building relationships In this video, I interview Ouma Willy, a former Leadership Development Program student who currently studies at Moody Bible Institute, about his experience as a recipient of letters from sponsors. His testimony will no doubt encourage you to keep writing to your sponsored children!

You can also view this Building Relationships video on YouTube.

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  1. Jan 5, 2011
    at 7:52 am

    Great interview, Kees! i shared this on my blog last week.
    Sponsors, please please please take the time to write to your child! If you are looking for ideas for what to write, you might find my blog helpful. (Click my name in blue to go there!) Even if you can just spend a few minutes a month sending emails to your child, make the commitment to do so! Those letters are like gold to your child.

  2. Jan 5, 2011
    at 12:43 pm

    Great job, Kees & Ouma!

    Michelle (Blogging from the Boonies) has SUCH a great blog with great writing ideas. I have a few ideas on my blog of things to send to sponsored kids. And many of the folks on the Letter Writing Ideas thread have blogs, with things they’ve sent and written. These are great places to go if you don’t know what to write or just need some inspiration!!!

    If you haven’t written your kids, don’t let another day go by! Do it today!!! Make 2011 the year you really start building that relationship.

  3. Jan 6, 2011
    at 6:52 am

    Thank you so much Kees and Ouma! I love both of you so much, and your passion for children in need! When I meet children that are not getting letters, I tell them, “Some sponsors have 100 children or more that they sponsor, so although they love them all, they are not able to write. Maybe that’s why they haven’t written to you.” I try to give them a positive reason why they are not getting letters, and it certainly could be true in their case. I can’t fathom why a sponsor would not write to their child, especially if they sponsor only one. I know people with 100 children that DO write to all of them, and know them each by name, too. I wish sponsors that don’t write would sign a release to allow others to be correspondents. That has also been a real joy for my life — corresponding with kids that others sponsor.

    • Jan 6, 2011
      at 1:16 pm

      I agree with you Juli. I think that many times the sponsors don’t know about writing to the children. Someone might go to a concert, hear about the need of poverty and how they can help a child in poverty by sponsoring them. They think that the answer to poverty is money. So, they might sign for the automatic payment payment deduction from their account. They go home, maybe excited that they are the sponsor of a child. But then never figure that the child wants a letter. (After all, with all of the other charitable contributions, you don’t write, especially not if they support organizations like “save the whales”) So, they don’t know about writing. Then they are not the ones to go read the blogs or join ourcompassion. So, they never find out about the ‘correspondence’ program. When they do get mail from Compassion, they might even think that it is just some information about how to give more or what have you and don’t open it. I think it would be a great idea, if right on the form, where they fill out to set up the sponsorship, it gives them the option to either commit to writing themselves or to request a correspondent. At least they would know about it that way. Many advocates don’t even know about the correspondence program.
      It’s interesting, but the first time the child hears about the sponsorship, he/she has to write a letter. To them it is all about relationship.

      • Kim
        Jun 30, 2011
        at 7:02 pm

        Kees, are you able to help with this one, too?!
        Yes, Leendar Mumia, I just began sponsoring an eleven year old child about three months ago and I’m already sad about losing contact with her after she graduates. : ( Do you know and understand WHY sponsors cannot keep in contact with their children after graduation? I don’t understand this, though I’m hoping it will change by the time my children graduate! : ) I DO understand that in some remote villages mail could be a problem and having money for postage could be a problem I suppose, but I’ve read in several places where sponsors are not permitted to send their children their address or phone number or any personal contact information. Perhaps KEES knows the answers and/or “work arounds”? (I’m very hopeful. since KEES seems to know even more than CI does!)

  4. LEENDER MUMIA
    Jan 9, 2011
    at 9:09 am

    Hey.The letter writing idea is a great blessing to the student.I was once a sponsored student and my sponsors names were a family made of Mr Joe Rodgers and Mrs Barbara Rodgers.Iam a kenyan and was sponsored upto the year 1993 under KIMA Compassion programme.The letters used to really encourage me alot and they gave me the driving force to work hard since i knew God had blessed me with a sponsor so that i become a better person.I would also like to get contacts of my sponsor if possible sice iam who iam because of their blessed contribution in my life.

    • Kim
      Jun 30, 2011
      at 6:59 pm

      Yes, Leendar Mumia, I just began sponsoring an eleven year old child about three months ago and I’m already sad about losing contact with her after she graduates. : ( Do you know and understand WHY sponsors cannot keep in contact with their children after graduation? I don’t understand this, though I’m hoping it will change by the time my children graduate! : ) I DO understand that in some remote villages mail could be a problem and having money for postage could be a problem I suppose, but I’ve read in several places where sponsors are not permitted to send their children their address or phone number or any personal contact information. Perhaps KEES knows the answers and/or “work arounds”? (I’m very hopeful. since KEES seems to know even more than CI does!)

  5. Kim
    Jun 30, 2011
    at 6:46 pm

    You are so correct, Kees! Know this, too, Juli! I only recently began sponsoring a child a few months ago. The only way I was even made aware of these blogs is because a wonderful woman at CI referred me directly to them, in reply to my email inquiry asking about when I should expect to receive my first letter from my child. I received the reply only today and when I read Juli’s post above I thought, “What a great idea! I’m sure some folks would sponsor MORE children if they knew someone else was willing and able to write them!” Then I read Kees post about how this “service” is available now! That’s fantastic! YES! CI should put that on the “original sign up form”. How else would people know? As for myself, I’ve written my child every two weeks so far, but I confess that when I think of sponsoring another child (or four!) I hesitate because of the time involved in relationship building and I absolutely refuse to make a commitment to an eleven year old that I’m not able to give enough TIME to through graduation – it makes me think that by sending money, although nice, I could be preventing a child from being sponsored by a person who’d be willing to provide plenty of TIME to the child as well. KEES, so now I need to ask you WHERE I find the place to REQUEST A CORRESPONDENT! By the way, I’ve done pretty much nothing today but read some of these blogs, and I’ve learned so much more from these blogs than I ever did from the “information packet” I received shortly after signing up to sponsor my precious child – and you, KEES, have provided the MOST valuable information! I’m so very thankful to have met you on these blogs and God bless you and so many others for sharing your knowledge with us! PLEASE notify CI with your suggestion to include this info in their FIRST packet to us AND to locate it in a prominent place on their website. So many things are so deeply hidden on the CI website and since I’m not a “blog kind of person”, I would have never found it had I not asked directly. I’m SO excited now to “recruit” many friends to sponsor a child financially, knowing that another dedicated person will shower a child with the love and attention! WOW! Talk about covering all bases…this way, EVERYONE can win! When I was 20 and broke, I would have loved to write disadvantaged children, but I couldn’t “afford it”. In recent years, I find I have more money than time. Thank you Kees and Juli, such wonderful servants of God. I love you both.

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