A Life-Giving Child

Sponsored children are taught about Christ's love for them.

It was shortly after Sunday service in Iberica, Philippines, when a woman approached me to tell me that she was Bob’s grandmother.  At the time, I wasn’t sure who Bob was, but she was excited to tell me about him.

Bob was a Food for the Hungry (FH) sponsored child, who had learned about Jesus through FH’s kid’s club program run by his local church called “I Am Redeemer.”

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Luke 18:16

He would go home each day and share with his grandmother what he had learned. After she had understood what Jesus had done for her, she accepted him as her Lord and Savior.

I’m sure there were many special things about Bob that I didn’t get the chance to know on this visit, like the reason his grandmother was taking care of him. So, after returning home to the United States, I began to research his records.

What I found brought tears to my eyes.

Bob's grandmother and Heidi Hatch

Grandma took care of Bob, because he had been orphaned. His name was Bob Pempollo. He was an abandoned child, and his grandmother placed him in the Food for the Hungry sponsorship program to help provide for him and get the support she needed to finish raising him.

It was an honor to meet her. I only wish I could have met the little guy who led his grandmother to Christ, but Bob passed away a year and a half ago when he was just 11 years old.

He died from complications associated with a urinary tract infection after being admitted to the hospital with a high fever. My heart broke for her, but her smile resonated in my memory.  Bob was a life-giving child, and it was evident in the way she spoke of him.

In the lobby of Food for the Hungry’s global service center in Phoenix, there is a glass block wall that hosts the names of sponsored children whose lives have been cut short.

Our hearts break when a child dies, and the wall exists to honor their name. When a sponsored child passes away suddenly, our customer care staff  is on the phone with the sponsor to pray with them, and to walk through the moment of grief we share together.

The glass wall reminds us of the importance of our work. If not for FH’s work, this little boy wouldn’t have known about Christ before he passed on.

Sponsoring a child makes a difference. Please pray about helping a child learn about Christ’s love today.

About Heidi Heinrich

Heidi Heinrich, church relationship manager for Food for the Hungry's community-to-community (C2C) program, got her start with Food for the Hungry as a volunteer. She began promoting child sponsorship after being incredibly moved to "just do something" about the poverty she had seen while serving internationally on a team. A mother of two adult children who are pursuing their life's work in serving the poor, Heidi attributes their passion to the impression made through child sponsorship. "It has been a journey." she says, "It all began by sponsoring a child in Bangladesh that led to serving on a team. I am very grateful for the experiences God has given me through sponsorship." She also enjoys art and music, and she is finishing her degree in Human Development through Hope International University.

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