My family and I participate in the Food for the Hungry (FH) child sponsorship program by sponsoring a child in Mozambique. It gives us a good feeling to be sharing our financial blessings with others, but I’m finding it means more. I can teach my children about God’s heart for the poor with stories of our sponsored child’s life.
Also, from a recent trip with Food for the Hungry to Nicaragua, I saw how sponsorship is changing the life of a specific child. Here are two stories of how child sponsorship is blessing two families in two countries.
United States: Children’s questions before sleeping
During the nightly pre-bed routine with my children ages 2, 4 and 7—I have a moment with them, right before they close their eyes, when they like to ponder questions, like:
“Dad, do I have school tomorrow? When is the weekend? Do you have to go to work tomorrow?”
Recently, my 4-year-old son followed these questions with the statement: “I don’t want to go to school.”
It is moments like these that make me love the transformation that is possible through child sponsorship, because it is helping me to disciple my children.
I told my son that many kids don’t have the privilege of going to school.
He asked, “Why not?”
I explained, “Most likely, they may not have the money. The school could be too far away, or they have to stay home and help their family.”
We continued with a few more questions before he was satisfied and snuggled into his “blanky” for the night.
It’s through these little conversations that my children are learning about the suffering that goes on around the world. Moment by moment, my children are developing their hearts to care for the poor.
Nicaragua: Girl pursues her education
Recently, while visiting FH’s great work in Nicaragua, I was able to meet a girl who had graduated from sixth grade. Although many children in this community make it through sixth grade, they often don’t continue to the next level due to fees for uniforms and supplies. Also, the school is far away.
This 11-year-old girl was able to continue her education because of child sponsorship through FH. She currently travels by foot or bike, over an hour each day to get to and from school, on rough terrain.
It made me think of my dad’s stories of going uphill through snow both ways to school, except this is actually true.
As I sat with this girl and her family, I wished that I could speak Spanish, but no language barrier could hide how proud this family was of their daughter. I was proud of her, too. And I was proud to be a part of FH’s child sponsorship, because it’s truly making a difference.
Being a part of real change
I would like to say that my superior parenting skills will result in never hearing, “I don’t want to go to school,” again. However, I am sure that is not going to be the case.
I do like being part of real change in a child’s life through child sponsorship. I am hopeful that my own children will grow as they encounter the life of an impoverished child overcoming poverty.