But now that we've continued to study this at church, I am finally feeling it in my HEART that I...WE, are all called to care for orphans.
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress. James 1:27
Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families. Psalms 68:5-6
The helpless put their trust in You. You are the defender of orphans Lord; You know the hopes of the helpless. Surely You will listen to their cries and comfort them. You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so people can no longer terrify them. Psalm 10:17-18.
I was reading a blog about someone who was sponsoring a child through Compassion International, and I have heard about this company before, so I thought I would look into it. As I went through the website it all just hit me, I started crying, tears were running down my face thinking of these poor children and what they go through every day. I think for the first time I truly felt what it feels like to have something "weigh on your heart". My heart was really and truly HEAVY, literally, for these children. Many of them living in AIDS infected areas, where they barely have a chance. Many who are absolutely starving, infected with disease, very little medical care, etc. I was thinking about Ryder, and how if he were to get sick, the best possible care is always available. There is very little to fear for me when it comes to taking care of my child.
But at the same time, I was so happy. I was happy that I really felt passionate about something that our God calls us to do, and that I heard Him this time.
So I knew I was ready to sponsor a child. But where would I start? This organization sponsors thousands of children in 26 different countries. Who was I going to pick? How would I make that decision? It made me feel so guilty that I was choosing one over the other. I started praying that I would just know, that there would be some kind of sign. I'm kind of big on visual signs. So this is how I made my decision, it's going to sound pretty silly.
The morning that this happened I was going to a work conference in which door prizes were given out every hour. Let me just tell you that I am that person who NEVER, NEVER, NEVER wins the door prize. There could be 100 people in the rom, 99 prizes handed out, and I am the one who doesn't win. But early on in the day my name was called for a door prize. I was pretty shocked! And excited! I opened the bag and there was a really nice men's Columbia jacket. I thought oh yeah! I get to bring a fun present home to John Michael. But then I thought, how random. This was a Chamber/Economic Development conference and most of the door prizes were things that represented people's hometown. But then I thought, OH, a "Columbia" jacket. So I'm thinking, okay, could this be a sign? A sweet baby from Columbia? I've prayed for a sign, and I felt like maybe this is what it was. So when I got home that night I was going through pictures and reading stories and I saw this precious little girl who had a heart by her name, which meant she had been waiting for over 6 months to be sponsored. Only a few had this red heart, and she was from Columbia. So I showed John Michael several pictures, including this little girl. And John Michael said pick her (the one I was leaning towards but he didn't know that). And I showed him others saying, "but this one doesn't have a dad, and this one is in an AIDS infected area, and this one has this, or that, etc." So he looked again and he still said, pick "her". Still the little girl I was drawn too. So I said OK that does it for me. CLICK!
So here she is!
Heidy Yuliana Leano Alfonso
(Can I mention that I have always loved the name Heidi, I think it's the sweetest!)
So after I clicked and filled out all the necessary information, I immediately got an email from the company thanking me and telling me all the many benefits this child will receive.
Now, I want to end this by saying:
I absolutely did NOT post this blog to "brag" or to seem like "look at me, I'm giving back." What John Michael and I choose to give is something we do not talk about, that's between us and God (and our accountant ha-ha). I mean believe me, the cost to sponsor this child is $38 a month, that's NOTHING compared to what we all have to give and is certainly nothing to be boastful about. So please know, I'm sharing this because I feel like there are probably people out there who have felt the same things as me, have wanted to help and just didn't know where to start and I hope that maybe I have answered some things that you have asked or have been praying for. I can't wait to explain this to Ryder, and as he and Heidy get older, they will be able to write to each other letters and we'll be able to send her things. What better thing to teach your child(ren)?
So, please join me in praying for Heidy, that this teeny amount of money will provide her with the food, shelter, healthcare, and most importantly, the Word of God that it is to be used for. I want everyone to have full bellies and a roof over their head, but let's get honest, we are all on this earth to share the gospel with others, and if we are not called to "GO" and do these things, let's fund the ones who are willing to, and have chosen to do this work with their lives.