Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.
This quote by former First Lady of the United State, Lady Bird Johnson, rings with amazing truth and clarity. I know that, in my own life, it has proven to be true, and is one of the reasons that I am so passionate about the Child Sponsorship program of Compassion International.
In 2009 the Lord impressed upon my heart that I could make a difference in the life of a child in poverty by speaking truth and love into their hearts. I’m not talking about a child who doesn’t have a smart-phone or has to wear the same one pair of Jordans all school-year long. That’s not poverty.
I’m talking about a child who owns only one or two sets of clothing.
A child whose household income is less than $50 a month….fifty dollars a MONTH!!!
A child who lives in a house with dirt floors, adobe walls, and a tin roof.
A child whose diet consists of maize, beans, rice, and potatoes.
A child who might live in an area where AIDs is highly prevalent or child prostitution takes many young children and ravages them physically and emotionally.
A child who might rarely hear “I love you”, or “You are beautiful”, or “You are important”.
That is the child whose life I could change through Compassion.
I am not exactly certain how I became aware of Compassion and the work they do. Perhaps it was at a Beth Moore Living Proof Live event or some other women’s event. What I am certain of is the call the Lord issued to my heart to step out and change the life of a child.
Accordingly, I clicked onto the Compassion website and began to search for a child. I knew I wanted a girl, and I decided that I wanted her to share my birth month. I also knew I wanted to make a long-term commitment to this child, so I chose a younger child. After a bit of searching and applying those filters, I found Ruth.
Yep, she was my girl….and she has been since 2009.
Ruth was 6 years old when I became her sponsor. The area of Africa that Ruth lives in is rife with malaria. Most adults in her region are unemployed, but some work as subsistence farmers and can earn the equivalent of $16 per month. This is the life that Ruth could expect to live into adulthood……BUT Compassion stepped in.
My sponsorship of Ruth costs $38 dollars a month and it gives her so much. For a mere $38 a month, Ruth has access to:
- education to combat illiteracy,
- school uniforms,
- desperately needed medical care and nutritional supplements,
- recreational activities that give a child focus and help them stay out of trouble,
- Christian mentoring in a community based church,
- and the opportunity to hear about Jesus.
What are the long-term benefits of sponsorship to a child? Sponsored children:
- Stay in school 1 – 1.5 years longer than their unsponsored peers
- Are 14-18% more likely to have salaried employment in adulthood
- Are 35% more likely to find white-collar jobs in adulthood
- Are 25-40% more likely to finish secondary education
- Are 50-80% more likely to finish college
- Are 30-75% more likely to be leaders in their communities as adults
- Are 40-70% more likely to grow into church leaders
Over the years that I have been Ruth’s sponsor I have sent letters to her, and received letters back from her. We share our lives with each other and I consistently encourage her to work hard in school. I tell her that she is important to me, and that I love her and Jesus loves her.
Remember, children are likely to live up to what you believe about them. I want Ruth to believe that she is beautiful and important and capable of excelling. I want her to know that Jesus loves her and so do I.
Today, Ruth is 15 years old. She is in Class 7 in school and is doing well. My heart is full when I think that perhaps I have made a difference in Ruth’s life.
Would you consider sponsoring a child through Compassion?
Please click on this link or the one below to see the beautiful faces of some children who are waiting for someone to sponsor them.