Archive for June 27th, 2013


Cleaning and purging the other day, I came across this picture of a young girl who we supported through a child sponsorship program. I smiled when I saw it, for that picture of that darling girl brought back memories of blessing and sorrow.

Since before we met, my hubby has had a child who he supported monthly. We continued with child sponsorship throughout our marriage until we had our own personal financial crises in the early years of the new millennium, and had to discontinue sponsorship while we got our financial house in order.

It was not an easy thing to discontinue that sponsorship. We took our responsibility seriously, and felt the weight of letting down the child we had been sponsoring.

A few years later, our situation had improved greatly, and our financial foundation was more solid. Hubby and I had discussed, one night, the possibility of taking on another child to sponsor. So it surprised me when, just days later, a call came to our home from that same child sponsorship program.

The call went like this:

“Hello Mrs. Wheaton (this is usually a good time to hang up, but the caller had already identified herself as from this familiar humanitarian organization), we had in our records that you had requested that we call at this time to see if you would be in a position to re-join our child sponsorship program?”

Me: What timing! Yes, we would love to support a child again.

“Do you want to support a girl or boy?”

Me: The gender does not matter (how can the gender matter? I had no choice in the gender of the children God placed in my womb, I would not prefer one over the other to sponsor).

“Okay, we have a little girl here. Her name is Felicite Daigue, and she is from the Republic of Chad (a country in the center of northern Africa).”

Me: I am just curious, what is her birth date?

“October 10, 1995”

This is where my knees buckled.

Dates have always been an area of significance for me, nothing ‘magical’ just meaningful. This particular date, October 10, 1995, had great significance for me. It was on that very date that our last pregnancy loss occurred. An ectopic pregnancy that also reduced our chances of conceiving again (and yet, two children were born following this event).

I was thrilled to have been given Flelicite to support with our money, and with our prayers. I felt as though God had hand-picked she for us, and us for she … perhaps even the day she was born.

Then, months later, we received a letter from the organization through which we sponsored Felicite:

“We have recently received some sad news about Felicite Daigue that we wanted to convey to you personally. However, we were unable to reach you by telephone to share the information given to us by our overseas office. According to our staff in Chad, Felicite has passed away. The project reports that she died as the result of a snakebite. he was taken to hospital but the treatment was unsuccessful.”

At the young age of just eight, Felicite’s life here on earth was ended.

But final months of her life were ones that were filled with hope. Hope from another part of the world, from people who she would never meet, hope through an organization whose vision is to give hope to the hopeless, the forgotten, the injured.

I believe in child sponsorship. I believed in it before Felicite, I believe in it even more now. The following is an article out of Christianity Today (June, 2013), written by Bruce Wydick, professor of economics and international studies at the University of San Francisco, who researched the impact of child sponsorship.

“What can an ordinary person like me do to help the poor?” When people find out at parties and social gatherings that I am a development economist (and yes, we economists do attend such events), often they ask me this question. For a long time my response was the same: “Perhaps sponsor a child?”

I suppose I gave this answer because I myself sponsored a child, and if I was supposed to know something about helping the poor, I should encourage people to do what I was doing. After all, child sponsorship makes sense: By focusing on youth instead of adults, it aims to nip poverty in the bud, providing children in the developing world access to education, health services, and, in some programs, spiritual guidance. But over time my autopilot response started to annoy me. The truth was that I hadn’t the slightest clue about the effect child-sponsorship programs had on children …”

Continue reading Want-to-change-world-sponsor-a-child


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