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Grant talks about Child Sponsorship

Whenever I sing or speak, I always plan to invite people to consider sponsoring a child with one of my ministry partners: Compassion (in US and Australia) or World Vision (in New Zealand).

For me, that invitation offers an ideal response to everything I sing and speak about. That is: How can we show our gratitude for the amazing grace that God has lavished upon us?

“Could it be by caring for one (or more!) of these beautiful kids? After all, they should not be seen as a religious duty, but as a holy privilege!”

I first became a sponsor in 2000 back in Australia. Compassion helped me connect with a seven-year-old girl named Kirabo in Rwanda. I’m embarrassed to say it, but in the earlier stages of my journey as a sponsor, I cared very little for her. Even though I received Kirabo’s letters and prayers, I did not reciprocate. But over time, God used this connection to change me.

Back then, I think I tended to see the monthly withdrawal from my bank account for Kirabo as evidence that I was a “good” person. It bought me a little bit of religious self-righteousness. A bit of a prideful “right” to say, “Don’t ask me to give more! I’m already doing my bit!”

But by the time Kirabo graduated from the program in 2015 – and after meeting her in Rwanda in 2009 – my view of what it means to be a sponsor and how transformative it can be – for both sponsor and sponsored –  had really taken hold of me. My family and I have not been without the priceless connections of child sponsorship ever since. I can’t see that changing!

In addition, we are a lot more consistent (and joyful!) at being thoughtful, prayerful and corresponding with our sponsor kids. As a result, all of my family – from the oldest (me) right down to my youngest (Casper) – have a growing desire to care for others – especially children living in poverty in the so-called “developing” nations of the world.

I have had the privilege of seeing first-hand how child sponsorship works “on the field”. My wonderful ministry partners at Compassion International have made it possible for me to visit Thailand, Rwanda, The Dominican Republic and Guatemala – where I spent a precious afternoon with one of our sponsor kids, Nelson and his mother Aura.

Through honest, reputable, well-grounded organizations like Compassion and World Vision, child sponsorship works.

This simple, effective action brings about radical change in the lives of children, their families and their communities. But perhaps more surprisingly, radical, positive change can happen in the hearts and lives of those who sponsor too.

My child sponsorship experiences have profoundly and irrevocably altered my faith and perspectives in ways that I need to share with anyone and everyone who hears me sing or teach.

Peace

Kirabo Sylvie Kibarigaju, aged 6 in 2000

Grant & wife Brooke meet Karibo in Rwanda in 2009

Grant with Nelson, his & Brooke’s sponsor child

Grant in the Dominican Republic

Grant with Guatemalan sponsor children

Kirabo with Brooke & Grant

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