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View a larger image of the When Gifts fail, Giving Still Wins infographic.
Tags: #itsaboutgiving gift gift catalog gifts infographic
… around the world, a letter from a sponsor is a source of great joy. Most children see letters as gifts from the hearts of their sponsors.
Sadly, other children feel forgotten or unloved because they have not received a single letter.
Godwin is in the fifth grade. He is clever, dynamic and very sociable, and he has a good relationship with his friends at the child development center he attends in Togo. He lost his father and currently lives with his mother, a cashier in …
Sometime back, a commenter on another blog post asked questions about sending gifts to our sponsored children:
Do they make a difference?
Should we wait until we hear about a need?
Do the children appreciate our gifts?
One of my earliest lessons in the importance of our gifts came from Tausi (Tanzania). I began sponsoring her soon after her stated birth date (which later proved to be wrong, but…) and immediately sent a gift of $25.
A few months later, I …
… on December 23, 2010
In December 1993, a thief broke into our house and stole our Christmas gifts.
My sister and I were sponsored and we received many gifts from our sponsors. Her sponsor was from Australia, and there were kangaroo images printed on all her letters.
Some of the precious gifts we received were mattresses and bedding, school shoes, sports gear, traveling bags, Bibles and utensils.
These, however, attracted the attention of our neighbors in the slum.
… tradition during the holiday season. We have traditions of giving thanks. And traditions of giving gifts. Now we have a tradition of giving back. If you want to promote generosity, we’d love for you to join with us in raising $25,000 to build a Child Survival Program (CSP) in Gujarat in western India.
In India, child survival is one of the most fundamental issues when it comes to addressing poverty. Nearly 1 million children there will never reach their first birthday, missing out on …
… sprawled on the sidewalk in front of the mall, reading a book and waiting for her to finish buying gifts for our family.
It should be noted, though, that my mom didn’t necessarily enjoy these dawn excursions with a whiny teen. She did it because she loved us, and she wanted Christmas to be special. Our family wasn’t wealthy, and she saved all year to buy those gifts — to demonstrate in a tangible way that she knew us, knew what we liked. And that she loved us.
And even the malls …
… I wrapped them and carefully placed them under the tree.
On Christmas Eve, when we exchange gifts with my extended family, I was so excited to watch everyone open their gifts.
There was one problem, though.
Not everybody likes to read.
The adults were kind, even though I had given them children’s cookbooks and “chapter books.” But my cousins and siblings were a little more honest.
“Books?” one cousin mumbled. “What is this, homework?”
Looking back, it’s a funny …
… because I was quarantined, my stepfather dressed as Santa to cheer me up. I don’t remember the gifts I got that year, but I remember feeling so special that Santa had made a house call to visit me.
That memory surfaced recently when I read the story of Valerie, a little girl in Togo. Valerie’s first Christmas memory happened last year — because it was the first time she ever celebrated Christmas.
Valerie doesn’t have a lot of joyful memories. She was 5 years old when she …
… water, protection from malaria, and help with meeting medical needs. You can give one-time gifts to help meet these needs through our online Gift Catalog. There are also opportunities to help families start their own businesses, receive vocational training or create sustainable food sources by planting seeds or raising livestock. Check out all the ways you can give a gift in Jesus’ name at our online Gift Catalog.
4. Send a Christmas gift to a child who lives in poverty. …
… items that many of our sponsored children will purchase with any birthday money they receive as gifts from their sponsors. Sure is humbling, isn’t it?
Over the next year, let’s make an effort to send a special mailing to our sponsored children for their birthdays.
In order for your birthday letter to arrive in time for your sponsored child’s birthday, you should mail the items approximately 2-3 months in advance.
I know there are birthday card tutorials and many other printable …
… sponsored child and the child’s family and is a way to meet the needs in their lives. Monetary gifts to your sponsored children mean new outfits, their first pair of shoes, or the beginning of an income-generating business for the family.
Last fall, I sent a family gift to my sponsored child, Angela, in Bolivia. Incredibly, she and her family were able to buy so much with what I sent. With $75 American dollars, they were able to purchase a blue jean jacket, undergarments, a wool poncho, …
… like about your local church?
What role do you play in your local church?
How do you use your gifts, skills, and passions in your church?
Who is your best friend at church and how did you become friends?
Why is your local church important to you?
How is your church active in the community and world?
How does being a part of the church challenge you?
How do you know God wants you to be part of this church?
How did God lead you into ministry within your local church?
… they ever truly clean?”
This slum is what nightmares are made of. Filled with what gifts are made of.
I know it’s a nightmare because a child thinks the presence of my hand cupping hers is a miracle. And a miracle is something that is out of the ordinary. Unimaginable.
I know it is what nightmares are made of because toddlers are running around naked. All day long. Rolling around in the dirt. A little girl is carrying around a baby just a few months old, and where is …
A smile that walks right into my heart and settles in, and will never leave.
I hand him gifts. Play some of the games we got him. In which I clumsily throw a ball (because I always clumsily throw a ball) to him and it grazes the side of his head. Yes, I know. It is a soft ball.
And we all laugh. But let’s call it what it is: I hit my sponsored child with a SOFT ball in the head.
Me NOT aiming for Edmon’s head.
And I just decide right then and there to make awkward …
… an experience that changes both child and sponsor. From writing letters, sharing pictures, sending gifts – a bond is formed between sponsors and their children that is surprising and inspiring.
When sponsors choose to participate, the world becomes a better place for impoverished children.
Choosing to sponsor a child has a bigger impact than you might think – your sponsorship is an answered prayer and the spark of a relationship.
Your sponsorship initiates hope and extends …
… children. This dowry system causes girls’ parents to pay huge amounts of financial and material gifts to the girls’ husbands during their weddings. As a result, parents want their girls to have husbands who demand less.
Many men think young girls’ demand peaks at age 12 or 13, so they compromise on the dowry amount, and parents let their girls get married without thinking about the consequences. In almost 99 percent of the cases, girls cannot protest against getting married, as they …
Many of you have asked about the larger pieces of mail that you send your sponsored child. The correspondence team processes this mail and they really go above and beyond to make sure your mail makes it safely to the children.
Suzanne works on our correspondence team and has graciously offered some tips on how to make sure we can process the larger mail pieces you send to us:
My sister thinks I’m nuts. My friends think I’m developing an addiction. Truth be told, I just love writing letters to my sponsored kids!
I find writing letters easy and fun, yet I’ve spoken to many sponsors who find it difficult. Fancy templates and ease of attaching photos are great, as are dozens of ideas about what to send with your letters, but all of this doesn’t help if you …
… development centers all around the country with children receiving new clothes through Christmas gifts made possible by sponsors. To most of the children, these are the best clothes they will have throughout the coming year.
The occasion was also graced to have famous guests such as singers from the Anglican Mlimwa Student Center, Victoria Paul and the actor Mangushi.
Children concluded their Christmas celebration by joining their parents and guardians for a Christmas church service, …
… a portion of their crops or money to buy food. For them, Christmas is not about decorations and gifts for children, but about good food for the whole family and the neighbors.
In the agro-pastoral town of Kaya, preparation even starts in November. Food grains for Christmas are stocked in a separate loft while the goat, sheep or pig that will be killed is chosen and fattened. And peanuts, beans or cotton are sold to buy new outfits for the wife and the children.
Children, too, have …
… hold them mid-morning. Otherwise, the day is mostly for family and friends to feast and exchange gifts.
Christmas brings a lot of joy to children, who look forward to getting new clothes and shoes. They also expect to eat specially-prepared meals. Even regular meals are made more special by adding other ingredients to enhance the taste for Christmas.
The favorite meals children crave at Christmas are rice dishes with chicken stew and beverages of sweet drinks. Adults sometimes prefer …
View a larger image of the Good Gift, Better Gift infographic.
Tags: gift catalog gifts of compassion Giving infographic
This Christmas, what if, instead of giving gifts that break, expire or get used up, you gave a gift that will last forever?
You can also view the Compassion Gift Catalog video on YouTube.
Tags: Christmas christmas presents gift catalog gifts of compassion
… Compassion sponsorship made Priya’s education possible, and her sponsor’s periodic “extra” gifts, like new shoes or a much-needed dress, instilled a spirit of gratitude and generosity deep inside Priya.
A Legacy of Generosity
“All that my sponsor did made so much meaning in my life. I always thought because somebody invested this money on me, I’m what today I am,” Priya says, explaining that the Compassion sponsorship caused her to dedicate her life to ministry. It also …
… are there in your country?
Do you have a favorite Christmas song?
Do you prefer to give gifts or receive them?
What is your favorite Christmas memory?
Have you joined our Second Friday Writing Club on Pinterest ? If not, be sure to leave the URL for your Pinterest profile in a comment below, and I will add you to our growing group of “pinners”!
I would love for you to join us in finding wonderful projects and ideas to share with our sponsored children each month.