How did you spend your last birthday? If you’re like me, it may have involved an extended celebration of lunches with these friends and dinner with one part of the family and then another on a different day. Probably there was a present or two along the way.
I’ve been thinking a lot about birthdays because today is the 9th birthday of a girl Larry and I have just begun to sponsor in Sierra Leone.
From what I’ve read, Sierra Leone is a country whose very recent past has included civil war and child soldiers and the impact of Blood Diamonds. It is recognized as one of the poorest nations in the world, if not the poorest.
GirlsNotBrides.org reports that 13% of girls in Sierra Leone are married by age 15 and 39% — more than a third of all girls there — are married by the age of 18. There’s good news because those numbers are improving, along with the statistics that measure access to clean water and death from preventable diseases.
Improving, but still so very far behind.
We’ve chosen to sponsor our child through World Vision because of their long-term commitment to working within a community and because they work in the name of Christ, but there are many, many organizations that offer the opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child.
If you’re interested, you can learn more about child sponsorship (and shorter-term giving opportunities) at WorldVision.org. The cost isn’t that great, and the return on the investment might just be beyond measure.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” — Matthew 25:34-36