29 Oct From A Sponsor’s Heart: Guest Post By Traveler Stacy Nelson
As the Lahash Media Team visits kids and ministry partners on their Tour of Tanzania, they’ve been able to hand-deliver many sponsor’s letters along the way. Stacy Nelson is a child sponsor traveling with the team, and this update is straight from her very full heart!
By Stacy Nelson
As I travel through Tanzania with the Lahash Media Team, I thought it would be the perfect time to share my thoughts with all of you. My family and I sponsor two little boys at Path Of Hope. I have been so incredibly blessed with the opportunity to be here and meet them, which is a story for another time. For now I want to share with you, sponsor to sponsor, how much you mean to these children and the impact you have on their lives.
The simple life these children lead and the joy that is stored within their little hearts leaves me speechless. I watched them praise the Lord with reckless abandon at church Sunday morning, play games as we waited to eat lunch, look at photos of my family, pose for the Lahash camera, play with their friends, and open their sponsor letters. It fills me up inside seeing them snicker at each other, giggle at silly things, and model-pose as they took pictures of each other with my phone. Kids across the world are just that: kids. It brings me peace and comfort seeing that within their challenging circumstances, they are able to just be kids.
Sweet sponsor friends, your letters matter in the lives of these children. The small tokens of your life that you send cause their faces to beam with joy and their hearts to feel like they have a purpose. Though you may never get the chance to witness it for yourself, let me be your eyes, friends. These letters bind your heart with your child. They love you, they are grateful for you, and they are motivated by you. With a letter, a photo of your family, or a package of stickers, you have just given them something to call their own. You’ve given them a sense of pride and belonging, a reminder that they are special.
I got to see a sponsored child named Fransis open his letter, and when he saw the picture, oh his face!!! He was grinning from ear to ear and immediately took the photo over to the table with all of his friends, showing it off like a Michael Jordan MVP trading card. My heart felt so deeply in that moment, vowing to never forget how much it meant to him. He took the picture and folded it in his sweater to protect it from the rain that had just started outside, and then gleefully skipped across the courtyard to his dormitory. I’ve seen lots of kids open letters and gifts from their sponsors, and their smiles were bigger than kids coming down the drop-off at Splash Mountain.
The sweetest thing to watch was the photos of sponsor families across the ocean bringing joy and belonging into these kids lives. They get to make the connection that the people in this photo love me, care for me and pray for me. It is the ability to put the name to the face that makes them truly feel like a part of your family.
So many times over the past couple of years I’ve said, “I need to write Philipo and Mateso a letter today,” and then haven’t actually done it. Anyone else guilty of that? James chapter two tells us that “faith by itself, if not accompanied by action, is dead.” The amount of love and care that my family and I have for these boys must be put into action; I am called to do just that. Now that I’ve seen it with my own eyes, I will write and I will draw until my hand falls off because I know the impact it has on these little lives across the world. Even if you don’t receive a letter back, keep writing and sending these tokens of your love. You may be the only one other than their program staff and caregivers that is showing them love.
As sponsors, we know what our monthly donation goes to support. I want to say that every single cent that your family is sending to support your child is doing just that. For some of us that $37 may not be much and for others it may be a lot. But I can promise you after seeing it with my own eyes, it means far more to these children than it does to us sponsors. I’ve seen your support used for the lunch they ate, the pencils they were using to prepare for exams, the school uniforms they washed and hung out to dry at the end of the day.
Sponsorship truly changes lives. I’ve seen it change the lives of the kids here, and it has changed my life in more words than a blog post can handle. I can promise you that the investment you make to help a child in need will have an impact on the trajectory of his or her life, as well as provide a sense of pride, love, and closeness now. I pray that through my eyes, you can see a bit more of the impact you’ve had on these children. With all sincerity and gratefulness to all of my fellow sponsors, I truly hope that as I’ve shared how these kids have affected my heart, you can begin to see your own heart transform as well!
If Stacy’s words are stirring your heart to consider sponsorship, you can meet the kids who are still waiting to be connected to a sponsor at lahash.org/sponsorship and become a sponsor today.