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"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:15

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Amanda & Ruth: A story of love between a child and her sponsor.

What a great privilege and honor to be a guest blogger for Rebecca and share with you about sponsoring a child at My Father's House! Rebecca is such an amazing selfless, servant of the Lord and I am so thankful to call her my friend.

God laid it on my heart to sponsor a child in late 2009 when my church was going through the book of James. Sponsoring a child was one way I could live out James 1:27. I first sponsored a child through a large organization but after a few months I got word that she was no longer in the program. I didn't renew my sponsorship for another child b/c I really wanted to sponsor a child that I might actually be able to form a relationship with and possibly meet. I kind of thought of it as having a third niece. God knew this desire in my heart and He gave me the perfect child to sponsor September 2010.

I stumbled upon Rebecca’s blog and read about Ruth and her sisters. Their story broke my heart into pieces and I really wanted to sponsor Ruth because she was so young and innocent looking and I love the story of Ruth in the Bible. I actually even planned to name a child Ruth at some point. Their story was posted in July and it was September when I was reading the post but Ruth still needed a sponsor.

Over the next few months I learned more about My Father's House and I asked Rebecca if it was possible for me to come for a visit and she said yes! I was so excited to meet Ruth but little did I know she and her sisters would actually be living at My Father’s House by the time I arrived.

Visiting Ruth, her sisters, all the children in their homes and Royal Hope Academy was surreal. I was able to stay at My Father's House for a whole week. I loved learning even more about the ministry firsthand, getting to know the children and just sharing day to day life with them. The moment I met Ruth I cried and cried (and I am not a crier)! We hit it off instantly. I read books to her, carried her to bed when she fell asleep in the sitting room, buttoned and tied her school uniform on in the morning, served and ate meals with her, went to church and school with her, etc, etc.

It was so amazing to get to see what her day to day life was like and to see how my sponsorship was providing her a better life than she had before. It was like a dream to actually spend time with the little girl in my photos at home. She knew I was HER sponsor, too, and even got a little territorial of me at school, which I found kind of cute! The more we bonded the more I realized that there wasn't anything I wouldn't do for this sweet child. Ruth needs glasses? Done! Ruth needs new clothes? On it. Ruth wants to go to college? You got it! Now that I know her, my sponsorship feels more like a small form of adoption.

Leaving Ruth in Uganda was painful. I cried and cried and cried. Surprisingly Ruth cried, too and said she wanted to go to America which was out of character for her. My prayer is that one day she will get to come to America for a visit!

Sponsoring Ruth has changed both of our lives. In my pastor’s book, Radical, Platt says, “Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they aren’t real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes.” This is so true, even of children who are not orphans but have no one to provide and take care of them. Knowing her has changed me. It’s easy for me to turn down invitations to go out to eat with friends because I know that money I am saving is changing her life. It’s easy for me to remember to pray for the poor because I know the poor. I know their names, I’ve seen their faces and I’ve held them in my arms and slept in the room next to them.

Amanda’s plan was to birth a child at some point in the future and name her Ruth. God’s plan was to give me a 5 year old child by the name of Ruth that needed love NOW. His ways and timing is perfect. I’m so thankful that He has given me the wonderful opportunity of caring for HIS princess Ruthie! I am so thankful for Rebecca's selfless love and care she provides to all of these children. I am so thankful that these children are learning about Jesus at school and are being taught that they are His royal princes and princesses!

There are literally millions of children just like Ruth that are waiting for someone to stand up and say more than I want to go out to eat with friends I want to make a difference in the life of a child in need and give them the opportunity to hear about Jesus. $35 a month truly changes a child's life. Trust me, it does! Rebecca and I would like for 100 more children to receive sponsors by the end of the year. Can you help us help these precious children? If you have any questions about sponsoring a child at My Father's House you can email me at manda2839@aol.com. I would love to talk to you! Or go ahead and sign up through here.

If you aren’t familiar with Ruth's story read it here.

P.S. - Rebecca and I are praying about me leading a trip for sponsors in the Spring of 2013 so that other sponsors can experience meeting their sponsored child, too!

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