As each assignment arrived in my in box, many thoughts raced through my head of how I could put into words just how important it is for us, the church, to rise up and be the hands and feet of Jesus. It was difficult for me to just throw something on the screen just so I could get it up in time.
I don't think it's enough ask you to send out $38 to a child in need for food and clean water.
The call to help the poor and care for the orphans goes deeper than sponsorship for me. Sponsorship is wonderful. It is awesome. Do you know what else sponsorship does other than provide food, clean water, and an education for a child? It allows a child to remain with their family. It preserves families. Without sponsorship, many children are given up to orphanages because their family simply cannot afford to feed them. So, the family makes the painful decision to do what they see as best for their child (or children) and hope for a better life for them.
A simple sponsorship can prevent that. I say simple, because for us it's literally a matter of denying a few cheap luxuries throughout the month. Seriously - I used to hate those commercials that challenged you to give up your fancy coffee so you could sponsor a child. Really. I despised them. Because I thought, "Who are you to tell me what I should do with my money?"
But now that I've seen how far that little amount of money (to us) can go for a family in a deprived country, I stand shocked that I wouldn't even consider giving up something I didn't even need, so that someone else could simply eat to live. I couldn't understand it until I was put face to face with it and really chose to see.
But when a child is orphaned, either by the death of their parents or the abandonment of their parents, their options are few. They either remain in an orphanage that is poorly run, eating maybe one meal per day. Or they are left to their own devices, to fend for themselves. Often having an older sibling of 6 years old or 10 years old look after them.
This is where the heart of adoption opened up for us.
Sponsoring a child is a wonderful gift, not just for the child, but for the entire family.
But there are some things that cannot be held together by sponsorship and I had a deep desire to answer that call as well.
Sponsorship and adoption is real mission work. Supporting ministries like The Mercy House, Amazima, Gospel for Asia, and Feeding the Orphans is all missionary work. Not everyone is called to "Go". But those of us who are not called to "Go" are called to "Send". People cannot go if there is no one to send them.
This requires a commitment that goes beyond the money. Is the money important? Yes, absolutely. It's a tool needed to accomplish what God has planned. But beyond the money is a commitment to pray and to spread the word so that others might see. It's about engaging with the mission community you are investing in to see what problems they face, so you know how to pray and see other ways you might be able to give.
Who else do they have? We in America? We are the rich. We are. What are we doing with what God has given us? This isn't meant to be a thing of guilt. It's an honest question. Ask it of yourself and carefully consider how much we have compared to the impoverished nations of the world.
It's not a mindset easily changed -- but with Christ, nothing is impossible.
Now that I've seen, I cannot go back.