because my eyes have seen

It was seven years ago that we began sponsoring Perla, our first World Vision child. She shared our son’s birthday, and at four years old, was so cute with her little pursed-lipped smile and long brown hair. We enjoyed receiving an annual update, complete with photo; and we always sent the special cards that World Vision provided throughout the year, with a short personal note. But beyond that, it was a distant relationship. We were so busy raising our own flesh-and-blood children that we didn’t fully engage in the life of our sponsored daughter. When check writing turned into an automatic bank withdrawal for our monthly donations, it was easy to forget the impact sponsorship can have. It was just something we did without much thought.

Then last year I began reading blogs for the very first time. My world suddenly expanded beyond the limits of our little village in southeast Michigan. Before I knew what was happening I was taking a virtual trip to Calcutta, India with Melissa.

And this post did me in.

Through Melissa’s words and Keely’s photos, I entered a world of poverty I had barely even imagined, let alone taken the time to see. It was as if my eyes were opened for the very first time. Really opened. First to the unspeakable suffering, then to the hope that sponsors give.

And suddenly I saw our little Perla in a whole new light. The distance between us was narrowing quickly.

Then this year, I took another virtual trip. This time to Kenya to visit the Maasai tribe. My primary travel guide was Kristen.

And this post did me in.

What my eyes had seen, I could no longer ignore. Nor did I want to.

In April we sponsored Kisanda, a little girl in the Democratic Republic of Congo. But it wasn’t enough. I wanted to do more.

In May, we read Radical and began to get really weird. We began selling things so that we could give. But it wasn’t enough. I wanted to do more.

I dreamed of being a Compassion blogger so that I could impact others as Melissa and Kristen had impacted me. But I know my audience is too small. An extensive search through World Vision’s site led me to their Child Ambassador program. I have since become a Child Ambassador so that I can spread the news about the need for child sponsorship. It’s the least I can do. I still want to do more.

I never dreamed a year and a half ago that I’d be in this place. That my heart would be stolen for the least of these. It began by taking an unexpected trip.

This week the Compassion bloggers are in Guatemala. I invite you to take this trip with them.

See what Ann sees. See what Lisa-Jo Sees. See what Amanda sees. See what Lindsey sees. See what Shaun sees.

Read with your eyes wide open.

And let your heart be changed by what you see.

In hope,

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About Shelli Bourque

An ordinary girl living by the grace of life in Christ. Adoring wife and mom. Lover of quiet places and uncluttered spaces. Beauty seeker and image maker.