She’s Changing My Life

Dark brown hair. Deep brown eyes that seem to peer back into my own. I picked her because she’s the same age as my oldest niece but the similarities I think stop there. I look at her picture daily and am reminded how different her life is from mine. It puts my life in perspective. I could wish for her to have a life like mine, a privileged American living the dream, but is that what she really needs? Actually is it even what I need?

I’m reminded how we live in such a disposable society and how likely it is that she thrives on what others dispose of, including some of our disposable income, my few monthly dollars that go towards child sponsorship. Her clothes are most likely hand-me-downs or even cast offs. Her shoes – geez, I wonder if she even owns a pair and if they fit well and how far she has to walk each day and if she’s ever ridden in a car. I’m sure she doesn’t fret about rising gas prices like I do, but no doubt they affect her life in the long run. I can’t help thinking about her whenever I go to purchase a cup of coffee, wondering if she even had clean water to drink that day – and enough of it, with 4 or 5 siblings.

I think about all that goes into a mealtime for me – the preparation and decision making. I have choices and how often do I choose less than the best? Chances are she doesn’t have many choices when it comes to eating. It is merely life-sustaining, if it is that at all. I have the luxury of time and space to think and dream. I wonder if she has any dreams for her life, beyond just surviving until the next day, in a country plagues by AIDS and hunger. I so take Jesus for granted, along with the multiple Bibles I own but often neglect, and I wonder if she’s ever heard his name and what he means to her.

At the end of the day, we’re not so very different, she and I. We both need a living breathing relationship with God our creator. And we’re both loved and cared for by our awesome God. We’re connected by people at World Vision who make it possible for those of us who have way more than we’ll ever need to share with those who have way less than they really need. Oh yes, I give a few dollars a month (really, about the cost of a daily cup of coffee – which I can still afford) towards her sponsorship, in hopes that she will thrive and that her community will grow into a self-sustaining entity. But she has already given me so much more.

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7 thoughts on “She’s Changing My Life

  1. It’s easy, after sponsoring for awhile, to stop thinking about my little Benson in Kenya in this poignant way. Thanks for the reminder that he needs more than my money and that I need to think and pray for him more and deeper.

  2. I loved this post. We have a letter on our refrigerator right now from our sponsored child. She even drew us a picture of a green plant growing.

    My son is heading to Jamaica in June for a mission trip. His first. All of my boys have their dad’s generous and compassionate heart for the hurting. I am so glad for that.

    Thanks for sharing this. It is so easy to send the money and forget the rest of the month.

  3. We just finally signed up to a sponsor a Compassion child, and I need to think about her more. These are really deep thoughts that have put some questions (and answers) into my own head.

  4. Good post, Dianne. We’ve had a World Vision child for about a year, and he was born on the same day as Camden. It really is sobering and humbling to think about the differences between his life and ours, but like you said — spiritually, we are very much the same, and we stand on common ground.

  5. So true that we’re all the same because we all need Jesus, and He loves us all.
    We have such abundance here in our country, it’s hard to imagine how others live sometimes.

  6. This is quite possibly my favorite thing you’ve posted here, althought that was surely not your goal, a pleasing post. It showed your heart, and it touched mine deeply. xoxo

  7. Dianne,
    I sponsor a little girl in Honduras and it’s been a joy. I’m in the process of possibly adding a second sponsored child to our family. Thanks for the reminder to pray for my girls and to tell others–this is so worth it, the joy it brings. Great post!

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