An Act Of Compassion
by Sally Burgess, Forefront Families LLC
I thought I would take this opportunity of telling you what a pleasure it has been to sponsor children overseas through Christian care agencies. For years we had heard of them and thought about sponsoring some children, but never really acted until an Australian friend living here in Nashville started working in the Christian band 'Sonic Flood'. As part of their shows they always added a segment asking for sponsorships for needy children in other countries.
As part of our tithing we decided several years ago to take the plunge and sponsor two children from the Philippines. We were handed packets of information and pictures of children from which we chose a 7 year-old girl affectionately named Bem Bem by her family and a 16 year-old boy named Reden. They both live with their own families, but are covered by particular missions.
It has been an absolute pleasure to become part of these dear families' lives and to be able to help improve their circumstances. The children write to us regularly, telling us about what is going on in their families, along with their school activities and achievements. I eagerly await their letters and write back immediately often including pictures of our family or things I think might be of interest to them. It is so gratifying to know that so little in the way of sponsorship can make such a difference in these children's lives. We also send them birthday and Christmas money and they always tell us what they bought with it. It seems they can buy a huge amount for the comparatively little money we send.
One thing we have found to be a lot of help in our sponsorship is to encourage these children in their interests and in their studies. We were absolutely shocked to get two drawings from our 16 year-old Reden. We sent him pictures of our family and he decided to draw pictures from a photograph. He is an extremely good artist and to this day my son still has Reden's drawing as his Face Book page profile picture.
We have promised to pray for the children and their families. What is so amazing is that they also pray for us. It is a two-way partnership. For us our giving seems so little, but to them it means all the difference in the world.
When a family from a 1st world country becomes involved with a family from a 3rd world country, bonds are formed that really cannot be described. We have friends who visited their sponsor child in the Philippines. They said they couldn't describe the emotion they felt upon seeing each other. The tears flowed freely that day.
Being a sponsor family teaches our children a number of things about the needs of children in other countries and the value of giving. It encourages our kids to write to these children and to receive mail back. It causes them to think about and pray for disadvantaged families. It demonstrates how little it takes to make a big difference to others and that the stuff that we think is so important to us in wealthy countries is not really essential to life. Sponsorship teaches kids about commitment to others and about the value of tithing to help others.
If you have any comments or questions about child sponsorship, please look up any of the reputed sites on line. Please feel free also to check out our website at www.forefrontfamilies.org and our blogsite at www.forefrontfamilies.blogspot.com