This month, I’m joining the Compassion Blogger Network to help promote child sponsorship and encourage my friends and family to sponsor a child. If you’ve ever considered sponsoring a child, now’s the time to do it!
Mike and I have both sponsored Compassion children since before we were married. I remember sitting in the balcony of the gathering place where my Christian college group met, on the edge of my seat as I listened to the speaker explain in vivid detail her experience with child sponsorship. I was right there with her as she described meeting kids in the program. It was the most enthralling speech I’d ever heard, and afterward I joined the throng of people crowding the Compassion table, perusing all the cards with descriptions of children in need of sponsors. I don’t remember what drew me to Edilania—I think her March birthday probably had something to do with it—but my relationship with her lasted her entire life in the program. A few years ago, I got notice that she had graduated and was considering nursing school. She didn’t indicate any interest in continuing correspondance, so I have no idea where she is now.
I’m ashamed to admit that my correspondence with her while I sponsored her was not regular. I was one of those sponsors who sent money and not much else. Because it took so long to hear back after writing, I truly didn’t think my letters were that important. But thanks to Compassion’s embrace of Web 1.0 and 2.0, I’ve come to learn that letters do matter—immensely. (The organization blogs and tweets constantly about the importance of keeping in touch with sponsored children and how much children value letters from their sponsors.) In fact, Compassion has gone out of its way to make writing our children (we’re sponsoring two more since Edilania moved on, and Mike’s young man hasn’t graduated the program yet) ridiculously easy. For one thing, we can write online. We do everything else online, so this makes connecting with our children too convenient to avoid. We can even upload photos. I never sent them before because I was too lazy to print them.
So we’re connecting with Nayra, King, and Kitibwa much more frequently now. And we’re learning firsthand that they really do care about their sponsors. There’s still a time lapse between communications (the translators have a lot of letters to translate!) and the younger children’s responses are often abrupt and don’t always seem to answer our inquiries, but we know they read our letters because as soon as we mentioned we were in the process of adoption, they all let us know they were praying for us. What’s more precious than knowing a child in another country is praying specifically for my family?! And when we shared our joyful news of Teddy’s arrival, they each offered their congratulations.
Because we’re writing more frequently, we’re feeling more connected to them. Our money isn’t just helping some random kids have a better life. We’re getting to know these children—and remembering to pray for them more regularly.
So many more children need this kind of relationship. Won’t you consider sponsoring one?