As a junior in high school, I have many opportunities to make a difference and change lives.
Whether it is donating to worthy causes, helping out at the soup kitchen, or leading the youth group praise band, the choices are endless. But, with so much need in the world I didn’t know where to begin. So I did nothing.
However, that changed when I learned about the impact I could make by sponsoring a child through Compassion. For $38 a month I can help a child with her education, ensure she gets regular meals at the child development centers, receives Bible teaching, and so much more!
I was eager to sponsor a child but hesitated because the thought of making a monthly commitment of $38 while in junior high was intimidating.
It took several weeks before I finally worked up the courage to go for it. I sponsored Dudsanee, a 4-year-old girl in Thailand, and emptied my pockets to make my first donation.
It’s been nearly a year since I started sponsoring Dudsanee, and I can honestly say that it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. To all you teens out there who are hesitant to sponsor a child, I want to encourage you to go for it! I am living proof that what you do makes a difference in so many lives, including your own.
Still doubtful? Here are five ways that my monthly sacrifice has been so worth it:
- My relationship with God has improved.
- I don’t think of myself as much.
- God has rocked my world for the nations.
- My relationship with my sponsored child has been proof that we make a difference in the lives of others.
- I have been blessed just as much as my sponsored child has.
Ever since I sponsored Dudsanee, my faith in God has become a lot stronger.
As a kid with no job, I have to rely on occasional babysitting opportunities or birthday money for income. Sometimes it’s tight, and I barely have enough money to make payments. But God does some awesome things — I have yet to come up short.
Knowing that God is going to provide for my sponsored child has given me faith in other areas of my life as well.
My prayer life has also changed. I have a picture of my sponsored child in one of my school binders. Every time I see her picture, I remember to pray for her.
Having a reason to lift up prayer requests to God on behalf of my Dudsanee has definitely changed the way that I pray.
The day I learned my sponsored child’s family income was less than a dollar a day, I was heartbroken to realize what I have as opposed to what others have.
Knowing the difference between the lives we both live has motivated me to get involved in other outreaches within my community. And, experiencing the kind of love a child can send through letters inspires me to love everyone I come across.
Sacrificing my time and money has also been very perspective-changing.
At first, I wasn’t too excited about giving $38 a month for a child I would probably never even meet. However, understanding her needs has made sacrificing things like movie tickets and cute T-shirts worth it.
Through learning about my little girl’s country, I have fallen in love with people who have not yet heard the amazing story of Jesus.
I know that other religions like Buddhism and animism are prominent in Thailand where, Dudsanee lives and I want to put a stop to it.
In the U.S., knowing Jesus is something that is often taken for granted. But in other parts of the world, it’s not.
Can you imagine being able to play a part in your sponsored child’s walk with God? You may even help him or her make the best decision ever by accepting Christ!
We have the opportunity to reach the nations from our own homes.
I love connecting with my sponsored child. Being able to encourage her through letter writing is a tangible way to make a difference, and receiving letters and drawings from her shows me just how much of an impact I have on Dudsanee.
Having her say she promises to be a good girl because she knows it will make me proud and she loves hearing from me and loves me so much in the letters I receive draws me closer to her and helps me know and understand just how real she is.
I love watching her grow through updated pictures and reading about her daily life. It’s so humbling to be able to be a part of her world!
I always thought I was the one being a blessing, but sponsoring Dudsanee has humbled me.
This little girl knows my name and prays for me regularly. She wants so badly to please me and she considers me her sister. How cool is that?
To think that she will always remember my name and that I have been given the opportunity to make a difference in her precious little life has shown me that the small sacrifices I make to provide for her and encourage her will make all the difference to her.
She will grow up with hope and opportunity to fulfill her dreams. She will be given the chance to rise above poverty and make an impact on others in the same way that Compassion has affected her.
Most importantly, she will learn about God’s love for her. And it’s all because of the amazing things God does through us.
Guys and gals, it doesn’t get much better than that.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hannah Beam is a member of Compassion’s Advocate’s Network and seeks to reach other teens to help fight global poverty. You can check out her blog at hannahproject195.blogspot.com.
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