Kids sure do love their birthdays. As I write this, my wife and I are in the midst of planning a birthday party for our two sons. They are turning 9 and 7. Their birthdays are within two weeks of each other, and since they are so close in age, they share many of the same friends. So, we’re able to do a bit of a two-for-one deal.
Baby Deinner was delivered prematurely via emergency surgery as his mother, Cindy, battled COVID-19. Tragically, Cindy died the day after — leaving Deinner’s grandmother, Bridis, to raise her baby grandson and his two siblings.
Bridis shares her daughter’s story and expresses her hopes for Deinner’s future in this letter she wrote for him to read one day.
OK, so I need to make a confession … I’m not as good as I should be at writing letters to my sponsored child. And I make all sorts of reasonable excuses for it, too:
“My life is already so busy with my work and kids that it’s hard to find the time.” “I feel like I just wrote a letter a couple months ago.” (It was 10 months ago.) “I need to wait until I have more to say.” “My letters don’t really matter anyway.”
In early March 2020, I was on a storytelling trip to El Salvador for Compassion. One minute we were loading the van to head to a child development center, the next we were packing our bags to rush to the airport — urgently called home as COVID-19, a seemingly distant threat, suddenly became very real.
Here are beautiful moments from the past year that represent prayers answered, lives changed and lessons learned. They show what is possible when together, we rise as one.
The impact of sponsors’ generosity on children multiplies far beyond their childhood years. Compassion centers at local churches offer them safe spaces to discover and lessons on how to steward their God-given talents. Access to resources and exposure to various activities, coupled with vocational and financial training, allow children to dream big — beyond their circumstances.
Check out these incredible stories of talented young entrepreneurs!
Many of the children in our program think about their sponsor as an extension of their family. Maybe you feel the same way about the child you sponsor. You know you want to pray for him or her daily and write letters often. And through those actions and your financial gifts, you’ll no doubt make a powerful impact on your sponsored child’s life. But … you feel the need to do more. You want to incorporate your sponsored child into your daily life as much as possible. The question is: How?
As a sponsor during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been hard to lose the connection to my child in Colombia through our letters. I miss learning about his life and hearing him describe his day-to-day activities. Yet, as I reflect on our past letters, I realize they reveal a whole world of support that my child has hopefully been able to stay connected with during the pandemic!
Like most families with young children, my husband and I don’t have a ton of disposable income. There are always diapers to buy, groceries to replace or the unexpected medical bill or home repair to cover. So with the little money we do have at our discretion, we make sure to use it wisely. Intentionally.
To answer some of sponsors’ common questions about exchanging letters, we asked sponsored teenagers in Ethiopia and Colombia what they like most about their sponsors’ letters — and what they’d love more of.
Here’s a look at some of the great lengths children around the world are going to every day to get themselves to the classroom.
Poverty places children at physical risk, but it also places them at risk of damage within. It robs them of the belief that they matter, that they have value and that they can dream of — and achieve — a different future. Breaking down destructive thought patterns and helping children see themselves for who they really are — beloved by God and capable of changing their circumstances — is vital to helping them break free from emotional poverty. But it isn’t easy.
After one of the most challenging years of their young lives, children from all over the world still have inspiring messages of hope.
Just as their families and Compassion tutors have supported them through the struggles caused by the pandemic, the children have handwritten, heartfelt signs of encouragement to share with YOU. Their message — from Nicaragua to Tanzania, Bangladesh to Ecuador — is beautiful: You are loved, you are not alone, and you will get through this.