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We have been sponsoring children through Compassion International for quite a few years now. When I moved my blog into more of a business, we wanted to find a ministry we could support — one that the whole family could get involved in. We chose sponsoring children through Compassion.
Over the years we have had some of our sponsored children leave the program. It has been really sad to say goodbye to these kids, but at the same time it was exciting to choose another child to bless.
Recently we had one of our sponsored children get into some trouble. He is a 13 year old, whose parents were separated, whose father died a couple years ago, and who really struggled.
We got to know him through our letters. But recently when he shared that he had to leave home for a month because it wasn’t safe, well, we knew that he was in trouble. In the last few letters that we got from him, he shared how appreciative he was of our love and support, that we (besides the ones at the Compassion center) were the only ones who loved and cared about him.
I continued to encourage him, telling him to turn to God for strength. Telling him that God loved him and we did too. He had shared that he didn’t want to go to church any more, that he just didn’t feel like it.
I pray that my words of encouragement planted seeds in his heart that the Lord will use later in his life.
We were sad to receive a letter from Compassion International telling us that our sponsored child was removed from the program. He had failed to attend the programs at the center, and had ran away from home to join a gang.
My heart hurt as I read the letter. These kids become like your own when you support them financially and write back and forth. Just as we parents feel sometimes, I felt like I had failed him. I felt that maybe I didn’t do all I could have done to encourage him.
But then the Lord reminded me that we had been faithful to support and write to him, and that it was in God’s hands now. I pray that the seeds of hope and faith that we planted in his heart will come back to him sometime down the road.
So instead of feeling sorry for myself and wallowing in disappointment and grief, we decided to choose another teen boy to sponsor. These boys are in such a critical time in their lives and need to feel loved and supported. Older kids don’t get sponsored very quickly and many of them have been waiting for a long time.
We just got the information on the new child we are sponsoring and look forward to writing and getting to know him.
The reason I share this story is two-fold: 1 – There are children out there that need our love and support; and 2 – Just because we love and support a child through sponsorship doesn’t mean they will turn out “right”.
Our responsibility, as with our own children, is to plant those seeds and then to allow God to take over. I feel that we did our part in Oscar’s life. We will continue to pray for him and trust that the Lord will continue to work at drawing Oscar to Himself. If you think of it, could you remember Oscar in your prayers?
Would you consider sponsoring a child through Compassion? It may not seem that you can make a difference, but you can. With each letter you get from them, you will see just how much of a difference you are making.