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I Still Have You

at least i still have you In a world where texting, tweeting and re-tweeting have become all but the norm, four simple words delivered the “old fashioned way” humbled me — opening my eyes wide to a greater appreciation of the privileged role we all share as child sponsors.

“I did not write you the last time, but my father has died after being hospitalized for a while. I was very sad by his death, but …

“I still have you.”

These words were written in a letter from Nibret, my 19-year-old correspondence- sponsored child in Ethiopia.

After careful reflection and contemplative prayer, I imagine a God-inspired well deep within Nibret’s heart, overflowing with His amazing grace.

In Psalm 34:18, David reminds us that “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.”

Brokenness met with love — a special love capable of uniting sponsor and child through God’s beautiful blessing and most merciful grace.

Prayer has a special way of making all things possible.

As I diligently continue extracting with more clarity the depth of her honoring words — “I still have you” — I imagine God, in all His faithfulness, saying the same to us.

“I still have you.”

Friend, regardless of your shortcomings or whether, like me, you carry around any self-imposed feelings of inadequacy, hold tight to God’s truth:

You are a precious child of God, dearly loved, gifted and uniquely created in His image.

I imagine our gracious God smiling upon you with a fatherly approval, saying, “I still have you.”

In subsequent letters, Nibret regularly expressed thanks for all the unconditional love so generously lavished upon her and her friends at her Compassion-assisted child development center. In fact, it was at this center that she gave her heart to Jesus.

Nibret told me,

“I made up my mind to serve the Lord throughout my life span. Jesus came to this world, was crucified and shed His blood to save us from eternal death. So we must use the chance to serve Him.”

And, while sharing Nibret’s encouraging words is indeed a wonderful privilege, her words were not for me alone.

As you joyfully reflect on your precious sponsored child(ren), may Nibret’s words resonate deep within your heart …

“I still have you.”

Re-tweet that. ☺

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeremy Vance became a sponsor in 1997 and then became a Compassion Advocate in 2006. Currently he sponsors seven children and is a correspondent sponsor with nine more. He lives in Grand Rapids, Mich.