For pretty much as long as I can remember, I have had a heart for Africa. Back in college, almost ten years ago (*GASP!*) I was blessed to be part of a team that went to South Africa to serve at Bethesda Outreach for a month. Looking back even further, I can remember as a child always circling the black baby dolls in the Sears Christmas catalog. Could it be that even then, God was already softening my heart for Africa???? Maybe that's a stretch, but maybe not.
We hope to someday adopt and for awhile we were thinking about Rwanda - a few months ago, that door closed for now, because the country is currently working on becoming Hague compliant. Over the summer, I read the book There is No Me Without You, (if you are interested in Africa, or adoption, or kids, or social causes, or anything - READ THIS BOOK!) which brought Ethiopia to my mind....and it has stayed there since. (There are 5 million orphans in Ethiopia. FIVE MILLION!) So if we were starting the adoption process today - which we are not, though I'll keep you updated :) - Ethiopia would probably be #1 on our list. We'll see if it still is when we are ready to adopt, or if God has other plans.
Anyhoo....back to present day and the real reason for this post: Mikiyas Daniel. I have always loved the idea of sponsoring a child from a 3rd world country, and we did sponsor Jhonny (who I met while in Bolivia) until he moved to live with family, but for a few years now we have not been sponsors. We thought about it last year and even looked through the Compassion website, but I really wanted to pick a child who would be Jackson's age, so he could have a better connection with the idea, and at that time he was still too young.
A few weeks ago, the kids and I were coming home from the mall and I turned on the radio. Our local Christian radio station, WJTL was partnering with Compassion International to find sponsors for a group of children in Ethiopia. (oooh....if we would sponsor a child in Ethiopia, and we adopt from there someday, maybe we would have the chance to meet him!)
They began describing a child, Mikiyas Daniel, and said his birthday was in March, the same day as Jackson, just a different year. (awww, too bad it wasn't the same exact day, that would be so cool!)
Then the radio guy said he had made a mistake, and when he re-read the new birthday, it was the same day, and now the same YEAR as Jackson's! (!!!!!) So I immediately rooted through the diaper bag to find my cell phone, but had no clue what the station's phone number was. I kept listening and a few minutes later they said the phone number, so I called in hopes I would be able to sponsor this little guy. I asked if he was still available, and the person on the other line said, "Actually his information was JUST put right in front of me." Giddy with excitement, I gave all my info and happily became a sponsor. Some people might think this was all an amazing coincidence - I think it was a "God thing." :)
If you have ever considered sponsoring a child, please visit Compassion to find out more details. It might stretch us a little more financially, but imagine the relief of this one's parents when they find out their child has a sponsor - that he will be fed, educated, and receive the medicines and vitamins he needs!