An organic movement of people drawn to see the weak and vulnerable with God's eyes, and respond by faith with practical love.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Mercy of Sponsorship

Ever since coming back from Serbia last October I've been praying about the best way to respond to the needs I found in Dom Veternik mental institution. There have been ideas, and whispers of ideas, but one has stood out above the rest. The most challenging one. Sponsorship.

This is a dream being birthed, it will grow and take shape over time. Here is what I envision at this point. A family will chose to invest in the life of a child or adult who lives without a family in an institutionalized setting. The family receives a brief bio and picture of this new friend; begins praying for their needs; sends notes, small gifts, and a donation to help improve the resident's care. Both are blessed!

The needs of the residents of Dom Veternik vary. There are young men and women who are ready to transition from the institution to a support home in the city where they can continue their education or work. The problem is funding. There are residents waiting for this opportunity but a lack of funding keeps them institutionalized.

A support home for Dom Veternik residents
There are also children and adults that will never be able to live without complete care. However, the amount of care they receive now is insufficient because of low staffing and financing. Their quality of life is poor, they are waiting in cribs.
A young adult resident on the immobile floor

In many ways they are treasures hidden in silence, until we choose to see them and invest. 

The idea of sponsorship daunts me because the amount of people needed to make it successful is large. Going out on a limb feels risky, and at times lonely, but big risks are where we reap big rewards. I know it is only by the leading and providing of God that an international sponsorship program can happen. I'm stepping out in faith and walking in that direction.

Those are the bare bones of the idea, but what about the heart? The reason I believe sponsorship is important is that it links our lives together. The weak and vulnerable are gifts to us, when we exercise our heart muscles of compassion we become better people. In turn, as we care for the vulnerable and take an interest in their needs, they benefit. It's a win win.

Adoption is thought of as bringing a child into your home to raise as your own. I love adoption and believe it's important, but I believe there is more to adoption than we imagine. What if adoption is taking up the cause of another person, what if it means working to defend them, sacrificing for their good when others won't. Many of the residents of Dom Veternik mental institution aren't available for adoption, but that doesn't mean they don't need families to love them. 

I invite you to join our team as we move forward to see with eyes of compassion, to love like Jesus, and to embrace the weakest. We need your prayers and your encouragement. If you are interested in helping get the sponsorship program off the ground I would love to hear from you! And of course you are always welcome to donate by using the Paypal Donate button at the top of the page.

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