Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sweet Birthday Girl

This month my sponsored child, S______, turns 10 on her birthday. I look at her in the picture on the refrigerator, dressed in a pair of baggy jeans and a purple T-shirt too big for her. A pair of sandals with flowers peeking out from under her jeans. Gorgeous dark eyes twinkling. And the most beautiful smile.

Something inside me softens.

And I’m humbled by the fact that this little girl halfway around the world, living in a culture and poverty level I can’t begin to understand…smiles at me. Writes to me.

And thanks me.

For sharing with her what was not mine from the start (1 Chronicles 29:11-17.

I didn’t make the choice to be born to a middle-class family in America. And she didn’t choose to be born in a poor African village. We are separated by an ocean in more ways than one—yet so very connected by the fact that we are both daughters of God, both so precious and loved by the One who created the very ocean between us.

But really, we’re not so different from each other. She does her chores and helps her family. She studies her lessons and learns about God. She loves, she hopes, she laughs, and she dreams.

My sponsorship has been an incredible blessing to me. It broadens my view, taking me outside my little bubble, remembering that it’s not all about me. S____’s letters bring a smile to my face along with her artwork. The knowledge that my small gift each month can make such a difference in her life is amazing. And that heart connection that spans the distance is indescribable.

I know some of you already sponsor children, and some of you may not be able to afford it right now. But if you have been thinking about it as a possibility, I want to put in a good word for CFCA—Christian Foundation for Children and Aging. I’m so impressed with their mission and that the over 94% of your donation actually goes toward those sponsored (the remaining percent going to fundraising and administration). Their co-founder has for the past year been traveling throughout communities CFCA serves, meeting the families—all on foot. He is truly ‘walking the walk.’

Father of us all, we pray for CFCA and other organizations like it, that you bless them in their mission to see You and care for You in the hungry, the thirsty, and those without clothing or shelter. We pray for all those they serve, and those they would like to serve. Open our hearts to our brothers and sisters, that we live in solidarity with them, remembering them and lifting them up to you as we eat, drink, shop, and rest in our warm homes. Help us to live with grateful hearts and to share from our abundance, not just our money but our time and the love You've poured into our hearts. Amen.


  1. Greetings!

    I’m Shanxi, the web editor and writer for CFCA. I just wanted to say that we enjoyed your blog post so much that we’re linking to it on our website:

    Thanks again for your support!


  2. I just came across this post from the webpage that Shanxi mentioned. Thank you for putting a good word in for CFCA; I have been considering sponsorship and trying to compare organizations according to their missions and stewardship of money. It looks like CFCA is at the top of the list. I will continue to consider and pray about whether this is something I can do right now, but I just wanted to thank you for your prayer and for sharing a snapshot of the impact "your" little girl has had in your life.

  3. Katy! Thank you for your comment! I'm so happy you are considering a sponsorship; it is so meaningful to me. I know it's not possible for everyone, so I pray the Holy Spirit sends you wisdom and grace. Thanks for stopping by. :)