Sponsorship Story: Love Is An Action!

Katie Nelson started as a Lahash volunteer in 2009, and has been on staff in the Sponsorship Program for many years. She has a behind-the-scenes perspective on the ways that our East African ministry partners and our child sponsors from all over the world are woven together to care for vulnerable kids. We’re glad to have her share a bit of that unique perspective with us here, so we can all catch a glimpse behind the scenes and see love in action!

“To begin by always thinking of love as an action rather than a feeling is one way in which anyone using the word in this manner automatically assumes accountability and responsibility.
Bell Hooks

Our East African partners and our child sponsors from around the world have taught me so much about what it means to always think of love as an action rather than a feeling. In my role at Lahash, I get to see up close how they all assume accountability and responsibility for their neighbors.  

This past Christmas, over 75% of our child sponsors gave a life-changing gift to their sponsored child! Many sponsors even gave extra to make sure the children who aren’t sponsored yet would receive a gift, too. I sent the bank transfer to our ministry partners in East Africa that included the Christmas funds that were donated for the kids. Our partners got so excited as they purchased, prepared, and organized the gifts, and couldn’t wait for the children to receive them! Louis, the director at our Rwandan partner ministry said, “The list is well received, I frankly was rejoicing by going through it and imagining how some specific gifts will transform the lives of these kids and their families!”

Nine-year-old Sesilia is one sponsored child whose story really stood out to me in particular. Sesilia has albinism, and her 75-year-old grandmother cares for her and her three siblings. Normally, Sesilia is at a safe boarding school where all her needs related to albinism are accommodated well. But because of the pandemic, Tanzania went into a lockdown for 3 months and all schools were closed. She returned home to find that her family was experiencing heavy rains and severe flooding. Her family’s home, crops, belongings, and even their goat were all washed away. 

This tent served as a temporary home for Sesilia’s family.

Our partners at Albino Peacemakers delivered food and emergency supplies, and helped the family request a grant for a shelter from the village government. The family ended up living in a tent. In a letter to her sponsor, Sesilia asked for prayer for her family’s living situation.  The sponsor prayed for her and was moved to respond! They jumped at the opportunity to purchase bags of cement and metal roofing materials as their Christmas gift for Sesilia, so the family could rebuild their home. This is love in action!

A Christmas gift of cement and metal roofing sheets!
Sesilia’s family stands at the site where their home is being rebuilt.

Sesilia is now able to be back at boarding school, and her family’s new home is being established. They have been through a lot in the past year. Would you take a moment to pray with me for Sesilia and her family? To rejoice with them, and to ask that God continue to provide for their needs, protect them, and comfort them in the midst of difficult circumstances?

I have worked in the Lahash Sponsorship Program for many years now, and it is amazing to see the connections that happen as love is put into action! If you want to join our community of loving sponsors, there are lots of kids like Sesilia who are still waiting to be matched at lahash.org/sponsorship. Thank you, friends!