I have a memory of attending a church service with my family when I was approximately six years old. A man from World Vision came and talked about the children living in poverty around the world and how to sponsor children. This was one of the first times I distinctly remember feeling stricken with empathy for the children who live in third world countries.
As we left the sanctuary that day and I was sent to Sunday School, I pleaded and pleaded with my mother to allow our family to sponsor a child. At first, she told me no -at least not for a while, until our family discussed the idea- but I didn't want to leave the church until she sponsored a child.
We decided to sponsor a little girl from India named Bornali Deka. She was my age. We've sponsored her ever since.
This month, Bornali will be turning eighteen and the sponsorship will end. It's very sad for me, because this is the little girl who I have written letters to, received pictures of, and watched grow up over the last twelve years.
We now sponsor three other children: Lavin, David, and Sanya, all from Kenya, Africa, and all children I have met before.
I enjoy looking back on distinctive memories like the one of me begging my mom to sponsor a child, because I can see that even then, God had a plan for me to work with underprivileged and needy children. He has always known my heart, even when I have not.
If you are reading this right now and you feel impacted by this story or by the photograph of Bornali Deka, feel free to go to the World Vision or Christian Relief Fund websites and choose a child to sponsor. You cannot truly grasp the impact that you will make on the lives of these children until you see the change for yourself.