The Joy of Child Sponsorship – by Rachael Jones
Three years ago, we began sponsoring a sweet girl named Sarah from the village of Ogoloi in Uganda through Children’s Hopechest. Throughout this time, we have learned so much about what God can do when we are simply willing to jump in and take part in His Kingdom work. A monthly commitment of only $38 has completely changed the everyday life of the sponsored children in these villages. One of the first tangible ways we saw this evidenced was the stark contrast between the first photo of Sarah we received and the one we saw the following year. It was incredible to see a once clearly malnourished child now looking healthier with a spark in her eyes and a gigantic smile from ear to ear.
What we really appreciate about this organization is that although we have not yet been able to visit Sarah in person, we have had the blessing of keeping up with her in a very personal way. There are typically 2-3 trips taken per year and during those visits, our sponsorship coordinators are faithful to provide us with photos and video footage of Sarah each time. It really helps us feel more connected to her! It brought tears to my eyes when I first saw the photo of Sarah holding up a photo of our family in the album we sent over to her. We are also able to send other items over to Sarah on those trips and that has been a great way to keep our kids involved as they help us pick out what we’d like to give her. These details have made all the difference.
When I think about how sponsoring a child changes lives, I can’t help but think of the children on this side of the world it is also changing….the ones right in our very home. Our daughter, Lily, who is four years old, views Sarah as an important part of our family. She has been a part of our conversations for as far back as Lily’s memory can go. Earlier this year, we learned of a large outbreak of Hepatitis B where Sarah lives in the village of Ogoloi and also the surrounding villages. The children were (and still are) in desperate need of vaccinations. So, the question for us was, what will we do? When we talked with Lily about having a lemonade stand, she was so excited to help. It brought us great joy to hear her explain to her customers what we were raising money for. We were so thankful to have raised enough money for two additional children to receive a vaccination! The vaccines, though, will not be distributed until the full amount has been raised, so please consider clicking here to contribute
During one of the trips, our coordinator was able to take a video of Sarah giving us a brief tour of the one-room hut in which she lives with her parents and six siblings. It was a startling discovery to us and really developed a lasting effect on our daughter, who will now bring that image up when we talk about contentment. Just like her, we as her parents, need those reminders just as much, as we fight against the daily temptation to live comfortable, selfish lives. Instead of seeking to have more for ourselves, Sarah’s life is a constant reminder to us to embrace that God has blessed us not so we can just keep blessings to ourselves but rather to give them away.
The current campaign we are focusing on is to raise the money needed to send Sarah to boarding school. We found out a few months ago that her father is an abusive drunk who is mentally mad. The mother and children frequently flee from their home in the middle of the night as they fight for their lives. This results in malaria from mosquito bites and then they must battle sickness time and time again. It breaks our hearts that Sarah and her family are enduring this suffering. Lily prays that they will be safe and can get away from her “bad, mean dad.” What a gift that Sarah and her siblings can go to the Carepoint to receive food, education, a refuge from their situation and most of all, HOPE. I shudder to think of where they would be without the Carepoint as a haven and provision for them. The decision has been made that boarding school will be the best option for these children and they will still be able to come to the Carepoint during breaks. It is our privilege to enter in and make this a reality for them! Can you imagine the emotions they will experience when that opportunity is extended? It is humbling that God is allowing us to play a small part in transforming Sarah’s future.
To donate toward this goal, click here
To invest in something that will have not only a temporary impact here on earth but more importantly, an eternal one. I can think of no greater avenue to invest time, money and energy than into the work of changing lives. That’s what a sponsorship through Children’s Hopechest does.
There are still 19 children left that need a sponsor. We’re almost there! In America, the $38 a month needed to sponsor a child would be the equivalent of giving up one dinner out as a couple. Sounds silly not to, right? I hope that you’ll take the time to consider joining us in this journey of sponsoring a child. I promise it will be worth it. I look into the eyes of a little girl smiling back at me from that photo on the fridge, and know that it is.
To check out which children are still in need of a sponsor, click here.