About six years ago a guest speaker came to our church. I confess that I have forgotten the speaker entirely. I do not know if it was a man or a woman. I couldn’t even tell you what they talked about. But I can say confidently that this unknown person made a lasting impact on several lives that day.
Our guest speaker carried a bundle of information packets for children to sponsor through Compassion International. The packets were placed at a table at the back of the church. After the service people who wanted to sponsor a child looked at the faces of the children. I waited until only a few were left on the table. I wanted to sponsor a child that for one reason or another had been left. My son Anthony asked if he could chose. He quickly handed me a packet for a little boy in Indonesia named Jimi. Anthony pointed out that Jimi was the same age as his younger brother and had a name similar to an older brother. Perfect. Jimi’s picture was on the front. He clearly wore his best clothes, a little denim outfit several sizes too large. Jimi had enormous brown eyes. He was just five years old. We signed up. I placed Jimi’s picture in a small frame on the window sill by the kitchen sink to remind me to pray for him and his family regularly. I sent Jimi a few notes and a picture of my family.
Soon a year had passed and I received a new picture of Jimi. He still wore the little denim outfit. It had faded somewhat from washing. It was not quite as big on him. Jimi and his mother began to call me “Mama Donna.” His father sent me a small carving that he had made. I was touched that he had taken the time to create something for me. I wrote a thank you note and moved Jimi’s picture to my desk. Jimi was no longer a strangers child a world away. He was a child that I knew and cared for. Sponsoring Jimi had become personal.
Over the years, letters of appreciation continue to come from Indonesia. He and his family are so grateful for every little thing. Jimi blesses me with his kind notes and drawings. I enjoy learning about his life. Jimi plays soccer. He likes school. He has a new baby brother. Jimi does not like to have his blood drawn for medical testing (who does?). He does chores and helps his father. He has had colds and illness. He likes to play. Jimi prays for me.
In turn, I write Jimi small notes of encouragement. I send him stickers and coloring pages. I give a little extra for a birthday and Christmas gift. But in reality, this is so little. I give out of my excess. I am more like the Pharisee than the poor widow. And yet in the hand of our Mighty God little becomes much. Through our contribution, Jimi receives food, medical care, clean water, educational opportunities, and the opportunity to hear and learn about Jesus.
Would you consider sponsoring a child through Compassion?
I have been richly blessed because one Sunday morning I stopped for one.