From my very first days of envisioning our hospital for orphans, I have battled with a way to address our need for sponsors.
Unlike many other organizations serving orphans and vulnerable children, we are rarely able to provide names and stories for our patients before admitting them to our facility.
People seemed to love choosing a photo with a name, story, and background of a child in need. For instance, I myself have sponsored a beautiful girl in the Philippines through Compassion International for the last 10 years. I remember sifting through packages of photos and stories. I can still recall the love that consumed me when I found the one that captured my heart.
Time after time, I’ve tried to recreate this experience for our own supporters. Numerous business gurus and seasoned non-profit professionals have encouraged me to create similar packages and to cater to the popular demand for "specific child" sponsorship.
In our first month of operation, there have been two cases that we have had opportunities and a need to do this. Once for a long-term care patient whose stay was anticipated to be up to 12 years, and another for a patient with needs that so far exceeded our monthly budget that we were forced to secure funding before his admission.
Thankfully, both cases were rapidly met with one-time and monthly sponsors willing to love them and provide for them fully.
Logic told me I should seek more children who could have similar sponsorship outcomes. After all, there is certain security in having assured funding for every aspect of a patient’s care.
But other days it is a toddler on his final stretch of starvation, a little girl who has had a stroke as a result of her sickle cell anemia, an HIV+ infant with a critical fever or advanced pneumonia. In these cases, we have no time to seek individual sponsorship. We must choose to say “yes” and trust that the provision will be there.
Until today, I experienced so much guilt in securing advanced sponsorship for these children. “How can I possibly compete with organizations who allow families to call a child their own?” “What about the photo on the fridge, heart-wrenching stories, the name to pray over daily?” “How can I give sponsors the joy of a relationship with a child without exploiting their personal diagnoses or risking their health by delaying care?“
And then God spoke to me unexpectedly with a single, powerful answer.
“Let them entertain angels.”
I immediately ran to reference the scripture which I had long forgotten. Each word I read building my hope and confidence in the work that has been set before me.
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 6:13
The very aspect of our mission I have tried to correct is the quality that allows our sponsors to do something so unique and incredible.
As a one-time donor or monthly patient sponsor you have the opportunity to say yes to a stranger.
To love someone without any reason.
To say “yes” to their life without anything in return.
There is nothing wrong with sponsoring a specific child. It is, in fact, one of the most wonderful choices I ever made. However, today I have learned to appreciate the beauty of loving a complete stranger.
To give life to the name-less, face-less child who you might never see on this side of heaven.
To just maybe, entertain an angel.
Follow this link to make a one-time or monthly gift today: www.ovinternational.org/donate