Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Have you ever considered child sponsorship?

There has been a lot more talk in churches these days about adoption, thanks in part to Russell Moore's book, Adopted for Life.  Maybe you have an interest in helping orphans, but you are not at a place in your life when you can adopt.  There are other ways to help children in need.  After we began the adoption process, I began to feel that we needed to sponsor a child as well.  Child sponsorship helps keep families together.  In a number of countries, parents in poverty are faced with the difficult heart-wrenching decision to raise their child or place the child in an orphanage because they cannot afford to raise their child.  I also thought it would be a good way for our adopted child to interact with another child in her native country.  We thought we'd wait until our child was old enough to be included in the process from the start, but we decided to sign up last week.

There are a number of organizations that do child sponsorship, and we decided to sign up with Compassion International.  Each child that Compassion works with will have the opportunity to receive Bible teaching, health education, school supplies, health screenings, clothes, and food.  Each child has only one sponsor, and your child will write to you three times a year. It costs $38 a month to sponsor a child with Compassion International, and sponsorship typically lasts until the child is 18-22 years old.  There are other organizations, such as Bethany Christian Services, where more than one person can sponsor a child and your monthly expense is only about $15.  You get to choose the child you sponsor.  First you decide upon a country, then you choose a child.  It was not easy to choose a child.

After going to Haiti in April, I began to think more and more about what James and I spend our money on.   Americans spend a lot of money each month on things that we do not need, such as cable television, pedicures, manicures, expensive hair treatments, massages, cosmetic surgery, expensive home renovations, and the list could go on and on.  I believe that Christians should take what they spend their money on seriously.  What eternal benefit are those granite countertops going to have?  What eternal benefit are you going get out of a face lift or other cosmetic surgery?  Are those things part of caring out the great commission?  I'm not at all saying that it is sinful to get nice things or spa treatments, and there are cases where cosmetic surgery is truly needed.  (Burn victims for example.)  Sometimes getting a manicure can turn into a ministry opportunity, as you get to converse with your manicurist.  Just think about your motives when you spend your money on something that you don't really need before you do it.  I bet many of us could find a little money in our monthly budgets that could be used to help further the gospel, if we looked.

We just received our first packet of information from Compassion.  We chose a 9 year old Ethiopian boy to sponsor, and we received a photo of him and a little information about where he lives.  There was a DVD about Compassion International in the packet that I'll be happy to pass on to you if you are interested in child sponsorship.  Leave me a comment asking for the DVD and I'll see that you get it.

He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.  Proverbs 28:27 (NIV)
". . .and whoever welcomes a little child like this is My name, welcomes Me."
Matthew 18:5

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