I sat in a crowded, dank space and listened to the rain water dripping.
I squinted in the dark and leaned in to hear the quiet voice of Vincent, a sponsored child, living in the heart of Kenya, in the middle of Hell, known as Mathare Valley. He was an orphan, a child thrust into adulthood too soon, leading his family of siblings, alone.
He answered our questions with a kindness in his eyes, eyes that lit up when we asked about his sponsor.
He said his sponsor’s name in a revered tone and told us words he’d memorized from his last letter.
Someone in our group asked if he had a copy of a letter.
He sat on the edge of his couch/bed and reached behind the thin, tattered sheet that divided a small sleeping place and pulled out a much loved, worn letter from under his blanket. Vincent held the paper and grinned as he held up a picture of his sponsor, lightly touching the edges, pride evident on his face.
In that moment I realized the significance of sponsoring a child through Compassion International.
Child sponsorship is a small part of our busy lives, but in many ways and circumstances, it is a child’s life.
As I watched Vincent cherish his letter. It came alive to me in that tiny shack. In his soft voice he spoke sincere words I’ll never forget. They echo in my heart: “I pray for my sponsor. I pray for him every day.”
It was something I heard every time a sponsored child was asked about his or her sponsor. They would run and get their letters and say, “I pray for my sponsor.”
If sponsorship rescues a child from poverty, that makes each sponsor a hero.
Be a hero. Sponsor a child today.
Special thanks to Kristen Welch, co-founder of Mercy House, for sharing this story with us.