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The Impact of Sponsorship

The Impact of Sponsorship

   Kelly Dutton
   22 June 2018

My journey began at an early age sitting around the dinner table with my family. My dad spoke these words, "There are starving kids in Africa Kelly that would eat that." I sat there with leftovers on my plate saying, "Well let's just box it up and send it to them." That moment never left me. I began paying attention to commercials about kids you could sponsor in Africa. I even kept a picture of a little girl we got in the mail taped up on the inside door of my toy box.

I always believed I would visit Africa one day, but had no idea when or how. I even had written on a dry-erase board at my house that I wanted to go on a mission trip to Africa. I erased it on a Tuesday night in 2014 thinking "Well, maybe not..."

The following night at Epic Church, Pastor IV & Bene' shared for the first time about their opportunity to visit Africa and build a CarePoint. Needless to say, I had given up on a dream but God had not! My sister grabbed my leg and said, "Oh my gosh, you're going!" And I yelled, "I know!" Now, I have now been on three mission trips to Swaziland, Africa. God is so good! But I can't leave out the God details.

My dad was an amazing dad. He passed away when I was 14 years old. My journey leading me to Africa has an awesome connection with my dad. His name was Larry. My first mission trip was in June of 2015, and it ended up falling on Father's Day. My second mission trip was in March 2016 and it fell on my Dad's Birthday. 

My third mission trip was in December of 2017 and there was no significance I could think of related to my dad. I prayed and talked to God and said, "Okay God, if this trip is going to have any connection it's totally going to be on you." 

We were playing ping-pong and the ball hit one of the animal heads displayed on a brick wall. My friends start naming the animals and one of them says, "That one looks like a Larry... Yeah, his name is Larry." And there you go! None of these girls knew what my dad's name was. I then shared about my journey and the connections at one of our debriefs.

Now, today! One day, I was led to visit Children Cup's website and search our community of Lonhlupheko to see if I knew any familiar faces. I was scrolling through and came across the name Sanele Manana. I fell in love with Sanele on my very first trip to Africa. She was already sponsored then, but we were still connected at the hip.


Since then, I haven’t felt led to sponsor a child yet because of this bond with Sanele. Believe it or not, Sanele's original sponsor just stopped sponsoring her this year. So, I AM SANELE'S OFFICIAL SPONSOR! And the day I sponsored her was my Dad's Birthday.

God's timing is amazing. I feel so honored that God chose me for this journey. Thank you Children's Cup for ALL that you do! I truly love you guys and admire all that you're doing. I am beyond thankful for God leading me to Epic Church and leading Epic Church to you. I absolutely love my pastors and their hearts to see Every Child a Whole Child. Thank you!

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