Sponsors travel far and wide to visit their sponsored children and see how we work in the field. For many, a visit to their sponsored child’s country is simply not an option. Most likely, it’s because of health or financial limitations.
I would LOVE to go and meet all three of my sponsored children, but I definitely don’t have the thousands of dollars it would cost my husband and I to do so. So why can’t my sponsored children come visit me in Colorado?
Even if the child’s parents allowed them to travel outside of the country (many children have never left their communities), there are many logistics that would make this trip difficult.
Think about it — arranging the child’s visa and departure requirements, finding a Compassion representative to accompany the child, accommodations, translation issues, and most important — protecting the child from unsafe situations.
Child protection is something we take very seriously. We know that 99 percent of you would smother your sponsored child with love, prayer and encouragement. Regrettably, it’s the few bad apples we have to be careful about.
Allowing a sponsored child to travel to his or her sponsor’s home increases the risk of abuse or exploitation dramatically — a risk we cannot take.
Notice that I said this would be difficult — not impossible. Yes, I admit it. It’s possible. But that doesn’t mean we can allow it.
Our purpose is to holistically develop children through child sponsorship. Bottom line, it’s all about the children and what is best for them.
Yes, a trip to the U.S. or wherever you live may seem like a great cultural experience for your sponsored child, but can you imagine how scary that might be for a child who has never left his or her community? Talk about culture shock.
I don’t like the thought of my sponsored children visiting me. I remember how horrified I was at the depth of poverty I witnessed while visiting Zambia a few years ago. The guilt I felt upon returning to my warm home and fully stocked kitchen was debilitating for several days.
Although it would be fun to show my sponsored children the States, I really don’t want them to see my house, my car or my city. I’ve seen pictures of where they live. I know their circumstances. At the core of me, I don’t want them to see how I’m living. Why you ask? I’m ashamed of it.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m very average according to America’s standards. However, a much different picture is painted according to their standards.
But that’s just me. Everyone’s struggles are different, and this is one of my many.
So no, your sponsored child will not be able to visit you — and maybe you won’t be able to visit him or her. But that’s okay. The words of encouragement you speak in your letters mean everything.
Don’t believe me? Listen for yourself.