Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Shame On Mommy

I was chatting with a friend (whom I met through her fabulous blog that you should definitely visit) a few days ago about sponsoring children through programs like Compassion International and World Vision. Our conversation brought a lovely story to mind that I wanted to share with you.

About 4 years ago my husband came home from a conference mightily moved to help someone in need. Specifically a child. He had heard a testimony from Wess Stafford, CEO of Compassion International, and fully recognizing a need, was stirred up to act. We were not in a place to afford it financially but decided to pray and hoped that God would soon open the door for us to sponsor a child. 

Within a few days Jarrod came home from work and told me he felt that we were suppose to go ahead and give out of our need. We sat down that night and through Compassion's website found a little girl named Sarai to sponsor. We have been supporting her since then. It has been a pleasure to hear from her, to see her grow, to receive word about how she has been blessed by our meager and humble giving. As the year went on we continued to feel urged to do more. But had not acted upon that feeling. 

I was in the kitchen one afternoon, summer was fast approaching. A then, 6 year old Elyse and 5 year old Isaiah would soon be coming to the end of their first and second year of school and I would have a 6 year old, 5 year old, 4 year old, and 20 month old at home all day, EVERY DAY! I began to mentally make summer plans. The year before we had been able to purchase Sea World season passes for the whole family. After the initial cost it was a relatively affordable way to spend many Saturdays that summer and the kids loved it! I am the family bookkeeper (because I have way more free time than Jarrod.) I am also the family, shall we say, tightwad. I knew what our banking account looked like, it wasn't encouraging. Maybe the zoo would be a better way to go, cheaper, still fun. As I loaded the dishwasher and cleaned counter tops I thought through all the possibilities, my penny pinching fingers trying to loosen their hold so we could have some fun in the coming months. 

It was lunch time, Jarrod came home for a quick bite. As we visited while I made him something to eat a familiar conversation took place. He wanted to sponsor another child, he did not want to keep putting it off. Suddenly my fists tightened ever tighter around those pennies. Every fun plan I had made for the summer floated out the back door my husband had just walked through, being whisked away by a spring breeze. I conjured up a smile and nodded in agreement but children hundreds of miles away, over seas that I would likely never cross were nowhere near and dear to my heart as my own children. A couple of weekends of fun were being jeopardized by my husband's compassionate heart. Maybe this was something we could continue to talk about. Perhaps we could put it off for a few more months. 

That hope began fading a few hours later as Jarrod sat at his computer looking at the faces of near starving children trying to decide which one to help and how in the world to leave so many others behind. Our daughter, Elyse, walked in to the kitchen and joined him at the table. Ever curious she peaked over the laptop screen and asked every inquisitive child's second favorite question, "whatcha doin'?" He quickly explained it to her. Our oldest three were well aware of our sponsored child, Sarai. She had been faithfully prayed for by the three of them every night. As Jarrod showed Elyse pictures of thousands of children waiting for a sponsor, waiting on hope, her sweet little heart was also moved. An answer came to her so simply, and out of her mouth so easily and innocently, "Let's just 'adopt' them all!" Touched but realistic Jarrod informed her that we would not be able to afford to help them all. With even less reluctancy than her first response she rationalized, "let's just stay home this summer, we don't need to anything fun like Sea World!"

SCHOOLED by my 6 year old, that is what had happened, right then and there!

Unfortunately we were not able to sponsor over 3000 children. But we also did not get season passes that year. We did however "meet" a little 5 year old boy named Redwan, who shared our own 5 year old boy's birthday. He has been added to our prayers and, hopefully, been blessed by the little bit we have had the opportunity to send his way.

Continuously will I be grateful for the abundant blessings that God has given us. I do not understand why us, not them. Always will I admire the compassionate hearts of my husband and our oldest daughter, I know no one with more tender hearts than their own. Forever will I remember the precious way a 6 year old helped to open my own heart. Never will I regret a summer spent in our own yard, in our own town, coming up with creative ways to keep 4 very precious and abundantly blessed children entertained! 

*If you are unaware of what is going on with World Vision please read this bit of news that a very kind hearted friend shared with me a few days ago.
"World Vision lost 10,000 sponsors this week because they considered hiring gay Christians in states where gay marriage is legal. The sponsors left as protest. I understand people have strong views rooted in (their) faith, but it breaks my heart that the sponsors couldn't have reached out and expressed their opinion in another way instead of just revoking aid to the kids who need it."

Today she shared more news with me 
"They (World Vision) turned the decision around within one day, but I think they still lost 10,000 sponsors over it because people wanted to make a point. So sad."
I agree, very sad! I have no desire to share my opinion over the decision to hire or not hire based on sexual preference. I have even less of a desire to, nor will I, enter in to a debate about this. I tell you only to make you aware of a very unfortunate incident that has done little else than hurt and cost innocent children very much in need. Perhaps God will move in your heart to do something to help a few of them. Please, at the very least, join me in prayer for them. 

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1 comment:

  1. Wow, Sarah! I had no idea about World Vision losing so many sponsors. We sponsor a little girl through them and it this news makes me very sad. I will be praying for God to soften the hearts of those who left. Thank you for being so transparent. May God bless you and your family!


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