Abounding in every good work...


Marketing is not my bent. I'd rather give you everything I own than try to sell you anything, but the opportunity to partner with World Vision was different. All that was asked of me was to host a party, share the blessings of child sponsorship and encourage others to sponsor one of five children. There'd be nothing in it for me (I decided from the beginning to give the hostess gifts away), but the joy of knowing it would all be for Him.

I thought it would be easy to find sponsors for children living in poverty, but only a few people were even willing or able to come.

I'll bring the party to you. I offered those who'd declined the original party invitation, and two of the children were finally chosen.

Emanuel from the Dominican Republic is adorable. He will be three years old on Christmas Day. We fell in love with him the minute we saw his picture and I was thrilled when he was the first to be sponsored. I dearly love the home that chose Emanuel. He will be prayed for and loved deeply for years to come.

Kaushal is a handsome twelve year old who lives in the slums of India. I could not be happier that he was next to be chosen. His sponsor is one of the sweetest friends we made after moving here over twenty years ago. She is a wonderful teacher who dearly loves children. She and Kaushal will be blessed.

For days after Emanuel and Kaushal were chosen, I grieved that there were three more children I'd been entrusted with that were still in need of a sponsor. How could I let them down?

I carried the burden of failure, wondering what I could have done to encourage others to sponsor - until I read this:
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
It wasn't my burden to carry - to move the hearts of God's people - for God loves a cheerful giver, not a manipulated, pressured giver.

Lord, you know whose heart has been tendered - who has decided in their heart to give, I prayed with the three children's pictures and folders on the table before me.


Later that week, I tucked the children's folders in my Bible before leaving for church. Maybe I could mention them in class, I thought.

As though the pastor and I had planned it that way, the message in church (before class) was on money and giving. I, of course, knew differently. It was clear to me that though I was timid about bringing up the subject of child sponsorship, I'd leave knowing I'd be disobedient to do otherwise.

Before class began and as people entered the room, I asked the teacher for permission. I took the folders out of my Bible and placed them on the empty chair next to me. Immediately one of my classmates picked up the one on the top. "God has been dealing with my heart about this for a while now," she spoke with a grin. "After Bob's sermon this morning, I know this is what I am supposed to do."

Six year old Keylin's folder was the one she had chosen. Keylin lives in Honduras in a poor rural community. We share the same birthday, Keylin and I, so I'd been praying extra hard for her. She is the same age with the very same birthday as her new sponsor's granddaughter, too. We rejoiced at the visible, providential hand of God that brought Keylin and her sponsor together.

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, 

“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.”

2 Corinthians 9:6-9 ESV


There are still two children I am praying for sponsors: Nine year old Amos in Malawi, and six year old Akudzwe in Zimbabwe. I'll be returning their folders to World Vision the end of this month if sponsors are not found for them soon.

I share that with you today, in case God has been speaking to your heart, too.