Something Larger Than Me

When Dawn Tilley signed up to advocate for Holt sponsorship as a volunteer at Winter Jam, she had no intention of becoming a sponsor herself…

In February of 2017, I had the pleasure of attending a life-changing concert and sermon experience known as Winter Jam. I had heard about it from friends of mine many times, but continually found myself unable to go until this year. As a volunteer enthusiast, I came across the incredible opportunity to volunteer while experiencing Winter Jam for the first time, and was obviously unable to turn down the chance to be involved. I immediately signed up and convinced a friend, one who just so happens to be adopted, to join me. Going into the night, I was slightly nervous, but I was confident that God would lead me in the right direction.

When I arrived, I immediately realized that I would remember that night for the rest of my life. As I write this, six months after the concert, I’m still overwhelmed by the waves of emotions from that night: the absolute joy, the feeling of love, and the serenity of God. However, had you asked me at the beginning of the night if I was planning to sponsor a child, I would have told you no. I was not trying to be hypocritical or to remain removed from the situation; I was simply a high school student who had recently started working and had a limited supply of financial resources. Nevertheless, as the night went on, I learned more about the sponsorship process through advocating, and that decision quickly changed.

Dawn (lower right) with her friends at Winter Jam! Dawn volunteered for Holt with her friend McKenzie (center).

As the speakers analyzed the amazing things God has done and will do for us, I began to confront just how fortunate I was. Although I may have had a low monetary supply, I still had mountains more than many people in the world. I was blessed with a home, a loving family, and a meal every day. So, when the intermission came and it was time to hand out child sponsorship folders, it soon became evident that God had given a  push to His followers that night to take the next step. No sooner had I stood up than all of the folders that I and many other volunteers had been given were taken by people in the crowd. Many volunteers returned to the main tables to gather more folders to hand out. As the intermission continued, I had found someone who was considering sponsorship for all but one of my folders. When the intermission came to an end and Togtokhjargal remained in my hands, I knew that he was the boy I was meant to sponsor.

Now, each time I see the withdrawal from my account meant for Togtokhjargal, I am reminded that I am a part of something larger than myself. He is a little boy in Mongolia who now holds a deep part of my heart.

Very little can match the joy of receiving pictures from him in the mail, and I am very happy to be able to have the chance to make a difference in his life.

Dawn Tilley | Fountaintown, IN

Dawn is currently a freshman at Purdue University and she plans to volunteer for Holt again at Winter Jam in 2018!

Visit holtinternational.org/winterjam to learn more about volunteer opportunities.

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