Sponsoring a vulnerable child can enrich and fill your life with love. Find out how one American man was changed by sponsoring a visually impaired child below!
Written by Ben Birdwell, Bethel Sponsor
My experience at Bethel has been truly life changing. My first Bethel trip was within my first few weeks of moving to Beijing four years ago. I knew some people going to help out for a Sunday afternoon, and considering I didn’t have many friends, I tagged along. After going that Sunday and witnessing the way the kids at Bethel were loved, and especially the way the kids loved those around them, I knew that I wanted to be involved.
From that point on I had the opportunity to sponsor a quiet little boy who would soon grow to be one of the most encouraging pieces of my life. I witnessed as he grew for two years at Bethel. He grew in not only maturity, but also in the love that surrounded him in that place. I had to move away from Beijing, but made it a point to visit him whenever I was able to over the next year. Every time I was able to visit him and spend time running around the playground, digging in the garden, or taking him out for popsicles, I was reminded how amazing, capable, and smart he was. Those visits solidified my desire to help those around the world understand that these little boys and girls are some of the most beautiful and wonderful children I have ever met.
They are not unlike any other child you may come across: strong, loud, quiet, joyful, sad, adventurous, daring, and keeping everyone around them on their toes at times! When I found out that he had been matched with a family in the states, it was a feeling I had never felt. It was truly bittersweet. Having gotten to know him over the few years that I was able to, I had grown to love him and wanted the absolute best for him in every way. Knowing that he would be with a family filled my heart to the brim with a joy that I’d never experienced.
His family has lovingly kept me in the loop on how he is doing and not only keeping me up to date on his wins, but also on his challenges. It has been a beautiful story to watch unfold and I would do it over and over again.
My heart is bigger because of the chapters that Bethel has written in my life, and I will continue to weave their story in my life as long as I am able.
Above photos curtesy of Ben’s Instagram