In the end, it's not so much about the number - 3108. It is about the lives of precious, beloved, unique children who are waiting for the hope that comes from Christ and a more secure future.
Anyway, to get my thoughts in the right place, I spent an hour or so listening to and watching videos that Compassion had put up on Vimeo and Youtube, looking especially for videos that talked about the impact sponsorship had on a particular child's life. I wanted to be moved before I wrote my assignment.
A funny thing happened, though. In watching the videos, in looking at the pictures of the children still waiting for sponsorship, and in carefully considering what I wanted to say to encourage my friends and family (and anyone else who ends up on this page) to sponsor a child, I myself was moved.
I began crying. A lot. My heart was breaking for the thousands of children who need Jesus, hope, and clean water. I have sponsored children with Compassion since I was 19 - Fatima in El Salvador, Omar in Mexico, and now Michel in Mexico. Omar's family moved away from the Compassion center and no longer participates in Compassion-sponsored programs. When he moved and we said our mutual goodbyes, Compassion asked me if I would consider continuing my sponsorship for another little boy in Mexico. I readily agreed. But this morning, looking at the faces of these precious children around the world who need hope, my heart broke.
I turned to my husband while we were eating lunch and asked him, "Can we sponsor a second child?" Now, money isn't exactly flowing into our pockets these days. Things have been very tight lately, and money has been a concern. But we started thinking about what it would take to save up $38 in a month. A few less meals eaten out. Eat off of $1 menus rather than the full menu. Get coupons to save money at the grocery store. This past weekend, I saved $44 on groceries. That's a month's sponsorship. The more we thought about how easy it would be to save up the money, the clearer the answer was.
So let me introduce to you our two beloved children: Michel and Rebecca.
Michel is 6 years old and lives with his mother in a coastal village in Mexico. His mother makes pinatas and is only occassionally employed. His parents were never married, and so his mother is on her own to care for Michel. He should be starting school this fall, and he is very good at coloring (if the pictures I've gotten are any indication)!
Rebecca is the newest member of our family. Since my husband and I do not have children of our own yet, these are our children. Rebecca is four years old and lives with her mother and 4 siblings in northern Ghana. I fell in love with her at first sight. She and her family live in a very poor area, with the average adult earning less than $10 per month. It is also an area that is affected by AIDS/HIV, and Rebecca's father is no longer supporting or living with the family. She has been waiting for a sponsor for 410 days! Over 1/4 of her life she has been waiting for someone to love her and her family. I am so honored that my husband and I get to be her sponsor.
So these are our kids. I've never met them in person. In fact, Rebecca doesn't even know that she has a sponsor yet. (Though I already wrote her and sent pictures!) But I am praying that God gives me His love for them and their families. They are my children, now and forever.