I tucked my small people in to bed tonight….and as I did, we said a special prayer for a little boy named Nathinael who will wake tomorrow morning, nearly eight thousand miles away from us to find he is loved more than he knew.
Like my small girl, Delaney, Nathinael is 8 years old and loves soccer. Unlike Delaney, Nathinael is being raised by only his mother…. his father is dead.
Let me start at the beginning. For the past week, a group of bloggers have been in Ethiopia with this amazing organization. I first heard about them through my friend Alli Worthington, but was thrilled to see my friend Kristen Howerton was also on the trip. This picture you see here of Alli is one I have stared at again and again. She knew this trip and these children would change her life – I have no doubt that is the case. The stories and pictures I have followed this past week are extraordinary.
I knew before Alli left that we would sponsor a child. But this picture illustrates the WHY. These children don’t have enough – not of anything – not food, not water, not housing, not education or even basic safety – and YET – they have JOY. My family has enough of ALL of these and it would be silly to think there is not more joy to be had for all of us. And the greatest way to GET joy is to GIVE.
Food For The Hungry takes care to ensure that each sponsored child is taken care of in key areas. Their educational needs, health needs, emotional needs and spiritual needs are all paramount. This mattered to our family. And sponsorship is only about $1 a day.
Online, we were able to choose the child we, as a family, wanted to sponsor. It is incredibly important to me that my small people are involved. We aren’t simply donating money. We are building a relationship with a child, with a family. We are teaching our children what it means to have enough, what it means to give, to love and to care for other people.
And in this case, ‘other people’ have a face and a name – Nathinael – and Delaney and Cooper will be able to write to him and hopefully learn about his culture, his likes and dislikes and someday – plan a trip to visit him.
Though Delaney giggled incessantly and assured me she doesn’t like Nathinael ‘like that, Mommy’…. she felt an instant connection with him as we looked through the many pictures of children online, waiting to be sponsored. She thinks it may have been partially because they are the same age. Maybe because his favorite sport is also one she and her brother love. Possibly that he likes Math. Her sad eyes told me she was worried about him because he doesn’t have a Daddy. She just knew.
I just knew too.
Photo Credit: Alli Worthington