Monday, November 23, 2009

And Michelle Makes Six

As an advocate for Compassion International, I volunteer to work at the Compassion table at local events. A dangerous position for me, to lay out or pass out packets of several hundred children in need of a sponsor, because I invariably find myself wishing I could sponsor at least half of them. But I must show restraint. I have five sponsored children already. I just can't take another.

Saturday I was working an event when a startling picture caught my eye. It looked like my little niece Wendy was laid out amidst all the dark-skinned dark-haired brown-eyed boys and girls on the table. I snatched up the packet to take a closer look. Sure enough, a little girl with blonde ponytails and light eyes looked back at me.

Everyone marveled over her. The official Compassion point person, who travels from one event to another to do this very job, who has seen thousands of child packets, even said she had never ever seen a blonde haired Compassion child before. It was clear that this child was really something special.

I laid her back on the table and said a little prayer that she would find a sponsor that day.

I kept an eye on her even during our busiest times at the table. When people swarmed the table and shoved forms and checks our way and peppered us with questions, still I kept glancing at her out of the corner of my eye. Person after person picked her up. And person after person set her back down.

At lunch, I started to contemplate sponsoring her myself for the first time. I remembered my little Rebecca in Uganda -- a child whose family brings home about a dollar a day to feed their family of ten or more -- who told me that she is praying for God to triple my income. The question of being able to afford to sponsor another child seemed ridiculous in light of that thinking. These kids have nothing. I have so much. Of course I can sponsor one more.

But should I? I prayed again for little Michelle to find a sponsor. If she wasn't meant for me, the right person should take her. But if by day's end she was still on the table, I would know God intended her for me.

Guess what. She's mine.

Welcome to the family, little Michelle from Colombia. I can't wait to see what amazing things God is going to do through you.

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