When I stumbled upon this blog and read the post on child sponsorship and how it can not only benefit the sponsor but also the whole family, You put a desire in me to introduce the subject to my own children. After talking it over with Michael and seeing how he felt about it, he sat down with the kids a few days later to talk to them about it. This, of course, led to some uncomfortable details regarding the plight of the majority of Your world's children - how they live and how they die, how some may know You and how most don't, what is AIDS and why can't it be cured, how we live and live in abundance.
My oldest son (the one You promised me like you promised Abraham and Sarah hence his middle name being Isaac) was so troubled, he could not keep the tears from spilling over and his heart from breaking. It was if he didn't even know what to do with the overflow of these helpless emotions. With counsel from his father, he decided to pray to You about it and see who You wanted him to sponsor. We thought maybe You would talk to him in a dream or place a country or name in his mind so I know he really listened for You to answer. He wanted to know which country was the poorest so it could help narrow things down for him. He found his father has always had a soft spot in his heart for the country of Ethiopia so when he saw that this country was also among the poorest in the world, he thought maybe You were leading him in that direction. But we told him to continue to pray, continue to listen for the Spirit's prompting.
It's amazing how the longer he waited, the longer he was in torture about it. It is as if You answered by not giving a country or giving a name but instead by giving an intense impatience, a void that needed to be filled immediately. Every day, he reminded us of this need of his, this need to help someone. Whenever he was reminded about it, You saw how he became somber and his heart broke a little more. His urgency was the answer You gave. His need for action was the answer the world needs.
When we finally sat down this morning to choose a boy who almost shares his same birthday and clicked the "submit" button, You could hear the sigh of relief he made, couldn't You? He explained it as a sort of tension inside him that kept building day after day until he felt ready to burst. After we committed to our monthly support, he exclaimed how much better he felt, how a burden was lifted, a void fulfilled by acting. You should have seen his smile. But You did, didn't you? And I know it made You smile too.
In Jesus' name.
P.S. We decided to give through Compassion International and give monthly support to a boy in Ethiopia. My son looks forward to receiving his packet of info and "meeting" Ebrahim and can't wait to exchange letters back and forth with him.