Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sponsoring an Orphan

I just wrote this for Life2Orphans, and since I'm so far behind on blogging thought I would post it here:

To all Interested in the Life2Orphans IOC sponsorship program: 

         I became an IOC sponsor less than a year ago. I had been following people who were going through the process of adopting special needs children from EE orphanages. My heart was extremely moved towards the plight of special needs orphans, but I am single and not in a situation to be able to adopt.

         Because I couldn’t adopt one of the children, I chose the next best thing: To “adopt” a little girl to receive extra special care through having her own caregiver at the institution.  This little girl was bedridden due to having deformed limbs, but through providing an IOC sponsor for her I could ensure that she would be taken out of her bed to play on therapy equipment, receive extra attention and care, and go outside in the sunshine! I also chose to be a HAO sponsor for this little girl as well, which means that I have sent her several packages and letters.

          Going shopping for this little girl was one of the most significant things I have ever done. I can’t describe how connected I felt to her as I was picking out outfits that she would be wearing. She transferred from a two-dimensional picture to a living, breathing child as I held her clothing in my hands. She was 8 years old at the time and wore a size 3T. I began crying in the store when I selected the first outfit for her. How could she possibly be a 3T? It was unreal to physically recognize how tiny this was and moved my heart even stronger in her direction.

          Through sponsoring this one little girl my life and my heart has been moved in unbelievable ways. I have become more privy to God’s heart, and now am filled with desires from it instead of from the desires of the world.  The amount of money (less than $40 a month) it took to make such a drastic change in a child’s life took on huge proportions for me. $40 is the amount of money it takes to eat at a sit-down restaurant for two. It is enough money to take a family of 4 for a night out at the movie theater. It pays for a week’s worth of Starbucks. It cannot even fill my entire gas tank. It can pay for each of these things, or it can pay to give a child life and hope. Really, how is there any choice there? As I recognized this I completely revised my budget and simplified my life. I emailed Life2Orphans and let them know I would be able to sponsor two more orphans each month to have an individual caretaker

       Many people might claim that they would be unable to afford this. But the amount I spend to sponsor these three children is about the same that most people pay for a cable/internet/phone package each month. It is less (a lot less!) than a car payment for a nice car. It is about the same as one shopping trip to the mall. I don’t watch TV, rarely buy new clothes, and I drive a beat up pickup truck, so these things mean very little to me. Knowing that three children are getting to go outside in the sunshine, play on toys, do physical activities, and have extra arms to hug them is more than worth these things for me. And quite frankly, since re-arranging my life in this way I feel my life is much more full in many ways than it used to be, and more rich. If anything, where I used to feel I was always lacking in money, now I feel I have a surplus. When moving with the heart of God, I don’t believe money is ever an issue

       The little girl I began sponsoring less than a year ago who wore a 3T, has now grown two clothing sizes! She looks much closer to an 8 year old now and has a *huge* glow about her. I have no doubt that this is due to the extra attention and care she is receiving; it is no surprise that one-on-one love and care would cause her to blossom. The other little girl I just began sponsoring is very young and new to the institution. She has an impish grin on her face and I am so happy to know that impishness will be able to continue through the extra adult attention she will receive! She will retain that child-like “knowing” that she is special due to the special one-on-one care she is receiving

        And then there is Maxim. He is a 13 year old boy with Spina Bifida who is confined to a bed. Everyone who meets him is moved to action by him. He is smart, witty, and full of life and laughter, even though he is confined to an institution. I believe God is moving on his behalf, because when I felt prompted to sponsor more children, I was asked if I wanted to sponsor Maxim. I felt strongly compelled to say yes. Not long after that, a person adopting from Maxim’s institution began advocating for him to get medical treatment, and Life2Orphans took up that cause. In less than one month $1000 dollars was raised for him to be taken to a medical assessment.  I watched much of this money roll in through a Life2Orphans chip-in I placed on my blog.  I am not in any way suggesting I am responsible for all of this, but what a thrilling feeling to be part of God’s movement for this one child!

       In short, I would encourage everybody to participate in this program. I cannot even describe all of the good things that have come into my life since allowing myself to be lead this way. You will never notice the monthly fee that you pay, but your heart will notice the many rewards of being God’s hands and feet for a little one and you may find your life changing in ways that you wouldn’t have expected.
God Bless,

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