I don’t believe too strongly in coincidences. I think things happen for a reason and can be used for God’s purposes. This is especially true when it comes to my experiences with child sponsorship and Compassion.
I’m always fascinated by the process of selecting a child to sponsor. Some people search for a child from a particular country. Some are looking for a specific gender, age, or birth date. A lot of times I hear this phrase, “Something about him/her just spoke to me”. So many sponsorship stories could be told with the phrase, “I just happened to…, there just happened to be…, etc. I know better. The God who knows every detail about me and you is the same God who knows everything about each of these children waiting for sponsors. I believe He knows their every need and He knows who their sponsor is.
This past week I had the privilege of working at the sponsorship table for two events, Stand Strong with Nick Vujicic and Living Proof Live with Beth Moore. If you haven’t heard of Nick you need to head over to YouTube and watch some of his message. Nick was born without arms and legs. He has dedicated himself to sharing God’s message of love, forgiveness, and hope around the world. He never cuts corners when declaring his faith and how God has changed his life. God is using Nick in a great way!
I always try to find a child who’s birthday is on the day of the event I am working and put it out front and center on the table. At Nick’s event I couldn’t find one for that day, but I found a little boy who’s birthday was the next day. Since this was our first event with Nick our goal was more about presence and awareness than high numbers of sponsorships. There were two children sponsored that evening. One of them “just so happened” to be the little boy from Africa with the birthday coming up. As his new sponsor was filling out the forms I came to this realization: in Africa, where this little boy lived it was already the next day. God did indeed provide him with a sponsor, and it happened on his birthday!
At Living Proof Live, we rejoiced that 119 children were sponsored! Again, there were sponsorship stories that made it undeniable that our God is working out everything according to His plan.
One woman asked if we had any children from Brazil to sponsor since she didn’t see any on the table. I told her that Brazil was one of the countries that we worked in and I sat a box full of packets on the table and began searching through them. After a few moments and no Brazil I asked, “And there were none on the table, right?” She said no and then immediately said, “Wait a minute! It’s right there in front of my nose.” Sitting on the table in front of both of us was a little girl from Brazil. I discovered that this woman was from Brazil and after looking at the information we found that the little girl lived not too far from where this woman had grown up. Smiles all around!
However this has to be one of my favorite stories. This is Cindy. I asked permission to share her photo and story with you and she happily agreed. I was at the table taking sponsorship forms and answering questions and saw her speaking with the Compassion rep. She was holding a packet and ready to fill out the info. She told us that she had attended conferences and concerts in the past, but never felt particularly led to sponsor. This year she said that she prayed that if God wanted her to sponsor a child that he would lead her to the right child and make it obvious. Cindy had adopted a boy from the Philippines. He is now 17 years old. In her hand she held a packet for a little 9 year old boy from the Philippines. This little boy had the same first name as her son! As icing on the cake….he had the SAME BIRTHDAY as her son! We all agreed that God could not have spoken more clearly.
No matter how a person chooses a child to sponsor, I’ve got to believe God has His hand on it. Maybe He’s already chosen you to be a sponsor of a precious little boy or girl. He knows their name, knows their joys & fears, and knows that what they need is you. All you have to do is say YES!