My husband Ben works for Compassion International. And because of this, he often gets the amazing opportunity to travel to and visit the various countries where Compassion operates.
Last month, he went to India for the first time. And even though we never go with him on these trips, we often feel like we get to kind of visit with him because he always takes such beautiful photos, sends us detailed emails, and of course tells us all about it when he gets home. (Also, he brings us back souvenirs!)
I thought it would be fun to share our experience with you this week--since we had so much fun learning about India and experiencing it vicariously through Ben.
I did run out to the library and gather up as many picture books set in India as I could find and I will share those with you at the end of the week.
But first, I want to start at the beginning.
Ben and I have been sponsoring children through Compassion for many years. (Since college!) Before we even got married, we each sponsored on our own and when we did get married, we continued to sponsor our two children.
This was long before Ben even worked for them--it's just been a part of our lives for a long time. After Ben started working for Compassion and actually began visiting the projects and meeting the children in the program, we realized the huge impact sponsorship has on children living in poverty and we began sponsoring a few more children.
After Juliet initiated her cow fund this Christmas, we thought it was the right time for her to sponsor a child on her own. Of course, we will be paying for the sponsorship, but she is at an age where she can do chores and earn money as well. She can also write letters and draw pictures and begin a relationship with a sponsored child that will hopefully develop into a lifelong friendship.
We started looking for a child who was about her age. Also, we were hoping she would be in a country that Ben was going to visit--so that he could meet her, take pictures, and bring her a few gifts from us.
We had been searching for several months, but no matches were coming up.
Then, the night before he was leaving to India, he came downstairs from packing his suitcase.
I was in the kitchen and he said, "Ummm.... I think we found the child Juliet should sponsor."
"Really?" I asked. "Where?"
He handed a packet of information about a child waiting to be sponsored in India. (He was bringing a few sponsorship packets with him in case the people he was taking on the trip wanted to sponsor a child when they arrived.) Her photo was on the card. Also, her birthday.
I did a double-take as I looked at the date.
It was the EXACT same date as Juliet's!
"Can you visit her when you go there?" I asked excitedly.
"I'm going to be at her project for 3 days." he explained.
So it was settled. We told Juliet about it the next morning and explained that she and the little girl had the exact same birthday!
She was beyond excited, but we wanted to make sure that she understood the responsibility involved in sponsorship. We told her that she would have to do chores to earn some money to go towards the monthly sponsorship and that more importantly, she would have to write letters and pray for her new friend.
She eagerly accepted.
Tomorrow, I'll share the next step in our journey.
If you are interested in sponsoring a child or learning more about what Compassion does, check it out here!