“Light of the world, You step down into darkness. Opened my eyes let me see. Beauty that made this heart adore you hope of a life spent with you. And here I am to worship, here I am to bow down, here I am to say that you’re my God”. David Crowder
I was asked recently to write a blog about sponsors going to visit their child. The request was a simple one; create a to do list of what to do before you visit the child you sponsor. Something like “10 Things To Do Before You Visit the Child You Sponsor”. Another option was “Ideas for Fundraising for a Sponsor Trip”. Nothing wrong with those ideas. People need practicality. We all need lists and ideas to help us get to where we need to be. And try as I might, I could not muster up the creative juices to start.
I have been on multiple tours with Compassion over the past 12 years. I could certainly help to prepare you for international travel and the rigors of living in a foreign environment. I could warn you about not drinking the water or how you may experience “culture shock”. I could list things to pack and even tell you some things to leave at home. I answer questions for sponsors nearly every day of the week. But my soul just wouldn’t get excited about writing out a list or offering tips on how you could raise funds to visit your child. In fact, I’m terrible at fund-raising. Not my favorite thing to do, so maybe someone else will take that one on.
No, I can think of so many other reasons to visit your little girl or boy. I see it on every trip I take. I see the tears, I hear the joy and I sense the change.
I will try and provide you with a list of things to do before you visit your child, but it will have nothing to do with getting your immunizations or securing your malaria pills. I won’t be listing the travel items that are so important to your comfort and wellbeing. No tips about contacting your bank before you leave home or making sure you have the proper electrical adapter.
No, the thing I would tell you to do, first and foremost…
Is to fall on your knees. Fall on your face.
You may be asking what does this have to do with visiting my child? The short answer, everything.
You may be thinking that your visit to your sponsored child will be an enormous blessing to him or her. And you would be right. But those blessings work both ways. I’ve seen it time after time. Sponsors tell me on every trip, and I mean every trip, how they didn’t expect to have their lives impacted in such a powerful way. They assumed that they were coming to bless a child, provide them some encouragement, give them a suitcase full of gifts. Leave the child and his family with rich experiences.
What they aren’t prepared for is the riches that they will be carrying home.
So why should you fall on your knees and fall on your face?
To be prepared. Prepared to have your heart broken, to have it cracked wide open. You need to be prepared for your life to change. Many of the things that are important to you today will mean very little upon your return. You need to have your heart ready to be wrecked.
So here are some things to do to prepare to visit your sponsored child:
Pray. Pray without ceasing. Pray for your child and their family. Pray for the staff at the student centers. Pray for the other members in your group. Pray for yourself. Pray that your heart will be expanded to receive all that God has in store for you.
Pray that you would be sensitive to the Holy Spirit as He leads.
Pray that you will be ready for the tears that will surely come. Pray that you will let them come, unashamedly and without restraint.
Pray that your smile will send a message to your child of what the face of the Lord must look like.
Pray that the message your child hears is not only “Here I Am” but here I am and I bear His image. I bring Him to you and you bring Him to me.
It’s a short to do list but it’s long on meaning. I hope I see you on one of my trips. And if I do, I hope I get to hear you tell me how you prayed and you still weren’t quite ready for how your heart has changed. I hope I get to see your tears.
I promise I will bring plenty of tissue and a soft shoulder to cry on.