The power of sponsorship

Image courtesy of Orphan Outreach.

Image courtesy of Orphan Outreach.

Guatemala (ORO/MNN) — [EDITORS NOTE: The following thoughts are shared by an Orphan Outreach volunteer after a recent trip. Kristy Simpson joined a team that served for two weeks in Guatemala, where she spent time with orphans and vulnerable children in Xela, Santiago, Cerro de Oro, Chimaltenango, San Lucas, and Guatemala City. She also met the families that have been transformed by Good Shepherd Academy and the Ravine School. Her perspective on child sponsorship is a powerful one.]

Standing on the edge of The Ravine–the city dump in Chimaltenango, Guatemala, Maria wept in my arms as we prayed. The only audible words through her sobs were, “Gracias, Dios” — Thank You, God.

Maria is a beautiful mother who daily scavenges through the dump to find items she can turn into a living for her family. She’s a hardworking entrepreneur who braves uncomfortable conditions to earn a meager living. And, she’s lucky because her work is consistent. Maria is grateful to God for her salvation and His provision.

Maria’s story is not unlike those of most of the parents and guardians of the children enrolled in the community-based programs in which Orphan Outreach partners. Child sponsorship through Orphan Outreach provides for education, school supplies, a uniform, and in some cases, a meal. Child sponsorship alleviates a family’s financial burden related to education and allows them to provide for their children in other ways.

Child sponsorship is also hope: it is coming alongside a family and believing in the hard work of the parents and the potential of their children.

I used to think that caring for orphans meant adoption or serving in an orphanage. However, I have come to understand and firmly believe in child sponsorship as a means of orphan prevention–caring for children while they are living in a family unit in hopes that they will not be in a situation that places them at potential to be orphaned.

Maria is fiercely proud of her children and of the quality of Christian education they are receiving. She has hope in her children’s futures — hope provided by a $36-per-month sponsorship.

Vulnerable children are given a bright future and their families are given hope when you become a sponsor. Would you join us in ensuring every single child is sponsored? Click here to learn more and get connected.