By: Junieth Dinarte, Erick Jura, Yrahisa Mateo, Juana Ordonez Martinez, Brynn Paine, Daniela Velasco and Alejandra Zuniga   |   Posted: April 14, 2022

Children in Latin America and the Caribbean share what they wish their sponsors knew and how much their words, prayers and gifts mean to them.

3 Things Your Sponsored Child Wishes You Knew

Children in Latin America and the Caribbean share what they wish their sponsors knew and how much their words, prayers and gifts mean to them.

Written by Junieth Dinarte, Erick Jura, Yrahisa Mateo, Juana Ordonez Martinez, Brynn Paine, Daniela Velasco and Alejandra Zuniga
Weslin holds letters from his sponsor

One of the most important things to know about sponsorship is how much you mean to the child you help support. When children receive letters or gifts from their sponsors, they are overjoyed. A sponsor’s prayers, words of encouragement and financial support can change a child’s life.

When we ask children in our program what they wish their sponsors knew, their unique answers often share a few common truths:

  1. Sponsors encourage their spiritual growth.
  2. Sponsors build their self-esteem.
  3. Sponsors help make their dreams come true.

To find out why sponsorship makes such a difference in their lives, hear what young people in Latin America and the Caribbean say they wish their sponsors knew.

“Come inside. It’s time to write your sponsors,” a tutor calls to the playing children, who head inside their Compassion center and take their seats.

“What would you like to tell them?”

The room is quiet as the children think about the soccer goal they just scored or whether there might be food waiting at home if their father found work today.

“OK. What about telling your sponsor about your favorite sport?” the tutor suggests, hoping an idea will help get the kids started.

He knows sponsors are important to the kids; he hears the kids talk about them like they are part of the family. Sometimes the kids just don’t know how to put those feelings into words. So we asked kids in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean what it means to them to have a sponsor and what they wish their sponsor knew. Here’s what they said.

1. How Do You Help Children Grow Spiritually?

By sharing words of encouragement, advice and Scripture, you can help your child grow spiritually.

Josué holds a folder that he made for his sponsor's letters

Josué keeps letters from his sponsor in this special folder labeled “Property of Josué.”


This is apparent in the life of 11-year-old Josué. He lives in a dangerous community in El Salvador ruled by gangs. Every day, Josué is forced to choose between becoming part of a gang or following the advice of his parents, sponsor and staff and volunteers at his child development center.

“In this community, children live being bothered by gang members. When a sponsor writes encouraging words in a letter, it's important,” says Esmeralda, Josué’s tutor at the center. “When they share about the gospel and give advice, the perspective of life changes in the mind of the children. Josué has never lacked advice, and he is constantly encouraged by his sponsor. He is motivated to become a different boy.”

“Each of my letters brings me joy, but there's a special one that filled me with happiness and motivates me to follow the principles of the Bible and to work harder in the school, not losing time in useless things,” says Josué. “In that letter, [my sponsor] told me: ‘Maybe sooner than we both think, we will call you Pastor Josué, or Doctor Josué, or soccer star Josué or even pilot Josué.’ But the one that I like the most to be called is Pastor Josué. I appreciate that someone that I never met in person believes so much in me.”

By believing in him and offering words of encouragement and advice, Josué’s sponsor motivates him to put into practice the truths he’s learned from the Bible.

Brenda holds a letter from her sponsor

Brenda is another young person who has received spiritual encouragement from a sponsor. When Brenda was struggling with depression as a young teenager in the Dominican Republic, her sponsor prayed for her and made her feel special. Her sponsor’s prayers and letters helped Brenda, now 19, overcome depression. She and her sister now have a relationship with Jesus.

“I accepted the Lord when I was 13 years old after one of the preachers at the center’s summer camp talked about depression. I related to all he said. It all made sense. I could understand that [God] gave me good spiritual leaders like my tutors and sponsors,” says Brenda.

“I found a lot of love here at the center. If I start thinking about my life without God, I cannot even tell where I would be. Finding God and his love in the center made the difference in my life.”

2. How Do You Help Build a Child’s Self-Esteem?

Your encouraging letters, prayers and Bible verses can help build a child’s self-esteem.

Weslin stands in front of his home

Nine-year-old Weslin from Nicaragua is used to being bullied, excluded and feeling like he doesn’t belong. He was born with a cleft palate, and even though he’s had several surgeries to fix the condition, he’s still seen as different in his community.

From the very first letter, the words from Weslin’s sponsor started to reverse his feelings of isolation and help him to believe he’s God’s special creation.

“I never had many friends,” Weslin said. “Many of the boys bullied me because sometimes I have a hard time with my classes. But my sponsor told me she was praying for me, and that I was special in the Lord’s eyes. She told me that the Lord loved me and I had to love myself, too. Her words made me feel special. I want her to know that her words changed my life; they taught me to love myself.”

Taina holds some books in her center's library

Taïna in Haiti couldn’t agree more about the value of a sponsor’s words. The 19-year-old has corresponded with her sponsor for years and says the letters give her confidence and make her feel loved. As Taïna prepares to graduate from the program, she reflects on what her sponsor’s words have meant to her.

“Reading a letter from my sponsor always fills my heart with immense joy. It makes me feel valued and loved by someone I haven't even met yet," she says.

Feeling loved and appreciated is priceless. This feeling grows in me every time I read the messages of affection in my sponsor's letters. My sponsor helps me have confidence in myself and encourages me to work hard to achieve my goals.

3. How Do You Help Make Children’s Dreams Come True?

Sending a birthday gift, Christmas gift or family gift can help make a child’s dreams come true.

Estiven smiles at the camera

Seven-year-old Estiven dreamed of owning a bicycle and racing with his friends on a hot Honduran summer day. While his parents would have loved to fulfill their son’s dream, they had to spend the little money they earned on rent and food. The bicycle seemed unattainable until Estiven received a birthday gift from his sponsor.

Estiven remembers when the center staff told him his sponsor had sent a financial gift for his birthday. “I was thrilled because I was told I could buy whatever I wished for. I dreamed of having a bike and playing on it with my friends. … My parents agreed to buy me the bike with the gift, and I could not be happier,” he says.

“Every day after I have finished my homework, I ride my bike and help my mother to run errands. … I wish I could tell my sponsor how much she means to me and my family. She makes me feel special and loved.”

Iker is in his soon-to-be new home

Iker, 10, peeks out from behind the new house his sponsor helped build.


In Mexico, 10-year-old Iker and his family dreamed of something a bit bigger than a bicycle — a home of their own. The family of six were sharing one room in the home of Iker’s grandparents, all the while wondering how they’d ever afford to build a home on their empty land next door. They knew exactly what they wanted to do when Iker received a gift from his sponsor.

“What excites me the most about having our own house is that we will finally have our own space and more space to play!” says Iker. “I would tell [my sponsor] that I feel extremely thankful for all the gifts and support she has given us.”

Iker and his brothers sit on a hammock with their mother

Even oceans apart, your love, prayers and words of encouragement help overpower the messages children living in poverty hear: that they aren’t important and their dreams can’t come true. Your presence in their lives means more than they could ever say and more than you will ever know. This is one of the most important things for you to know about sponsoring a child with Compassion.

Why not speak life into a child’s life by praying or writing a letter today?

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