We talk all the time about how we can making difference in the lives of children around the world. We sponsor kids through organizations like Compassion International, and some of us go to remote parts of the world to share the love of Jesus, both in word and deed. I can't tell you how many letters I got from my Compassion child, and the looks on the faces of children and teens when they know we have traveled around the world to love them. Not to mention the sponsorship programs that have provided school, food, and medical care to children who previously had none.
This week my heart was broken twice. First, I got a phone call from a Compassion representative telling me that the child I sponsored in Kenya had passed away. She got sick, went to the hospital, and never made it out. I have been sponsoring and writing to this child for 12 years, and I was surprised at how strong my reaction was. Just awful. The only comfort was in the fact that they had word that she had trusted Jesus for her salvation. I will meet her one day, for the first time.
Second, I got word today that a child in the Ethiopian community I visit had passed away. It seems it was similar a similar situation. She got sick, went for medical care, and didn't make it. Even though I didn't sponsor her, I had met her a few times, and it seems kind of unreal to know she's gone.
The friend who shared this news with me pointed out that because we reached out in the name of Jesus, deaths like this are not as common as they were. And it means something that she did not die anonymously, with no one to care.
I ask your prayers for the families of these two children. Children with names, faces, families, lives, and who God loves with an amazing love.
When I hear about how many children die every day in Africa, I can no longer think of it as a statistic. I know better. And I am thankful that God has given me the privilege of being a part of his plan. I don't deserve it - not by a long shot. But I am thankful.
Pray for these children's families. Pray for other children you don't know. And find a way to make a difference. You can't change the whole world. But you can change lives one at a time.