Please Say Hello to Renuka

For many months now, I have been wrestling with the desire to sponsor a third child from Compassion International. But I kept telling myself, “I really don’t have the extra cash,” “I’m just a poor, single girl” or “I already sponsor 2 children, isn’t that enough?” And I lived with those rationalizations for a while. Until now.

To make it possible to sponsor my first two kids in the first place, I had to give up things that I loved for something I love even more: these amazing kids. I gave up People Magazine, daily runs to my local coffee shop, cell phone perks and even started using coupons for groceries. I easily survived those small changes and realized it was time to figure out the budget again. Stop with the financial excuses and sponsor another child.

Finding something to cut out wasn’t all that hard. In fact, it was almost too easy to find things I didn’t necessarily need but was spending significant cash for month to month.

Case in point: I was spending $40 a month on a Weight Watchers membership. While that money was spent with good intention, the reality is, I didn’t need to pay someone to help me do something I could do on my own. Especially if it meant another hopeless child could have clean water, food, clothes, shelter and–a renewed HOPE through Jesus Christ.

So after a few clicks of a mouse and one canceled Weight Watchers membership … meet Renuka.


Renuka Santosh Gaikwas, age 6, is the youngest of my little girls (her “sisters” are Mediatrix, age 8 and Phaphama, age 7). She lives with her parents and siblings in *India. She loves to sing, play games and attend school. At only age 6, she is in the US equivalent to second grade… which tells me she must be SO smart. Her family’s monthly income is only $40 (eye-opening considering I was spending the same on WW).

With my $32/mo. and Compassion International, she will no doubt meet her full potential. And through her letters, I get to watch her grow and come to life in the years to come.

If you are on the fence about child sponsorship, let me ask you… what is holding you back from sponsoring a child like Renuka?

I write all this today, not to brag or boast about the things I do in order to sponsor kids. I just know the enormous blessing that comes with child sponsorship and want you to experience it too. And with tears in my eyes, I ask you to make today the day you stand in the gap for a child who needs you.

“Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

As Shaun, Compassion staff & advocate says, “It’s not about the money. It’s about the relationship you and a child a world away will have. It’s about them hearing they are loved. It’s about praying for them. And knowing they are praying and thinking about you.” And he’s absolutely right.


If you already sponsor a child, share your story in the comments below. Or if you decide to sponsor a child today, I’d love to know that, too!

*If you have been paying attention in recent months, then you know that I am absolutely in love with India and praying about whether to participate in a mission trip in October. I would appreciate your prayers for this as well.


  1. MY two boys and I chose to be paired with a little from India. We love India, the culture, the music, the food, BOLLYWOOD! As a single mom, FT student and budgeted fool I did not think we had enough, BUT we did have enough for Sonic, MCD, Redbox – so we cut back and we blessed by the gift of sharing LIfe with someone so far away and from a different life than us we could ever imagine. IN the process or researching this, we came across the invisable children, and my 9yr old was so moved that he is changing his habits to save to help and talking with his school to help! COMPASSION is contagious and we have caught the bug!

  2. i’ve been sponsoring a sweet little girl from Africa for the past 5 years. What an incredible experience it has been. I love receiving letters from her, getting her report cards, her sweet drawings. Most of all I love praying for her and knowing that she has HOPE because of the tiny sacrifice we make each month. So worth it.

  3. Jennifer

    Thanks for the reminder that we can all do more for others and we can all do with less for ourselves. I recently received a letter from a child our family sponsors in South Africa. I was brought to tears by his words, “I eat every day because of you.” He didn’t say he ate multiple times a day, or he ate out at a restaurant, or he had multiple snacks a day but simply he was thankful that he got to eat something everyday because of the program we give to. Those words rocked my world and I am trying hard not to forget them…I’m also trying to not let my own 4 kids forget them. Also, I’m curious why you chose to sponsor kids through Compassion and not OneLife? Just wondering…

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