06 December 2010

How Junior has changed our lives...

... also known as the Compassion International post.

So, if I am honest with y'all, I've put off this post for two weeks now. I have been prompted to write it - clearly, without a doubt - and yet, I've talked myself out of it. And here I sit, deciding to be obedient. I don't doubt for a second that this is intended specifically for one of you.

So be prepared.

We started sponsoring Junior through Compassion International last year. I first thought about sponsoring a child while Brad was deployed but I didn't want to sign up for it while on our "deployment" pay and then have to back out of it when Brad came home. Finally we made time last year after we were settled here, to look on the website and select a child to sponsor.

This won't be a surprise to anyone - we knew we wanted a child from Africa. We also wanted a boy so our boys could relate. We choose Junior because he is in between Wilson and Walker's age.

After we signed up, we received a packet with his picture and some background information about him and his family. We wrote him a letter and included some stickers and coloring pages.

A long while later, we got our first letter from him. I had no idea how amazing that would feel.

We've exchanged a few letters now. Junior is still pretty young, so his letters are brief and you can tell that someone helps him write them. He also draws us pictures. There is a format for his letters so he includes information about what he is learning at school and what he likes to do at home, etc. Its always a treat to hear from him.

But his last letter brought me to tears.

Brad and I had just had to make a financial decision that was somewhat disappointing. We felt like we had let the boys down, and that perhaps other people were unhappy with us too. I did a lot of crying about it. I did a lot of praying about it. I also cried and prayed as is common in my relationship with Jesus. God can handle that sort of thing. In the end, I felt a lot of peace about our decision, although I wasn't very thrilled with my initial response. {Lord, if I could learn to respond to circumstances immediately the way you want, wow, that would be awesome!}

Then we got Junior's letter. He told us about school and a song he is singing there. He told us that he likes to fetch water and collect firewood for dinner preparation. And he told us that his family prays for us. And my eyes stung immediately. This little boy, who has so little in terms of worldly possessions, prays for my family.

I've been to Africa, I can picture what Junior's house might be like. I can imagine the sounds and the smells. I am humbled to think that in that little home prayers are offered for my family.

I thought about how I had just been crying over a financial decision we had made. A decision that in terms of eternity will have little to no impact. I cried over it. Meanwhile, this family in Africa was praying for me. I thanked God for Junior. I thanked Him for leading us to sponsor this little guy. I thanked Him for letting us be a part of His bigger picture.

Junior gives us perspective. Junior teaches us about being thankful and working hard. Junior teaches us about faithfulness. We hope to sponsor Junior throughout his entire childhood. One day I hope to meet him here on earth. I look forward to the day we meet him in heaven. There are many more children like Junior, would you consider sponsoring one?


  1. Wow, Amanda. That was so beautifully written. Thank you!

  2. Yes, I agree. Beautiful. Profound. I pray for you, too.