As an advocate for Compassion, I often hear the question, “How am I supposed to choose a child when there are so many?”
Admittedly, the choice is too hard, so most of the children we sponsor have been chosen for us by God. Whether it was a packet received when I was planning for an event, and the child just wouldn’t “get out of my heart” (Sita, from India). Or a child whose home I had visited, fell in love with, raised money for and then had to find a way to actually be able to get it to him (Wilson, from Ecuador…read his story on here…it STILL rocks my world! “Finding Wilson”). Or the many correspondent children I have asked for and have had placed in my heart by God, with no special requests or anything.
Florence was different. And yet, not really. God truly had his hand on this choice as well.
We had the privilege of investing in the lives of some wonderful LDP students because of a large donation given to us that was to be used for Christian education. We chose Compassion’s LDP program. Our first three students we were able to help included a young man from Kenya, named Elkana.
Elkana grew up as an orphan. His grandmum raised him, but he had no siblings.
From the first time we received a letter from Elkana, we knew that God’s hand was with us in that relationship. We thought we were to encourage him, but he always ended up encouraging us with his upbeat, Christ-centered letters. We had the privilege of corresponding with him for less than two years, but in that time our hearts were knit together in a way that only God can do.
Right around the time he graduated from college and LDP, our Sita from India left the program. That was heartbreaking as we had finally begun making progress with her in the letters we received from her. We knew we wanted to “replace” her with another child.
I had thought it would be great to choose a child from Kenya to celebrate and honor Elkana’s graduation. In doing so, I thought it would give him the “family” that he never had. We also wanted to choose a child who had been waiting the longest, because that has to be such a hard place to be. And we wanted a girl.
So, we started searching the website for longest waiting girls and narrowed it down to two girls. One from Guatemala and Florence, from Kenya. My husband and I wanted the child that God wanted for us. His vote was for Guatemala, and mine was for Florence.
Before bed that night, I got bold and told God that I wanted him to reveal to me in a dream which child He wanted us to choose. This was not my normal way of doing things, but I truly wanted God’s choice, and I needed to know that it was not my choice against my husband’s. So, I went to sleep.
Shortly before I woke up, I had a dream. As I “entered” that dream, it was my husband and I talking. The only words I heard were, “Well, Florence from Kenya…”.
Then I woke up.
As I usually do (and I’m not proud of this!), I questioned God. “So, are You saying….????”
How quickly I had forgotten that I had boldly asked God to reveal the answer in a dream…and He did! When my husband woke up, I told him about my dream. His answer?
“Well, I guess we know who we’re sponsoring then, huh?”
So, though we had some specific criteria when we began our search, God had the final say.
It was so much fun to tell Elkana that he had a sister in Kenya! He was so excited! He has been to visit her and her family and has invested in her life. She is so happy to have a big brother who loves her and cares for her.
Because God said so.
That could be the very reason He asks you to choose a certain child too! Listen for His voice. He will speak.
Go ahead…give God your criteria, if you have any. Or just say you will choose the first one that you see. Either way, say “Yes” today to changing the life of a child living in extreme poverty somewhere in the world today.
It’s a great adventure!
These are photos of Elkana’s visit to Florence. Don’t they look so happy!!