When 7-year-old Amelia Rose Cook learned about one girl’s need for a cleft lip surgery, she decided to help not just one but many kids — sending a ripple of kindness throughout her community, and the world.
I can’t remember exactly when I felt a sense of urgency to teach my children Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” This verse inspired me to start a kindness project in our home from the time my children were extremely young. I felt led to teach them that kindness should exude from them as natural as breathing. Kindness and love should be the very essence of our Christian lives.
At very young ages, both of my children raised money for all types of missions. When Amelia Rose was just 7 years old, she had a lemonade stand and used the money to buy her Godbrothers school supplies, backpacks and uniforms.
Sponsoring children through Holt International has also helped teach my children to broaden their horizon of helping others. Through the years, Jameson and Amelia Rose have sponsored children with their own money. During that time, they have been able to correspond with the children they’ve sponsored and watch them grow and prosper.
Can one person really make a difference in this world? I’m sure it’s a question we’ve all pondered. A pebble is just a simple pebble until thrown out into the water, creating ripple after ripple — causing once still water to have movement. One person has the opportunity to show God’s love to a hurting world. The ripple effect that God will use from obedience is something so great that we won’t even see the full effect this side of Heaven.
My Amelia Rose this past summer started a mission for Holt International that caused a ripple effect of kindness in our community. After receiving a letter from Holt that many orphans needed cleft palate surgeries and care, Amelia Rose asked, “Momma? If I baked, do you think I could raise a lot to help? Like maybe $75 to send to help these children?” We advertised on Facebook and the community joined in creating a ripple effect of God’s love reaching far beyond what Amelia Rose could have ever imagined.
Two-hundred cakes and 264 cookies later, she raised $1,700 for Holt International through her first mission. Once hoping to merely help with the cost of a cleft palate surgery, she instead raised enough to cover an entire surgery plus before-and-after care for a child. But God used her obedience to do so much more.
In addition to the Gift of a Smile, she was able to pay for the following through Holt’s Gifts of Hope catalog: a share of a heart surgery for one orphan, school tuition for one year for a child living near Mongolia’s largest dump, a year’s worth of school supplies for three children, shoes for 10 children, a sewing machine and sewing kit for a struggling mom to start a business, two pigs, one cow and five chickens for a family to start a farm, and a garden starter set for a family.
Amelia Rose baked for four weeks of her summer break. God used her obedience to inspire many. Not only did the community support her mission by buying her baked goods, but several special individuals also contributed by buying her the baking supplies she needed.
During the Christmas season, Amelia Rose decided to do another mission for Holt. She raised $700 for Ilsan. Ilsan is a residential care center for disabled children and adults in Korea that the Holt family established after the Korean War.
Today, Amelia Rose is in her second year of sponsoring Mai from Vietnam. The joy that God blesses her with when she reads the updates from Mai is supernatural. That kind of joy only comes from the Lord.
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than receive.’”
Helen Keller said, “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”
I am only one, but I can be obedient to Him. He can take my obedience and send waves of ripples of His message farther than I could ever imagine. My sweet Amelia Rose is only 12 years old. May we all be inspired to allow God to use us beyond the limits we assign to ourselves. Let’s all create a ripple of kindness that starts in our communities and reaches out to the rest of the world. Holt International is the perfect start.
Kristi Cook | Pascagoula, MS