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.”

Gift-Giving Impacts Families

What can you do with $100? Pay your cable bill? Take your family out for a nice meal? Buy a new outfit?

I’m sure you can think of many ways to spend $100, but what do you have left when that money is gone? Is it anything that made a lasting impact on your life? More important, is it anything that made a lasting impact on someone else’s life?

Take a look at what you can do for someone else with $100.

Roxana from Guatemala was able to purchase groceries and clothing.

Esteban from Nicaragua, who lives with three young brothers and their single mom, was able to purchase a stovetop with two burners.

Paula from Colombia purchased food for her family.

Zainabu from Ghana purchased items that her mother could use to make food to sell at the market.

Compassion allows sponsors to bless their children with monetary gifts above and beyond sponsorship. These can be birthday gifts, family gifts or even general gifts. The gifts can range anywhere from $10 to $1,000, and one hundred percent of the gift goes to the child, with no money taken out for administrative costs.┬áCompassion restricts the amount of money you can send to your child in order to avoid creating dependence in the child’s family or jealousy within the community.

When you send a monetary gift to your child, it is changed into the child’s local currency and transferred to the Compassion office in his country. A Compassion representative then meets with the child and his family to decide what items are most needed before going to purchase the items.

It can take up to two months for this process to take place, but when the gift money is spent, the child will write a letter to you detailing the items purchased. Sometimes, depending on the resources available in your child’s center, you will receive a photo of your child with the gift, too.

These gifts can help your child’s family tremendously. The average income in the communities of the children pictured above varies from $42/month (Ghana) to $147/month (Colombia), so giving a monetary gift is a great opportunity to help your sponsored child.

“Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which he has given you.” Deuteronomy 16:17