When I visited Yanci in 2010, she brought me a scrapbook. It was a compilation of the letters I had written to her over the years, and included every letter, every sticker, every item my family had ever sent her. Yanci had carefully—painstakingly—preserved it all in her scrapbook.
To be honest, this caught my heart. I had no idea how much my letters meant to her.
I shouldn’t be surprised. I speak on behalf of Compassion and children in poverty all over the world. I’ve seen the mass of letters tacked to children’s walls. I’ve seen the way children lovingly look at the photos of their sponsors, and how special they feel when a letter is delivered to them.
Why? Because poverty tells children they don’t matter. That no one cares. That they have no value and are not worthy of a better life.
But letters can chip away at those lies. The love of a sponsor communicated through a letter tells a child that they DO matter. That someone on the other side of the world is praying for their care and safety. Letters plant seeds of hope in the lives of children in poverty.
But the simple truth is most sponsors have no idea that their letters, and their words, carry so much power. This lack of understanding is in no way reflective of the sponsor’s heart. It doesn’t mean he or she lacks empathy. It’s a matter of not knowing—the result of honest ignorance.
With that in mind, can I be bold today and ask you to write a letter to your sponsored child? And if your church family sponsors children through Compassion, will you consider hosting a Letter Writing Event? Compassion has developed Letter Writing Resources specifically for churches, to help your congregants develop their evangelism and discipleship skills through the loving act of letter writing.
Letter writing is an exchange of life that weaves sponsors and children together through shared hopes, dreams and prayers. And while you might be focused on the benefit it will bring your sponsored child, you’ll soon see benefits in your own life.
I can tell you, THIS is what I was made for. Not to advance my career or achieve greatness, but to make life better for children like Yanci.
How about you? How has child sponsorship changed your life? Tell us! With your permission, we may share your story to inspire others.