I started sponsoring a child a few years back through the Kensington NoChild program. Seeing these precious, hopeful faces come to life on the screen makes us want to rescue them, show them the love the deserve, and give them hope in a sometimes desperate and dire situation. It’s amazing that a photo allows us to grasp that these are real children, with real needs, real hearts, real smiles, real love and above all, real hope. But truthfully, I had no idea of the impact of this program until I joined the NoChild Nepal/India mission trip this past fall.
About the NoChild
NoChild is responsible for meeting the basic and educational needs of over 4,200 children. A sponsored child is able to participate in Christ-based programs with life-changing benefits, including healthy food, clean water, shelter, clothing, basic health care, education (elementary through university) and Christian teachings.
There were many times on the trip I was simply overwhelmed with how well the NoChild program works. We traveled thousands of miles carrying hundreds of letters from sponsors, games (Hot Potato was the favorite at every stop), materials to make crafts, camera equipment, a computer and iPads to interview the kids so that their profiles on the website can be updated.
An intentional mission
Every single child receives a visit from someone representing the NoChild organization every year. Every year, each of the 4,200+ children have a new picture taken and talk to someone about their previous year. They are asked questions like their favorite color, what they want to be when they grow up, how their health is, how we can pray from them, what does it mean to have a sponsor, what does their sponsor mean to them, and more. We spend real time listening to these beautiful souls and they just light up to have our attention and love. I will say this though, nothing compares to how they react when they receive the letters from their sponsors. I replay some of those moments over and over again in my head when my heart needs a pick-me-up. Imagine a kid on Christmas morning. YOU are THAT important to them.
Hope out of despair
As the children were answering questions about their sponsors during the interview process my heart would completely melt. In both India and Nepal stories of these children’s families are all very similar…and very different than our children would describe their lives here. The children all talked of our sponsorship making life easier on their families. Without our sponsorship they cannot go to school. Their future and the future of their families is directly impacted by this gift of an education.
It’s important to note that sponsorship pays for much more than an education. To the child, these things are just things and not as important as an education. Let that marinade for a minute. They all know what they want to be when they grow up and they’re all aiming high. A teacher, a police officer, a lawyer, an engineer. The sponsorship program is developing the next generation of leaders. It’s changing an entire community.
On a personal level, I have received so many amazing gifts from God by being a sponsor in the NoChild program. This year God sent my family the most adorable 10-year-old boy, our newest sponsored child, Venkata. I just love him and will always treasure the time I spent with him in India! God also orchestrated the most beautiful meeting I could have imagined for me and our sponsor daughter, Parbarti. It really was miraculous! I promise you when I started sponsoring a beautiful young girl from Nepal, I never dreamed I would lock eyes with her or hold her in my arms.
Changing the future
Someone recently questioned how much of a difference I could’ve made by going on this trip, after all, “there will still be family members selling their daughters into trafficking, there will still be people buying these girls on the other side of the border, there will still be young children left in the streets because their parents can’t afford to feed or clothe them.” Yes, the grim reality is that there will still be all of these things…but there will be less. With every sponsorship of a child there will be less. We as sponsors are changing the trajectory of the child’s future and thereby changing the future of a community. I firmly believe this in my heart. Please visit NoChild.org today and find the child that speaks to your heart.
I bid you the same farewell we received from each of the children in India,
Jesus Loves Me,
Jesus Loves You,
So I love you….