Because you are reading this, you are either interested in helping kids (since you most likely send one to camp), or you are a young person yourself. This topic applies to you either way! It’s a subject I love to share about, and I decided to write about it now because of a letter I received in the mail earlier today. The envelope was standard size and white, but because of the colorful red and blue lines on its perimeter that designate it as airmail, I knew it came from a very special person. He’s eight years old, loves soccer, is doing well in school, enjoys drawing, and has two little brothers, one of whom is a newborn. He lives in Zimbabwe, and his name is Silas. He is the child our family sponsors through World Vision.

I had a terrific example set for me by my parents, who through the sometimes financially lean years of my childhood continuously sponsored children in Honduras and Central America. We always had a picture of our sponsored child on the refrigerator at home, as our family now has a picture of Silas. He has now been a part of our family for two years. It was in my heart to sponsor a child, and I did some praying about it. I attended a Women of Faith conference, and found his portfolio on my seat when I came back from a break. He is the age of our oldest, with the exact birthday of our youngest.

The stories of sponsored children who have grown into successful adults because of the help their sponsors gave them are without end and are truly inspiring. The joy our family has received because of our sponsorship of Silas is huge. I didn’t know at the time that one of Zimbabwe’s official languages is English, which has made the exchange of letters with his family frequent and fun. Our kids send him drawings and cards, and at the suggestion of our boys Silas has also been introduced to a few small Lego sets. (Seems those things are universally loved by all boys, they were a real hit with him!) In our letter today he told us how much he enjoyed the picture one of them drew and labeled for him of the two of them playing “football” (soccer). We can even send him one-way emails that are printed at the World Vision center in his area.

World Vision is a wonderful organization and I’d recommend that everyone check it out. There are many other organizations that offer sponsorships for kids and are doing great things as well. Helping someone else is a terrific step toward making a dent in the self-centeredness our culture constantly pushes on us and our kids. Sponsoring a child is a win-win!

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