A Minute to Write a Letter is a fictional story originally posted on OurCompassion. Author Emalee Warner was inspired to write it after learning about sponsored children who never receive letters from their sponsors.
Rendel followed the other children eagerly. Today was their child development center’s assigned letter-writing day. He was not nearly as excited as most of the group. They’d recently received letters from their sponsors and couldn’t wait to reply.
No, Rendel belonged to a smaller group of students at the center — children who had never received a letter from their far-away sponsors.
Rendel knew that his sponsor lived in the United States. He knew where that was, and that his sponsor’s name was Mary. Faithfully, he wrote a letter to Mary every time letter-writing day came.
Eagerly, he would write about his life, his friends, his family and his studies. He always asked how Mary was doing, and told her that he prayed for her often and hoped she was well. He liked to include a nice picture he had drawn.
Rendel found himself imagining what Mary would look like, as he had many times before. Would her skin be as dark as his? Or lighter like some of the other children’s sponsors whose pictures he had seen? Did she have smiling eyes like his grandmother?
Did she have a big family too? Lots of brothers, sisters, a grandmother and grandfather? Did she have children?
He didn’t know. He didn’t have any answers to his questions.
As he walked into the building, Rendel hoped that maybe today his sponsor would send him something — just a few words, a picture, anything. Not that he wasn’t grateful for the support, for he never would have gotten to go to school if it weren’t for Mary.
It still hurt, though, when the letters came in and there was nothing for him.
Rendel didn’t even want the things that sometimes came in the letters: stickers, coloring books, fun stuff like that. All he wanted was one letter, something to tell him that his sponsor cared about him.
Did she regret sponsoring him? Had he done something wrong? Were his grades not good enough?
The adults at the center, and Rendel’s grandmother, assured him that it wasn’t his fault. But how could it not be? Why else would Mary not reply?
He sat down and stared at the paper on which he was to write his letter. Carefully and painstakingly he wrote each word, wanting Mary to see his very best. He told her how he and his brothers enjoyed playing ball outside when the weather was nice like today.
He told her how he’d done in class, how he’d improved since he’d last written. He asked her to pray for him when he took the exams to move up a class, how he hoped he’d do well and make her proud. He told her he hoped she was doing well. He ended his letter with
Please write to me, I want to know you. — Rendel
Then he flipped the paper over and began his drawing.
This time he’d draw the tree by his house. It always had really pretty flowers in the spring. Rendel finished his letter and examined it critically. It looked good to him, but would it be good enough? As he handed the letter to his teacher he sent up a prayer,
“Please Lord, let this letter be the one. Please help her to write me back, Anything God. I’ll take anything she can give me. Amen.”
To be continued…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Emalee Warner started writing to four children her youth group sponsors, as well as three additional children her youth pastor sponsors. Emalee recently began sponsoring her own child.
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