I love that I don’t always know why I write what I write to my sponsored children.
At first glance, words on pages may seem as though they are merely words, but an 11-year-old boy named Sam from Ghana provided a powerful reminder that words prayed over and led by the Spirit have a power and a purpose all their own.
I received such words from Sam many times, and the impact of those words has changed more lives than I will ever know.
The first time I realized Sam was truly receiving his words from the Holy Spirit was when he wrote to me on September 14th, 2010 and shared that his prayer for me was that God would give me a double portion of health.
He had no way of knowing how dangerously sick I had been. I didn’t tell him because I hadn’t wanted to frighten him.
Sam also had no way of knowing that as he was writing, his prayers were being answered halfway across the world. September 14th, 2010 was the day that God brought me from barely walking, to running for the first time. It was the day God helped me begin to miraculously outrun sickness – going from sick to healed literally overnight after months of illness.
It led me to wonder what else God would do through our letters.
I shared with Sam that I had traveled to Honduras with Compassion and that my best friend Tia had been on two mission trips to Africa.
In light of his prayer about my health, I took note when Sam responded that when he had heard I had been to Honduras and that Tia had been to Africa twice, he prayed God would bless us for our work, and he also prayed we would come to Ghana to meet face to face.
Sam shared that he had prayed and God would “let it come to pass, Amen!”
The words were simple, but it’s how the Holy Spirit translated them to my heart that caused a ripple effect that would soon reach further than either of us could ever have imagined.
Unable to shake the feeling that God had shared this through Sam for a purpose beyond meeting our beloved Compassion child face to face, Tia and I began to research the needs of children in Ghana. We were horrified to learn that child slavery is still practiced in parts of this country.
Children as young as 4 years old are sold into a life of bondage that perpetuates the cycle of poverty and destroys lives.
In fact, there are more slaves worldwide today than there have ever been, and at least 50 percent of them are vulnerable, precious children.
We launched a fundraising initiative to raise funds to provide expanded resources for children rescued from slavery in Ghana, which would in turn help facilitate the rescue of more children. Having raised $30,000 in mere months to provide for these children, we set out for Ghana in November of 2011.
That is when Sam’s prayer, which had been answered all along, was answered “face to face” when I, along with my 13-year-old son Joshua, my best friend Tia, and our friend Debra met him face to face.
Together, we celebrated the impact his letters had made not only in our lives and in the lives of our families and friends, but in the lives of children in his country who would be rescued from slavery — all because of words the Holy Spirit led him to share in what seemed like a simple letter from a child.
I used to think that when sponsors chose not to write to their children, it was simply the children and the sponsors who lost the opportunity to affect each other’s lives in beautiful ways. Now I can’t help but ask myself what we’re robbing the world of when we don’t take a moment to write to these precious children.
The words on the pages don’t have to be perfect. The Holy Spirit will make them so.
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