Saturday, 19 July 2014

Where We Began: My Introduction to Sponsorship

I still remember the first time I’d ever heard the words, “child sponsor.” I couldn't have been very old at the time… maybe 7 or 8? My parents and I had gone to attend a concert in a neighboring community. It was my very first concert, which I enjoyed with wads of tissue in my ears because my mom was worried the loud music would give me a headache. During a break in the music, the band’s lead singer talked about World Vision and the impact they were having in so many countries.

After the concert, we found ourselves in front of the World Vision table. I still remember my dad reaching for his wallet and telling my mom to “pick a child” as he nodded towards the table. We came home that night with a new member of the family… a beautiful teenaged girl from India named Rajini.

I still remember telling my mom, in all my young wisdom… “Usually the big sister takes care of the little sister. But since we’re looking after Rajini, and I’m younger than her, the little sister is looking after the big sister!”

I sadly don’t remember much of our relationship with Rajini… I do know that we never wrote, being unfamiliar with the impact that letters have on our children and unfamiliar with child sponsorship in general. I do know that a few years later, Rajini’s parents removed her from the program. World Vision then sent us a packet for a new child… a little girl from either Sri Lanka or Bangladesh. Her name was Arti. But Arti only stayed in the program for a year or so before her family moved.

So, we began again… and this time we received a packet for a little girl in Romania. Her name was Livia.

This is the first picture we saw of Livia… she was only five, and lived with her parents in a very poor area. I still remember writing a letter to her for the first time… I was older now, and hungered for the relationship that comes with being a child sponsor. (Probably the reason I now have four kids!)

We’ve been so blessed to watch pretty Livia grow up. Now that she is older, she and my mother exchange letters regularly and are developing a beautiful relationship. She is in every way “my mother’s child”; which I suppose makes her my sponsor sister!

What a change from her first photo!

I remember being surprised at how much older she looked in this photo!
Livia working hard at Mathematics in school! Love the green socks! 
Still working hard in math years later! (Some of her photos have been misplaced)
My favorite picture of her... this one is frameable! I love how World Vision
makes an effort to stand the kids in creative poses for their yearly updates!
Livia loves flowers... lilacs and tulips are her favorites! (Mine too!)

The most recent photo update... age 14. I love her long hair!!

Livia just turned fifteen years old… which means she has been part of our family for ten years. She’s become a staple in our household, and for sure, she is my introduction to sponsoring children!

Dumnezeu să vă binecuvânteze, Livia! God bless you!

1 comment:

  1. What a fun story of how you were introduced to sponsorship!! I also was introduced via my parents' sponsoring. What beautiful photos of Livia!! I love how World Vision is so creative with updates.