It was that time of the year again, in which we sent our children, or at least one child, to a type of “day camp” which was taking place at our church. It was an exciting event, but for some reason (which I cannot quite remember), our daughter was somewhat reluctant to want to go. I sensed the Lord was saying, “Encourage her.” So I did.
If I did not believe in God, I would say it was “luck” or something like that, that got her to go. But no, it wasn’t luck at all. It was indeed God. I knew that when she finally went, that there was something very good about it. What I didn’t know, was just how special a day it would turn out to be, not only for my daughter, but for someone else, as well.
When I picked my daughter up from the day camp (she was 15 at the time), she told me how it went, and it had gone well. Then, she said, “Dad, I hope you don’t mind, but I sponsored a Compassion child.”
I said, “That’s amazing! Of course, I don’t mind at all!”
She went on, “You know, I’ve been going to this event for three years now, and every year, they offer an opportunity to sponsor a child, and I have not been doing it. I finally decided, I’m going to do it this year.”
Well, I was very proud of my daughter. She had chosen wisely. It was God moving in her heart that moved her. I was very very proud of her. That was my daughter who did that of her own volition. It really touched me. I was very proud and remain proud to this day. It has been several years now that my daughter has been sponsoring this child.
Well, it was not long after this event that something else happened. You see, I have two daughters, and not just one. The one who had sponsored the Compassion child was the younger one.
My older daughter had a phone which needed to be replaced. I called her up on the phone and told her that I would like to give her a gift of a new (second-hand) phone. The phone would cost me about 200 dollars (Canadian). I thought it was the right thing to do, because my daughter really needed a phone to help her with her school work. So I went out looking for a second-hand phone, and found one and shipped it off to her via the regular postal service. I called her up to tell her I had just shipped the phone and that it should take about two days to get there. I felt good about that, but something happened as soon as I told her — I felt a grieving in my spirit.
What was this grieving all about? I didn’t understand it. I thought I had done a good thing. I thought, “Surely, there is nothing else I need to do right now.” I thought, “Did I make a mistake and not mail it properly?” So I double-checked with the post office and made sure that it was correctly shipped. Everything seemed to be in order. Yet the grief was still there. Why? This bothered me.
I walked home (it was about a 15-minute walk). I kept feeling bothered, but could not put my finger on it at all. Somehow, the burden was related to money, and I thought, “I just spent 200 dollars on the phone and shipped it off to my daughter. What type of mistake did I make?” This really puzzled me. The Spirit of God was telling me something. But there was some type of interference in the spirit-realm, and I could not accurately perceive it. Sometimes, this happens because of presuppositions. We cannot hear God because we are on the wrong “track” in our thinking. Well, my thinking was along the lines of the phone that I had just bought for my daughter, but it was indeed the wrong “track.” There was another track I needed to be on, but I could not accurately perceive it without going to the Lord in prayer.
The burden was so terribly bothersome that I began to pace around my dining room table. The whole house was empty at that point in time, so there was complete liberty for me to do this. No one would mind; I had the whole house to myself! I paced around, and around, and around, maybe six or seven times. I said, “Lord, what is it? You are telling me something about money, but I cannot perceive it. You are telling me something about Elizabeth. What is it, Lord?” As it turned out, it had nothing to do with the phone. And that is why I was having trouble hearing, because I was indeed on the “wrong track.” I was thinking about the phone, but at that point, the Lord was not talking to me about the phone at all.
When I prayed fervently and openly like that, then the “blockage” that I was experiencing in my ability to hear God was absolutely and totally removed. Then, I heard God speak to me. He said, “I want you to give Elizabeth some money,” and the amount of money was enough so that I knew I would need to give her in the order to 1500 dollars. It was clear to me that he was not speaking to me about a few hundred dollars now. The correct amount was indeed 1500 dollars. As soon as I heard the Lord tell me this, I called her up, and told her that the Lord had spoken to me, and I was going to give her 1500 dollars. Well, it was at that time (during that very conversation) that my daughter then also shared with me something that I did not know! She said, “Dad, yesterday, I sponsored a Compassion child.” This was now my second daughter who had just sponsored a Compassion child of her own volition.
What had happened? This was the same daughter who was having to borrow about 10 thousand dollars a year to pay for her school expenses. As soon as the Lord saw her sponsor a Compassion child, what did he do? He had me give her a “substantial” amount of money — in fact, amounting to 3 years payment of her Compassion child! Did the Lord use me to pay for the Compassion child? No. Instead, he used me to help offset a substantial expense in my daughter’s life at that time (about two months rent), in order to encourage her, as well. Do you see his heart? I did not realize she had sponsored a Compassion child. But the Lord knew! And the Lord was very quick to respond to that. Note that my younger daughter did not have any of these large expenses, so it is understandable why the Lord did not need to offset any of her expenses like he did with my older daughter.
Now here is something else you do not know. At the time, I did not even have a job. I had no way of even paying for any of this! It is not as though I had a lot of money. I did not! So this word I received for my daughter, to give her a substantial amount of money, was really an encouragement for me, too. For how could I possibly give my daughter this amount of money, if I did not have it to give? Therefore, I also knew that God was going to give me a job. This he did, even though it took several months for the job to be available.
Now when was it that the Lord spoke to me, to give this money to my daughter? It was in May. When was it that the job actually came along? Well, it was later on, in September! Thus, there was a four month wait. Well, my daughter could wait. I told my daughter, “My gift to you will be contingent upon my getting a job. I believe God is going to give me a job so I can give that money to you!” What do you think this did for my daughter? Well, it encouraged her to pray for my job! You see, God knows exactly how to bring encouragement to the whole family! And so it was that the job came along at the “right time.” When I got the job, the Lord also gave me a dream, showing me where I was going to get the job! So, you see, the Lord has everything in control. I was called up by a recruiter for this same company, who then asked me if I wanted a job there. I said, “Yes!” Therefore, if you are in need of a job, have faith! The Lord knows exactly what you need, and when you need it.
What then did I do for those four months? Well, there was a lot of work to do. That’s because we were moving from Ottawa to Toronto. We had lived in Ottawa for 24 years. And now it was time to move. It took about 4 months to pack everything up, and sell the house, and get everything ready. If you have ever moved after having lived in one place for a long time, you know exactly what I mean.
A few years later, there was another youth event on at another church (in Toronto this time, because we had now moved from Ottawa to Toronto). I drove both of my daughters to the youth event. The first daughter I drove in the morning. After I dropped her off, I then drove back home, and about half-way home, I felt a small but significant “tug” on my spirit.
“Why did you leave so quickly? You should have stayed and prayed before leaving to go back home.”
I was about 10km away from the church building, but I knew that I had to return, otherwise, I would have no peace and I would miss out on something special. What was it?
I arrived back at the youth event, and asked the Lord to tell me why he wanted me there. Well, there was a reason. At that event, there was a table setup, in which World Vision was providing the opportunity for people to sponsor children. I approached the table, and I said to leader, “I want to encourage you. You are doing a great work.” Then I told the women the story of my two daughters who sponsored Compassion children. The women responded by saying they felt very encouraged by what I had shared. It was obvious the Lord cared very deeply for these children.
I, too, felt very encouraged, because I knew the Lord had sent me back in order to speak to them. The Lord was also sharing with me some of his own heart at the same time! Thus, it was encouraging for me to know that God was doing this, and that it was not just me. Yes, there had been a reason to come back, after all.
That evening, I came back to the church and volunteered for the youth event. There was an intermission around 8:30 in the evening. My daughter ran up to me and said, “Dad! I am going to sponsor a child!”
Later, I found out that both my daughters decided to “go in” sponsoring this child. I was very impressed. But you know, there was something even more impressive, and it was the voice of the Lord, who had spoken to me earlier that day, about these same children.
God truly cares for these children, and gives favor to those who will look after them and take up the challenge to feed them and help them. Every single one is important in God’s eyes.
Imagine, sponsoring a child through Compassion, or World Vision, or Samaritan’s Purse, or through another equally compassionate Christian organization. All this is done in Jesus’s name, right? It should be, and it must be, if we are going to make a lasting difference in this world of ours.
Jesus summoned them, saying, “Allow the little children to come to me, and don’t hinder them, for God’s Kingdom belongs to such as these. Most certainly, I tell you, whoever doesn’t receive God’s Kingdom like a little child, he will in no way enter into it.” (Luke 18:16-17)
For more information on sponsoring a child, please contact:
*The printable tract is provided as a PDF document that you can easily print on any letter-sized paper. Print the page (on both sides). If your printer cannot print both sides, simply print on one side, then feed the paper back in, and print on the other. Then, simply fold the page three times in half. This tract is small (2.75″ x 4.25″ — a bit larger than a business card) and convenient for responsible free distribution.