Several months ago my family sponsored our first child through World Vision. Since I was a teen ager, attending Christian concerts, I had heard about child sponsorship and there have been many times I've wanted to pick one up, but just didn't. When the opportunity arose for us to sponsor a little boy who lives in the area of Zambia where Hoops of Hope does much of our work, we jumped on it! We are all incredibly excited!
The very next day I took my kids to the store to pick out some things to mail to Milimo. Because of package size restrictions we are limited on what we can send, but we had a blast picking out things like colored pencils, small pads of paper, bandanas, and other items that would fit in the envelope. The kids drew pictures, I wrote a note, we included a photo of our family, and then mailed it off.
For several weeks we waited. Waited for some kind of response - something that would connect us to little Milimo Chikwikwi in Twachiyanda, Zambia. A few days ago, it finally came!! A letter with a Zambian stamp! We made ourselves wait until dad got home so that we could all open it together. When we finally got to tear into the envelope, we were beyond excitement! In it was a letter from Milimo, translated and written out by a local volunteer. We got to hear all about his life, his family, and what his interests are. Very cool moment for us!
We were again reminded why we have this "pen pal" in Zambia. His life is in such stark contrast to ours, and yet he had such positive things to say about where he lives, who he lives with, etc. Clearly his joy is not found in what he possesses, or how comfortable his life is. Milimo choses to have joy even amidst living well below what we call poverty in this country. So humbling!
With renewed ferver we all started planning the next package to our new friend, and more importantly we prayed for him. Every night before bed my kids pray for him, throughout the day when we see his sweet face on our refrigerator we pray for him, and in moments of selfishness when I find myself wishing I had "this" or "that", I try to stop and think of Milimo, and I pray for him.
Little Milimo has touched our lives more than he'll probably ever know. We may never get to meet him, but we are blessed to be able to help him through sponsorship. The joy that brings is almost inexplainable, and is so amazing! If you haven't yet sponsored a child, I encourage you to visit the Hoops of Hope website, and chose a child today. Not only will you be helping to change a life around the globe, but you will likely be forever changed as well.