Contributed by Laura Walls in Meet Other CAs and Ideas for your Ministry
I heard Vicki speak at my first Child Ambassador conference nearly six years ago. In my mind, she was legendary for getting at least 100 children sponsored each year. At the conference, Vicki shared her "30 second spiel" - a quick overview she gives to potential sponsors about World Vision's work. Hearing her, my jaw dropped. In a friendly, engaging, and unbelievably fast way, she summarized the key points of World Vision's work in under a minute. She went on to explain that she looks for sponsors wherever she goes - even the grocery store!
Today, Vicki continues to inspire me and I'm so grateful I've had the chance to know her as a both a co-laboring child ambassador and as a dear friend! This "Ask August," as we take intentional steps of faith to be bold in sharing sponsorship, I believe her journey as a child ambassador will be an inspiration to many!
Eleven years ago, Vicki Casper knew she wanted to do something more for others. "I believe everyone needs love and care and I really love children. God has always provided for me so how could I not help others to have what they need, too?" Already a child sponsor, she was looking through her World Vision magazine when she saw it - the very first advertisement for the new volunteer Child Ambassador program. Immediately, she knew this was what she was looking for and was filled with joy!
But her first couple of years as a child ambassador were more challenging then Vicki expected. "I remember going to my first conference and we were all talking and just surprised at how hard it was to find sponsors. We thought it would be easier." But early on, she realized something. "I realized that it even though it was hard, if you just keep asking, you will find sponsors."
And with every sponsorship, came encouragement. Her first sponsors were her new neighbors. "A young couple moved in across the street. They didn’t have much money but they were my first sponsors and seeing how willing they were to help, even though they didn't have a lot... I was so encouraged."
Vicki wants all child ambassadors to experience the joy of finding a sponsor for a child. "You don't have to find sponsors for that many kids each year... I'm really encouraged by just finding sponsors, one by one. The sponsors are so happy about it and God gives you this joy, too, because you’re doing something he wants you to do."
Pivotal to her success in finding sponsors is discipline. "I’m really disciplined. I don’t always have a lot of time but when I go home, I make a list of people I can connect with and places to share. I think of these connections in my regular life. I've left picture folders on the kitchen counter and sometimes my kids’ friends have brought one home and sponsored. I’ve left picture folders on the table beside me at a restaurant and a waitress once sponsored three, right there.'
Look for the smaller ways to share. The big things – big churches, big events don’t happen very often, at least for me. But the small things, everyday things that happen in communities, like restaurants, your hairdresser, places you walk by every day - whatever you’re doing, wherever you are, talk about it.
"I make sure that I'm always thinking of someone to approach for sponsorship or that I have an event I'm planning for. And I write my list. It might take a while but I work through that list. I don’t let up on it. We need to be disciplined in doing this work. This is for Jesus. And this is such an important work! I look for sponsors every day. All the time. I may not ask someone every day but I think about it every day. And I walk and pray about it every day. We really need to pray about this ministry and keep it in the forefront of our minds. It is a ministry. We need God to help us and we need to be in prayer in it."
Being brave is also key. "Sometimes, God just tells me, go up and ask that person to sponsor a child. It’s about losing the fear. I think that’s the main problem with all of us – we’re afraid. But we need to ask and ask and ask because you just never know. I've seen moms who are on the street. They aren't afraid to ask for something for their children and we shouldn’t be afraid to ask, either, because these kids need us.
Vicki has so much practical experience to offer child ambassadors and has put together a great resource! In it, you'll find wonderful tips for making this ministry a doable part of your daily routine! Click below to download, "Everyday Sponsorship."
Greater Together is a collaborative blog written by volunteer child ambassadors for World Vision.