This 11-Year-Old Chose to Sponsor a Child Instead of Buying a Kayak

05/19/16

For many children, Easter morning is filled with anticipation. They hurriedly run out of their rooms to see what gifts are in their basket or what candy is in their eggs. 

 
But not for 11-year-old Jaida. This Easter, she decided to give instead of receive. 
 
On that day, Children of the Nations (COTN) staff members shared the COTN story with Jaida's church, newlife North Kitsap in Poulsbo, Wash. Those in the gathering were invited to sponsor a child through COTN
 
As Jaida held a child’s profile that Easter morning, something stirred in her heart. Looking at the photo of Alice from Sierra Leone, she knew her family needed to become Alice's sponsor.
 
        Sponsoring one child wasn't enough for Jaida. She knew she had to find a way to sponsor Coletta as well.
 
“Jaida asked me if we could sponsor Alice because she was in her same grade, but as I was filling out the paperwork, she couldn’t stop looking at the little 4-year-old Coletta’s profile from Malawi (the same age as Jaida's sister, Rosemary),” explains Jaida’s mom, Elisa Perkins. “She asked me if we could sponsor two girls. I said, not now, maybe later.”
 
But Jaida couldn’t get the two girls off her mind, so she came up with a plan.
 
“We were finishing cleaning up at church and she came back up to me with [Coletta’s] profile,” Elisa said. “She asked me, ‘If I give you my kayak money, can you front me the rest and I’ll work it off?’”
 
You see, Jaida had been saving money for a kayak. She already had $300 in hand (almost enough to sponsor a child for an entire year). But that day, she decided that sponsoring a child was much more important than the kayak she had her eye on.
 
“It wasn’t necessarily the message that stood out to me,” Jaida remembers. “It was seeing the pictures of the kids that made me think about how I would feel and how excited I would be to find out someone sponsored me!”
 
Elisa was so moved by Jaida’s heart, she had to say yes. The Perkins family decided to sponsor both Alice and Coletta that day.
 
 Jaida with her dad Matt, mom Elisa, and sister Rosemary. The family decided to sponsor two children on Easter Sunday.
 
The idea of child sponsorship is not new to Jaida or her family. When she was younger, her family helped transform the life of a child from Uganda through another sponsorship organization. Jaida prayed for Hawahu every night that she would have a proper house, food, a kind family, and learn about Jesus every day. But one day, they got an email that Hawahu had to flee her home. Jaida’s prayers turned to those of asking God to keep their sponsored child safe. Two weeks later, the family got an update.
 
“[Hawahu] was better than ever!” Jaida explains. “She had a proper house, food, and was living with her aunt! I was so happy! It was all what I prayed for! This whole thing has taught me that God really does answer all prayers, but sometimes we don’t realize what He’s doing.”
 
Jaida had become a story changer and wanted to continue sharing God's love around the world. With that experience and faith, she realized the life of another child was more important than her kayak.
 
You can change a child's story, too. Sponsor a child through COTN today!