Child Sponsorship — A Mutual TransformationAvilla Paulo Patrice is the first child our family sponsored, and we had the wonderful opportunity to meet her last November in Tanzania. In the sixteen years we have sponsored her, she has grown from a skinny little girl into a beautiful young woman, an accomplished student, fluent in English.
In 1997, my husband Jeff and I felt God’s tug to get involved helping children in poverty. With our three sons, we traveled to Tanzania and Kenya to take a look at World Vision’s work. It was my first exposure to extreme poverty. It broke my heart; it was hard to comprehend the magnitude of the challenges facing millions of children and families.
When a Massaii mother came up to me and offered her daughter in marriage to my youngest son (and I can only guess she found the two older ones too skinny), I realized that mothers all over the world have a desperate desire to give their children the John 10:10 promise of life in all its fullness. I came home from that trip and told God I was reporting for duty. One of our first action items was sponsoring a child – and we chose Avilla.
World Vision has become an important piece in my life’s tapestry. Transformation is not only for the poor. Jeff and I have felt enormously blessed as we answered God’s call to help His children.
Avilla is now 19 years old. She’s finishing secondary school and dreaming of becoming a doctor. Like many sponsored children, she included a drawing in her Christmas card last December. It was a schematic of the inner ear with all the parts labeled. I am proud of her!
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