A Missions Pastors Podcast reveals that partnering with someone in another country with a different culture than ours opens our eyes to a fresh, new perspective – and that can help us better serve those locally.
Hearing from your sponsored child through writing letters helps you understand their culture and way of life.
“Why don’t you focus on helping your own community?”
For anyone who’s ever supported people and organizations in other countries, this is not a new question.
And it might not be asked in judgment.
People really do want to know – why give internationally when there are so many people who need help here?
The short answer? This type of giving benefits everyone.
The nonprofit OneChild is a global community of Child Champions – advocates for kids living in hard places in some of the poorest countries in the world. This global community includes partners who are vital to reaching these kids and their families.
Not only do partnerships allow OneChild to serve more people and open up more Hope Centers, but they also work together to best serve kids and communities with differing cultural, religious, and social perspectives.
“Our God is a global, missional God, and we get to be a part of that,” says Pam Seaburg, Outreach Director at Victory Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. “Our parts may be different from each other, but none is better.”
When you write letters to your sponsored child, you can include photos of yourself and your family to help them visualize what your world looks like.
In The Missions Pastor Podcast, Pam notes that Victory’s partnership with OneChild and other similar nonprofit organizations means that they can send teams on trips to countries, which starts a ripple effect of grace and lasting impact.
“Getting outside of our context really opens our eyes,” she says. “Grace expands when we can see life from someone else’s perspective and a world we’re not familiar with.”
Amanda Brown, Missions Pastor at Flatirons Community Church in Colorado, echoes this perspective.
Engaging with a different culture allows people to expand their worldview and be more open to others who may have different ways of life in their own communities, she says.
Serving others globally helps us better serve those locally.
Not everyone is able to travel abroad, but there are other ways to open our worldview. Sponsorship makes it possible for people from opposite sides of the globe to learn about each other, communicate, and connect.
A sponsor learns about the different lifestyle and realities their sponsored child experiences. And the sponsored child in turn sees that there is a whole world of possibilities available to them – and that they can have hope for a better life.
One of the most valuable aspects of sponsorship is that kids get to see outside their own world, according to Child Champions.
For example, coming from a family of trash pickers living in poverty in Delhi, India, Rahul didn’t think he would ever be anything other than a trash picker.
See Rahul’s story:
“I wondered if I would always feel this alone – if anyone cared,” he says.
But thanks to sponsorship and seeing other paths his life could take, he is now hopeful and excited to see what God’s plan is for him.
Hiwot was inspired by her sponsor to become an accountant.
Hiwot, a young woman in Ethiopia, thanks her sponsor for inspiring her and playing a major part in her success.
When reading letters from her sponsor, Hiwot learned that her sponsor was an accountant. She became fascinated with the profession and learned everything she could about it.
After studying hard and going to college, she is now an accountant herself, working and raising a family in Addis Ababa.
Her world literally expanded after communicating with her sponsor.
So why serve people in other countries? Because it opens eyes and hearts from all sides of the earth – because we are all connected through God’s love.
- Check out The Missions Pastor Podcast to hear more insights from pastors who are dedicated to serving the global community.
- Interested in visiting your sponsored child or a Hope Center? Go to https://onechild.org/how-to-get-involved/trips to learn more.
- Start a relationship with your sponsored child – write to them today by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.