Be part of something extraordinary
by Victor Leslie, Major –
Our daughter just returned from a mission trip to an orphanage in Jamaica where she became part of something extraordinary. It was an amazing grace experience, that expanded and intricately fashioned her values in life as she reached into the lives of innocent children, helping to provide attentive care, specialized academic tutoring, balanced and nutritious meals, and above all, spiritual direction and instruction, ultimately giving hope for the future—and for all eternity.
Luke 18:16 says that “children are the kingdom’s pride and joy” (The Message), yet all around the world children are growing up without the blessing of a loving family. In many countries children are abandoned at birth because parents are too poor, young, illiterate, or without the family support which is critical to caring for an infant. Those who survive suffer long-term physical and psychological damage that impairs their ability to learn and socialize and makes it difficult for them to develop to their full potential. The situation is heartrending! Statistics from UNICEF indicate: “daily toll of children in the world who die before their fifth birthday: 29,158. The number who die each day because they lack access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation: 3,900. Those who die each year: 1.4 million.”
In a world with so much need and suffering, it is not hard to see why your help is so important. You can make a difference—you can! Our daughter says, “Making a difference in the life of a child does not necessitate a trip into the unknown. There is an option where you too can reach into the life of an innocent child, provide for his needs and help make a lasting transformation, all without leaving the comfort of your living room.” What do you have to do? Become a child sponsor!
Think! Did someone ever lend you a helping hand? Well, there are thousands of children reaching out, anxiously waiting for a sponsor like you. Here is your opportunity to do something extraordinary. For only $20 a month, roughly $5 a week or merely 66 cents a day, much less than the cost of a latte or a scoop of ice cream, your pocket change can help a child live. Become a sponsor and make it possible for a child to benefit from the gift of learning to read and write, a chance for safe, clean water to drink, a school to go to, nutritious food and health care and much, much more. Just do it!
If $20 a month is too much for you—no problem! Do it as a group effort. For example, the ARCs in this territory sponsor 44 children through internal fundraising. In fact, the ARC Command Cash Department decided to collect funds towards child sponsorship rather than exchange gifts at Christmas. They raised over $600 and combined that with a gift from one of the internal auditors to sponsor three children. They continue to raise funds by selling bottled water and candy, so that they can also send the children birthday and Christmas gifts, school supplies, as well as letters and cards periodically. Trust me, if you want to—there are ways to become part of this extraordinary experience.
Child sponsorship gives the opportunity to invest in marginalized children and provide hope for a better quality of life. Your sponsorship specifically offers new beginnings, both spiritually and physically, to a child, a family and perhaps an entire community. As a child sponsor, you help meet the needs of hurting children by showing them someone cares, and by graciously communicating their value and potential in God’s eyes. In turn, you receive such wonderful, rich, rewarding and refreshing blessings that your life will be changed forever.
The photographs, the letters, the drawings and the smiles of your sponsored child will touch you. You will see transformation happen in both your child and yourself as you get real close up and personal. You will also know that God is pleased with you, for the Bible compellingly says in Mark 9:36, “Whoever embraces one of these children as I do embraces me, and far more than me—God who sent me”(The Message).
Help us bless the children—those who face diminished futures, by giving from your heart. Your money, encouraging words and care will go far in demonstrating Christ’s love. James 2:8, says “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right” (NIV). Do right! Be a part of something extraordinary and become a child sponsor!
Editor’s note: More information can be obtained at www.usw.salvationarmy.org under the drop-down menu “donate.”