My Little Girl. . . The Story of a Sponsor
When I decided to sponsor a child, I looked at many children on the Jemo Hope Chest website. I noticed this 5 year old girl by the name of Lidiya Habesha. She looked malnourished and sad. I continued to look at the rest of the children on the website but felt drawn back to her. I thought Lidiya—her name is easy to pronounce and the first two letters of her name are the same as the first two letters of my first name (Lillian). I decided to sponsor her. Immediately after I sponsored her, I was amazed and surprised to feel so happy. It was like I had just given birth to Lidiya. I felt just as happy to sponsor Lidiya as I felt when I saw my own new-born daughter for the first time. I have sponsored children before but never felt like this.
I was planning to join the 2013 BCC Jemo team when I learned that Lidiya was on the home visit list and that I could visit her and her family. I can’t tell you how happy I was about that. It encouraged me to go to Jemo even more. On the day of the home visit, I took Lidiya by the hand and walked to her home with two of our team members (Colin Bales and Mike Smith), the social worker, and an interpreter. Lidiya’s home was just a few blocks from the Jemo compound. We gave Lidiya’s mother some flour, sugar, and oil. Lidiya’s mother kept kissing my hand. I told her mother through our interpreter about how I felt when I sponsored Lidiya and how much I love her daughter.
Lidiya’s mother only makes about $30.00 a month selling cabbage. The rent on the apartment is $20.00 a month, so she only has $10.00 a month to live on to feed herself and her four children. Her husband abandoned the family. The $34.00 a month I provide to sponsor Lidiya goes to feed Lidiya and her family. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I wouldn’t want to just feed Lidiya and leave the rest of her family to starve.
When I went to Jemo, I kept looking for Lidiya but couldn’t find her. I kept looking for a malnourished sad looking little girl that I had sponsored months before. Another member of our Jemo team had to point her out to me. I was shocked at how much better Lidiya looked as you can see from her before and after pictures. She is a happy little girl who has a loving family. I am so happy for Lidiya—my little girl.
This sponsor testimony was graciously shared by Fran Stott.
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