India (MNN) — Some people wonder why child sponsorship is such a big deal. There are certainly many questions surrounding the topic: What’s the money used for? Am I the only person helping this child? How do you know your support is being used to help children and not for other purposes?
“Why do we need to do this? Does it make a difference? Well, absolutely,” responds Gary Bishop, CEO of Far Corners Missions.
Here are 3 reasons why child sponsorship matters:
1) Child sponsorship rewrites the future for children living in poverty.
According to UNICEF estimates, 80 million children around the world live on the streets. About 72% of these children are between the ages of 6 and 12 years old, while 13% are under the age of 6.
“Keyshor” was one of them.
“[He was] left to grow up on his own, needed a place to live, needed the safety and security and love of people that would care for him,” recounts Bishop.
If left on the streets, “his whole orientation in life would’ve been what a kid on the street learns: to survive at any cost. However you have to get something is okay, [even if it means stealing].”
But, thanks to the kindness of Far Corners’ India Field Director, Aseesh Sidney, Keyshor found a new future.
“Today, he is the Regional Director for the Braun appliance company in India,” states Bishop proudly, adding that several thousands of workers report to Keyshor.
Currently, Sidney and his wife are housing 39 former street kids, in addition to their own family.
2) Child sponsorship opens doors for the Gospel.
While living with the Sidneys, Keyshor heard the Gospel and learned about God’s love for him. He accepted Jesus as his Savior. Now he speaks in churches from time-to-time about the importance of child sponsorship.
“Not only is he a successful businessman, but he is a man of God,” notes Bishop. “He grew up with values; he was cared for and loved. He did not have to try to learn to survive on his wits.
“All of that made a huge difference in his view of God and the compassion and the love that God has for the people that He’s created.”
3) Child sponsorship prevents street kids from becoming statistics.
Living on the streets is dangerous. It’s even more risky for street kids in India. There’s no one to protect them, so traffickers find them to be easy prey. Eating is necessary for living, and working is necessary for eating, so some sort of employment is a must. UNICEF estimates that India has the world’s biggest workforce under the age of 14 years old.
Add to these risks frequent child abuse–police view street kids as annoying pests–and organ harvesting. The black market for organ transplants is huge in India, and the healthy organs of children are a prized find.
“Keyshor could’ve ended up in human trafficking, he could’ve been siphoned off and forced to become a drug mule,” Bishop says.
The same possibilities face millions of India’s street kids today, but you can save them from becoming a statistic.
Eight kids need sponsors; click here to make a difference for a boy like Keyshor.
“He had a right view of God as opposed to a made-up view of God, and that changed his life completely,” concludes Bishop.