By Constance Dobbs, Staff since 2003
When we planned to bring children to Kobwin we also had to think of how we would structure our sponsorship program. This was a very different group of children from very different experiences – at least half had been abducted by Kony’s rebels and forced to become child soldiers. The others had experienced tremendous traumas of their own due to the rebels ‘activities’ in their home area of Amuria, which is a three hour drive, northeast of Kobwin.
The biggest question was whether to make sponsorship at Kobwin relational or non-relational and it was decided, from the beginning that it should be non- relational. Non-relational means that there is no written communication, no gifts sent that are separate form the monthly sponsorship donation, and the children do not know of these sponsors. But, we do ask that the sponsor pray for the child and we do send several updates a year to guide the sponsor’s prayerfulness. And thanks be to God, many of these ‘non-relational’ sponsors take this intercessory role very seriously!
Since the beginning as I saw these children arrive on the back of a lorry with a small, black plastic bag of belongings clutched to their chests, these children have openly expressed thankfulness to God for what He has done. They have been thankful for God bringing them to Kobwin, for how He provides for them, and for the people He brings to visit and pour into their lives. These children know that it is their heavenly Father who provides for them. They thank God that he uses New Hope Uganda to bring this provision into their lives.
Sponsorship is not a new idea to Uganda or Africa at large. ‘If you have a sponsor you have it made’, is often the mind-set. So, to break this mold of a person (sponsor) being your provider to understanding God the Father as your provider is monumental. We praise God that it has happened and continues to happen at Kobwin. We are very careful about how the children receive what they receive – that they do not see it coming from a person in particular. They all receive what they need but not all receive at the same time. Just how our Father meets individual needs, their needs are met as they arise, as is possible.
If you are visiting and you ask one of the children, who gave you those shoes or where did you get that backpack? They likely will say, “God provided it – we all got one.” Or maybe, “I had been needing shoes, many of us had, and one day, Uncle said, ‘God has provided’ and many of us –those who needed, were given shoes. God is so good to us in this place!”
God has provided us with a very unique sponsorship scheme in Kobwin, maybe you would like to join the family of silent ‘donors’, silent intercessors?
If you would like to sponsor a Kobwin child, please contact our sponsorship office.
If you would like to promote New Hope sponsorship at your church, place of work, or among other groups you associate with, please contact our sponsorship office and we will get you the information you need.