A few weeks ago at the Catalyst conference, my attention was drawn to a particular booth. This booth accentuated 5×7 index cards with pictures on them of children from all over the world. As I began looking through the pictures of the children, a man came over and asked me if I knew anything about the Compassion International sponsorship program. I told him I did not but that something had drawn me there and I wanted to know what it was all about it. He went on for the next several minutes explaining how I could sponsor a young child, and that by doing so it would provide Bible Study materials, medical assistance, values teaching, academic support, sports, music and art classes for that child. But more importantly, it would provide the child with the basic food he needed to stay alive. As he continued his overview of the program, my heart started pounding. It was that feeling you get when you know without a shadow of doubt that you have to act. As a believer you know what you’ve been given is not yours and that you must share it . So half way through this guy’s overview I stopped him, looked down and grabbed the first picture I saw then told him I wanted to sign up.
So today, I begin what I believe is going to be an incredible journey. I have prayed for a week that this process would change this young man’s life. I prayed that the money given, the prayers lifted and the love shared would radically transform this little man and everyone around him.
My Compassion International child is Juan Carlos Ascanio Afanador. Juan turned 6 years old on May 13 and lives with his parents in the mountainous community of Libertad Parte Baja, Columbia. He has 3 other siblings and enjoys playing with cars, hide and go seek and other group games. As you can see from the picture this little dude is a stud.
I know many times I have felt compelled to help those less fortunate, especially those that live in what we Americans call the “third world”. But if you are anything like me, this task has felt overwhelming and confusing. My heart has always been bent toward helping, but how do I do it? Where do I start? How do I know the child will receive the assistance that was promised?
I am not sure I have all the answers yet, but I do know today that God has brought me to Juan Carlos for a reason. This little guy needs help and I can give it to him…that’s what I am going to do.
Juan Carlos, I pray for you today. I pray God will shine his face upon you and that blessings will fill your life. I pray food, water and medical attention will be made available to you. I pray you will feel the love of your Heavenly Father and one day you will accept His Son as your Lord and Savior. God be with you my little brother.