Published Mon, Jul 24, 2023
Written by Dana Kaltenberger
Recently, we asked Kristina Graham to share her sponsorship story.
"Sponsoring children has been “a thing” in our family for quite a while. Before we were married, Scott sponsored a boy when he was in college. After we wed many years ago, my father, Karl, told us about a child sponsorship program he enjoyed, and we said, “Yes, that sounds great!”
Scott and I first started sponsoring a child in Rwanda many years ago and then added a child in Kenya.
Sadly, in 2005, Dad was killed in a bike accident. As my sisters and I went through his things, we were shocked when we discovered that my dad, a retired band and orchestra teacher, was sponsoring 112 children every month, 102 in Haiti and 10 in Kenya! Wow! We were so pleased that even after my father died, God was faithful by providing a way through insurance and his home church for every one of those children’s sponsorships to continue till they were 18.
As you can imagine, although I had been involved before, I was even more inspired by how my father was able to change the lives of so many young people. I have tried to carry on in his footsteps ever since. Currently we sponsor 4 children, two girls and two boys, in Sierra Leone through EduNations.
Sponsorship is powerful and a way to make a BIG impact without spending a lot of money at once. Scott and I are rarely able to write a big check, but we can fit the relatively small amount for sponsorship into our monthly budget. While we in the U.S. take education for granted, sponsoring a child’s education in rural Sierra Leone provides the chance to pursue an education when almost no chance otherwise exists.
Sponsorship also offers an avenue for an encouraging relationship in a child’s formative years. If you want, you can communicate with sponsored student in a way that says, “I believe in you and in your future, I pray for you, and I am going to help you get there. I am committed to you and will not quit!” We hear time and time again how sponsorship impacts a child’s entire future in the most powerful and best ways. It’s leveraging in the very best sense!
Occasionally someone asks us, “Does sponsorship work every time? Does every child graduate?” Of course, the answer is, “No. Not every child.” But even when a child does not stay in school all the way to graduation, in addition to the education they have received, the child and their family have experienced a significant witness of the body of Christ as “love in action” and have heard the good news about Jesus. I’m confident that no matter the outcome, sponsorship will continue to have positive effects we may never know.
Several years after Dad died, a man whom Dad had sponsored contacted us and told us his story. Central in his story was the way my father encouraged him to finish school and to attend church. The result, the man said, “my life was transformed!” While Dad didn’t live to hear about how this, I’m sure he would be very pleased to learn how the Lord worked through his commitment. I trust He’ll do the same with mine." - by Kristina Graham
To learn more about sponsoring a student or a teacher, please visit edunations.org/sponsorships.