolutely saw the advantages to how Compassion develops a true relationship between Child and sponsor and is a bit more Church centered. Should we choose to sponsor another child we would probably choose Compassion so we would have one of each and could experience both fully. If you choose to sponsor a child, by all means do a bit of research to decide which organization speaks most to you.