Editor’s note: The following post was written by Jay Strum, World Vision sponsor and Hope Sunday host (pictured above with his wife).
“What if they reject me?” Swallowing my fear and pride, I stood up and began to speak. I quietly prayed to myself for God to allow the words to flow out. Then as I spoke from my heart, I knew exactly what to say.
I had a few reservations when I learned that I could share about World Vision’s child sponsorship program at my church by hosting a Hope Sunday. And at times I felt like the Lord’s reluctant servant. But I knew that I was being called to share my story.
After overcoming my initial discomfort, I was able to respond to the Lord’s gentle nudge, understanding that God's vision is greater vision than my own.
I began planning for my Hope Sunday and, in the process, discovered that there were other families who sponsored kids through World Vision in my church. I thought that combining our stories would be powerful for the church to hear, so I asked them to share about their own sponsorship experiences. I was grateful when six people said they would be happy to speak.
Other sponsors at Jay's chuch share their sponsorship experience on his Hope Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Jay Strum)
On the day of my Hope Sunday I was planning on talking about the many ways in which sponsorship benefits and transforms the life of a child. But as I spoke to the congregation I found myself, instead, sharing about how my own life has been transformed by sponsorship.
As I finished speaking, the other sponsors walked to the front of the church. One by one, they began to share about their own experience. As testimonies were given about the incredible blessing of sponsorship, I felt completely at peace. I was witnessing God’s church listen and respond to the passion of the other sponsors as they shared about the importance of serving the poor.
Then I asked the church to respond to what they've heard by sponsoring a child. To my surprise and joy, twenty families decided to sponsor a child that day.
What an amazing day it was! I praise God for his faithfulness, and I’m grateful that I was able to help change the lives of even more children by simply sharing my experience as a child sponsor with my church family. While I know it may very well be a blessing to the children in need around the world, sponsorship continues to be a blessing to my life, too.