Friday, November 19, 2010


It has been said that you can pick your friends but not your family. An old adage that tries to minimize some of the stress that can come from dealings with your family I guess. So just who is #IN00096 and what is this post all about? A little background history might be in order.

We have all seen the commercials on television that plead for $XX amount per month you can help feed and sponsor a child. What had started out as "prank" in my sophomore year at college where some "friends" put my name in for a sponsorship - actually got my feet to the fire in this gig. We would have parties to raise money for (and I'm sure I will get the spelling wrong) Werachi Moon Tung Sook of Thailand and instead of the meager $20 month we would often send 3-4 times that amount. Ok, so that was how many years ago???

So fast forward to 2008; we are at church and the message had something to do with global impact and sponsorship of children. "Hey, remember that kid I used to sponsor in college...we should do that again." Sandy and I both looked at each other and knew this was something we could easily do. Outside in the gallery area of Westside Family Church they had tables set up with hundreds of kids of all ages from Thailand, South Africa and India. Walking among the tables and looking at all the photos it's a bit daunting to decide how you choose one child over another. Which country? Boy or Girl? All the questions stopped when I saw #IN0096.

I go back to that first line...You can pick your friends but not your family...Well this is one instance that I knew it was something more than me that made the decision about Venkatesh, Koda our new sponsor child in India. Although he was already 7 years old when the photo was taken, I felt that I had known him since birth. So the paperwork is done and the monthly support begins; a few letters and photo's come showing progress in school and typical likes of an then 8 year old child. Life seemed a little more normal for us - if that sounds weird I don't know how to explain it other than it's another step in this journey of finding purpose and living life.

I did have the great fortune of visiting Venkatesh this past January at the One Life Children's Home in India. It was a pretty amazing few days that I got to spend there with him and hundreds like him. Well that is about all for now. Just another piece of the puzzle that you are getting to learn more about me. Have a great day and don't be afraid to let the people around you how much they mean to you...

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