Carol Malandro was eagerly looking forward to attending a Children of the World concert, but she had no idea how much it would impact her life.
There was something in the faces of the children . . . something in their eyes that struck her in the deepest places of her heart.
“Those little faces became real children,” Carol explained, “Not just clips on TV that are sometimes too easily ignored.”
As Carol watched the choir raising their voices in worship with wide and genuine smiles spreading across their faces, she felt a love for impoverished children begin welling up within her.
In that moment, it was as if God had transferred His own love for poverty-stricken children straight from His heart to hers—the only kind of love that overflows with hope and healing into a broken world.
That day, Carol chose to invest in the lives of children she didn’t yet know, but that her Father in heaven knew and loved deeply . . . His love had created a bridge between them.
Today, Carol’s decision to become a sponsor is changing the future for two precious young boys.
Andrew and Edi were born into loving, Christian families; each of their parents serve as missionaries in destitute communities—Andrew’s parents in Russia, and Edi’s parents in Uganda.
However, due to nature of their work in ministry, these families earn only a meager and unreliable income—they cannot afford the resources their children desperately need. It is because of Carol’s support that Andrew and Edi are able to attend school, eat nutritious meals, and receive proper medical care.
“I’ll never forget finding out that Andrew was able to get allergy medicine because of our sponsorship,” Carol said. “My youngest son had allergies, and he had the hardest time as a little boy dealing with that.”
“Mommy, can you please buy me a new nose at Wal-Mart?” He had asked out of his misery.
Carol’s heart broke at the sight of her son so miserable and helpless. While she certainly couldn’t purchase the new nose he’d hoped for, she could provide the medicine that would make him feel like new.
And today, she is doing the same for Andrew. Through receiving the medication he needs to feel healthy, he is able to play outside and participate in sports again—one of his favorite things to do.
Because of sponsorship, Andrew can embrace all that childhood should be.
Sponsorship has been a continual reminder to Carol and her family how fortunate they are—a paradigm shift that has brought more joy to their lives than they could have imagined.
“When I’m tempted to become frustrated because finances may be a little tight, I have to consider needs over wants,” Carol explained. I just think of Andrew and Edi and hope and pray that they have something to wear and food on their tables.”
Carol’s support has given Edi the confidence to work hard in school with the hope of becoming a successful engineer . . . it has given Andrew the courage to dream of joining the police force when he grows up . . . and it has enabled each of these families to continue sharing the light of the Gospel in some of the darkest corners of the earth.
“Knowing that I can make a difference in some way, large or small, makes me happy,” Carol said. “Just like the loaves and fishes which fed the 5,000, Jesus can do so much with a small amount of sponsorship . . . I have learned that these kids are real, laughing, crying, growing, playing, hurting, monsters-under-the-bed kids that need someone to love them, even from thousands of miles away.”
“I can’t travel the world,” Carol said. “But God can still use me.”
The love of God is like a bridge that stretches across vast oceans—to the uttermost parts of the earth—merging worlds that would otherwise remain separate and unchanged.
As we open ourselves to this love, we may suddenly find that our hearts can travel—becoming rooted in places we never imagined, nourishing poverty-stricken children with the truth that they are deeply loved. And with each precious life supported through sponsorship, the kingdom of God becomes a little more visible on earth.