Well. I'm going to Bangladesh! haha, WOAH. Still shaking in my boots as I write that because right now all I see is that big pricetag on the top of this page and the things that need to get done from now until then. I've never done anything like this. And creating a Go Fund Me page for myself felt a little egocentric and like another classic millenial move. But I'm doing this thing, and here's the story...
I've been supporting a child from Compassion International since last August. For those who aren't familiar with what this means, I'll give you a brief description. Compassion International does work in 25 different countries within Africa, Central America and the Caribbean, South America, and Asia to work to "release children from poverty in Jesus' name" through their sponsorship program. Their sponsor program means individuals (you & me!) choose to personally invest in the life of a child in need. Through monthly giving, the child being sponsored is able to participate in a church-based program that offers life-changing benefits that range from educational opportunities to health care. More specifically, it means they will receive help with homework, tutoring, school supplies and clothing, supplementary food, health and hygiene education, personal attention from loving staff, and the very most important thing in the world to me, the opportunity to hear the gospel, learn about God, and receive Bible training.
This idea really appealed to me, but I am more skeptical when it comes to giving to organizations and wanted to make sure I did my research so I could know this was legit. I was completely wowed when I dug into their financial integrity and in researching, this organization held up very well to my skepticism. After I saw the legitimacy, the idea of sponsoring a child really stirred my heart even though my funds were less than great in any way. I took a leap and the deciding factor for my commitment was that I just wanted to grow closer to becoming a little more like Jesus, and I thought sponsoring a child monthly through tight funds was a beautiful opportunity for just that.
When I went to choose a child, little seven-year-old Shuvo's picture stuck out to me and it said he had been waiting for a sponsor for a while. Thus began this adventure of supporting a child monthly, asking God to grow in my heart through the process.
Flash forward to a little over a week ago, I got an email from Compassion that a sponsor trip had just opened for Bangladesh (where my child lives) for the first time in 3 years. I felt my heart stir but tried to talk myself out of it (and it was really easy to). But for a week I couldn't get the idea out of my head. I decided to look into the itinerary and saw the value in it right away. (Little background: another part of my skeptical nature has been a little resistance to the typical "mission trip." I need to know how and who they are helping, and make sure it's not just a bunch of White Americans going to a poor country for a week to build a house and coming back only to change their profile pictures and tell everyone how great they are)... not that this scenario is what I've always seen, in fact, several that i've seen have been wonderful, I've just been very cautious. I wanted whatever trip I was apart of to be service-centered, partnering with the humans who are actually living in the culture and not stomping over them, to widen my eyes to the world around me (I've only ever been to Cancun, Mexico outside of the US which is sad because I adore learning about other cultures and people groups!), as well as, maybe most importantly, being a physical representation of love, of "I-care," of rooting-for-you... of my beautiful Jesus. And those are the reasons I'm saying YES to this trip, boots shaking and all!
However, my fund situation is limited at best (ha) and to be honest with you, I don't have $3,650. Not even close. I am asking, with so much humility, that you, whoever you are, might consider helping me get there. I'm not taking myself off the hook in this and I think it's important for you to know that I am not just going to sit and wait here for you to pay for me to go. I will be actively putting aside any money I can and living in a way that honors your gifts (i.e. not going on frivalous shopping trips while I wait for you guys to help me). In a world where you could be giving to literally any beautiful cause or human, I do not take it lightly that you are considering giving to me.
If you made it all this way, WOW, thank you! You're the real MVP and I truly am so so humbled. If you're still a little skeptical about all of this (respect), here is a detailed account of what you would be supporting:
Bangladesh Trip (the added cost on my page is for a flight for me to get to our departure city).
Don't know how to end this except by saying thank you. Thank you for even reading this, for considering this, for giving, for loving me, for being a part of my life, for wanting to know what I think, for so many things. Wherever you fall in that list, I'm grateful from the bottom of my heart.
Taking a leap and doing a little bit of a trust fall with my eyes closed...