Have you ever sponsored a child? My hubby and I started sponsoring our first child this winter. A World Vision guy came to our door in -30 c. weather this winter and asked if we’d be interested. To give the poor guy a break from the cold, we invited him in and took a look through the pictures and info he presented to us, giving him a cookie to munch on while we did.
We browsed through the booklet of photos, ooo’ing and awww’ing over the cute little faces, until I came across a package of photos separated from the others. When I asked the guy what they were, he replied that most people wanted the cute young ones to sponsor. The pack was of children older than 12 years old. I immediately went through the pack of photos and picked a young boy out. Poor kids, they’re only 12, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t cute anymore or don’t need our help! I think I especially loved this age group because they reminded me of our ball-hockey team members.
One of my friends went to Africa a few years ago on a missions trip. Just her, not organized by her church or anything, she just wanted to do something to help someone. The orphanage that she went to was smaller, although there were still many children.
They stories this friend came back with were incredible. Like, us, living in cushy North America, have no idea what those children go through. Most, if not all of their parents had aids, most of the children were abandoned or abused or orphans. That, in itself, sound like other children on our childcare program. But then you start to get into the dirt, how the were abandoned and their personal stories.
One little boy had been found in the backyard of a bar (bar…not like the fancy ones we have here, probably not even half the image we have of a “bar”), living with the owners dogs, eating like them, sleeping like them etc. His mom had brought him to the bar because she wanted to confront his father, who was having an affair on her. While the mom confronted the husband, knives were pulled, words were screamed, and the mom left…without taking her child. The father left as well, if I remember correctly, he was arrested. The owner of the bar didn’t know what to do with this little boy and so threw him in with the dogs.
Who knows how long he kept the boy there, but by the time he was brought to the orphanage, the poor child was licking milk off the floor like a puppy and didn’t know how to behave like a little boy.
That just blows me away.
So when the World Vision guy came to our door, after hearing these stories from my friend and knowing how life in a third world country is exactly how they portray it in those “corney” ads on TV, I just had to sponsor a child.
I watched a show the other day where a woman and her sons went to visit their sponsored child. The boy they sponsored lived with his brothers, both younger than him even though he was only 11. Their parents weren’t there, I believe they had died but don’t quote me on that. This 11 year old had to support his brothers, be their dad. When I think about that, I imagine my 11 year old brother trying to support, not only financially but emotionally, a couple siblings and I tear up. The strain of that must be huge. HUGE! These little boys had a bed of a tarp. A ripped tarp that they laid on the rocky ground and slept on. Can you imagine? Even when I used to go camping we’d bring a foamy, several sleeping bags and a pillow. We’d have a DRY tent, all the munchies we wanted…these kids had a leaky thatched roof and a tarp for a bed. And I’m thinking they don’t have M & M’s or Licorice to munch on or a light to read their favorite comic book.