On our way to church last Sunday, Pastor Robert Nabulere from Kampala Uganda comfortably began to explain to me his story. He began by mentioning he received his first pair of shoes when he was fourteen and a half years old. His mother would wake him up at five in the morning so he could go dig in her vegetable garden to do his share for the family’s food. He worked for an hour and a half, washed the mud off and then walked three miles to school. He was a bright student and enjoyed learning, but when he was seventeen his father died so there were no more funds to send him to school. He stayed home and began to care for his family as the man. It was a great loss that this smart young man could not continue his education. Thankfully, he was soon chosen by Christian Children’s Fund, and they sponsored him, paid his school fees, and made sure he could stay healthy and in school.
This piece of information about his history nearly caused me to have a wreck with the car. Craig and I have been sponsoring children with Compassion for fourteen years. Currently, we support nine children in many different countries around the world. Our original goal was to sponsor just one for each of our own children. But, then, well, we couldn’t help but keep going. We receive letters from these kids all the time. We send them photos, extra money and the boys write letters in response. We are always amazed by how far a few extra dollars can reach for them. For example, a gift of ten dollars turns into shoes for the whole family and medicines for someone sick, books and school supplies. Without our help, they go with out. Do we even notice it is missing? Not really. It’s about thirty dollars a month per child and I think that easily slips into our starbucks fund, going out for ice cream, or a purchase we wanted but didn’t really need.
So, knowing that Pastor Robert’s life was changed because someone kind and compassionate sponsored him to go back to school I was reached deeply. It opened my eyes to see how big a change that little bit makes. We are in process of a huge adoption of a child from Uganda, and that’s certainly not what all people are meant to do. But I hardly know one American in all my years as an adult who cannot afford to give up a little to make a big difference to a child somewhere, enabling them to make it all the way through their education. I don’t usually write persuasively in my blog, but today I’m altering that course for once. I am going to beg anyone who is not already sponsoring a child to please consider it. It is a great reward to receive updates, and letters from the child knowing they are well. Please go to www.compassion.com or call (800)336-7676. And spread the word to friends and family. We can all help just one and make this such a better world.
This is Compassion International’s mission statement: In response to the Great Commission, Compassion International exists as an advocate for children to release them from their spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enable them to become responsible and fulfilled Christian adults.
When Pastor Robert’s sponsorship finished he passed difficult examinations to be eligible to go to University. It is there that he became a Christian. When he arrived in the big city of Kampala from his small home town village, he did not even know how to cross the street with all the traffic.During his studies, he quickly realized he wanted to devote his life to serving the Lord, which he now does as Pastor of a thriving church and leader of their school for 148 children. He met his wife Rose at University and is now an excellent husband and father in the Christian way, not the cultural way. That is what I will talk about tomorrow. For now my prayer is that you will see how far a little bit of your help can go and that you will be moved to make that difference in a child’s life. There are so many children on a list waiting for a sponsor, I hope that person is you. And what’s more, I hope you take this drive to help and open the eyes of others around you to see what little they can do to make a big difference.