I read a book called "A Hole in Our Gospel" by Rich Stearns, the President and CEO of World Vision. I cried most of the way through it. By the end I felt a small prodding to sponsor a child. I began to make excuses why we couldn't. Why we shouldn't. Like Moses at the burning bush, I couldn't see what my magnificent God had planned for me.
Then I read in my Lent devotional that the time of Lent is not just about fasting, it is also about helping the poor. And I realized, I wasn't living in trust and faith. So at a recent Gods Not Dead tour concert, when Jason from Building 429 started talking about sponsoring children and Compassion International, I started feeling a more insistent prodding. I took a blindfolded leap of faith and I raised my hand. And when I looked down at my packet, I cried.
Looking up at me was this beautiful boy with this expression that reminded me of an old 1980s sitcom ("Whatcha talking about Willis?!"). A small giggle escaped through the tears. I eagerly opened the packet and soaked up the little information within.
He was four years old and from Burkina Faso. BF is a small, landlocked country in western Africa. It's little bigger than Colorado. It battles HIV/AIDs, diseases that we have cures and vaccines for, and child rights violations such as slavery.
It is one of the poorest countries in the world and is one of the most illiterate countries in the world. And I thanked God that I had been blessed to be born in the United States and began praying for this little boy that He brought into my life.
I didn't have my debit card with me that night, so it wasn't until the next day that I set up my account. But it would take up to two weeks to get my welcome packet (I just received it today!). So onto my computer and Google I went for more information. And more heart breaking.
Eventually, I had to step away. I was on information overload. Then late last week, I received a thank you letter from Compassion and it had my sponsor number on it so I was able to sign up for my account at compassion.com and ourcompassion.org. And I was able to write my first letter to my child online. Just a short one about me, Tony and where we live. It'll be weeks to a couple of months before I get my first letter. But I am so excited. I took a leap of faith. And now I'm flying with God as my wings.
"For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into my home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.
'Then these righteous ones will reply, 'Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?'
'And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it for the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'" Matthew 25:35-40