Last week I had a bad dream concerning one of my children. I don’t want to go into details but it was enough to wake me and check on the child in question, to make sure they were still safe. Throughout the night I kept waking, the repercussions of that dream coming back every time I closed my eyes or felt sleep coming closer.
When it was time to finally get up (not that I’m ever one to wish the night away), I couldn’t stop thinking about my dream and how relieved I was that it was only a dream. But I didn’t feel right. I was still upset and couldn’t stop thinking about all the children who weren’t safe. Who weren’t warm, or fed, or clothed or happy. Who didn’t have families to care for them, to dream about them and check on them in the middle of the night. I couldn’t get the image of a mother, unable to help her child much as she wanted to, much as she might try. And I couldn’t lift that pain from my heart.
The previous day I had got caught up in the “I wish I had… ” trap. The “I wish the house was beautifully decorated”, “I wish I could buy xxx”, “I wish I had…. something, anything, insert want here”. But that morning I had everything. I had food in the cupboards, a warm, dry home and clean water to drink. Most of all, my family were safe and happy. That dream put everything into perspective.
It wasn’t enough to be thankful or grateful. I felt a strong urge to do something. So Michael and I had an in-depth discussion.
Text from me to Mike: “I think we should sponsor a child.”
Text from Mike to me: “OK, where?”
For the next couple of hours Caitlin and I sat at the computer trying to find out the how and where. Where to start? How to go about it? What would it achieve?
After a while we came across the Christian charity, World Vision. I was familiar with this charity as, as a young girl twenty odd years ago I would take part in the annual 24 hour sponsored fast. And after a while of reading about their work and the sponsorship programme, we had undertaken sponsorship of a 3 year old boy from Honduras.
The older children were happy and supportive of the decision. The middle ones were shocked that some children didn’t have homes or clean water or gasp televisions! And the youngest two don’t really understand yet.
One day I would like to participate in one of their Sponsor Visits, and so aim to start putting a little away as and when I can. This may not be for a few years yet but isn’t unachievable. At least we’ll have begun making the effort.
Sponsoring one child might not change the whole world, but hopefully it will change the world of one child less lucky than our own.