This weekend was New Life Church’s annual production of The Thorn. The Thorn is this amazing play about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I am proud to say that we have seen it just about every year since it’s inception (I had tickets last year but I was in the hospital during the show!). My two oldest daughters and I were actually in it about 15 years ago. Most recently, I have had the pleasure and honor to take pictures during the performances both in Colorado Springs and Denver. I look forward to it every year.
About mid-way through the show, a pastor from the church does a little pitch for Compassion International . Compassion International exists as a Christian child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults. (from their website). They have partnered with The Thorn as a sponsor, and so on the seats are little packets of information on a child from a third world country, that needs help. The hope is that the people that come to watch The Thorn will become sponsors for these children.
Now since we have been just about every year, we, of course, have heard the appeal from one of the pastor’s at New Life, for everyone to consider sponsoring a child. I have never done it because it does require a monthly commitment of $38. I was of the mind that I did not want to start sponsoring a child, then after a few months, not be able to continue to support them, leaving them high and dry. I am a single mom, and just don’t make a lot of money. I wasn’t sure I could keep up with that kind of commitment. This night was different though…
This year, we bought tickets for this past Saturday night. Upon arrival, we found our seats and noticed that there was a big ole’ video camera with large seat attached right in front of our seats. There was going to be no way we would be able to see around this camera! One of the ushers asked us if everything was all right and I told him that our seats were right behind the camera and we wouldn’t be able to see, so was there any way we could get different seats? He immediately took us to the lady that was in charge of tickets and explained that our seats were right behind the camera and could she get us different seats. She started looking for new tickets for us, and even told us that she was going to get us even better tickets! Yea, us!! Sure enough, the seats were great seats and we were excited to see the show.
When the time comes for the annual appeal, a young man comes to the stage to talk of his experience as a recipient of a sponsor through Compassion International. This young man had lived in poverty in India, but was given a chance at life from the people that sponsored him. Through that sponsorship, he was able to complete his college education and even got a job at IBM. Now he has his own company and a staff of 6! All because he was given the chance of a better life through someone that sponsored him.
The pastor then asked everyone in the audience to open their packet and consider sponsoring the child in the packet. I picked up the packet that I had laid on the ground, turned it around to open it and there was a little African girl staring up at me. I glanced over at the name of the little girl, and miraculously, her name was Issabella Bryant!! Really?!?!?! What are the chances?! My last name is….Bryant! I showed it to my daughters and they got really excited and asked if we could sponsor her. They decided amongst themselves that they would each give $10 a month to help sponsor her.
I don’t think this was fluke. I don’t think it was a coincidence. I think it was a confluence of events that led up to a miraculous event. What are the odds that our original seats would be where they were and that there would be a big camera in front of us? What are the chances that these 4 amazing seats, that were actually more than what we paid, would be available and we’d end up there? What are the chances that Issabella Bryant’s packet would just happen to be placed on a seat where a Bryant was going to be sitting??
I am now the proud sponsor of a little girl named Issabella, that lives half way around the world in Africa, who happens to share my last name.
And that’s my story of how I came to sponsor a Compassion International child….