When you hear someone like Jey talk, you’re immediately confronted with the easiness of your life.
Born into a Kenyan slum, Jey spent his childhood begging for food money. One day, finding his efforts weren’t working, he took matters into his own hands and stole a purse. That decision led to a jail cell when he was only 9 years old.
A hopeless child in a hopeless environment – a story that, unfortunately, plays out in thousands of ways every day across the world.
Jey’s story makes me think about the kabod of $38 a month.
Bear with me for a second.
Kabod is an ancient Hebrew word which was used thousands of years ago in financial transactions. The kabod of a purchase, or a deal, was the impact the purchase would have on the buyer. There was something that would be paid, something which would need to be sacrificed in order to make the purchase.
Over the years, the meaning of kabod broadened in reach and took on more spiritual meanings – used to describe situations, moments, or circumstances that bore a certain amount of heaviness or complexity.
Kabod is that feeling deep within us that something meaningful and eternally impactful is happening right in our very midst.
Which brings us back to this thing called child sponsorship. Sponsoring a child is a light task with heavy consequences. What I mean is the process of sponsoring a child is pretty simple – we find a child, we put in our bank account numbers, and we’ve sponsored a child for a price that fits within our budgets.
We send letters and pictures on occasion, and pray mightily that our child will find an opportunity to overcome his or her circumstances. Those actions seem pretty small in the daunting face of global poverty.
But what I want to propose is this: the kabod of sponsorship is that on the other side of our small actions, heaven is reaching a child’s heart.
This, I believe, is what people must hear about sponsorship. Our small actions bear eternal kabod to children living in poverty across the world.
There’s more to our sponsorship than we might imagine – more heart, more inspiration, more grace and more meaning than we give ourselves credit for. There is deep, abiding, eternal meaning in our small decision to sponsor a child.
Within the process of sponsorship, a child discovers that she is known by God – that God knows her name, is aware of her circumstances, and hears what is in her heart.
She is taught that God is a friend inviting her into a relationship through which all things are possible. He is not an angry man looking to use or abuse her – but a loving God looking to restore and love her.
Beyond simply being known by God, a child discovers that God is for her – that He is somehow motivated to move on her behalf. That He walks beside her in the hard and difficult moments and listens to her prayers. She learns that she is not alone – that God has made a way for her to experience relationship with Him, and that He will always be with her.
He is not a man who will leave her behind; He is One whose word will not fail.
Through these truths, a child is taught that she is not disposable. She has been created purposefully – there is meaning and value to her life.
Potential rises within her heart, and she embraces the reality that she can overcome poverty and the circumstances surrounding her. The smiles from her child development center teachers, the letters from her sponsors, the prayers of her church – all serve to remind her that she is wonderfully and beautifully created, and that she matters to someone.
And this is the kabod of child sponsorship – that through our small actions, hope takes root deep within the heart of a child.
How do you measure hope? You can’t, for it’s too heavy a thing to weigh and too big a thing to measure. But listen to Jey talk and you’ll know the kabod of hope – you’ll know how valuable a thing it is for a child to know God, and what is possible when the Gospel is given a chance in a hopeless environment.
Sponsorship is a way to give the Gospel a chance in the world’s difficult environments. [Tweet this]
In those environments, it’s time to sponsor change. Here’s what you can do, today, to help:
- If you’ve never sponsored a child, please consider sponsoring a child today. Your sponsorship will bear a real kabod for a child living in devastating poverty.
- We’d love your help in sharing the kabod of child sponsorship. A simple way that you can help is through sharing this article on your social feeds and asking your network to consider sponsoring a child. You’re personal recommendation might just be the final prod someone is looking for in making a sponsorship decision.
#SponsorChange is a special storytelling campaign, seeking to tell a comprehensive story about what child sponsorship is and what it really does. During this campaign:
- We’ve shared videos of Olive and now Jey, who’ve overcome poverty through Compassion sponsorship programs. Their stories serve as anthems of hope and perseverance – testimonies of what is possible when one person believes a better story on a child’s behalf.
- We are sharing some of our favorite quotes and scriptures on Pinterest, words that are deeply meaningful to our lives that guide our sponsorship decisions. We decide to sponsor a child for a host of reasons, and this content is helping us articulate our hearts as we consider why we sponsor a child.
- We’ve seen people on Facebook share their sponsorship stories with our #sixwords hashtag, creating really interesting snapshots into the lives of sponsors. If you haven’t seen it, you should check it out. Six words can tell a pretty fascinating story.
- And here, on this blog, we are sharing a series of articles that seek to give flesh and blood to a sponsorship decision. We hope that you’ll find these articles helpful as you consider sponsoring a child, or as you encourage a friend to become a sponsor.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jake Kaufman is a writer, a dreamer, and a very awkward dancer. He lives in Columbus Ohio, and blogs at jkstories.com on the kingdom and pursuing stories that matter.