By Natalie Barentson
When I first signed up to sponsor a child through Remember the Children, I was excited. I was in college, had just gotten back from a trip to Romania, and was eager to make a difference. I imagined the letters I’d send her, the packages I’d put together for her birthday, and the future trips where I’d get to hang out with her. In my head, I thought I’d make a difference in her life— but my excitement blinded me from the possibility that she might make an even bigger difference in mine.
As letters and updates began to come in the mail, I realized it was a cool opportunity to watch God move in the life of another person. I’ve watched her grow in the pictures that Remember the Children sent me. I’ve seen her progress in school and change her mind on what she wants to be when she grows up. I’ve learned her favorite color, her favorite activities, and her favorite foods. Every time I received an update, I was encouraged at how much God was doing in her life, and I had hope that he could do the same in mine.
As I sponsored, my prayer life began to change, too. Normally, my prayers centered around me. I need help! I don’t know what to do! I want something to change! However, because I had her picture in a place I could see it often, I was reminded to pray for her. This pushed me to pray outside of myself— for her, for RtC, for Romania, and for the world! As I prayed different prayers, my eyes were opened to what God was doing outside of my immediate focus.
Lastly, visiting her in Romania absolutely changed my life. I sat with her and sang songs. We braided each other’s hair. We talked about life through the little mutual language we knew. I’ve been able to see her flourish into a marvelous person with amazing dreams. I’ve seen the impact that a loving family can have on a person. I’ve seen the healing and hope that only Christ can give— all through spending time in relationship with my sponsored child.
Overall, I’m thankful for the relationship that being a child sponsor creates. I get to pour into the life of a child, and watching God move in their life is the biggest blessing and encouragement to me. I’ve truly received way more than I’ve given!
Meet the Author
Natalie Barentson is a Sacramento, California native who is passionate about Romania, orphans, and entrepreneurship. She has been to Romania 3 times, and falls more in love with the country each time! Today, she serves as the Web Developer for RtC.