As an employee of a large insurance company I get to deal with and process many thousands of pounds each day. Naturally, I can never switch off the need to know where every single penny I am responsible for goes.
The same goes for my colleagues at work. I was chatting to a mate the other day about Emanuel my sponsored child and about going to Brazil to see him. I talked for 20 minutes. I only stopped when I realised that he had been writing down all the things he could buy with £21 a month.
I asked what he was doing and he said, “You freely give that much away to some charity?”
“Of course,” I replied. He was genuinely shocked. He got a phone call which broke the discussion up, but whilst on the phone he handed me his list which he had titled ‘fun things Keith does not want’. Then he drew one of those smiley faces with a wink
I suppose it does seem like a lot of money considering all the other charities out there, but that list really made me think about the things we consider necessary for a comfortable life against all the things my sponsored child needs just to live.
“Fun things Keith does not want
(1) A Chinese take out @ £7.00
(2) Magazine subscription @ £4.50
(3) Decent aftershave (you need some mate) £30 over 6months = £5.00
(4) Cinema with mates £8.00″
(1) A nutritious supplemented diet three times a week
(2) A structured education programme that compliments his school work
(3) Clean water, hygiene supplies and regular health checkups
(4) A safe environment to play and develop social skills with friends”
The list is already over £21 a month and that was not even half of the ‘fun’ suggestions on there!
Similarly, there are hundreds of other reasons I easily could have listed as to why I sponsor a child through Compassion.
The main reason I chose to sponsor through Compassion is because of the relevant and practical display of God’s love that the projects provide. I know that that my sponsored child has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ because he writes to me and tells me so and I get to write back to tell him I love him too.
I used to think that sponsorship was a sacrifice and that it should feel like it too. The reality however is that with a couple of very small lifestyle adjustments we can make a significant difference in the life of a child in poverty.
There are loads of things I could do with £21 a month, but there really is only one thing I would want to do with it. And Let’s be honest, considering everything that £21 covers, it really is no sacrifice at all.