“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” —Philippians 1:6
I was watching a video this morning of my friend Dr. KP Yohannan visiting the home of a girl enrolled in the third grade of a Bridge of Hope center sponsored by supporters of Gospel for Asia (GFA). The video featured a visit to the humble home where the little girl lives with her grandmother in the slums of Mumbai.
As the story unfolded, Brother KP wondered how long the woman would be able to care for her precious granddaughter as they both grew older. He spoke of the potential of the child to grow up into an adult who cares deeply for others, whether in business or as a loving mother. She has a long way to go, but the Bridge of Hope center is preparing her for such a future.
Just as I was thinking about the likelihood of her actually completing the journey across that bridge to a future of hope and prosperity, Dr. Yohannan made a statement that both pierced and blessed my heart.
He said, “Our commitment is to stay with her till she makes it.”
Within that moment, my entire understanding of child sponsorship was transformed.
My perspective on sponsorship was pretty much limited to providing education, food and health care. I realized that I had neglected the fact that we also provide a place for character development, a setting where the child can learn to discern truth from error, and a place where the love of Jesus is demonstrated in a way that it can transform their lives and embody it as they grow into adulthood.
I realized anew the commitment that GFA and its field partners have to ensure that Bridge of Hope children actually find that hope, not just from day to day, but for their entire future.
Supporting children in Bridge of Hope centers in Asia is more than pointing them to hope. It is leading them to a future where their hope is certain and sure, and where they can share their hope with others.
Just as the Apostle Paul assured the Philippians that the Lord was committed to completing the good work He has begun in us, our gifts help to ensure that GFA, its field partners and Bridge of Hope staff members are able to make and keep their commitment to stay with each student until they make it.
What kind of hope would we provide if all we did was educate and feed children and tell them there is hope without leading them every step of the way, all the way to that hope?
And how short-sighted would our efforts be if we failed to interact with the parents (and grandparents) who are struggling to raise these innocents? Part of the miracle of Bridge of Hope is that center staff members involve the parents or guardians, encouraging and assisting them as well. We have the joy of seeing individual children, their families and entire communities transformed with hope.
We will not be a bridge to nowhere. We are committed to being a Bridge of Hope.
Will you pray for GFA and our Bridge of Hope partners? Here are some ways to pray specifically for the needs of children in Asia.
Will you pray for Dr. KP Yohannan as he nears his 40th year of leadership at Gospel for Asia?
Will you consider sponsoring children who need a Bridge of Hope? Who knows when we might be the only source of the financial support that child needs?
Image Source: Gospel for Asia, Photo of the Day
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