This guest post was written by Emily. Emily is an intern for Christian Relief Fund as well as a member of the CRF Blogging Network.
She blogs at Emily is Smiling.
“Do you know my sponsor?” This was a question I heard probably two hundred times during my two weeks in Kenya with CRF this summer. Wherever I went, children would gather around me to ask questions about what it is like to live in the United States. They all assumed I knew their sponsors personally.“Please tell my sponsor I am praying for her. Tell my sponsors I love them very much!” Every child I encountered knew their sponsor by name. I thought this was sweet, but the impact of their words didn’t truly hit me at first.
Imagine living in a world of poverty as an orphan. Growing up malnourished and sick, frightened for your future, completely abandoned and alone. You’re dying of hunger. And then one day, you’re told that someone across the world loves you and wants to take care of you and send you to school.
Your life is forever changed. Imagine the eagerness you would feel to speak to this person who has pulled you out of destitution. You would yearn to say thank you, to see for yourself if there is really someone so far away who is providing for all of your needs, simply because they think you are valuable, a child created and loved by God.
In June, I had the opportunity to meet my sponsored daughter, Lavin, for the second time. She threw her arms around me as soon as she saw me and said, “Mum, you’ve come!” My sweet girl took my hand and led me all around her school, introducing me to her teacher and her best friends, showing me her classroom and desk, telling me all about what her days are like at Ringroad Orphan’s Day School. When her classmates looked our way, Lavin would proudly say, “This is my mum!” For the first time in my life, I really did feel like someone’s mother.
I’m only twenty years old; when I chose to sponsor a child several years ago, I never imagined that it would mean a little orphan girl across the world would read and re-read her letters from me and thank God for giving her a parent who loves her.
To orphans who have been abandoned, neglected, and forgotten their entire lives, sponsorship means so much more than monthly support. It means adoption! One fifteen-year-old girl spoke to me with confidence, saying, “I was alone in this world and destitute until God gave me two parents, my sponsors, who want me to succeed in my life. So I will try my hardest to do well in school and make them proud.”
If you sponsor a child, I encourage you to form a relationship with him. Write letters, send Bible verses, and encourage your child to pursue his education. Your words will make a huge difference in the life of your child.
I am not Lavin’s real mum, although I often wish I was! But the Lord has allowed me to have the position as her spiritual mother, despite my youth and inexperience. I am able to love my sponsored daughter with a reflection of Christ’s unfailing love. I am able to offer Lavin words she has never heard before, like, “I love you,” “You are valuable,” and “I am proud of you.” Through my support and encouragement, I am changing her life. Through Lavin’s prayers, she is changing mine.
“Do you know my sponsor?”
While I spoke to the children in Kenya, these hopeful words sometimes hurt my heart because I wished it was possible for me to know every CRF sponsor, for me to tell each of you personally how much your child loves you and wants to know if you’re okay. But I had the reassurance of telling each child with confidence, “I do not know your sponsor, but Jesus does. His love is in their hearts. They love you very much.”
Say a prayer for your sponsored child today, knowing that their prayers are daily being lifted for you.