His Heart Shouted “Yes!”
The Power to Change a Child’s Life
When Timothy Ecklor started sponsoring two children from Ghana in 2011, he had no idea that a year-and-a-half later he would be stepping off a bus in Mepe, the Ghanaian village where his sponsored children lived.
Tim’s connection with International Needs (IN) began when Comfort and Gifty, two representatives of IN Ghana, visited his emerging adults’ small group at Westbrook Church in Hartland, Wisconsin. As the group listened to Comfort and Gifty’s message, they realized they had the power to change a child’s life completely by committing to a sponsorship.
Tim’s budget was tight, but a fire ignited in his heart and he began to think differently. Could he go without buying coffee or lattés in order to benefit a child? His heart shouted “yes!” He and a friend committed to co-sponsoring both a younger child and an older child.
IN staff member Terry Heyward asked Tim to pray about joining a medical team that was traveling to Ghana in February 2012. Terry could see that Tim’s gifts would bless children in Ghana. Tim was active in children’s ministry at Westbrook, and his high energy drew children into a fun and meaningful worship experience.
Tim said, “Yes!”
“During that trip I got to meet both my sponsored children,” Tim recalls. “The kids were both at Mepe, and I remember stepping off the bus in Mepe and just feeling like I was ‘invested’ there. I’d invested in this community and the school was bringing hope to this community and I had my arms stretched out from Wisconsin all the way to Ghana! I was helping to change lives and that was really moving.”
“On the first trip, they found out that I was really good at math,” Tim says. “My running joke was that the doctor would write something like ‘two pills, three times a day, for seven days’ and I would say ‘Okay, 42 pills.’”
Tim’s quick calculations were accurate and invaluable during long days when the team saw hundreds of patients.
She Came to Give Us Her Best
While in Ghana, Tim embraced and remembered the small, everyday interactions the Lord put in his path. At the end of a long and busy day, Tim stepped forward to collect a patient’s prescription card. The woman was dressed in her Sunday finest and had a purse in her lap. When she got up to give Tim her card, her purse fell and landed face down.
“I went to help her,” Tim remembers. “You know, in America, girls have 17,000 things in their purse. She quickly picked up her bag and put it back on her lap. But she picked it up from the bottom, and I thought ‘everything’s going to fall out!’ But then I realized there was nothing in it.”
“Here we were just serving, and she came with her best. She wore her best outfit, she looked so beautiful, and yet there was nothing in her purse. She came to give us her best, knowing that we were doing the best we could for her community.”
A Privilege to Serve
Tim was part of Ghana medical teams in 2012, 2013, and 2014. He returned home from each trip with a full heart. While he was willing and eager to serve, he found the Ghanaian people he met equally eager to serve and bless.
During one of his trips, a schoolmistress approached the team and shared that she had been praying for the team members since the day she heard they were coming to Ghana. She prayed that the Lord would return back every cent they gave toward the trip, ten-fold.
Tim recalls, “Here we were, living in relative abundance, and someone with very little was praying that we would have even more. It was really humbling.”
From saying yes to child sponsorship to saying yes to travel to Ghana, Tim listened to the Lord and obeyed His call. Through these acts of obedience, the Lord changed many lives, including Tim’s.
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