December 2017 Stop For The One - Canada: Child Sponsorship Program Update

We are currently supporting 140 children in whole or in part in our Noviane and Mieze children's centres and in the surrounding villages. And all these children are connected with supporting sponsors in the Western world through one or more sponsorship programs. These programs include Iris Canada's "Stop for the One--Canada" (which provides Canadian tax receipts).

Our sponsors are very faithful toward the children they are sponsoring...and they are very understanding of the fact that I (Don) am the only one managing these programs and contacts in the field for all 140 children. In the case of our 60-plus sponsored village children, I meet the children every week to check up on them and to disburse their weekly support. Inevitably, they also come to me through the week with special needs, both for themselves and for their siblings...because the unstated reality is that their sponsorship is intended to help lift their entire village family out of extreme poverty.

It's hard to capture in words what sponsorship relationships mean to these children and their families. So many of them were truly "the least of the least" because of their poverty: always hungry, living in a tiny mud and bamboo hut, wearing worn and dirty clothes...and always living with the prospect of sudden sickness and death. In God's supernatural economy, however, a little bit of money every week--and the prayers and love that accompany our sponsors' support--are truly transformational! The sponsored children are healthier; they have food to eat and decent clothes to wear; they are all in school and in church...and they have hope and joy! Their closest friends are other children in the sponsorship programs; and together they are a hope-filled and happy group of kids, readily distinguishable from the general culture! The knowledge that their lives matter to someone on the other side of the world is a more powerful and positive incentive to these children than we in the West can possibly fully understand. It is truly transformational...far out of proportion to the relatively small amount of money that's involved in the sponsorship.