My heart is full. Today I received a letter (actually three letters) from a sweet 5 year-old boy who lives in Kenya. He told me in the letters that his favorite color is green, that he loves cornbread, his favorite song is “Jesus Loves Me,” he enjoys playing football (soccer), and he wants to become a teacher someday. I have never met this little blessing named, “Ltesekwa,” but that is exactly what he is to our family, a blessing.
Last March, the very month of my lay-off, I met a friend and we went to a Compassion International experience in Fort Worth, Texas after seeing it advertised on Facebook. We had both worked with refugees and wanted to experience Compassion International’s exhibit of a third world country. It had such an impact on me, that I scheduled another tour within the next week to take my two boys along as well. I felt it would be a good experience for them to see how fortunate we are, and how other less fortunate families live. After the second tour, we felt we needed to do much more for someone, so we decided to sponsor a child.
This made no sense, after all, I was just laid off! As a family, we had scanned our finances and cut back where we could. And now, we are making a commitment to sponsor a poverty-stricken child in need. It may not make sense financially, but I knew God was prompting us to give. As the boys and I began to look at all of the young children needing a sponsor, I asked the boys to let me know who they felt God was leading us to sponsor. We settled on Ltesekwa and completed the paperwork. We wrote him a short letter, sent him a picture of our family, and began to pray for him and his family every night.
It is amazing how much we have grown to love this family even though we have not met them. In the recent letter I received from him, he “shouts a big love to you” and his parents are grateful for our support and being a blessing to them. In the letter, Ltesekwa drew us several pictures and asked us how we will celebrate the upcoming Easter holiday. As I wrote him back this morning, I was surprised at how overwhelmed with love and compassion I was for this family I have never met.
It has been a year since we began helping Ltesekwa. Since then, he has participated in a church-based school, grown in Jesus, in his education, and gotten better nutrition for participating in the program. Our families will forever be changed because of a simple act of faith. And I am certain, that he has blessed me much more than I could ever be a blessing to him. I guarantee, friends, being less selfie-centered is more fulfilling than you could imagine. Find a way to serve others in some way, and you will be overwhelmed with joy simply by being a blessing to someone else.