If you’re already a sponsor, you know what’s like connecting with a vulnerable child across the world and watching them grow and thrive. Not much can compare with the joy of receiving one of their letters talking about new discoveries and hope for a bright future. Every sponsor’s experience is slightly different, but they share similar threads. In a Q&A below with our sponsor Ruth Story, she explains how her mother influenced her to sponsor 15 children through JMI and the impact it’s had on her life. See if any of her words ring true with you.
Q: How long have you been a sponsor?
A: I’ve been a sponsor for three years. I currently sponsor 15 vulnerable children in Moldova and one priority needs family in Moldova.
Q: Why did you choose to sponsor with JMI?
A: I first heard about JMI when I was doing one of Kelly Minter’s Bible studies. Kelly is so whimsical and light-hearted, and I was struck by her heartfelt sadness as she spoke about the needs in the Amazon and Moldova.
My mother was the daughter of missionaries who served in India, and a joyful second grade teacher. She and I shared a love for women and children and the needs of the poor and forgotten. As a part of my education at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, I was awarded a grant to travel around the world and study non-profit organizations. The evidence for the life changing effects of child sponsorship was clear. My mom had planned to meet me in India, so we could travel together for a while, but her cancer got much worse, and she wasn’t able to join me. She died six months after I returned from my trip. Her joy and love for Jesus had been life changing for me, and I was searching for an organization that holistically served the needs of the poor, while bringing the good news of the Gospel to them.
When Kelly talked about JMI, I was moved to tears. God has often used my tears as a way to slow me down, speak to me, and teach me the way back to joy and service. I knew that involvement with JMI was that path for me.
Q: With Vulnerable Child sponsorships, you write letters back and forth with your child each month. Is there a particular letter you remember receiving that stuck with you?
A: When I first started sponsoring children, I talked to my sweet husband and asked him if we could try to sponsor a classroom full of them. I wanted to honor my mom’s years as a teacher. He agreed. So we add children whenever we are able to do that. One of my favorite girls is Ana-Maria. She always looks joyful no matter what she’s writing about. In one of her letters, she said that the winter had been so cold, her family was unable to leave their home to go to the store. I knew that meant that they had also been very cold and hungry. But she said: “It’s better now, and every night I pray to God about everything, especially I thank him that he loves us all and keeps us!” I’m overwhelmed by her grateful heart. All of the children are this way.
I love seeing their confidence grow as they learn about our God who loves them so much.
Q: What impact have you seen in the life of your child and their family through your sponsorship?
A: Their families receive very basic care, and this is the first step for them to see God’s love and provision in their lives. They look forward to the monthly meetings in their village where they hear a Bible story, do crafts and play games all together, and are strengthened by the community and fellowship that comes with those. Most of all, they get to know Jesus better each day, and are being trained in His ways. So many of them decide to serve in the same programs that changed their lives. They want to teach other orphans and vulnerable children that their lives can also be changed by Jesus and those who love Him. All of them express thanks in their letters for the way the sponsorship has changed their lives. I love seeing their confidence grow as they learn about our God who loves them so much.
Q: Is there something God has taught you through your sponsorship?
A: He has taught me to remember to start wherever I can with service to His children, to “follow my tears” to reveal what He’s placed in my heart to do for His kingdom, and to think of each $40 that I spend, not with any guilt at all, but just from a different perspective, knowing what a difference it can make in the lives of these vulnerable children and their families who we will see in heaven one day because of JMI and their faithful work.
Q: What do you think is the greatest benefit that your sponsored child receives through this program?
A: They are introduced to a God who loves them and hears their prayers. Who gave His life for them and promised never to leave or forsake them.
I can’t express the joy you will experience when you sponsor a child, but I invite you to jump in and see for yourself!
Q: If there is someone considering a commitment to sponsoring a child for the first time, is there any encouragement you’d like to give them?
A: Because of my background and travels and research, I am familiar with a multitude of organizations who feed the hungry and serve the poor and forgotten. We have chosen to support JMI because they live up to the highest standards–programs that help the whole person, teach them about Jesus, and use donor funds in the most efficient way possible. I can’t express the joy you will experience when you sponsor a child, but I invite you to jump in and see for yourself! It will be one of the greatest decisions you’ve ever made.
Taking the step to stand in the gap for a vulnerable child as a sponsor is one of the most meaningful ways to make a real, tangible difference in the life of an impoverished person a world away. Many sponsors who generously choose to support a child in need are surprised by what a personally rich and rewarding experience it can be. You can learn more in our Complete Guide to Child Sponsorship.
Are you ready to change a child’s life, as well as your own? Find a child to sponsor here: