A Sponsor's Journey, Part 5: A New Perspective

08/13/13

To be honest, when I first signed up to sponsor a child I had never met, writing genuine and heartfelt letters was a little difficult. The only thing I knew about him was what I read on his profile. I started my letters with the basics—my family, my hobbies, and my favorite things. But I wanted Alfred to know how much I cared and loved him even though I had never met him. I started praying for Alfred often and would write him telling him that I was praying for him. Then I got an opportunity to actually meet him 

 
Alicia met Alfred this summer during a COTN internship in Sierra Leone.
                                     Alicia met Alfred this summer during a COTN internship in Sierra Leone.
 
Now that I have been blessed with the opportunity to meet Alfred, I know much more specifically what I can pray for him about. If I had not met him, I would not know about his family’s living conditions, that his baby brother died in June, or that earlier this year, Alfred was in the hospital for a month with a serious ankle wound. These are things I pray about for him and his family now. 
 
Alicia traveled to the small village of Mokpangumba to visit Alfred's family
   Alicia traveled to the small village of Mokpangumba to visit Alfred's home and met his two sisters and brother.
 
When I saw Alfred's school and met his family, I got to witness firsthand where my money goes every month. And it's changed the way I look at child sponsorship
 
In Sierra Leone, I saw the difference between the children that are sponsored and the children that aren’t. Although all the children I have met are happy and energetic, sponsored children are usually more open to communicate and generally are more educated. Sponsored children are given opportunities to succeed through the resources their sponsors provide. 
 
If Alfred wasn’t in the Children of the Nations (COTN) Village Partnership Program—the program through which I sponsor him—he would not have been able to go to the hospital for his critical injury earlier this year. Alfred was hit with a machete, cutting open a major vein. If he had not been able to go to the hospital, his situation could have been life-threatening. When I heard about that, I was so grateful for COTN’s Village Partnership Program because it saved Alfred’s life. 
 
Thanks to Alicia's support, Alfred was able to stay in the hospital for a month
 Thanks to Alicia's support, Alfred was able to stay in the hospital for a month to fully recover from his ankle injury. 
 
I wish that every sponsor could meet their child and I know that every child wants to meet their sponsor. But sending letters, pictures, and small gifts is an amazing blessing to your child. These children cherish every letter and picture they get. In some houses, I have seen walls covered in pictures, postcards, and letters from their sponsors. 
 
The children in the COTN homes pray for their sponsors every night—not just once in a while, but faithfully, every night. I know, because I have been praying with them every night for the past three weeks! I would also encourage every sponsor to devotedly pray for their sponsored child as well because “the earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (James 5:16).
 
Alicia is so happy she got to sponsor Alfred and meet him
 
Sponsorship makes such a huge difference in a child's life! Sponsor a child today—it will change your life and theirs! 
 

Comments

Alicia, wow! What a cool journey and thank you so much for taking us all with you into the jungle to meet Alfred. It was really amazing to see you meet your sponsor child through your eyes. What a great way to show people how real this is, and inspire people to sponsor a child themselves. Thanks for taking us with you!

Your story has been a blessing to me. Thank you for taking us along with you to meet Alfred.

Alicia, I have so enjoyed reading about each part of your journey to meet Alfred. And then meeting Alfred through your pictures and your story. God is blessing both of you by your choice to step out in faith. Bravo!

Thanks so much for the inspiration, I have been blessed by just reading your story.

Thanks to Alicia, our SIerra Leone staff and sponsors like you, Alfred will realize his goal of being a teacher - maybe even in his home village of Mokpungumba!