It was my little brother who first made me think that supporting a kid through Compassion International was a real possibility. After all, if a penniless college student could find a way to scrape together $38 a month, then anyone could.
Really, the decision was easy for me. I knew I wanted to give back. After all, so many people had given to me over the years, and I loved being able to give to kids. Here in Nashville that's one of the things I miss most: my kids. So signing up for a Compassion child was one of the first things I did after acquiring furniture. Like I said, the decision to do it was much easier than actually picking a child.
There's not enough to know about a child or who a child will be from the short blurbs. You know what they look like, how old they are, where they live, and how long they've been waiting. But with so many, how do you even begin? I visited the Compassion website multiple times over the course of a couple of weeks, praying. They don't have Iraqi kids.
Then I remembered. Firm dark hands, hope from a meal, a magic show on the spreading flat roof of the house, and trying to convince the watermelon man that I really did want ten watermelons, not 10 kilos of watermelon. The Bangladeshi workers were a poignant blip in my Iraqi time. Their slave trade in the country was largely inhibited through the influence of several NGOs drawing a bit too much attention to the workers. One of my teammates even visited Bangladesh and came back wearing the Bangladeshi man-skirts in a blue plaid that made everyone think of sheets.
Anyway, my thoughts traveled down those same paths and farther (because I let them), and then I knew. I also loved the Bangladeshis. I'd prayed for them for years. So, I picked a girl from Bangladesh. Her birthday is the same day as my man-skirt friend, so it will be easier to remember. Her name is Sushri and she's only five. I'm excited to see her grow and watch what God does in her life. I'm really happy and I've gotten a couple of letters from her.
But now? One is not enough... I'm not going to find another girl in Bangladesh with that birthday.
How would you choose?