"You need a new phone."
I've been told that regularly for the last two years. They're right: I do need a new phone. When I started college the question was always, "Is that the new model?" Now that I've graduated, same phone in pocket, the question has become "When do you get an upgrade?"
They want me to make the leap into the twenty-first century and go from a dumb phone that only texts and calls to a smart phone that does everything except brush your teeth for you.
"With as much time as you spend on Facebook and Twitter, you're going to love it!"
That's what they all say. And they're probably right. I wish I could Tweet on the go, always had my email at my fingertips, and my text message inbox didn't remain at 98 percent full. The upgrade won't break my budget and the thirty dollars a month data plan is feasible.
Weeks of second-guessing and questioning led up to the moment when I signed the check. Knowing full well what I was doing, I handed it to Brent. He handed me a receipt.
Smile* was mine.
My check was not for thirty dollars. It was for thirty-eight. If I could feasibly pay thirty dollars a month just to have the internet with me wherever I went, how could I not spend thirty-eight dollars a month making sure a child had food?
For years I have been the primary letter writer for Maria, our family's sponsored child in Columbia. That means the misunderstanding about us having fourteen grandchildren... yeah, I'm culpable.
I knew someday I'd sponsor a child through Compassion. The question that ragged on my heart was: Why is that someday not today? I was out of excuses.
For a dollar and twenty-five cents a day, I can provide Smile with food. That's not even the cost of one cup of coffee. That's one small fries from McDonald's.
Let's be real: I don't have a lot of money. But I have enough. I'm not worrying about going hungry. Smile is.
Katie: God, why are you providing for me but not for Your children in third world countries? Is food not a necessity?
God: I am providing. Katie, I am providing you.
It's going to be a sacrifice. I want (borderline need) a new phone, but it's going to have to wait.
There's a little girl in El Salvador who needs an education. She needs medical care. She needs hope, esperanza. She needs to know someone cares. That someone is an unemployed hispanohablante in the US. That Someone is her Heavenly Father.
Why not today?
*not her real name
PS: This is my story of how God led me to child sponsorship through Compassion. It might be reckless to commit to $38/month with no income. But I know the Lord and saw His hand in this decision long before I signed the check. I trust He will provide, and I've seen Him do so already. If that means I have to eat peanut butter and jelly for a week (I hate pbj) so Smile can eat rice and beans, so be it.