Question game Warning: This post may be bit uncomfortable…

Before I sponsored my first child back in college, I had a lot of questions:

  • Where is all my money going?
  • Will this child actually know about me?
  • Is she really the one writing these letters?
  • Does she really need my money?

Wow! Those questions are somewhat embarrassing to write out, but I want to be honest with you. And honestly, the answers to those questions were about to dictate my opportunity to glorify God and bring hope to a precious little girl.

Since that time and over the years I have learned that I often ask the wrong questions, which can be a problem when I am looking for an answer.

Ever notice how Jesus would often answer a question with a different question? That is one of the reasons why I am so wondrously captivated with Him … His initiative to give us new understanding. He knows the answer but He also knows the question we need to be asking.

Our questions can be very critical to how we are living our lives and what we are putting our hope in.

I’m curious, what questions do you find yourself asking? Be honest, I won’t judge.

If you need a little nudge, I just so happen to have one.

This is Eric Timm. Listen to what he has to say.


You can also view the Question Game on YouTube.

Did you get that? Instead of continuing to ask, “Why is there poverty?” he is now asking, “Where are God’s people?”

This clip, which I saw awhile back, has challenged me to keep my mind focused on the things above when everything in me starts producing a list of questions.

Here is what I believe I should have been asking when it came to sponsorship (or my spending in general):

  • Am I glorifying God with how I use my finances?
  • Will I be faithful to encourage and support this precious child?
  • Am I obeying God in how He has asked me to use His money?
  • Do I really need all the stuff I think I need and spend my money on? And if I don’t, who does?

How is that for a dose of perspective? I think it is challenging but in a refreshing kind of way!

OK, here’s your cue. Remember those questions I wanted to know you were asking? Well, through this lens, what questions are you asking now?

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  1. Jan 28, 2009
    at 6:50 am

    Sometimes, in a brief moment of doubt, I have asked myself if personal child sponsorship is actually a partial fulfillment of Christ’s Great Commission to the church.

    I am constantly telling potential sponsors that God calls us to be Acts 1:8 Christians and child sponsorship addresses the ‘ends of the earth’ portion of that verse.

    At this moment I am not struggling with ‘any’ doubt in this regard, but nonetheless, occassionaly the issue does surface. I suppose that I never want to purposely mislead anyone.

    Love to hear what you have to bolster the topic.

  2. Jan 28, 2009
    at 7:08 am

    My question: Why haven’t I been more outspoken about the need and the opportunity to meet it with those I know and love? Surely,if they knew they could make the difference in the life of one child, they would. Why have I not shared it more unapologetically?

  3. Jan 28, 2009
    at 11:36 am

    I LOVE this post. I think challenge is what the American church body needs. A lot of times, I find myself asking questions like, Do I really want to give up XXX to do YYY for God? XXX can be things like, time spend with my son, time spend “relaxing”, money given as tithes, etc.

    YYY can be have a meeting about church, do a special presentation at church, serve food at a shelter, be a better steward of God’s money.

    Thank you for this post. I think it addresses the importance of perspective. We need to look at things from God’s perspective and not from our own selfish eyes.

  4. Jan 28, 2009
    at 3:41 pm

    Good post and good clip. Thank you.

    I think the questions you asked, at the beginning, are important questions that many of us have asked and many other do ask. The reason I think they’re important for someone considering child sponsorship–or any other endeavor–because we are supposed to be good stewards of our resources.

    I have often found myself asking, “Why do so many churches seem to care so little for the children, for the poor in developing countries? That is a judgmental question that arises out of frustration in my efforts to advocate for the children and the poor. I don’t know that those churches (all the ones that have said “No” to me or to other advocates) don’t care; I just know they aren’t open to what I want to share with them. Many are focused on their own missions work and don’t want to see money drained out for an outside organization.

    I have to be careful of my attitude.

  5. Jan 29, 2009
    at 6:00 am

    Yea Vicki, I’ve asked that same question a lot myself. Or even the person who comes over to a sign-up table…sometimes I just want to grab them by the shoulders, pull them nose-to-nose and say, “Do you understand what we’re talking about here?”

  6. Jan 29, 2009
    at 8:33 am

    [Shudder] I just saw my impaired sentence structure, above.

    Thanks for the chuckle, Dave. I’ve often wanted to use the 2×4 approach, myself, at a sign-up table, and with some pastors. I think what gets to me the most at a table is when the Compassion table cover is spread, the table-top poster is up, the packets are out, and someone just walks by with, or without, the barest glance. “How can you ignore these children!!!???”

  7. Jan 29, 2009
    at 9:22 am

    Vicki and I have the same answer!! I find myself judging too much…I too get aggravated, annoyed, frustrated, etc when people do not decide to sponsor when I approach them about the subject. However, they might have their own mission they donate to. I just need to keep praying! :)

  8. Jan 29, 2009
    at 10:54 am

    I was told flat out by my Pastor that the church couldn’t afford to have people taking money out of a tithe to sponsor children. He let me have a CS but only with the assurance that I would make it clear this was above and beyond their regular tithe.

    That being said, I look at it this way. I am not there to sell someone on sponsoring a child. I am there to present the opportunity for the Holy Spirit to work in them and then answer any questions they might have. It may be frustrating to us, but if someone chooses to ignore God’s will there isn’t much we can do.

    I was at a concert once where a lady pointed to a packet and said “That is the one”. As we helped her fill out the form she told us that she had brought the packet back to the table and returned to the concert but God would not let her go. She went to the ladies room where it was quiet and prayed telling God that she only had a part time job and couldn’t afford the $32. She told us that God assured her that if she sponsored this child He would provide. It was all I could do to keep from jumping the table to hug her.

    If a child doesn’t get sponsored I know it is because the person God wants in their life hasn’t seen them yet.

  9. Jan 29, 2009
    at 11:47 am

    Keven, I really like your last sentence. I’ll add it to the mental “recording” that I use to keep myself in line.

    I have often wished that I could make a public statement in our services that the cost of sponsoring a child, or giving to Compassion in any other way, is over and above our tithe. I haven’t been able to do that, but it is important for people to know that.

  10. Jan 29, 2009
    at 11:49 am

    P.S. Since this is a “Question Game,” I’ll pose this one: If Keven’s last sentence is true, then why does God allow people to sponsor a child and then forget about him or her, never writing, even to the point of just quitting–without letting even Compassion know that is their intent?

  11. Barbara M.
    Jan 29, 2009
    at 12:59 pm

    I also wonder at people and their ability to ”not see”. I do artwork that focuses on orphans and am constantly amazed at the lack of interest in these children. One lady read some of my quotes about orphans at a recent show, looked at me and simply said, “Well, this is depressing.” That’s it! We’re depressing people with all of this and they don’t want to hear it. Could that be it? That’s what I love about this blog. YOU all care!

  12. Jan 29, 2009
    at 4:18 pm

    If I can bring in some hope into this. If you had met me 20 years ago and talked with me about sponsoring children, I would not have done it and be convinced that it wasn’t the most strategic thing to do and that God would want us to work through the parents not the children. Now I do sponsor a child and it’s the best thing and extremely strategic thing that I’m doing. So, who knows, people change their mind or God changes their heart.

    Kees

  13. Jan 29, 2009
    at 4:22 pm

    Vicki,

    To answer your question. People that don’t write their children are communists! No, I’m just kidding. I find that sometimes sponsors have no idea what letters mean to the children. Last week, on my way to the DR, I ran into a really nice godly lady, who sponsors a child. When I start talking to her about the letters and what have you, she said that she never writes because she doesn’t know what to write. So, we spoke more and she said that she would write and became really convinced about the importance of it. I’ve run into that so many times.

    Blessings,

    Kees

  14. Jan 29, 2009
    at 5:31 pm

    Kees, nice to hear from you! :o) I’m glad you were in a position to talk with that lady about the importance of writing letters.

    About your recent trip to DR: You got to go back, already??! I’m sorry; I know envy is a sin, but color me green!

    I know some sponsors feel inadequate to write, just as many people think the problems are too big and one person can’t make a difference. That’s why we all have a job to do, yes?

  15. Jan 30, 2009
    at 10:51 am

    Hi, Vicki,

    Nice to hear from you too. Yes, I was very blessed to be able to go back to the Dominican Republic. My dad sponsors a child there. The boy that I met with when I was there. He’s visiting for 3 months and wanted to meet him. I also just added 3 correspondence children from the DR. So, I got to meet them too. I’m actually going to Mexico with my dad in a few weeks, to meet his child there and then to Columbia a few weeks later. It’s a blessing.

    Yes, I know how some people feel just that the problems are so big that it is difficult to write. I think that even if they were just to send a postcard to the child with a few words on it, such as “I’m praying for you.” It would make such a huge difference over the child not getting letters.

    Kees

  16. Mike Stephens
    Mar 25, 2009
    at 11:42 am

    My questions would be

    “What difference does it make?”

    “Life is a mist why bother?”

    “Look at you, why would I want to sponsor?”

    Mainly the top and bottom question I ask a lot to myself. These questions help me visit the kids I sponsor and write them and in Angelo’s case work to dunk a basketball with 2 hands when I visit this June!!! Which I am thankful I am b/c I told him I was going to visit even before I was sure I was going to be able to!!! I have heard many and many excellent answers to all of those questions. But some questions will remain a mystery either b/c the answer simply cannot be known for sure or the answer is unknown.

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