Not so long ago, I wrote about my family’s sponsored son, David, and I talked briefly about his widowed mother, Helen. I met Helen for the first time seven years ago. She was surrounded by a quarter acre of failing maize crops, a small mud hut, and ten barefoot, hungry children. In desperation, Helen sold her body in exchange for food for her family.
The cycle of extreme poverty was painfully tangible in this household. Helen has suffered long and desperate years in her life.
7 years ago CRF agreed to sponsor the children in this family. Helen no longer had to sell her body and her dignity, but she was world-weary. I could see the exhaustion in her face whenever I visited David in Samabul.
However, last summer when I went to Samabul, Philiph told me with joy that Helen had received Christ as her Savior that very day.
I’ve heard people argue that poverty relief programs aren’t effective in sharing the Gospel because people feel pressured to become Christians in exchange for food and help—and then their spiritual growth is not genuine. I can emphasize that this is not true for Christian Relief Fund.
Helen’s family was helped and fed and schooled and loved for 6 years before Helen made the decision to put her faith in Jesus. She was not forced into anything—when she did not show interest in becoming a Christian, CRF still helped her family and still showed them love, planting seed after seed of the Gospel. With Christ-like love, our CRF workers poured into Helen’s life and helped her to take steps to care for her family.
After 6 years of planted seeds and being shown love regardless, she accepted Christ as her Savior—and with delight she received a Bible of her very own in a language she could understand.
I love how CRF sponsorship impacts entire families—and I love that my sponsored son’s mother is now my sister in Christ.