I have thought many times about sponsoring a child, but the thought came in and out of my head without any action being taken on my part.
After listening to the wonderful, inspirational words of Immaculée Ilibagiza the other night, I cannot ignore that little thought any longer. I have been so blessed and have so much to be thankful for. I probably throw away more food each week than these children have to eat. For barely over one dollar a day, I can make a difference in the life of a child. I put myself in the shoes of the parents of these children and think how difficult it would be for me to see my children going without the basic necessities; food, shelter, education.
There are so many deserving children, and I wish I had the resources to help them all, but for now I chose Ernest, a nine year old boy in Albania. He has the brightest eyes and the most adorable smile and reminds me a lot of one of my nephews. Through the World Vision child sponsorship, I will be able to communicate with Ernest and to send letters and small gifts if I choose to. I feel a little selfish because I know that we are meant to give without needing to see the results of our giving, but I’m excited to be able to learn about him, his family and his country.
I am much too ignorant about the many other countries in the world and the people in them. I hope by this small effort, I can make at least a bit of difference. I remember a story about a child and a starfish that goes as follows (original story by Loren Eisley in The Star Thrower):
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.
He called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”
“The man said, “Don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said, “I made a difference for that one.”
I first heard this story many years ago when I was in training to be a foster parent. It is so true that while we cannot save the world, we can make a difference to those we do come in contact with, or to those we help through sponsorship.
If you have a little voice inside that’s telling you to at least take a look at the children in need of sponsorship, please click on the link above and look at some of the adorable children that are in need of help. But for the grace of God, they could be our own.