This month, I had the beautiful privilege of spending an evening with Capital District Indian Christian Fellowship in Albany, New York. This group of Indian families gathers monthly to spend time together, eat a meal and have a worship service. About a year ago, I visited their fellowship group to share about a VisionTrust project called Mandavaikuppam, located close to Chennai, India. The families were excited to help—several sponsored children and donated to the project. This year, as I returned to share an update on Mandavaikuppam, I was so touched by the hospitality and generosity of the group. But what touched me most were the life stories that were shared as I got to know the families throughout the evening.
Here are just a few:
One woman, Sylvia, shared that her grandfather was orphaned at the age of three when his parents died of cholera. Since no one could care for him, he was enrolled in a sponsorship program and was there until he graduated high school. Her grandfather worked full-time after high school, and went on to own a grocery store and farmland later in his life. He lived to be 97 years old, had six children, twenty-four grandchildren and even met some of his great-grandchildren. He sponsored many children in his lifetime and also encouraged his children and grandchildren to sponsor. Sylvia shared that she was excited to carry on her grandfather’s legacy by sponsoring a child through VisionTrust.
One of the leaders of the fellowship group, Patrick, shared with the whole group how child sponsorship has personally impacted his life. When he was in high school, Patrick’s father passed away and his mother could no longer afford to send him to school. Through the generosity of a widow in the UK who had two daughters of her own, Patrick was able to participate in a sponsorship program that paid his high school fees. He graduated high school, went on to college and has been able to raise and care for a family of his own because of the kindness of another.
These stories were a powerful reminder that child sponsorship isn’t just “a nice thing to do”. Child sponsorship is an incredible calling to transform the life of one child. That one transformed life has the potential to forever change generations upon generations of families. Sylvia and Patrick are living proof of the legacy of child sponsorship. Thank you, Capital District Indian Christian Fellowship, for not only sharing your love and resources with the children of Mandavaikuppam, but for also sharing your life stories to inspire others!