How One Family’s Child-Sponsorship is making a Difference—in their sponsored child’s life and in their own livesWritten by admin on Oct 04, 2022 in - No Comments
Meet the Ayers Family: Jon and Jenn live in Shelburne with their daughter Amelia, son Billy, and Trooper, the family dog. What makes each of them tick? Jon loves going on outdoor adventures—especially cold ones—and hanging out with friends inside afterward. Jenn enjoys mountain biking, hiking, and creative cooking. You’re most likely to find Amelia crafting, writing, or listening to K-Love, and Billy drawing, swimming, and playing with friends.
The Ayers sponsor a child through Village2Village, a Vermont-born organization serving vulnerable children in rural Uganda. Church at the Well proudly partners with Village2Village. We thought we’d ask the Ayers a little about their experience and what sponsoring a child in Uganda has meant to them.
How long has your family been sponsoring a child through Village2Village, and what is she like?
For a year and a half we’ve been sponsoring Christine, who lives in rural Uganda and is Amelia’s age (ten). Her father died in 2013, and her mother, who is HIV+, farms a small piece of land her husband left her, but since it’s near a swamp, it sometimes floods. Her mother also sells firewood to help pay for the family’s food, healthcare, and education.
What do you know about Christine’s home and day-to-day life?
The family owns four grass-thatched houses, plus a kitchen. Christine is the seventh of eight siblings, some of whom have left to work and start a family. Their water source (a borehole) is near their home. She loves helping her mother wash dishes, sweep the compound, and, when her mother isn’t home, she also cooks. Her favorite food is chicken (although the family can only afford it twice a year).
What else can you tell us about Christine?
Christine was quiet and timid when she first entered the Village2Village program, but she later opened up. She says that she loves learning and that her best subject is English. She is sweet and optimistic, and we’ve seen just how drastically the trajectory of her life has changed since her involvement with Village2Village. It really is astonishing!
In addition to your financial support, what has sponsoring Christine looked like for your family?
We exchange letters and pictures several times a year. Christine loves drawing pictures and sending them to our kids, and they love drawing and sending her pictures, too. We have especially enjoyed putting together a Christmas gift bag with fun gifts to let her know that she is loved! This year, we are sending her pens, a journal, a coloring book, a washcloth, and a dress.
Your family previously sponsored a child through a much larger organization in the past. How has sponsoring Christine through Village2Village been different?
We love how Village2Village is so small and personal. In addition to letters from Christine, we get staff updates that are personal. We hear about her family and community—more so than we heard about the child we previously sponsored through a larger organization. The connection is much richer. We feel like Christine is a cousin. Her photo is on the shelf alongside our family pictures. She’s also at the table with us; her presence is at the table when we’re praying for her before a meal.
Jon and Jenn, how do you hope your kids will benefit from your family sponsoring a child in Uganda?
We hope our kids get a taste of both being a hero and being used by God to bless and serve, even at their own immediate expense. And we hope that they grow in knowing how connected we all are and how much we need to rely in different ways on God and others. We have so much to be thankful for!
Amelia, what are you learning from your family sponsoring Christine?
Not everybody has as much as we do. Also, simple things can still make you happy.
Jon and Jenn, is there anything else you’d like to add?
We’re realizing that the God whom we are both trusting to meet our need—the One whom Christine is trusting and the One whom we are trusting—is the same God. Also, it feels like our sponsorship serves as a little counterattack to our materialistic tendencies. And we need that!
Find out more about Village2VillageProject here: village2villageproject.com.
If you’d like to learn more about Church at the Well’s partnership with Village2Village and how you can get involved, please email Abby@wellchurchvt.com.