You know the ones: They speak and it launches you into something new and wonderful. I’m thinking today about one of those friends in my life. I’ve known her a long time – nearly twenty years, actually. I met her when I was at school and it was her job to support me. It proves even the appointment of staff can be prophetic, because she certainly has over the years – not only at school (helping to put my work into Braille), but personally as well.
Carol was the one who asked me one day as we walked into the gym: “When you have problems, have you thought of praying about it?” (I hadn’t, and didn’t think it was for me at the time.)
She was the one who phoned not long after I had left school to invite me to a Marilyn Baker concert, where I first heard this song.
She was the one I met at an event in 2000. A new Christian, but our time together was so short, I didn’t have a chance to tell her, so I wrote her a letter. I remember one sentence read: “Although I don’t go to church, Christianity is now a huge part of my life.” Carol could have kept the letter to encourage her in her own walk with God, but she did so much more than that. Within days of me writing it, she was on the phone, inviting me to the house group she went along to on Wednesday nights, which got me into church.
Carol baptised me along-with my pastor.
She inspired one of my songs when I had just come home after a hard time, and she talked to me about a plant needing to be in the right soil. She’s prayed me through difficult seasons and celebrated the good ones.
And Carol inspired something else, which I’ll be forever grateful for. As we ate lunch one day in 2005, she told me about a conference she’d just been to – with Compassion. My parents had sponsored with another organisation when I was growing up, so I was very interested in what she had to say. The idea of getting letters to me personally from my child really impressed me. Carol had told me the website-address, so I went and looked. My first Filipino girl was Jennylyn and I’ve been sponsoring children ever since.
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Compassion have asked their bloggers to write this month about who (or what) first inspired us to sponsor a child. If you sponsor, where did you get your inspiration? If you don’t, will you consider investing in the life of a child? I can’t promise that every child will open up to their sponsor and write screeds in their letters, but never doubt that what you put into somebody’s life can make a big difference.