The early days of November are always a reflective time for me. I look back in amazement at how quickly the seasons have changed. I look forward with anticipation for all the excitement to come.
Of course, somewhere in between, I think about all I have to be thankful for — and this year that includes my internship at World Help.
My work days are spent preparing programs for Children of the World choir concerts or sorting through boxes of merchandise from the Christmas Giving catalog. Other times, I write short biographies for children who are waiting to be sponsored.
That job is my personal favorite.
This internship is special to me, but not because it’s a good résumé builder or service project. It’s special because of the connection I’ve had with World Help since I was a little girl.
How it all started
If I’m being honest, I wasn’t looking for an internship at World Help or anywhere else for that matter. I ended up here because God placed the opportunity directly in my lap!
At the end of last semester at Liberty University, I was on my computer — barely awake — and waiting for my 8 a.m. class to start. I received an email about an available internship at World Help. The description explained that the intern’s main responsibilities would consist of writing biographies for children in need of sponsorship.
The thought of helping kids through something as simple as writing warmed my heart. I have always had a passion for children from other countries.
After considering for a few minutes, I thought, Why not? and decided to contact World Help before I could think twice about it.
My experience with World Help
When I called my mom later that day and told her about the internship, she laughed and said, “Hannah, I know about World Help. We sponsor a child through them! You know that, right?”
Suddenly, my mind was flooded with childhood memories. Yes, I knew my family had sponsored children over the years. However, I had completely forgotten it was through World Help.
My home church in New Jersey was a big supporter of World Help when I was growing up. Occasionally, the Children of the World choir would perform for the congregation while on tour.
Their stop was always a highlight for us. Not just because we got to hear the sweet singing of children from all different nations, but also because families had the opportunity to host choir members in their homes.
The first time the Children of the World performed for us, my family hosted three young boys the night before.
I remember they loved to laugh, be silly, and play games with my older brother. And like most people, they loved my mom’s cooking.
A few years later, the choir visited again and we hosted some of the children. This time, it was two little boys. With three sisters, my brother was overjoyed to have two brothers, even if it was only for a night.
I was amazed by the immediate bond my siblings and I had with these children from around the world. The joy and love of Christ transcended every cultural barrier.
They took to our family quickly and even called my mom and dad “Auntie” and “Uncle.” We ate dinner together, went for a bike ride in my neighborhood as the sun set, and played in our backyard on the swings until the sky grew dark.
When we were getting ready for bed, the oldest of the two boys saw a photo on my brother’s shelf that caught his eye. It was a picture of the boy my family was sponsoring through World Help. Our guest walked over to get a closer look. “Hey, I know him!” he exclaimed. “That is my friend!” We were stunned.
What were the odds that our host child would personally know the child we sponsored? Our guest updated us on our sponsored child’s life, confirming that our support was indeed making a difference!
My family was so grateful for that moment of divine intervention. In that instant, my heart swelled. It was then that sponsorship became very real to my family, beyond just sending money and praying. And now years later, my journey with World Help has come full circle.
Why what I do at World Help matters
It has been a unique experience to be on the other side of the sponsorship process. Before, I didn’t know much about it — just that we sent money to help support a specific child in need. In exchange, we received a photo of that child along with information about him.
Now, I get to observe the inner workings of this organization as I serve alongside some amazing people with a unified vision: to give help for today and hope for tomorrow in the name of Jesus.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget the impact World Help has, especially being continents away in an office. But I am learning that just because these children are far in proximity, doesn’t mean they can’t be close to our hearts.
I have the honor of writing the biographies that are sent to families like mine. It is a labor of love — but my story is proof that our work makes a difference! Every time I write or edit a child’s biography, I am helping share that child’s story so he or she may receive help.
And every time a child is sponsored, he or she is given a chance to build a better future.
As we approach Thanksgiving and reflect on all there is to be thankful for, imagine the gratitude a needy child feels at receiving the blessing of sponsorship. That type of gratitude doesn’t last just for a day … but for a lifetime.
For just $35 a month — a little over a dollar a day — you can sponsor a child and show him that someone loves and cares about him. Just as Christ radically changed our lives, you can radically change the future of a child who has no hope.
In 1 John 3:17-18, Jesus says, “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (NIV)
I hope you’ll act today, and receive some of the same blessings my family has through sponsorship.
Hannah Coyle is a guest blogger and intern at World Help. She is a student at Liberty University studying strategic communications and psychology.