I felt really grateful to have the opportunity to volunteer at the World Vision table and help generous concert-goers sign up to sponsor a child. It was particularly meaningful to me because all of the children sponsored Friday night are from Zambia, the same country where our sponsored child is from. When the night was over, 13 people signed up to sponsor children. But the night wasn't all cheery; I was left with some unsettling feelings. One of the men that signed up to sponsor a child appeared to be drunk. This type of situation was not discussed during our volunteers' training. When he woke up Saturday morning, did he remember that he committed to providing monthly support to a poverty-stricken child? Another woman told me that she has cancer and may be able to support her child for only a few months. These new child sponsors felt compelled to give financially; I am hoping that, somehow, their act of providing financial support to a needy child serves to meet some of their own unspoken needs.
We are all needy. Some of us are more aware of our neediness than others. Some of us have more socially acceptable kinds of neediness than others. Some of us need money. Some need friends or family. Some need physical or emotional healing. Some need a deeper relationship with God.
It feels uncomfortable to be needy. We try to cover it by buying the right clothes or cars or houses, or appearing to be happy or spiritual all of the time or working hard to keep the right job or having good social connections. It requires courage to admit our neediness and to ask for help.
In the nightly bedtime routine at the Kowalczyk house, I am in charge of getting two glasses of water for my daughters' night stands. One evening last year, as I handed my 8-year-old her glass, it hit me like a freight train; this clean water is a blessing that thousands of fathers, just like me in this world, do not have. I don't have to worry that the water might make my children, the loves of my life, sick with a possibly fatal illness. I simply take it for granted. I decided then and there to make a difference. It is with great pleasure and profound gratitude that I announce my partnership with World Vision. Let's all work together to give parents in need that simple joy of putting a glass of safe and clean water on the nightstands of their little ones."