1 John 4:7-8 (NIV)
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
I was so nervous. I wasn’t even sure why… I didn’t think they were going to hate me or anything… But, I didn’t know what to expect when I went to meet my sponsor child Angelica and her family for the first time.
In May 2016 I traveled to the Dominican Republic with Compassion Canada for the opportunity of a lifetime: to see first-hand the difference I was making in Angelica’s life. I was floored by what I discovered. In the 5 hours I spent with her I learned that she has autism. Before Compassion stepped into the picture she literally didn’t speak at all. Through my sponsorship she was able to go to school; her parents said it was only a matter of weeks before she started to speak as teachers and church members loved her and built into her.
Sitting on the steps in front of her home, I got to talk to her about how Jesus loves her and I sang the song penned by John Mark McMillan called, “How He Loves Us”.
During that week of visiting schools, churches and poverty-stricken neighborhoods, it really put my life into perspective. I thought I knew what it was like to have very little. I have been through financial hardship, I’ve lived in tiny places, I’ve experienced the way bankruptcy rocks a family’s sense of security, and I’ve even lived in a shelter for a few months. But the kind of poverty I saw was different. Even with my past experiences I realized that I am living like royalty compared to the way many people live around the world.
I realized I have a lot more to give than I thought. I realized that it doesn't take much to make a difference in the world, just loving God and loving people. We all have something small that we can do to make a difference, whether it is through child sponsorship, being there for a friend, smiling at the cashier or volunteering with a local organization.
As 2017 rounds the bend to the finish line, I want to end the year on a high note! Let’s see how many ways we can spread God’s love to the people in our neighborhood and around the globe!
COMMENT BELOW: What are some easy, practical ways we can show love to the people around us?
*For more information or to sponsor a child, visit www.compassion.ca.