Yesterday, I volunteered at a church at the Compassion table.
I drove an hour to get there. I arrived at 4:30, a half hour before the event started (according to the website/email). It turns out the event started at 6:00. And the event was a church service, so I actually didn't get to do anything until 7:15. Loooong day!
Anyway, the entire church service was about child sponsorship. The pastor talked about how his family sponsors children, he played testimonial videos from couples in the church who sponsor children and love it, and people from both Compassion and World Vision spoke. Out in the lobby, both the Compassion International and World Vision tables were getting ready for the service to end, setting up packets, hanging signs, praying.
At 7:15 the doors of the sanctuary opened and people poured through the doors. I waited with bated breath and watched people...beeline it for the exit.
Not a single child was sponsored. In fact, there wasn't a single visitor to either of the tables. Not one.
On the hour drive home, I went through a whole catharsis of emotions.
I started with anger. I raged about selfish people, about people who sit through a wonderful church service, nod and smile about success stories with an inspirational cast of characters, and vow to do something to change the lives of these children. I was angry that these very people were the ones who ran right past the tables, not even looking up once, talking about going out to eat for dinner that night. Going out to eat, to a dinner that would most likely cost them more than one month of sponsorsing a child.
After anger, I went to sadness. I cried a little bit for the children on the table that were left there, untouched, not even looked at. I cried because I want to see all of those children sponsored. I cried because I feel like I failed in my job as a volunteer.
After about a half hour of negative emotions, I began to pray. After praying, I listened. I felt reassurance for these kids and for all the people I was mad at just a little while ago. God told me that his timing is perfect. Those children would find sponsors at just the right time. God also reminded me that the sponsorship tables would be there this morning, when over 1000 worshippers went to church. Maybe some of the people who heard about sponsorship last night were going to pray about and come back today with a desire to sponsor.
It's not really for me to worry about. It was wrong of me to get angry/sad about it. God has it under control. Sometimes I just can't help feeling these things when it comes to finding sponsors for kids.
God made me different. And I like it.