Each day in Ecuador with the Compassion Bloggers, we have had the honor of being hosted in the home of a student that attends a Compassion program at their local church. In discussion with the children we say the same thing:
“Cuentame acerca de tu padrino.”… “Tell me about your sponsor.”
Verbally, the responses range from timid mumbling – again, we are strangers in their house and we can be a little intimidating as a group – to confident name-dropping.
We follow up:
“Does your sponsor write letters to you?”
Have you ever experienced a day that’s completely gray and overcast and, all of the sudden, a ray of sunshine breaks through? That’s what happens during these home visits. When we ask this question, suddenly a bright smile crashes into the room as memories of the words and pictures and letters sponsors have sent to them come flooding back.
“Can we see the letters?”
Almost before we can get the question out of our mouths, the kids are out of their seats heading towards the safe-haven that protect their letters from their sponsors. Some of them hide them in dressers. Others keep them organized in folders. And some display them proudly on their walls. However they are stored, not one letter from a sponsor is missing.
“What does your sponsor tell you?”
You tell them to believe in themselves. You tell them to read and memorize Scripture. You tell them Jesus loves them. You tell them you love them.
It’s interesting, though, that no matter how often we talk about the difference letter writing makes, we constantly hear how amazed our sponsors are when they get it for themselves.
Sometimes, like on a blogger trip or a sponsor trip, the lesson sinks deep the moment you see a child’s face as they hold their letters. Other times, the realization comes as you see the child you sponsor transition and mature from one letter to the next. For others, it’s hearing stories of our Alumni and how their lives were transformed by the words spoken into them through their sponsors.
On every trip we go on, we hear the same thing coming from sponsors. “I didn’t know letters were that important.” Even the bloggers on this trip have confessed that, while they write letters, they didn’t fully get the impact letters have in the lives of the children they sponsor. Each of them recommitted to regularly writing and to push deeper into cultivating their relationships. In fact, that’s just it:
Letter writing turns your sponsorship into a relationship.
These few pictures from our moments with these children and their families in Ecuador don’t do it justice. Their emotions were raw and filled with such optimism and hope. A hope given to each of them in the words and truth found in your written words. So if you didn’t know it already, I’m telling you now…your letters make a difference.
Take a moment today and write to the child you sponsor.