Waiting … and Waiting for a Sponsor

Growing up, my husband and I were never exactly the first ones picked to be on the kickball team. We weren’t second or third either.

man and woman with girl and boy in Times Square

We’d languish in the line of kids with knobbly knees as it grew sparser and sparser and our humiliation grew deeper and deeper. We always knew we would be one of the leftover kids — it was a given — kicking at the dirt, pretending not to notice while the cool kids tried to decide between which of the less athletically endowed kids would mess up their game the least.

But you just hoped you wouldn’t have to bare the infamy of being the last one standing in that line alone. Often my husband, shortest kid in his grade that he was, was the very last picked.

As much as I hated that kickball line, I know that God used it to shape us into whom He wanted us to be. For both my husband and me, being the last picked made us compassionate for the underdog and empathetic toward those who don’t seem to get all the breaks.

On a recent sponsor trip to El Salvador, Jocelyn Erhardt, a sponsor with Compassion Cananda, shared another story of how God used the last one picked to show His mercy.

Rabbi is our sponsored child who is registered into Compassion’s program in El Salvador. Previously, Rabbi and the other kids who were registered with him had waited eagerly to find out who their sponsors would be.

man with two women and a boy

Each child who got a sponsor would be so excited and proudly show their pictures and letters to the other kids. Rabbi kept waiting for that to be him. And he kept waiting and waiting as the line of kids who needed to be sponsored dwindled.

Rabbi asked his mom over and over, “Why isn’t anyone sponsoring me?”

Like many other kids before him, perhaps he wondered if there was something wrong with him since no one seemed to want him.

But his mom, Blanco, had faith and continually assured Rabbi, “God has someone extra special to sponsor you, and we need to wait for God’s perfect timing.”

In the meantime, Blanco privately prayed for her little son, that he would get a sponsor and that his sponsor would be a pastor.

After all that waiting, Rabbi was the very last child picked, the last one waiting in that line wondering why no one would pick him.

But although Rabbi was the last picked, his sponsor made the choice to come and visit him — the only child in his center who had ever had his sponsor come to visit! And, guess what?

His sponsor — my husband, Jason — is a pastor of 20 years, just as Rabbi’s mom had prayed for.

On our visit to El Salvador, Blanco poured out through tears how God had used our sponsorship to teach her and Rabbi about His profound faithfulness and how much He cares for them — a profound lesson to learn as a boy growing up amid poverty.

man and four women with small boy on one of the women's lap

Just another way that God, even through the little adversities of life, continues to show His mercies that are new every morning to us and through us.

Now is your time to sponsor a child who has been waiting for a sponsor for six months or longer.

9 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Ryna February 9, 2015

    I just started sponsoring a child who was waiting for 344 days! The girl was waiting for almost a year:( I really hope God helps me to make a change in her life. And hopefully I will visit her in Brazil one day.

    1. Emily Vanhoutan February 10, 2015

      Wow, Ryana that is a long time for a child to be anxiously awaiting a sponsor! But praise God that He led you to this sweet child and now the wait is over for this precious daughter! Thank you for choosing to change the story for her. I pray that you get the opportunity to visit her because it certainly is a life changing experience! But until that time, I know that she will be abundantly blessed by the love you pour out to her through letters and prayer :).

  2. Chris Giovagnoni October 24, 2011

    I just learned that the first few paragraphs of this post were actually an introduction to Jocelyn’s story. They were written by Amber Van Schooneveld. I’ve updated the post to accurately reflect this.

  3. Josebard Tiberindwa October 24, 2011


  4. Gail October 23, 2011

    I always get a thrill from the stories about how God perfectly matches up sponsors with children! It reminds me how much He cares for each of us and what an amazing plan He has for both sponsors and the child’s family that starts to unfold as the relationship develops 🙂

  5. Christine October 23, 2011


    Thank you for every word of this post. I couldn’t be more grateful for your obedience in writing and submitting your story.

    Along with the Holy Spirit, this post was instrumental in changing my husband’s heart from bitter to compassionate. Last night, we sponsored our first child, Nelson, from the longest waiting list, despite our 2.5 years of underemployment. We only had two correspondent children previously.

    Nelson and my husband needed each other desperately. I’ve never loved my husband more, nor my Savior. I am still giddy, Jocelyn. Thank you.


    1. Jocelyn October 27, 2011

      Thank you Christine for your post and for being candid enough to share your journey. I can only imagine how happy Nelson will be when he gets the news that he has a sponsor. It seems the kindest gift is that of hope and that someone else around the world cares for you. The investment on our behalf is secondary to the lifeline it extends to a needy child. God bless you and your hubby. PTL!!

  6. Debbie October 22, 2011

    What would be really nice is if the USA Compassion website would post the number of days the child has been waiting. The Australia website and Canada website do, and the people on Our Compassion will usually sponsor the kids waiting the longest. Unfortunately, in the USA all we know is that they are ‘waiting more than six months’ I think this would show a big change in sponsorships for those waiting ‘the longest.’

  7. Ken M. October 22, 2011

    I can relate to being the last one to be picked for the sports team. I remember in middle school I would hope to be sick on the day I had PE. Usually I’d wake up healthy and not be to happy about it.

    Your story also reminds me the last will be first. Even though he was the last one picked, Rabbi was the first child in the project to see his sponsor face to face. He probably never dreamed that would happen. His mother’s faith is inspiring, too. May all of you have many happy years together. And may Rabbi grow up to be all God called him to be.

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