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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13 Comments |Add a comment
Sending a big AMEN!!!! 🙂 God has rocked my world too by showing me who to sponsor at 14. Now almost two years have passed and I am so glad I made the choice to sponsor a girl my age! 😀
Im amost a teen and i sponsor a 7 year old girl named nayeli in honduras and also just started sponsoring a girl in india
This is so eye opening!In January I started writing my Great grandmother and now she tells everyone what a great letter writer
I am.Sometimes I “ran out” of peopl to write but I still wanted to write.I saw a book on mother Teresa and read it.God lit me on fire.
I wanted to do what she did and shortly afterward God opened the door.In a sermon I heard the pastor talked about Compassion.
In June I sponsered a beautiful 5 year old,Elizabeth.I LOVE IT! I don’t have one complaint exept that I can’t see her in person. 🙂
The best way to learn this is to jump in!If you’re still not sure just pray.
Love this 🙂 Hannah, keep serving the Lord and listening to His Spirit! I started working when I was 14, and decided to start sponsoring 2 kids with Compassion. When my friends were backing out of their sponsorships, I determined I never would, because I knew I would always have more money than the children I was sponsoring. Through college, and now in seminary 11 years later, God is still providing. It has been a joy to watch my two Compassion kids grow–now THEY’RE teenagers!
I am a Uganda sponsor and it is not very common to hear sponsors coming out of what is rated a 3rd world country. I have introduced sponsorship in our family and it has indeed created a difference. It has taught us commitment, sacrifice and giving. I introduced this to my children so that they can share in joy of making a difference in the life of another child. One of our children is a correspondent to one of our sponsored children and as she settles into her job she will also be able to sponsor in future. We realized one does not need hundreds of thousands of dollars to make a difference. All it takes is sacrifice.
Hannah, this is a beautiful blog! You are such an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing your heart for your sponsor child and how it has brought you two closer as well as bringing you both closer to God!
Great job Hannah! I wish I had read this (and started sponsoring) as a teen. It is really encouraging to see youth who have a passion for Compassion and the countries of the world.
I am 13 yrs old. I sponsored Jazzy from the Philippines in june and I correspond Regita from Indonesia as of today. 🙂 I am so glad I did it. I love them girls so much. They are so sweet.
I totally agree! I’m in high school and just recently started to sponsor an 11 year old girl from Uganda. Since then, I have never once regretted choosing to sponsor her. God has blessed me more than I can say and it’s only been a few months!
Great post, Hannah! I also started sponsoring as a teen – only I was in college. I never imagined taking that small step would lead me on this awesome adventure!
Thanks Hannah! I’m incouraged! I am 16 and just sponsored my first child in June. She is a sweet 10 year old girl from Uganda. I am excited to see how God will work in her life, and mine, through the sponsorship. I am already blessed. I am so glad to be able to DO something about world poverty, thanks to Compassion.
On another note, does anyone know how many or what percentage of sponsors are teenagers? Just curious!
I started sponsoring a child in high school. Back then it was $24 or $28 a month. Over the years it has been one of the most rewarding things in my life. Know that something I am doing is making a big impact on someones life.
Hannah, I am so happy to see your post! Great job! I have recently come upon several teens with a heart for sponsoring, it has been a common theme over the last month or so. Thank you for sharing a bit of your experience with us and inspiring others!