God Chose My Sponsored Child for Me

02/18/14

Almost everyone on Chelsea’s Venture Trip to Malawi already sponsored a child there. At the team meetings and on the flights over, they gabbed cheerfully about what it would be like to reunite with their sponsored child or see them for the first time. But not Chelsea. She still didn’t know who she was there to meet. 

 
“I had envisioned my falling in love with a little child and knowing this was the child for me,” Chelsea says. “However I did not choose my child, God did. And what a work of God it was.”
 
Chelsea planned on choosing a child to sponsor when she went to Malawi.
Chelsea planned on choosing a child to sponsor when she went to Malawi. “However,” she says, “I did not choose my child, God did.”
 
After a few days in Malawi, Chelsea had met dozens of children, played soccer with them, heard their stories, sung songs and danced with them. But she still didn’t have a child to sponsor. Then, one Tuesday afternoon, COTN’s Malawi staff set up a special lunch where all the sponsors on Chelsea’s team could meet their children. While everyone else ate their meal, talked, played games, and snapped photos, Chelsea approached COTN’s sponsorship coordinator, Davie, and asked how she could go about sponsoring a child. 
 
Davie already had a little girl in mind for Chelsea. “He said we could walk over to the village of Mgwayi right now and meet her. I excitedly and anxiously said yes and we walked over,” Chelsea says.
 
While the other sponsors on her team had lunch with their children, Chelsea went
    While the other sponsors on her team had lunch with their children, Chelsea went to meet Ida for the first time.
 
“When we arrived at the village, we were looking around and asking for a girl named Ida,” Chelsea says. “We couldn’t find her, but a little girl directed us to her mom. When we met her mom, Davie explained that we wanted to see Ida and told her why. Before he finished, she ran and hugged me, nearly knocking me over, smiling from ear to ear. And as quick as she ran to me, she ran away.”
 
Confused, Chelsea asked Davie what was happening. He explained that Ida’s mother, Elube, had run home to get Ida, and that they would all meet at their house. “Within five minutes I saw Ida’s mother and a girl running full speed ahead,” Chelsea says. As Ida got closer, she didn’t slow down. “She ran into me with a full hug and took my hand.”  
 
The experience was even better than Chelsea could have imagined. “When I saw Ida running towards me and felt her in my arms, I knew that God had chosen for me,” she says. “And for this I will forever be grateful.”
 
After a special lunch together, Chelsea and Ida took time for fun and games
After a special lunch together, Chelsea and Ida took time for fun and games. “When we were playing she began to dance and sing,” Chelsea says. “I knew right then it was a perfect match.”
 
Ida’s mother, Elube (right), says she believes Ida will have a better life thank
                   Ida’s mother, Elube (right), says she believes Ida will have a better life thanks to her sponsors.
 
The next day, Chelsea and her friend Jordannah visited Ida and Elube as part of a “cultural immersion” activity that shows Venture participants what it’s like to live in a Malawian village. As Chelsea and Ida were playing, Jordannah asked Elube what she wants for her daughter. “I want a better life for her than what I have,” Elube said. “I want her to go to school and have a career. When I saw her [Chelsea] walk to the village, I knew Ida would have a chance to have a better life, which was why I was so grateful. I only have one daughter and I want a wonderful life for her.”
 
Chelsea looked at her translator, then at Elube. “I told her she had two daughters now,” Chelsea says. “I pointed to Ida, then me, and said achenwalis, which means we are sisters. She smiled and hugged me. Not only did I find a child to sponsor, I found a sponsor mother.” 
 
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