“Whoever welcomes one little child such as this in My name welcomes Me. And whoever welcomes Me does not welcome Me, but Him who sent Me.” – Mark 9:37
I want to write to you today about my heartbreak over the beheadings of 20 Coptic Christians. I want to write to you today about my alien-and-stranger experience at our Valentine’s Day dinner at a hipster restaurant where the guy with the pimp hat and long fur coat was the normal guest and I was the weirdo.
But I’ve already written about how to pray when the world is going to hell in a hand basket, and too many pressing and heartbreaking things are going on in the world to justify a post about circa-1970s pimps and hoochie mamas, no matter how surreal the experience.
So I’m going to talk to you about Judah.
For more than 20 years now, our family has sponsored a child. Even when our income was less than desirable, our children had so many privileges; how could we deny affordable help to a child who desperately needed it? First we helped a little girl named Ana Gleice in Brazil. When her family stopped participating in the program, we began to sponsor a Dominican girl named Ivalisa through Compassion. She was 4 when we starting sponsoring her. She is now 12. Strangely, my age is unchanged.
That’s all background to tell you why I’m writing about Judah. Judah was born into a white, middle-class American family much like ours. Throughout her pregnancy, his mom received excellent medical care that at one point revealed the unthinkable: Her child would need open-heart surgery to survive.
His mother only saw his foot as little Judah was whisked away from his mother at birth. Now a toddler, Judah can be spotted by his trademark curly white-blond hair. He’s the silly one in perpetual motion, the one who loves music and who will tell you he wants to be a singer when he grows up. He’s the kid you instantly fall in love with. And, according to his mom, if you so much as say hi to him, “he’ll likely tell you he loves you.” So prepare for a love fest.
So That Others May Live
Judah is a miracle. God used modern medical care to give him life. And now because Judah has life, his mom wants to see other kids live and thrive. She now is a Compassion sponsor so other boys and girls can have the same opportunities as her little bundle of curly-headed joy. “By sponsoring a child through Compassion, if that child can get medical help that can someday save his life, I want to be a part of that,” she says.
But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. – James 1:22
See, millions of children die each year because they don’t have access to medical care. But it’s not just about medical care. Children sponsored through Compassion also receive nutritious food, hygiene and health training, educational assistance, disaster relief, mentoring, and most important, the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ.
From Comfort to Conviction
Just this morning I began reading David Platt’s Counterculture, in which he challenges Christians to consider what it truly means to be doers and not hearers only, what it means to deny ourselves and take up our cross daily. It begins with conviction, which moves us to prayer and repentance and finally to action.
Our sponsorship costs us $38 a month. That’s a couple of movie tickets or a cheap date out. But for a sponsored child, that nominal expense translates to life and health and hope for now and for eternity. Will you consider sponsoring a child through Compassion? Will you do so other children can enjoy the benefits little Judah has enjoyed? Will you do it to shine Jesus into the heart of a child who may otherwise have no hope?