At the risk of sounding pretentious, I’m going to share something personal with you today.

The young man in the picture above is Horacio Giovani Vilchez Zamora (quite the mouthful).  He’s from the small city of Diriamba, Nicaragua, so his name is pronounced in Spanish “or-AH-see-oh.”

He lives in a poor community outside of town, and goes to the Donna Holland School there in Diriamba.  When we visited Nicaragua last year, we went to the DH School and saw the great work they were doing, educating and feeding large numbers of impoverished children, all because of supporters and sponsors.  We found out you could sponsor a child to go to the school, cover their tuition, a uniform, a backpack, and a pair of shoes.  All for $200 per year.

Nancy and I sponsored a child as soon as we got back.  We were assigned Horacio.

This year, we got to meet Horacio.  (Check out Nancy’s thoughts on the experience.)  It was incredible.  I think we embarrassed him in front of all his friends by how excited we were to meet him, and making him take pictures with us.  It’s so cool to be an active part of helping to educate this young man, train him in the gospel, and also be part of the larger solution to bring that community out of poverty.

Horacio Selfie

¿”Sabes ‘selfie’, Horacio?

Some time ago, we also felt the call to sponsor other children around the world.  Meet Andreas, from Indonesia, and Purity, from Kenya.  We sponsor them through Compassion International.

IO5610042-Fullshot-200w     KE4050656-Fullshot-200w

$38/month sponsorships through Compassion ensure that the children receive food, medical care, education, life skills training, and the Gospel!  What a deal!

My point in saying all this is not to toot our own horn.  We are not great in and of ourselves.  My point is to envision you.  Because we’ve made some choices that have enabled to live free from debt, we’re able to do things that are important to us.  We’re able to give.  Because we aren’t completely sacked with debt payments every month, we have cash flow to give.

So I’d ask: What causes are important to you?  What needs, when you hear them, hurt your heart?  Homelessness?  Clean water?  Medical care?  Hunger?  Disaster relief?  Education?  Job skills?

Think about what you’re able to do for those causes now, and think about what you’d be able to do if you were financially free.  Like I often say – keep the “WHY” in the front of your mind.  Define it, write it down, think about it.  That’s WHY you budget.  That’s WHY you sacrifice.  That’s WHY you say no, when it’s hard.  That’s WHY you discipline yourself to do the hard things.

We sacrifice so that we can support international mission work, because that’s important to us.

Why do you sacrifice?

Top picture of Horacio courtesy of Nancy Ray.