creative writing stories 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.

Read part one of this story


Rendel stayed to the back of the small crowd of children, hoping — but knowing that his name would not be called. It had been three months since letter-writing day.

There’d been four deliveries of letters since then. Most of the children had already received replies. Rendel listened with half an ear as the box of letters dwindled.

One last letter was pulled from the box and the woman up front called,

“Rendel!”

Everyone turned to look at him. Many of the children and staff smiled as he stepped up and carefully took the letter.

Sure enough, written on the front was his name. Many of the children broke into groups to look at their letters together. Those who hadn’t received a letter turned and left quietly.

Child showing off a letter from his sponsor.

Rendel and a few others found quiet areas of the yard to open their letters.

He stared at the envelope for what seemed like ages.

What if they’d gotten the wrong Rendel? What if the letter wasn’t really meant for him?

Tentatively, he opened the envelope and pulled out the paper within. Carefully, he unfolded the letter and started to read.

He finished the letter with a big grin on his face.

She’d finally written him back! She said she was happy that he was doing well in school, and that her brothers had also liked playing football (soccer) when they were younger.

She had even sent him a picture of herself.

She didn’t have her picture taken often, she wrote, and this was the best she had.

All Rendel knew was that she was beautiful, and that she cared.

Before dashing home to show his grandmother and read through the letter again with her, he whispered,

“Thank You, Lord!”


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.

If you’re interested in writing a guest blog post, we are happy to consider publishing it. Read our guest blog post guidelines.

  • 14 Comments
  • Print This Post Print This Post
  • Add a Comment

14 Comments Add a Comment
  1. Debbie
    Apr 12, 2012
    at 7:26 am

    Unfortunately, for many kids, it doesn’t have this happy ending. I guess I have never understood why people sponsor if they don’t want to write. You can certainly give money to Compassion without sponsoring.

    • Debbie Beghetto
      Apr 12, 2012
      at 5:42 pm

      I agree with you.My sponsor’s siblings haven’t received their letter in the last 4 years! How sad!

  2. Joseph Wayner
    Apr 13, 2012
    at 9:28 am

    Dear Kumar,

    Because of my health, my son has taken over my finance responsibilities. I will no longer be able to sponsor you. I pray that I have set a good foundation for your future. I hope you will keep God first in everything and decisions you make. May God bless you and your family. I will always be praying for you.

    God Bless

  3. Apr 13, 2012
    at 9:48 am

    Dear Mangala,

    Because of my health, my son has taken over my finance responsibilites. I will no longer be able to sponsor you. I pray that I have set a good foundation for your future. I hope you will keep God first in everything and decisions you make. May God bless you and your family. I will always be praying for you.

    God Bless.

    • Corrie
      Apr 15, 2012
      at 5:18 pm

      Joseph, these are just comments on the story– if you want to make sure your sponsored children receive a message from you, be sure to find the link to write them a letter, and include it there. :)

  4. Apr 15, 2012
    at 1:48 pm

    I don’t know how to begin, i.e., letter-writing. should I follow the form in the packet or do my own letter?

    • Debbie
      Apr 16, 2012
      at 8:06 am

      Many of us just use the email option (on the compassion.com) site to write our first letter of introduction, and then prepare another letter with a family/individual picture, a longer letter, stickers, etc. That way, because the email letter is getting printed right at Compassion, you are cutting off a few days of mailing, and also time to get your other stuff ready. I don’t use the booklet form, and just write my own letters, but if you want to use it, that’s what it’s there for. If you haven’t already, please join ourcompassion.org where you can learn about sponsoring and other sponsors can quickly answer your questions.

  5. Emily
    Sep 2, 2012
    at 12:45 pm

    I’m not happy but heavy hearted, ashamed and embarrassed by saying that I have only written my child once. I signed up when I was in high school with full intention of being completely involved with my sponsor child. However, the only thing I’ve been consistent on is sending money each month. It has been six years since I have written my child. Yes, I realize how cold hearted and shameful that is. Like I said, I am writing this comment with a heavy heavy heart.

    My question is how to start my second letter to my child since 2006? There is so much I want to tell him…my thoughts and love for him, updates on my life and growth with Christ. However, it’s the first few sentences I am most concerned about. Any helpful suggestions?

    I am asking that any comments on my neglect to write be kept to yourself. Believe me, I have punished myself enough. Please respect my courage to even admit this and leave only helpful comments. I love Compassion and I love this cause. I am excited to be more involved with my child and looking forward to the blessings he and I will both receive.

    • Jacquie Parella
      Sep 2, 2012
      at 6:35 pm

      No negative comments Emily! Everyone should appreciate your courage and openness. :) I think the best thing to do is to just be honest. Let your sponsored child know you care, you’ve always cared and you want to get to know them better. Then share about yourself. Start small and then it build from there. For me, writing online is the easiest: http://www.compassion.com/letter-writing/write-my-child.htm. I hope you find a lot of encouragement here and with the sponsors on OurCompassion. :)

    • Nina
      Sep 3, 2012
      at 6:15 am

      Emily – I was exactly in your shoes! You are not the only one who has felt this way! I had sponsored a sweet girl in the Philippines for about 6 years also, and had written her only a few times in all those years. Shortly after Our Compassion was formed, I found it and realized how important our letters are to our kids. I just had NO idea! I felt HORRIBLE! I wrote to my precious young lady and was just very honest – that I had just been reading information about sponsoring and had found out how important letters are to our kids. I apologized, told her that I just did not know, told her how much I love her and promised her I would write faithfully, which I have done now for 2 1/2 years! It is NOT too late to begin writing! My sponsored child and her family were just so happy – she never said one word about being upset that I had not written in the past. Her school work was getting more difficult and it clearly was God’s timing – she needed the extra encouragement right at that time! Please do not beat yourself up – I did that for far too long and it just is not productive – only makes you feel worse! I recommend to just be honest with your child, promise to do better, tell him how much you love him, then start writing regularly! You are very courageous to admit this oversight, but it is not too late! I know you can do it! :-) There are more “reformed sponsors” out there than you realize! I want to welcome you to join Our Compassion and you will get LOTS of great idea for letters and the encouragement that YOU need to get this ball rolling and to keep it rolling!

    • Sep 3, 2012
      at 12:49 pm

      Your child will love to hear from you!! Even though it has been a while since you wrote him, he will be sooooooooo excited! I would probably say something like “I have been praying for you. I love you. Thank you for your letters.”

    • Jennifer
      Jan 2, 2014
      at 8:10 pm

      Dear Emily, thank you for being wanting to start writing again. I know how life can keep moving, and how time flies. I encourage you to write to your child like you have written here. Tell him how much you love him, apologize for not writing, give updates. I know your child will be very surprised and very happy with any note:) God Bless:)

  6. Cindy
    Sep 10, 2012
    at 5:54 am

    I just started sponsering a child 3 months ago, I struggle what to say to her in my letter writing (I have sent 3 letters so far though) but I feel like I don’t know what I am doing. I have never been a letter writer before so not only writing to someone I don’ t know but struggling with letter writing in general. Any suggestions would be welcome!

  7. Debbie T
    Sep 10, 2012
    at 7:40 am

    Cindy, are you a member of http://www.ourcompassion.org ? If not, you should join. We will give you enough ideas to last you forever :)

© 2008-2014 Compassion International. All Rights Reserved.
ECFA Charity Navigator BBB