The Joy of Sponsorship — by Casey Simon
From the first moment I saw a picture of our sponsor child, I knew he would fit in to our family. He had this little smirk and a thumbs up! It struck me as something that one of my boys would do. Once I showed the picture to my family, they all agreed he would fit in right in. That’s how we view Aristhene, a part of our family. His picture is posted in our house and he is prayed for.
When I met Aristhene, he grabbed hold of my hand and didn’t let go. His smile never left his face. The following day he sought me out and showed me something he had made and tried to communicate how he liked coloring and building. Having met him and speaking with him, I knew our family made a wise decision in caring for the needy but most importantly proclaiming the gospel to all. Our monthly donation will allow him to receive an education and a meal, but also have team members check in on him, which brings great comfort to us. We plan to continue to share Christ with Aristhene so that he may hear the good news and Lord willing become a brother in Christ and grow up to be a godly man!
The Joy of Sponsorship — by Jeff Thompson
After a couple ministry trips to Haiti, I noticed the joy that the other team members had in meeting with their sponsor kids. Plus, I kept reading scripture passages like Psalm 72 and Psalm 146.
Psalm 72:2-4; 11-14
May he judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice!
Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness!
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the children of the needy,
and crush the oppressor!
May all kings fall down before him,
all nations serve him!
For he delivers the needy when he calls,
the poor and him who has no helper.
He has pity on the weak and the needy,
and saves the lives of the needy.
From oppression and violence he redeems their life,
and precious is their blood in his sight.
I became more and more convicted that God was concerned about the poor and especially children. If the church did nothing for the poor, it was not fulfilling their mission. In my own personal giving, the vast majority of my donations went to the church and missionaries and that was not wrong. We should give to these organizations, but as for me, sponsoring a student was a great way to make sure some of my giving was going directly to supporting the poor. I thought the Church was responsible, but being a member of Christ’s body, the Church, I was responsible individually as well.
I talked to my wife, Marilyn, and we looked at the children on the World Wide Village website; my wife and I could not decide. I sent an email to Pat Mortensen and told her to pick one for me. She picked Angela who was very cute and was 4 years-old at the time. The next time I went to Haiti, I brought a backpack with toys and supplies to give her. I met her at the school and I could tell she was leery of me, but she allowed me to kneel beside her for a picture. She melted my heart.
Pictured: Jeff meeting Angela for the first time
The second time I went to see her, her mother was with her in Williamson. Both of them were smiling when they saw me. Angela was clapping and smiling. I picked her up. It made me very happy that I could help this family in a this small way.
Pictured: Jeff with Angela on his most recent trip to Haiti
The Joy of Sponsorship — by Shelby Casper
The first time I met my sponsor boys was a moment that I will never forget. I had been praying about sponsorship between my first and second trip to Haiti, and by the time my second trip was here, I was feeling the pull stronger than ever. I didn’t choose my boys, they chose me—we bonded from the very beginning. It may have been that ornery little smile of Jean Samuel (one I can relate to), the hand squeeze and immediate attachment from Widlet, or the beautiful smile of Laurame that reflected such a gentle soul—all of them captured my heart at first sight. I have had the opportunity to watch them grow over the past few years- to share gifts, the Word, and LOVE with them—what an overwhelming joy that brings my heart!
Pictured: Shelby Casper with Jean Samuel & Laurame
To have the opportunity to visit them twice a year and to encourage them in their academics and their walk with Christ has been such a blessing to me and my family. Not only is sponsorship an opportunity to bless a child with an education, but you‘ll find the bond goes deeper than that. The best part, you get to let them know that they are loved deeply by you, and by our Savior, Jesus Christ.
The Joy of Sponsorship — by Mindy Jones
I think getting the opportunity to sponsor John and Sarafina has changed my life even more than theirs. When I first met them on my trip in 2015 I instantly fell in love with them. Sarafina was the first child I photographed for the sponsorship photos and she cried the entire time. That’s when I knew I wanted to be her sponsor. In 2016 when I went back she was so happy to see me. I look forward to each year I can go see how much she has grown.
Pictured: Mindy Jones with Sarafina and John
John has the biggest smile and his eyes shine so bright. He makes you smile every time you see him. I am so glad God brought him into my family. Helping him by paying his school tuition and giving him that opportunity to learn is truly a gift from God.
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