Why I Sponsor
Writer of A Life Surrendered
Michele-Lyn is more of a mess than she cares to admit, but she will. You’ll find her writing about motherhood, missions, and beautiful messes. As you read her stories, at A Life Surrendered, she hopes you find you are not alone. She’s a wife and mama to three spunky daughters and one darling son, and believes you should know, labor as a mama is work fit for God’s Kingdom. She’s a World Help blogger, and Allume contributor.
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I was skeptical about child sponsorship, yet I was interested. Child sponsorship seemed to be about money—very foreign and disconnected. Until I discovered it is not.
I will never forget the day I was riding the bus on the rocky, rugged Guatemalan dirt roads, my first trip with World Help. I went on that trip not knowing anyone. That day, I sat a few rows behind Noel Yeatts, whom I just met that week.
I observed very closely, trying to figure out what World Help was all about. This day, I watched Noel shuffle her papers, working diligently to study the words to the various stories she wanted to tell us, her audience on the bus, and to the cameras for videos she would make there in Guatemala.
I could tell she was busy and engaged. But, there was a couple on the bus that had a sponsored child in Guatemala they wanted to see. I watched as Noel stopped what she was doing, and made a call to office in the states so the person on the other end could help the couple locate their sponsored child in one of the Guatemalan villages. Because connecting the sponsors to their children was important enough for her to stop what she was doing.
It was then I realized child sponsorship, and World Help, is not just about collecting money. It is not foreign or disconnected. It is about relationship.
I decided then, as my skepticism waned, I wanted to sponsor.
It was not until a few months later, when my husband and I had the opportunity to travel with World Help to Haiti, that we did.
We spent about five days in Haiti, and spent hours hanging out with the children who had been saved through Operation Baby Rescue. Although, it might have been the lollipops my husband kept giving away—there were a few children that took to us, and we to them.
Michele-Lyn’s husband Jay speaks to sponsored children in Haiti
We chose to sponsor them. There were five to begin with. One of them, Hans, has since left the program. He was brought in temporarily after the earthquake, but now his parents are able to care for him. This is a wonderful thing.
The story of the other four is still being written. In the middle of the night, a van came full of children who were all hungry, all naked, all scared. The children were rescued from another orphanage that was raided by UN officials. It was discovered the children were used for business, being exploited, forced to beg on the streets for provisions. The most basic necessities of life were being withheld from them, leaving them near starvation.
The children were brought to Danita’s Children, a partner of World Help, in the middle of the night. Out of the van, they filed out; scared, skinny little boys, looking more like holocaust victims. They took the boys in, bathed them, fed them, and provided them a place to sleep. The children put rice in their pockets because they didn’t know when or if they would eat again. Where would they be today if they did not come to Danita’s Children a year ago? We never have to worry about that. These children are orphaned no more. Today, they are provided for, receiving shelter, clothes, meals, medical attention as needed, an education, and most importantly, they know the love of Christ.
When a picture of those four children came in the mail with a note saying, “Thought you would enjoy a fun photo of the boys…” I cried. Even though our boys are hundreds of miles away in another country, they are not foreign. I know they are being cared for, provided for, and we are not disconnected.
This is not just a program. This is about people. This is about making a lasting difference—not just in their life, but ours too. This is about giving children the best opportunity for success, for health, for life in Christ. It is what we would want for our own children.
In our family of six, the cares of our small world threaten to crowd us in, keeping us oblivious to the needs around the rest of the world. We want our own children to know there is a world much bigger than our own that God loves, and we are called to love it too. Sponsoring children is one way we can show them.