The Chance of a Lifetime

8 Jul

The Chance of a Lifetime – by Daniel Schmidt

                  Last year I was deeply impacted by the amount of poverty I saw, and it left me feeling like I wanted to make a difference in the lives of the kids in the DR.  God prompted me to sponsor a child through Compassion.  After I returned home from the trip last year, I just collected all the brochures, magazines, emails, and media that Compassion sends you after becoming a sponsor, but I hadn’t really grasped the significance of what my money was being used for.  I knew how important letters meant to the sponsored kids after last year’s visits and stories.  But God knew that I needed a reminder of just how important all this was in the life of each of those kids.

After almost a year of sponsoring Daniel Borges, I got to do something that only 1% of all sponsors get to do – visit my sponsor child face to face.  I can’t even begin to describe the joy of that moment when I first saw him.  I was able to see him for two of the days while we were in Barahona which was amazing.  During those two days I spent with him, I saw joy in its purest form.  On the first day with my sponsor child, I asked Ryan if I could present to him his bag of gifts.  Ryan said to wait until there weren’t so many kids around, but I could present to him one “icebreaker” gift of my choice.  I chose to give him the green Frisbee ring flyer so that we could play and spend some time doing something together.  I have never seen anyone play with a Frisbee so happily.

Daniel is not a part of DR-800, the project where we were serving.  He lives in Barahona, but he is from project DR-455.  In order to be there at the project to see me, he had to be driven across town on a moped by his tutor, Carlos.  Carlos could not stop thanking me for changing Daniel’s life and kept telling me that he would be praying for me and my family to keep strong in the Lord.  I was taken aback.  How often have I prayed for my child?  Carlos just met me and here he is ready and committed to praying for me daily.

This year I got to see firsthand how that connection between the sponsor and the child is WAY more than just that $38 check every month.  I have now committed to writing Daniel frequently and praying for him daily.  No longer will I look at that $38 check the same way.  The sponsorship is not only something that gives him food and clothing, which are all worldly comforts and easily bought with a few bucks.  It is an ongoing relationship that gives him eternal hope, love, and most importantly, Christ.

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