As our income has grown over the last year, our giving has grown, too.Â We are currently sponsoring 3 children through Compassion International: Evelyn from Ghana, Julia from Brazil, and Blanca from Ecuador.
We love each of our girls. We pray for them every day. We write at least once a month, sending stickers and cards and coloring books.
Our sponsorships aren’t about what we get out of it, but we get plenty. We get letters, at least a few a year from each girl. The letters are full of hope, full of gratitude, full of God’s love reflected in the thoughts and words and drawings of a child.
Grace is learning to care for others, children mostly unseen. She’s learning to give.
I wish you could hear how Grace talks about her sponsors. (She’s a little confused about the terminology, but she speaks of them with such real love.)
“I know about Africa,” she’ll say. “I studied it because one of my sponsors lives in Ghana. What do you want to know?”
When Grace is invited to a birthday party, we spend $20 for on a gift. I just bought a super hero set of Legos about two weeks ago.
We sent each of our sponsored children a birthday gift this year, the same $20 we spend on our friends.
To a family of 6 in Ghana living on $24 a month (on average of course), a $20 birthday gift is more thanÂ extravagant. It’s almost unimaginable.
The first time we sent a birthday gift, Evelyn bought rice and other foods and one new pair of shoes. We had sponsored her recently; her family had real, urgent needs.
The second year, we received this picture of Evelyn, proudly showing two new dresses and a shiny new pair of shoes and a note explaining that she also bought rice.
This year, I didn’t get a birthday photo, but I got a thank you note in a regular letter.
Evelyn says may the Almighty God bless you for the gift you sent her. She says thank you. The gift money was used to buy 1 pair of shoes, 1 pair of footwear, 1 pair of slippers, 1 pair of socks, and 6 tops and 6 skirts. She says she will wear the outfits to her social activities.
Be still my heart.
I almost cried.
Her birthday gift bought her a whole new wardrobe.
A whole new wardrobe.
And I only sent her $20.
$20 is such a paltry sum of money. I spent $68 at Walmart today on just a few things. We spend $30 to take our kids out for breakfast. A tank of gas costs me $60.
She spent the whole $20 on herself, not a grain of rice.
I don’t know which makes me happier, that she got so much for my twenty dollars or that her family has enough to eat and didn’t need to spend the money on food for their bellies.
It makes me want to send more. Â I would, butÂ Compassion International has rules. I can only send gifts twice a year plus Christmas.
This isn’t a sponsored post. No one asked me to write it. I am a Compassion Advocate (in other words, an official volunteer), but I don’t get any reward or compensation from Compassion International.
Will you sponsor a child today? There are so many children living in poverty in the world, and you can make such a big difference in their lives.
© 2012, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.