Let’s Begin At Outcry Tour 2016
I had just entered sophomore year in college when I sponsored my first child — a beautiful, wide-eyed girl from Ethiopia. At the time, I was at an Outcry Tour with a group of friend, sitting on the upper deck of the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Halfway through the event, a World Vision representative came on stage to talk about their mission to empower children all over the world, and how we can play a part in fulfilling that mission.
During intermission, a group of World Vision volunteers went around to distribute sponsorship packets to those in the audience who showed interest. My best friend Nicole and I raised our hands, and two volunteers approached us with a packet for each one of us. As I looked at mine, I saw the sweetest smile on a 10-year old I’d ever seen. I eagerly flipped through the packet and learned that Adise lives in Boset, a poor area in Ethiopia where the climate is prone to drought and families live in mud huts. I quickly filled out the sponsorship packet, and returned the payment portion to the organization reps.
Now before all this, I had no idea that sponsoring children was even a thing. But as I went home, packet in hand and smile on my face, I couldn’t quite believe what a blessing this opportunity is. Yet even then, I didn’t quite know the journey this simple moment was about to take me on, and how it would change my heart for the world.
Fast forward a few years later, I’ve learned that Adise loves to play hide-and-seek, her favorite subject is writing, and that she has one brother and one sister. I’ve also learned that my money went to helping Boset children receive proper nutrition. According to a World Vision report I received, “After 6 improved nutrition groups were established in the community, members were provided with improved seeds, poultry and harvesting structures. Now, a total of 420 children have better access to nutritious foods and vegetables in their own backyards.”
Not only that, I’m a big believer that education plays a huge part in allowing people to reach their fullest potential. So it was encouraging to hear that the money collected for Boset went into helping 634 community members to understand the importance of early childhood development centers. In turn, this enabled 290 children to attend school. Furthermore, in 2018 alone, World Vision was able to provide eight schools with new furniture and other education materials. The impact? 2,436 youths now have access to better-equipped learning environments.
Sponsoring Adise was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and empowering others in general quickly became a big passion of mine.
Having spent half of my childhood in third-world country, I recognize that I am incredibly blessed to live in the United States. After all, not everyone in the world has the same opportunities we do here. So being a firm believer that everyone deserves a chance, having the opportunities to empower others financially, in the small ways that I can, was a huge blessing for me. And truth be told, God has multiplied the amount I’ve given more than I could ever have imagined.
4 years and 3 sponsored kids later, I still stand by that.
How Sponsorship Works
While I’ve only been a sponsor via World Vision and Compassion International, there are various organizations that carry the same heart to equip children all around the world. Regardless of the organization you go with, however, the general sponsorship process seems to be similar in nature.
When you commit to sponsoring a child, you’ll receive a welcome packet in the mail within a few weeks. From here, sponsors can interact with their sponsored child via letters, photos, and emails. In addition, you may also receive yearly progress reports to show you what your sponsored child has been learning. Most child sponsorship organizations will also help you plan a trip to see your sponsored child so you can see the direct impact your donations make. While I’ve not had experience with this particular aspect, it is definitely something I’m saving up for!
Below is a list of child sponsorship organizations that I know, with links to their websites for your reference:
View this post on Instagram
i can’t believe that it has almost been 2 YEARS that i’ve had the honor of sponsoring my little friend Adise! (whaaaat? Where did the time fly?) • nothing brings me greater joy than each time i open my mailbox to find mail like this. my cup overflows. • On another note, i highly recommend getting involved with organizations like @worldvisionusa! we don’t realize how blessed we are until we truly get the chance to step into someone else’s world and empower them to be the best they can be! • Adise, thank you for bringing so much JOY in my life! I can’t wait to meet you one day! 💕
As a sponsor you will receive regular messages from your sponsored child and updates on their progress, as well as reports from the community on how your money is being spent to change lives.Christelle Karekezi, Child Sponsorship Officer of ActionAid Rwanda
Let’s Talk Money
Through World Vision and Compassion, each sponsorship is approximately a $40/month commitment. Your donation will be pooled with those of other sponsors in order to provide the families in these communities in the most effective way. Typically, your donations go towards helping your sponsored child and their community get access to vital resources such as “clean water, nutritious food, healthcare, education, economic opportunities, and more.”
That said, please keep in mind that sponsoring a child is an ongoing commitment. Your monthly donations “help meet the basic needs of a child by investing in their community, as well as build a relationship and watch them grow up until they, or their community, become independent.”
Sponsoring a child is like inviting another person into your family.World Vision
While the ongoing cost factor can seem a bit scary, in my experience, each time I give, God has always been faithful to multiply that impact, and He has blessed me far more abundantly than I deserve.
When I started sponsoring, I was still a college student with a minimum-waged part-time job. BUT GOD! He still brought Adise into my life — and as I continue to sponsor this child, God has continued to bless me so that I can keep on giving. About 1.5 years into my sponsorship, I was diagnosed with several health issues and soon found myself in a bit of a financial bind due to the cost of medical bills. YET, even in those moments, God provided a way for me to continue my sponsorship through unexpected refunds, scholarship grants, and even anonymous envelopes dropped into my mailbox, many of them to the exact amount I needed! How BIG is God’s heart for His children around the world!
Isn’t that how it always is? Just when you think you’ve lost something so precious, you can’t ever recover from it . . . and then, if you keep your eyes and heart open, you find that the loss has made room for something else of great value, something you would never have found otherwise?Bob Burg
Parting Thoughts 🙂
This year, as my husband Evan & I have transitioned out of college and into full-time jobs, we wanted to pass on our blessings even more to make a greater impact. So we sponsored 2 more children, one happy ‘lil guy from Mexico, and another sweet girl from Indonesia. We’ve already seen how God is using these dollars to literally change lives! One day, Evan and I hope to visit our sponsored children in their respective homes, but until then, we will continue to prayerfully see what God wants to do with His money that He’s given us to steward. Right now, part of it looks a lot like taking part in funding the lives of those we’ve never met all over the globe – and to that end, we can’t be more honored. In my experience, very little compares to the joy of giving and empowering others in this way.
Lastly, I’ll leave you with this: sponsored children are “more likely to finish high school, graduate from college and get a good job than children without that benefit.” I absolutely believe that our donations go a long way in adding value to an entire community in such a way that radically changes the way they live and proclaim God’s faithfulness! As you can tell, this sponsorship journey has been very near and dear to my heart, and for good reasons: since committing to sponsoring Adise back in 2016, God has radically changed my peronal heart attitude to be more generous and to yearn for others’ good before my own, more than I ever have before, and at a level I never thought possible.
A fellow World Vision sponsor, Alyssa Corley, puts it this way – and I couldn’t agree more.
I fell in love immediately and had a sense of being part of something bigger. My heart has changed. I am always looking for ways to give, I have become a much more thankful person, and I see things like fresh water and a door on my home as blessings. Now I sponsor three children…and look forward to the day I can start helping another child. I love seeing how my dollars can stretch so far in another country. Even when finances are tight…God has always provided so that I can still send my monthly contributions. Sponsorship has allowed me to set goals for my life — to help the poor, to love others, and to be resourceful in giving.Alyssa Corley