I got a letter today from my sponsored child, Stephen, who lives in Kenya.

It’s upsetting to get a letter like this when you are worried about someone. All I know for sure is what I have read on CNN about the turmoil in that country, and that Compassion lists his center as one of the ones that has reported violence in the area. Every day I check Compassion’s website, hoping to hear more concrete news, but they have had no updates since January 8th, and the news from Kenya has continued to be bad. I have been worried about Stephen, and this letter, written in September, did nothing to alleviate those fears. I couldn’t even read the letter – I made Mike look at it first. In it, he mentioned the upcoming elections, saying, “We believe that God will give us a God-fearing leader.”

I won’t claim to be the world’s greatest sponsor – I am, at best, rather lax about remembering to write to him. But I sat down this evening and wrote a letter back, telling him that my family and my church have been praying for him, that I think of him every day. I don’t know when he will get that letter. I don’t know if he and his family are okay. Even if they are okay, I don’t know if he’s been affected by what’s gone on.

On Sunday, at church, I was the liturgist, and in the prayer for the world, I asked God to help us remember the ways that we are connected to the people of the world that were created in his image. Sometimes the news of the world seems overwhelming, but when we remember that the people who are affected by the news we see on TV are individuals just like us, it helps us to know how to pray. I can sponsor a child, have the money drafted from my account every month, and not really think much else about it. I try to write to Stephen, but I am not good at knowing what to say, and he seems so far from my daily life. And yet, sponsoring him has opened my heart to another country, has given me great concern for the people there and their government and welfare. If you pray for the people of Kenya, please remember my sponsored child, Stephen. He helps his grandmother, and has goats, and loves soccer. Science is his favorite subject. He makes good grades, and he sends me the most wonderful letters.

He signed the letter, “From your loving son.”

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