While in Swaziland, Nicole had the blessing of not only meeting her sponsored children, but also getting to visit the homestead of one of them. Homestead visits are typically emotional for an entire team, and Nicole shares her thoughts and feelings on this once in a lifetime experience…
What does it mean to sponsor a child? To the many it means choosing a random child from a stack and sending in your monthly contribution and receiving letters and photos from the child. You never think you will really ever meet that child in real life. We have sponsored one child for over a year now. We have loved receiving updates on her, taken joy in reading her letters, and pictures. As a family we have prayed for her, her family, and prayed that she knows Jesus, is loved, happy and healthy.
God was quietly calling me to this team, and it was out of obedience and great faith that I have answered that quiet nudging. Upon joining the team, there was a small stack of unsponsored children and we decided as a family to add another child sponsor. I was so very excited to learn that we would be able to meet the sponsored children. This is a once in a lifetime chance. And as seemingly awkward of a meeting that was; it still fills your heart to be able to provide basics to someone who is in great need.
Today God paved the way for an even bigger blessing. Our team traveled to homesteads of two children from our Care Pointe. Before heading out for the day I learned that one of those visits would be to the home of Sethu, the child God had placed on our hearts to add to our sponsorship. Sethu, and her two siblings are cared for by their 73 year old Gogo (Grandmother). She provides for the children by selling a fruit/nut that falls from a tree on their homestead. She makes about 30 Rand ($3.00 US) a month. My heart and soul were blessed immeasurably as we learned that she has heard of and believes in Jesus Christ. Gogo also gave us the honor of laying hands on her in prayer. Our team was also able to provide her with gifts of food and other necessities of which totaled about two years worth of her wages. In America, our minds cannot fathom what real, destitute poverty looks like. To cherish and be grateful for receiving items that we take for granted like a bar of soap or a pair of socks. To see pure joy in someone’s eyes for being given such things strengthens my faith to its core.
When Gogo was told that I was the sponsor of Sethu, she immediately held me by the face and said many things to me in Siswati, she placed a hand on my heart and then on my head and even through the language barrier I could tell she was thanking me. What a privilege we have been given to not really want for anything. Which brings me to some words I heard today that struck me to my core. You see these people living and surviving like this and you wonder, “How is it that they have so little and do so much, and we have so much and do so little.”
So my challenge to myself, and to you is what more could we be doing? There are still children in our Care Pointe who are in need of sponsors. Please pray and if it’s Gods will, won’t you add one of these beautiful children into your hearts?? Jesu niyagutsandsa. Jesus loves you.
A few highlights of the sponsor visits:
My heart was so touched by your words Nicole. Can’t imagine what it must have felt like to feel grandmas hands on you thanking you. Something that will last a lifetime certainly. We are so thankful all of you were able to go and give of yourselves and your means and gifts to them. You indirectly went for us!!! What a blessing!!