Role Reversal: A Gift for the Giver

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Virgin Mary icon card

Sponsoring a child could be described in many ways.

Giving is one word that sums up a sponsor’s role well. It covers the spectrum from giving money to financially help a child to giving love and encouragement through letters and giving small gifts like stickers and coloring pages.

But what happens when the giver receives a gift in return?

I recently found out the answer to that question.

Last week, I opened a letter from my sponsored boy Dragos, 13, of Romania, whom I sponsor through World Vision. Tucked inside his lovingly-written letter was a small photo of a painting of the Virgin Mary. He wrote, “I’m sending you an icon of Virgin Mary to protect and to bless you and your family.”

It left me completely humbled.

There are a lot of gifts I receive from my sponsored children without them even being aware that they are blessing me, like words of love and gratitude, beautiful drawings and the occasional photograph.

So what made this gift so different and so special?

This is a child whose poverty is great enough that he is enrolled in a child sponsorship program. This is a child whose parents are unemployed, living in a poor, rural area, and raising six children. But this boy sought to bless me.

And he did.

And as Jesus explains in the following verse, the effect was far greater than most gifts.

Luke 21:3-4 – “I tell you the truth,” he said. “This poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

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