For years I had used the old money-is-just-too-tight-we-barely-have-enough-for-ourselves card. And that was true. Money was tight, and there were many months where we barely had enough to cover the bills, but we ate out every Friday night. And if we missed a Friday, we’d squeeze it in on Saturday or perhaps a Sunday lunch.
For the most part, I was content.
Content knowing at least it was on the list – at the top as a matter of fact. You know the list. The list of things you will do if you ever strike it rich. My list started with:
1. Sponsor a child through World Vision.
It was right above: 2. Buy a pair of shoes in every color of the rainbow.
Very spiritual, I know. My heart ached whenever I saw the faces of those children. I knew God was speaking to me, asking me to help, but I kept telling Him I didn’t have enough.
Then one morning, God turned on the loud speakers to my heart. My daughter, Faith, was up early. I heard her crying before I saw her. She stood in the doorway to my room. “Mommy, my tummy hurts. I’m so hungry.”
I rubbed my eyes and blinked. “Well, go grab a granola bar. I’ll be down to fix you something else in a minute,” I told her and moved to put my feet on the floor when I heard Him whisper.
I stopped and listened, knowing God was trying to get my attention.
“What if you had nothing to feed them? What if your pantry was bare? What if even the nearest water was miles away? What if your children lied beside you at night and whimpered from the pain of empty? What if…?”
Taken aback, I scurried down the stairs and walked to the pantry. The door stood wide with Faith in the middle, munching a chocolate chip granola bar. She was surrounded by food.
A few weeks later, I was offered the chance to actually go to Bolivia with World Vision and write about it. This was an opportunity to see first hand what a difference a sponsor could make in the life of a child. I knew it was for me. It was my chance, I thought, my chance to make a difference. But the door shut before I could walk through. Eight bloggers went to Bolivia, but none of them were me.
I vowed to follow their trip and pray for their journey. Each day, I read their entries and cried. Each day, God waited patiently.
Until finally one morning I was done making excuses. We had enough money for what was important to us – obviously Chili’s and O’ Charley’s were vital.
But what if we chose to stay home one Friday a month and saved the $35 it costs for sponsorship through World Vision, and we wrote letters that night to our child? The sacrifice of not eating out once a month didn’t seem like much of a sacrifice at all.
God did have plans for me to make a difference in Bolivia, but it wasn’t by blogging about the trip. Not this time. Instead, our family joined hands with a seven-year-old girl named Jhovana, who lives in a hut with a dirt floor and a thatched roof. She likes math and loves to play with dolls.
By staying home one Friday night a month, our family will help provide clean water, medical care, in addition to improved nutrition and hygiene. We will help support her whole community with school supplies and classrooms. Her parents will be given job skills, but most of all they will all be shown the love of God.
So what if the great plan God has for feeding the hungry and filling the thirsty is ME and YOU? What if we do nothing about it?
Won’t you join me by sponsoring a child?
Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. Matthew 25:40 NIV
Thank you Carol for this post about how God is using you to change a child's life in Bolivia. I am praying about my commitment. I don't want to use excuses, as I have many. I think I have fear, because I once sponroed a child through another organization but had to pull out when our finances turned upside down. I wouldn't want to happen again. May this child you are sponsoring be richly blessed through your act of faith.
I was able to go to Bolivia with WV a couple weeks ago — thank you so much for following our trip and for listening to God's whispers.
Seeing my kids sitting in front of the pantry surrounded by food gets me every time now. We have so much extra. And you're right — $35 is a dinner out. We can give one night up per month easily and write letters (great idea!).
I enjoyed reading about the bloggers trip to Bolivia, and it's great you decided to dedicate a post to this topic as well.
We sponsor a child through Compassion and Feed the Hungry. It's been fun to watch my kids conenct with girls so different from them, and it's been exciting to watch their little hearts grow along the way.