Today, World Vision Child Ambassador Paula Hemphill describes how God is using her to advocate for children -- despite her fears -- and showing her what real love is.
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God calls out nobodies. He takes people with ordinary lives and works extraordinarily through them. David. Abraham. Me.
For me, it all started a couple of years ago. I felt this heavy nudging to become a Child Ambassador with World Vision. I wish I could say I jumped right on it and hit the ground running, but it doesn't usually work that way with me. I tend to take the long way around.
You see, I was scared. Terrified is probably a more accurate description. The idea of advocating for these children, speaking on behalf of them, finding them sponsors -- it was a big, scary thing. It was too big of a task for little me. I lost sleep over it. But God, in the gentle way He loves, brought me back.
When I think about how terrified I was, I think about Abraham. He left his home, his people, the only life he had ever known. He had to be scared. But God…well, God did what He always does. He comforted:
Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward. –Genesis 15:1 (NIV)
Those words God gave to Abraham. They comfort me, too.
God made a great nation out of Abraham’s obedience, despite his fear. God is showing me what real love is through my fear.
Don’t get me wrong -- it’s absolutely frightening to hold a child’s picture in my hands and know that for a short time World Vision is counting on me to speak on behalf of that child. But when I’m afraid, God tends to redeem those times and remind me that it’s not about me. It’s about Him working through me for His glory.
And every once in a while I get the slightest glimpse of just how beautiful that glory is. There are these perfect, breathtaking moments when I get to be part of connecting a sponsor with a child who they never knew was missing from their lives. I like to call those moments the “special ones.”
It's hard to explain, but it’s kind of like I’m witnessing the exact moment when someone falls in love. It's magical and beautiful. There is nothing like it. It's better than a wedding. It's this really special, intimate moment -- and love looks a little different on everyone. The sponsor's whole body language changes. It's like they don't even realize I’m there, and I know that I don't have to do a thing. Just be present and watch it unfold. Those are my favorites.
I am no one special really. I don't have a large following or lots of influence. But then again, I think God likes me better that way; and in the end, maybe that’s what makes me special.
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Paula Hemphill has been a World Vision Child Ambassador for two years. She advocates for children in need by connecting others in her community with children who are waiting for sponsors. Sometimes this happens during presentations or at events, but most often it happens through one-on-one interactions that occur naturally through “ordinary” conversations.
As a result of the connections Paula has made, she will soon be headed to Mexico with World Vision staff to experience the impact of her passion firsthand.
Lives are changed when you talk about what matters to you and give people an opportunity to join you! Learn how you also can become a volunteer Child Ambassador!