International (MNN) — How much do you pay for cable each month? How about that phone bill with the extra data plan and the tablet on the side? Chances are, either bill is well over $35 a month. While these services have likely changed your life and affected your future, it’s uncommon for them to be life-saving in the most basic sense.
But what if you had a monthly payment that gave a chance for a good life to a child who previously had no chances?
This is what Orphan Outreach does in seven countries around the world: they provide opportunities to children in need. And not only do children get fed, go to school, and learn that somebody loves them, but they also get to hear about Jesus.
There are over 350 children in Orphan Outreach’s program currently without a sponsor. That’s why Orphan Outreach has kicked off the “Plus One” campaign. Tiffany Taylor of Orphan Outreach says, “It means, ‘Why not add one person to your family,’ one person through sponsorship that you’re going to pray for. Plus One: you can make an eternal difference for that one child by being their sponsor.”
Across seven countries, you’re going to find a variety of needs in all of these children’s lives. Some of them are orphans; some come from families with parents who love them but absolutely cannot provide the basic necessities of life. In these cases, education is out of the question. In Russia, orphans who graduate from the orphanages cannot pursue higher education without help.
Taylor says, “Children who graduate from the orphanages and are in orphanages and in desperate poverty situations are at huge risk for trafficking. They’re also at a huge risk for completing and doing the exact same cycle of their parents and continuing to live in extreme poverty.”
But sponsorship has the potential to destroy the cycle of poverty, child by child. Taylor references an article published by Christianity Today in June of 2013. You can find that here. The article, she says, reports that children are 50-80% more likely to pursue higher education when they are sponsored. Education seems to be the key to breaking poverty, and the article suggests that child sponsorship can change the world.
With Orphan Outreach, however, the focus goes beyond this life. “While we’re also helping them with their education and the hope of a future, we’re letting them know that there’s hope in Jesus Christ,” Taylor says.
“Plus One” has one goal: to get all of the children in Orphan Outreach’s programs sponsored.
Taylor shares a closer look at how Orphan Outreach sponsorship does have an effect on the children. She says, “I have to tell you, going on the mission field myself: it’s really hard to walk into an orphanage and have cards and letters for half the children, and have only half of them sponsored. I want each and every child in our programs to know that they matter, that there is hope, that they can have a future, and that there’s someone praying for them that desperately wants them to have a wonderful future.”
Sponsorship families are also able to visit their children with Orphan Outreach.
These children receive a healthy meal so they can actually focus and learn at school.
“We have found–in most of these countries with these children coming from such extreme poverty–that they weren’t even eating at all. Sponsorship literally is a lifeline to them. It means a meal, it means an education, and it means the hope of Jesus Christ,” says Taylor.
Will you take a moment to consider where you could fit into this puzzle? Can you add a child to your family through sponsorship? Can you sponsor a child with your Sunday school class at church? Check it out here.
If finances are a problem, could you visit Orphan Outreach’s Web site, find an unsponsored child, and take time to pray for them on a regular basis?