There is in Africa (Kenya, specifically) a little girl named Lulu.
She is 9 years old, has 5 siblings, and lives with her father and step-mother. The average income there is less than $25 a month. Can you believe it? That's approximately 1 restaurant meal for me and the husband, and that's all they earn for a month. But you know what? There is hope for Lulu. Lulu goes to church at a Compassion site, and that is how we came to sponsor her. By $38 per month she is supported and Compassion is helped to bring sponsorships to more and more children in poverty.
From the Compassion website:
"Your sponsorship allows the staff of <Lulu's> Child Development Center to provide your sponsored child with Bible teaching, medical screening, home-visits and academic support. The center staff will also provide income-generating activities and support groups for the parents or guardians of your sponsored child."
We don't just send money to Compassion/Lulu's family, though. We're more engaged than that. Last year for her birthday, we bought a greeting card in which you could record a message and sang Happy Birthday to her. The letter we received after she had listened to the card expressed amazement that we had included her name in the song. The letter said (Compassion workers help write/take dictation for the younger children), "she feels very honoured and further tells you that God wonna reward you for making her feel so special." I almost cried when I read that. Just a simple birthday card, but it made her feel special and loved. All children should feel special and loved. Another time, I wrote to her that I was teaching preschool. She wrote back that she wished I could be her teacher. I did cry at that.
Last year we were not doing so well at writing letters, so we've now made it a monthly recurring event in our calendar. Tonight we'll be writing her a letter (something simple). We'll tell her about the warm temperatures and our garden and whatever else comes to mind. If you sponsor a child, consider writing them at least once every other month. There's an electronic form on their website which makes it incredibly easy. The children want to know who these incredible people are that sponsor them. They want to know you.
For those of you who haven't heard of Compassion, or who have and weren't sure how they worked, I'll be posting some more information soon, so stay tuned. In the meantime, consider clicking the Compassion link to the side and sponsoring a child greatly in need of your support. It's not just $38/month. It changes lives - theirs and maybe even yours.