more than you know When children are registered at our centers, parent and staff are happy to work together for the children’s benefit. At the same time, the adults wonder who might sponsor each child and when. Everyone is grateful when a relationship between a sponsor and child begins.

Once a child has a sponsor, letters play a key role in the process. Taking a piece of paper, writing a few paragraphs, and sending a picture or sticker might not seem like a big deal, but for the children, anything they receive from you is of great worth.

“It means that there is someone interested in them, in their well-being, and that there is someone who is always hoping that the children do good physically, emotionally, spiritually and academically,” says Darlyng, Rayitos de Bendicion Student Center Director. It’s also important “knowing that children are present in sponsors’ prayers for God’s protection upon them.”

Children cherish your letters, and share them with friends and family.

Being sponsored is about more than receiving monetary support. It means a relationship between you and the child that can grow to become a long-term friendship. In some cases, the loving words children read in your letters will be the only expression of love they will receive outside of the center.

That friendship and love is what Ana, a registered child at Rayitos de Bendicion Student Center, and her family are experiencing. They are delighted and thankful for the privilege to have a sponsor.

Ana’s father is a jeweler, but he doesn’t receive any reliable income from his work. When the family runs out of school supplies, it takes a while to buy more. Sometimes they don’t have enough to buy the shoes they need. The food at home is not very good, but they always have the basics like rice, beans, oil, sugar, coffee, etc.

“The center is an important help and we adjust finances with difficulty. There is not much meat in the menu at home, but God always gives us the sustenance,” says Ana’s mother, Rosa.

Four years ago Ana was registered at the center, along with two other siblings. Ana was the first child in her family to be sponsored. Though Ana’s first sponsor canceled, her second sponsor has been with her for three years. Since then, the constant communication between her and her sponsor has resulted in a beautiful relationship.

“I was very happy when I heard that Ana was sponsored. Her sponsor is a girl and that girl is constantly sending letters to Ana. They talk about their pets and advances in school. Ana is the one that receives [the most] letters of the three children,” Rosa says.

Ana enjoys sharing what she learns at the development center with her sponsor.

Ana is a tall, skinny 10-year-old girl. She is outgoing, caring, content, helpful and active in class. She is in fourth grade and doing very well in school. Her favorite class is Spanish. At the center, Ana eagerly awaits the day her group writes letters. Then, she gets the chance to write back to her sponsor and tell her “things” about herself and her family.

Although Ana has never met her faraway friend in person, the effect the relationship has had on the Ana’s life is clear. She creates nice pictures for her sponsor because she knows that her sponsor likes to paint.

“Ana’s mother shares with us that there is a change in her daughter. Ana attends the center faithfully. She likes to be here and the mother is content because Ana is more interested in being at the center to learn God’s Word instead of being out there in the street or with bad company,” says Darlyng.

Ana says of her sponsor,

“She is like a sister to me because she talks to me and tells me she’s coming, so I’m always waiting for her. I am very happy and thankful with God because she always sends me nice things and wishes me blessings from God, and she also sends me pictures.”

After years of communicating through letters, Ana hopes that she will one day be able to meet her sponsor in person.

At least 80 percent of registered children in Nicaragua are sponsored, which is a great blessing and privilege for every child. It is also a great opportunity to develop a close relationship like that of Ana and her sponsor.

Witnessing the faces of children as they get a letter or a present from their sponsor is an invaluable sight. The impact of a simple letter goes beyond what eyes can see.

Keep writing, keep communicating, and keep letting your child know that he or she is loved.

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13 Comments Add a Comment
  1. Dec 6, 2010
    at 8:18 am

    Oh, to see the faces of those receiving letters from their sponsors…. combined with the heartbreaking sight of those precious children who have yet to receive a single letter from their sponsor… Bittersweet, bittersweet. May God come near to those who are still hoping for that one letter… may their sponsor see the value in taking the time to write, even once.

  2. Dec 6, 2010
    at 8:54 am

    Aww, I hope my letters are making my own Ana that I sponsor feel cared for.

    • SANDRA,UGANDA
      Dec 11, 2010
      at 12:03 pm

      please Jessica,i really like your effort, and how you dedicated your self in helping people who are in need,am also an orphan in northern part of Uganda,my parents were killed by the Kong rebels when i was in p.5 but i have been having difficulties with my studies so am requesting if you can connect someone help me and sponsor my school fees for senior one this next year other wise i may not go to school

  3. Billye Jo Bignell
    Dec 6, 2010
    at 9:21 am

    My child from Haiti and I write; I just wish it did not take so long in-between the letters…it seems like we are always explaining who each other is. My child’s Aunt wrote me last time so maybe a personal connection will happen soon. It has been a year now.

  4. Debbie
    Dec 6, 2010
    at 3:39 pm

    This is great…but…I fear that the people reading it are the ones that do write. I wish things like this could be sent to all sponsors so they would know how important letters are. Having multiple kids through Compassion, I think it is important to have a schedule. Write it on your calendar. As with everything else, time slips by. If you need more encouragement, go to http://www.ourcompassion.org which is a website for sponsors.

  5. Dec 6, 2010
    at 6:15 pm

    This is great…but…I fear that the people reading it are the ones that do write. I wish things like this could be sent to all sponsors so they would know how important letters are. Having multiple kids through Compassion, I think it is important to have a schedule. Write it on your calendar. As with everything else, time slips by. If you need more encouragement, go to http://www.ourcompassion.org which is a website for sponsors.

    This is a great Point. This would be a great article in the Compassion magazine. I just got a letter from my child and he mentioned how so many children don’t get letters and are sad. I wrote him back. I think many sponsors don’t know. They sponsor, but they see the sponsorship as a financial commitment. When they decide to sponsor a child, they gave their financial information, that’s all they agreed to. But the child looks at it like it is a relationship. So, the child has different expectations. The first thing that the child does is write a letter. So, they think of it like a relationship. I told my child I try to talk to sponsors all the time when I see them and encourage them to write, but I can communicate this with all of them. I wish I could write all of the sponsors a letter and tell them about the importance of the letters to the children.

  6. Melanie
    Dec 7, 2010
    at 10:08 am

    I got a letter from my child yesterday! I am so happy because this is the first one I have gotten that is more personal and she is asking me lots of questions. And she drew the sweetest picture for me – a heart with my name and the word “love” in it. It melted my heart. I am excited to write her again this week! :)

  7. FS Tilton
    Dec 7, 2010
    at 10:31 am

    How does it happen that Ana and two of her siblings – i.e., *three* children in the same family – are sponsored? Does that not take away opportunities from other families in the community who may be waiting to enroll a child in the local program?

    • darrenthornberry
      Dec 7, 2010
      at 11:59 am

      Thanks for your question. Our program is operated locally in the context of that culture and community. The program staff know the needs of the community and they have chosen to help this way. When there are 3 kids in a family registered, it is a big, extenuating circumstance. Something must be quite bad, or there just was not enough community interest when it was enrollment time and so they offered the spots to child’s siblings (not the most common, but it does happen). Can I help with any other questions? Thanks again. – Darren

  8. Diane Nichols
    Dec 14, 2010
    at 9:58 pm

    Oh yes the rewards of sending and receiving letters from these precious chlldren. I am so glad that there is the correspondence program for those children whose sponsors don’t or won’t write to the kids. My husband and I know from personal experience that the kids we don’t sponsor but correspond with are so grateful for us and think of us as their actual sponsors.

  9. Jan 25, 2011
    at 11:07 pm

    TO THE COMPASSION STORE & MARKETING DEPARTMENT:

    I have two ideas for the Compassion store that could encourage sponsors to write:

    1) A daily flip desk calendar with a letter writing theme. Each day would have a different letter-writing idea for Compassion sponsors. 365 suggestions — letter writing topics, creative things to make and send, Bible verses, great quotes, etc. We have a ton of ideas on the Letter Writing Ideas post.

    2) A 12-month letter-writing themed calendar — each month has a picture of a child reading his or her letters. (These photos are ALWAYS a favorite on the blog and there are some excellent ones on Compassion’s Flickr account.) And you could print letter writing ideas on some of the dates — a few each month. It would offer numerous reminders throughout the year to write.

    You could even do a mini-version of this calendar and give it to each new sponsor. Or when Compassion does mailings, include just one calendar page for the month with a pic of a child reading his or her letter and letter-writing ideas printed on a few of the dates. Something that a sponsor could tack up on a bulletin board or stick on refrigerator.

    • Marlene W
      Apr 30, 2011
      at 8:14 am

      Lisa,

      I love this idea. I would find this an immense help.

      It would also be great if there was a place where sponsors could post short examples of their letters for those of us that are not creative correspondents. I have no problem finding lots of fun things to send (love putting together those packages) , and while I do write and send very short emails 2 times a month, that part is much more difficult.

  10. Sarah
    Apr 16, 2011
    at 3:31 pm

    I’m so saddened to hear that sponsors don’t even write to their kids. I’ve had financial difficulties over recent years, looked into sponsorship with Compassion a while back and couldn’t commit. God blessed us with breakthrough, and when a Compassion Speaker gave us a presentation at church I couldn’t NOT sponsor the little girl that caught my eye. I’ve enough colouring books and stickers, postcards and photos to last 6 months … and only just sent off my first packet to her! It’s a privilege really, not a financial commitment with which we shouldn’t emotionally engage. What a shame for those who don’t fully participate. I pray every day that my 7 year old receives the packet I sent, and all those to follow, safely, and she and her family are well, and reply honestly, remain healthy and strong (I don’t know much about their social situation etc)

    The little girl next door drew a picture for my sponsored child. “Next door” sponsor a child in Africa through Compassion, so their 5 year old “got what it was all about”. My husband was vacuuming and we heard a hammering on the door. Little Missy from next door proudly presented an A4 masterpiece of herself, her baby brother, Mom, Dad and the pet rabbit – all for my little girl in South America! I’m a teacher, and one of my pupils, aged 11, learned “Hello, How are you?” in Spanish and turned the phrases into an A4 painting, which went with the rabbit masterpiece, the first letter, several photos and stickers etc.

    I fear I am spoiling my sponsored child! Dear oh dear

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