Matthew 25 Challenge Day 7: One Child at a Time

You did it! You made it to the end of our 7-day text challenge. We were in this together and I'm so glad that you joined me. In case you are new here, read a little bit more about the Matthew 25 challenge
Now it's time to celebrate! I can't wait to see how this experience has shaped you and your family. 
Several years ago, I read a quote by Shane Claiborne, in his book Irresistible Revolution that says "the problem is not that American Christians do not care about the poor. The problem is that American Christians do not know the poor" How true is this! We care when we know. When we hear about true need and crisis, American people are quick to step up and help when they can.

It's so hard to know how we can know about those needs, but I hope that this week's Matthew 25 challenge helped to open your eyes so that you have a larger world view.

Want your final challenge???
baby smiling in africa

Matthew 25 Challenge Day 7: One Child at a Time

world vision child sponsorship

When I was a teenager my parents started sponsoring children through World Vision and I always loved getting letters from the kids with updated pictures we would hang proudly on the fridge. I knew child sponsorship was something I wanted to do as an adult, and I can honestly say, as a parent, it's one of the best things we've done. It's been an opportunity for us to teach our kids to think about someone other than themselves and to think beyond the walls of the home we are raising them in. 

We've purposely chosen children who are the same ages as they are {the same birth year and birth month} so that we could see life unfold for them as they grew up together.

I've had the unique opportunity to travel with World Vision to several countries and I've been able to meet 2 of our 3 sponsored children. 

bangladesh world vision child sponsorship

Before a trip to Bangladesh last February, I didn't plan on sponsoring another child, but I am so very grateful that I did!  You can read more about Rabeya here. 

While in Bangladesh, we met a young boy named Purno. 

Purno had lost his father in a horrible accident just a few months before and he was taking on the role of the head of the house, helping his grandmother, mother, and younger sister adjust to their new life.

Purno's story of losing a parent at a young age is tragically not unusual in that area, but his story was a little bit different. You see, Purno has been a part of the child sponsorship program for years, and because of this, the direction his life could have spun has been made more steady because of the relationship with his sponsors and the presence of World Vision that had already been established in his community.

Purno's tragedy could have forced him to quit school and enter into the workforce to help make up the supplemental income that was lost after his father's death, but instead, World Vision had already been working with Purno's mother to create income-generating activities like learning how to raise chickens. 

Purno's mother also took part in the cash for work program where women are given the opportunity to work as a group and compile their money into a savings account that helps them have more purchasing power. These women were buying cows with their money, using the cows for milk and selling the extra in the community. It was amazing to sit around this group of women who without the cash for work program, would have never been able to start the businesses that they had now started with the money they were able to save. 

We asked Purno about his sponsor and he quickly got up, ran to his modest bedroom he shared with his grandmother and he returned with a stack full of letters he'd saved through the years carefully tucked inside a plastic folder.

He says he shares each letter he gets with his friends {those you see gathered behind him} and he is so very proud of them! 

His sponsor is a family of four from the midwest that sends him pre-school drawings, stickers haphazardly placed on cards and scribbles and he cherishes them.

world vision child sponsorship letters

I have seen how child sponsorship changes lives and I know that because of it, children and communities are being transformed, one child at a time! 

What does it mean to sponsor a child through World Vision?

When you sponsor a child through World Vision, you can help provide the essentials they need for a healthy life, like good nutrition, clean water, healthcare, education, protection, and spiritual development. 

For every child you sponsor, four children in the community benefit from the programs that World Vision develops with the help of the community members. World Vision's goal is to empower a community to create programs that are sustainable long after the assistance leaves. It's why I love what they do because it's not a handout, it's a hand up. Just like with Purno's mother.

As a sponsor, I love getting letters from my sponsored kids {lets bring pen pals back!} and an annual progress report about the children and their communities.  

water walk in zambia with young girl

How do I sponsor a child?

Vulnerable children are nominated by the community to be a part of the sponsorship program through World Vision. Every child is matched with only one sponsor. 

You are their person.

Find a child whose story resonates with you. I've seen people select a child with the same birthday as their own or the same name as their child or from an area they are connected to. 

Every child in the system is a child whose life you can change. 

You can build a relationship with your sponsored child by sending them letters, e-mails, and special gifts. You can watch their community transform with annual letters, videos, and updates on your personalized World Vision webpage. It truly is the best donation you will make each and every month.

teenage girl in uganda

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed with the needs of this world and to think that you can't make a difference, but for that one child, you are the difference. 

World Vision school children in uganda

You are changing the world, one child at a time.

Find a child to sponsor 

girl smiling in bangladesh child sponsorship world vision

Bonus challenge: Post a picture of your sponsored child on social media and tell people a little bit more about them. 

Share your experience! Post on social media about what your family has learned during this time. Use #m25challege to share and follow that hashtag to see what others are saying about their experience. 

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