Choosing to sponsor a child is a big leap of faith. Once you have taken the first step of saying “yes” to sponsorship and helping vulnerable children, the next step can be joyful…and overwhelming!
It can be difficult to know where to start that’s why we’ve put together a list of 10 ideas to help you choose.
1. Decide based on how long they’ve waited
Choose a child based on how long they’ve been waiting for a sponsor. Anyone who has longed for something knows this proverb to be true: hope deferred makes the heart sick. Many of the children in our programs have been waiting hundreds of days – some more than a year – to be fully sponsored or sponsored at all. You’ll notice a number of children on our website that have “waiting x days” next to their name. Select one of these children and know that you can be part of the fulfillment of that proverb: “…but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12.)
2. Pick by location
Do you feel repeatedly drawn to a certain location? Have you always wanted to sponsor a child in Africa or do something about the devastation in Haiti? Does it seem like every time you turn on the news or open the paper, there’s a story about Cuba looking back at you? If so, you may want to start your process by narrowing your search by country.
3. Choose by age
Narrow down by age, and what kind of relationship you want with your sponsored child. Would it warm your heart to see a crayon drawing up on the fridge? Or, would you rather receive a more mature, well-written letter? Would you rather be watching a young person become an adult and encouraging them in exciting choices for the future? Or, would you prefer to watch a toddler grow up, or interact with a child the same age as your own children?
4. Let your child choose
If you have children, bring them into the conversation. Your child(ren) will, in a sense, “grow up” with the child you choose to sponsor together. Giving kids a voice in the process may also keep them involved and invested as you start to build a lasting relationship with your sponsored child. Your child and your sponsored child may even become friends through writing letters or exchanging pictures!
5. Pick a child with your birthday
Choose a child with your same birthday! In truth, all the children listed on our site need sponsorship, so feel free to choose one that you share this quick kinship with! Having a fun thing in common might be a great way to start off a letter.
6. Relate personally
Read through the short biographies of the children and see if you can relate to any of them personally. Get to know different family situations, what parent employment looks like, what kinds of needs are prevalent for a child. As you begin to understand a child on a more personal level, you may find yourself relating to a circumstance you identify with (same number of siblings as you, or perhaps a multi-generational household) or finding a child with whom you have something significant in common.
7. What are you passionate about?
Identify an issue you’re passionate about. Poverty and education? Perhaps start looking in Africa. Preventing teen pregnancy? Sponsor one of the at-risk girls in Villa Esperanza in Nicaragua. Safety and opportunity for children at risk? Consider sponsoring a child that’s in our Trigo y Miel program in Oaxaca, Mexico. Freedom and economic opportunity? Support one of the children in our program in Cuba. Sponsoring a child facing these issues means you get to take real action in alleviating the pressures and difficulties of an issue that might otherwise feel overwhelming.
8. Pray about it
Ask God to lead you in the right direction, and toward a child you would have a fruitful relationship with. He may lead you to a name, a country, or something unexpected you might not have otherwise considered. Prayerfully invite God into this decision with you, and see where prayer takes you.
9. Ask, who would I like to meet?
If in the future you decide to go on a mission trip with Forward Edge to the location where you sponsor, you may get the opportunity to meet the child you sponsor and get to know through letter writing. Is there a story you read and think, WOW, I wish I could meet this young person? You may be able to. Consider sponsoring that child.
10. Let us choose for you!
All these children are precious and worthy in our eyes and in God’s eyes. We’ll choose a child who is in need of a sponsor, and your gift will be a meaningful intervention in his or her life.
Are you ready to take the next step?
Your sponsorship can literally change the course of a child’s life, providing nutritious meals, clean water, education and tutoring, access to health care, and more.
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If you’d like more information, you can visit our Frequently Asked Questions page, or call Forward Edge’s headquarters at 360-574-EDGE (3343).