What if children got to choose who sponsored them? That’s exactly what one Christian humanitarian organization is doing, and the results are remarkable.
World Vision International “partner[s] with children, families, and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.”
They do this by following the example of Jesus “to show unconditional love to the poor and oppressed.” The organization gives people from all over the world the opportunity to sponsor a child in order to help them grow, learn, and become successful in life while also introducing them to Jesus.
Typically, the sponsor is given the responsibility to pick a child that they want to support. Children sit and wait wondering, Will anyone choose me? Well, World Vision has decided to switch the role and empower the child to make the decision instead.
This simple yet powerful change in how World Vision operates its Chosen sponsorship program proceeds as follows:
Edgar Sandoval, the president of the US division of World Vision, said, “We are simply expressing what we believe in a new and fresh way. We are working to empower them to be agents of change.”
Sandoval continues, “Chosen introduces children to the first of many empowering choices they will now have through child sponsorship, so they can become agents of lasting change. We are already seeing God move in miraculous ways through Chosen.”
Earlier this summer, a group of Guatemalan children located in a very impoverished village was gathering for a sponsorship event. They were dressed in their best attire, hoping it would increase their chances of getting sponsored.
However, the children were informed that they would be the ones choosing their sponsors. That change had a profound effect. Rev. Matt Grover, associate pastor at Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Arizona, was visiting Guatemala during the event and described the moving scene he witnessed:
“Tears filled their eyes and their expressions changed from ‘pick me’ to genuine smiles. These kids … suddenly found themselves at a place where their voices mattered; they had a choice.”