St. James’ Church partnership with Christ Church Banchang for child sponsorship under the Bethlehem House Project began in October 2012 when a parish-wide call was made for members of the congregation to prayerfully consider sponsoring a child and making a difference to their education, life and social development. Delene Lee was one such individual who rose up to the call. She shares with us her recent trip to visit with her sponsor child. 

I knew when I signed on to be a sponsor for a child at Bethlehem House that it was not a decision to be taken lightly. And I knew that I didn’t want it to be just a financial commitment. Having been to Banchang twice in the past two years, I had come to understand the mission of the home and to love all the children there. So when the opportunity came up to visit them, I looked forward to being able to spend some time to connect once more with them. 

Seeing my sponsor child’s normally serious face break into a smile when he saw me really touched my heart. Language may be a barrier, but love is a universal emotion. He has shot up by at least a couple of inches since I last saw him. I was very pleased to know that his grades were above average and that he has a good start in secondary school. He has even taken up guitar lessons from the church staff and showed me the calluses on his fingertips due to his many hours of practicing.

The time spent with the children was all too short, but I left feeling assured that Bethlehem House is a safe haven for them to learn to trust God, develop their talents and have the hope of leading meaningful and fulfilling lives inspite of the difficult circumstances of their early years. These children have had to deal with issues like abandonment, poverty, and the occasional unreliable and abusive adults. Knowing that they are loved by a constant and faithful God, as well as responsible adult caregivers and Christians, would go a long way in healing those emotional wounds. I pray that I will never forget that I have a long-term responsibility to be a comforting presence in their lives and uphold them in prayer constantly as they enter their adolescent years.