We’re delighted to share a guest post from Rachel Balducci about her CFCA sponsorship experience. Rachel describes herself first and foremost as a wife and mother. She and her husband, Paul, are the proud parents of five boys and one daughter.
I hate to admit this, but I usually sort of dread guest speakers at Mass. Especially if they speak at the end of Mass when, as is the case with four little boys, I am generally at my wits end.
That was my attitude years ago, as I sat and wrestled my four young sons. A visiting priest climbed up onto the lectern and as he began to speak, I whispered a prayer that my boys could behave for a few extra minutes. Never mind what the priest was about to say, I just wanted to not cause a scene.
Father was at our Mass that weekend to talk about a sponsorship program through Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA). And as he began to speak, something stirred within me, and my focus shifted from anxiety about my children’s behavior to what this priest was actually saying.
“We need to do this,” I whispered to my husband, seated at the other end of the pew. “I want to sponsor someone.”
In those few minutes that Father spoke, the Holy Spirit changed something inside me. I wanted to be a part of this. I wanted to help.
That day, my husband and I took our four boys to the narthex at the end of Mass and explained that we were going to sponsor someone. Our family looked over the folders, at the pictures of children and elderly in need and when we saw Lawrence, we all knew that was him.
I signed us up on the spot and we took home with us that day a picture of our boy, Lawrence, from across the ocean.
That was over seven years ago, and the impact of that decision has been tremendous.
Practically speaking, we send in our donation each month. It’s very easy; the money comes right out of our account with nary a thought about it from me.
But far beyond that, from the pragmatic, monetary aspect of sponsoring a child, our relationship with Lawrence has blessed us epically.
We keep an updated picture of Lawrence on our refrigerator. At least one of our boys prays for him (by name) every day at family prayers. We have had incredible discussions about gratitude and simplicity and what it means to “want” something and what it means to “need.”
Our relationship with Lawrence, through letters back and forth and seeing his family and hearing about his life, has put into perspective so many of the things we think we suffer. It reminds us to love the little things in life, and to avoid the temptation of discontent.
Mostly, we are happy to know that in some small way, we are helping out a friend, a fellow child of God, across the miles. What a tremendous opportunity. What a blessing to share God’s love.
Rachel is a newspaper columnist for the “Southern Cross” and writes online at her personal blog, Testosterhome.net. She is a co-host of “The Gist,” a talk show for women airing on Catholic TV, and the author of the book, “How Do You Tuck In A Superhero? And Other Delightful Mysteries of Raising Boys.”