Do you have room for one more child?  While we lived in a little three-bedroom house, we adopted three kids to add to the three I had already birthed.  We didn’t really have room in the house.  But we had room in our hearts.  What if I told you we then added three more?  Crazy?  Maybe – but now I’m not talking about adoption.

I have often had people look at our family, a pile of kids with all kinds of interesting circumstances, and then say to me, “I couldn’t do what you do.”  That’s okay.  While adoption and foster care are the most immediate things we often think of in terms of orphan care and looking after the least of these, there are other possibilities–one of which, child sponsorship, has been a huge blessing to our family.  And anyone can do this, with no applications and no waiting!

So at home we have our six, but we also have one in Russia, one in Uganda, and one in Ghana.  Two are high school aged.  They’ve been with us (or rather, we’ve been with them) about nine years each.  The third is a sweet little boy of kindergarten age.  We’ve been sponsoring him since he was a baby.  His mother, of Muslim background and living on the streets, brought him to a Christian children’s home and asked them to please care for him.  His smile is huge, and according to his nursery school report card, he received a good grade in scribbling.

I sponsor children because it is my heart.  My husband says it is a practical way to help and share God’s love.  Plus, it’s amazing to hear back from the children and know our small investment pays huge dividends in their lives.  Jesus is the one who said, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me” (Mark 9:37 ESV).  So sponsor a child, get God – not a bad deal!

As parents, we are committed to sponsorship because it shows our own children how to be generous and care for others.  What do my children learn when our sponsored child uses the birthday money we send to buy a goat, a change of clothes, a bag of beans, and a bag of rice?  Does it make them think twice before asking for i-everythings or four sets of Legos for their birthdays?  I hope so.  I hope they are more grateful for the gifts God has given us, and I hope they are more willing to share these blessings, more aware that there is a great big world out there filled with people loved and created by God.

There are many great Christian organizations offering child sponsorship.  My personal favorite is Every Child Ministries, followed closely by Compassion International and World Vision.  With any organization, be sure to look for the ECFA seal indicating financial accountability with your sponsorship gifts.

So my question stands:  Do you have room for one more child?