Saturday, October 15, 2016
A Light in the Darkness
In the midst of all this the good Lord has shined a light in the darkness through an organization, a community called UNBOUND. Two posts ago I mentioned them in my article. They are about getting people to sponsor someone--child, young adult or elderly person--in a developing country. I will give you details on that but first I would like to share about the overwhelming experience I had while visiting UNBOUND headquarters in Kansas City this past week for a discernment and training session.
I was met at the airport by Fr. Tim and Kimberly and brought to headquarters for a whirlwind introduction to this wonderful organization. Two things jumped out at me from these days. First was my impression of the organization. At every step there is both loving support and accountability. Secondly, and even more important, they are strongly rooted in Catholic social teaching, especially the belief in the dignity of every human person. I saw that lived out in the spirit of the people that I met. I was warmly and lovingly received and saw that same spirit in the way that folks interacted with each other. Unbound is not just an organization, it is a real Christian community, including the people that it helps.
Now, back to the sponsorship that UNBOUND is about. For $36.00 a month you may sponsor a child, young adult or elder in a developing country. There are people on the ground in these countries who oversee the funds and make sure that they are used properly. It is not a handout program, but an empowerment program. The sponsored ones must use the money to further education, get better medical attention, improve living conditions, etc. If you sponsor someone you will establish a relationship with that person and be expected to communicate with them. Letters are sent to Unbound so that they can be translated if necessary. For children who are sponsored the parents, especially the mothers, along with a local project support team,supervise the use of the money. It is also good to know that UNBOUND has top A+ ratings from the four agencies that evaluate charities.
I am encouraging those readers of this blog who are able to consider being a sponsor. Just go to unbound.org and hit the Sponsor button. I just did that and am now, with my Franciscan community, sponsoring a 10 year old boy from PERU named Anthony.
You can play an important role and really make a difference in someone's life. I understand that two people can share a sponsorship as well.
I will soon be preaching occasionally at Catholic parishes around the country to invite people into this wonderful ministry.