Meet Nyandwi, our sponsor child. Brad and I first laid eyes on Nyandwi’s picture on June 7th at the Love Worth Fighting For marriage event. Warren Barfield stood before the congregation talking about how he and his wife sponsor several children and how he was privileged to meet some of those children in their homelands. However, the conditions he saw there were heart wrenching and opened a floodgate of tears from my eyes.
Brad and I have been so incredibly blessed. We don’t live in a mansion, we don’t live extravagantly, and we are humbled for how much has been given us. Warren’s message emphasized to Brad how much we take for granted and how very little the value of $35 has to us, but how much it means to a child in need. We both felt it would be selfish for us not to share when the sacrifice on our end is small. So when the opportunity arose for those interested in sponsoring a child, Brad looked at me with a nod and his hand went up. Nyandwi’s face looked at us from the little sponsorship packet and with a few minutes of paperwork, he became ours.
Although Nyandwi lives in Burundi, he is part of our family. For the last 5 months, his beautiful little brown face has adorned our message board. For the last 5 months, I have made eye contact with him every day when I walk into the kitchen and silently pray for this 11 yr-old boy and his family. For the last 5 months, I am reminded how much we have and how grateful I am.
About a month ago we received a letter from Nyandwi. It reads:
Hello! My name is Nyandwi and I am a boy. I go at school five days per a week. I am never late and punished at school because I live near by the school. I play at afternoon soccer and I fetch water for our cow which is never graze on meadow. It lives only in a cow shed. It would enjoys me once you support me so that I can continue well the school.
Brad and I waited several months before telling our boys about Nyandwi. Why? Honestly, I don’t know. Maybe I was waiting for them to ask me about the picture of the little boy that was attached to our message board. Maybe I was worried how we would explain his living conditions and the reasons why he needs sponsorship.
But finally we sat the boys down and shared Nyandwi with them. They were fairly silent as their little minds tried to take in what living conditions are like where Nyandwi lives. Both boys were very concerned about him not having clean water. “Why doesn’t he have clean water? Where does he take a shower? Where does he go to the bathroom?”
Connor giggled a few times in nervous amazement as he was trying to understand what we shared with him. Dylan said, “I can call him and give him some water.”
I know that the boys cannot comprehend what Nyandwi’s life is like or how he lives. I cannot fully comprehend it myself never having been in his situation. But we have resolved to pray for him as a family every day. Connor, in his prayers, says “Thank you, God, for the hungry children that we can help…” and Dylan prays for Nyandwi to “have a good day and to have food and have a good day at school.” It overjoys my heart to hear the boys praying for this little boy half way across the world.
I want our boys to grow up with compassionate hearts willing to help those in need. I want us as a family to really love and to share God’s love. It has just been laid on my heart strongly the need to bless others as we have been blessed.
So today, as I checked our bank account and saw the $35 it takes to supply Nyandwi’s basic needs of food, basic medicine, school supplies and clothing… I am thankful for Brad’s job and the resources we are able to share to help this child. (BTW, Warren Barfield pointed out that it typically costs $35+ to dine one time in a restaurant, but it more than feeds a child for an entire month!)
I am thankful for the organization Food for the Hungry for being the hands and feet that go to the needy, who equips communities to care for these children, and who partners with us to sponsor precious kids like Nyandwi.
I am thankful for these opportunities to teach our boys about compassion, serving, loving, being humble, and having gratitude.
I am thankful for Nyandwi. I am thankful he became part of our family and our hearts. I would love to wrap my arms around him and embrace him, to tell him how much he means to us, to meet his parents, shake their hands and encourage them.
If you are interested in sponsoring a child or learning more about how you can help fight against world poverty, please visit Food for the Hungry. There are several opportunities for you to get involved!