Last year, Gary signed up to volunteer at a Compassion event, just as he had done many times in the past. But this one was a little different — it was at a women’s conference. Upon arriving at the conference, Gary was immediately in the minority. He felt a little overwhelmed by the number of women at the event, but he confidently said it was “worth it” because of how much he loves seeing children in poverty get sponsored.
So, Gary eased into his role. On the first night of the conference, Gary participated in the event-wide dance party from behind the Compassion sponsorship table. People noticed his energy and began cheering for him. Right from the beginning, Gary used his fun-loving spirit to bring attention to the ministry of releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name. And that night, the team signed up 33 new sponsors.
The next day, Gary met up with his best friend and prayer warrior, Michael. He told Michael about the 33 sponsorships. Michael was thrilled, but felt that there was more work to be done. So, he said,
"Gary, when you go back to the conference tonight, you're going to help 43 more kids get sponsored."
So, Gary and Michael began praying for that number. And later that day, Gary returned to the conference with a burden on his heart: to find sponsors for 43 additional children that night.
As the conference went on, many women approached the table to learn about Compassion. And each time someone sponsored a child, Gary would light up and say, “Well, we’re one closer to 43.” He did that all evening.
The event ended up going late. Rachel, the lead Compassion volunteer at the event, thanked Gary for all his help and told him that she would finish packing up and that he could head home. Gary didn’t move. His steadfast servant’s heart wouldn’t let him go, so he quietly told Rachel that he didn’t want leave until all the sponsorships were counted.
But before they could start counting, a woman approached the table to share that she had sponsored a child on her phone that night. Rachel listened as the woman shared how excited she was to be part of Compassion’s ministry, and from behind her, she heard Gary say, “One closer to 43!”
After the woman left, Rachel counted the sponsorships — twice. Gary waited patiently until she finished. And his waiting paid off. Because that night, Rachel counted that they had gotten exactly 43 sponsorships. The woman who approached their table at the end of the night was the forty-third.
As Rachel told Gary the news and thanked him for praying, tears welled up in his eyes and he whispered,
“I knew it. God is too good to let us down.”
Gary’s faith is anything but ordinary — it’s extraordinary. And thanks to his prayers and God’s faithfulness, the lives of 43 children living in poverty were changed in one night.
And guess what? There are tons of opportunities to take action like Gary.
If you’re interested in helping children find new sponsors, consider hosting a Compassion Sunday event at your church.
Or post on social media about sponsorship and ask your friends and family to get involved! Just share this link: https://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/