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.
15 Comments |Add a comment
We love getting letters from our sponsored child, but I have yet to get a single one that seems to acknowledge anything that we have sent in the past. Every letter we get asks how the climate in our country is, even though we responded at least 4 times to that question. We got several requests for photos and we have sent physical photos as well as uploaded photos on the website. I’m not sure that Santiago has gotten a single one of our letters and it we have been sponsoring him for over 4 years.
Can someone look into this? The letters we sent via the website don’t have a translation online and not a single one of our hand written ones are even on the site. At first I thought that maybe it would just take a while for him to get used to communicating via letters, but I really don’t think he has physically seen a single one of the letters we have sent. We have gotten so many repeat questions and after a few years of asking for photos, he stopped asking, but never mentioned a single one of the ones we sent.
Hi, Chris! Thank you so much for reaching out to us, and for expressing your concerns about your letters from Santiago. I completely understand that the letter writing process can be frustrating at times. I greatly appreciate the commitment you are making to bless Santiago with your letters despite his lack of response to your questions and photos you send. As a general rule, the project staff does an excellent job teaching the children how to respond to letters. However, keep in mind, children may not have their most recent letter with them when they reply. This means they may have forgotten questions that were asked in a previous letter. These children also communicate verbally; letter writing tends to be a foreign concept to most of them. If you would kindly send us an email to [email protected] with your sponsor number included, we would be happy to look into your specific account for you. Thank you again for taking the time to express these concerns!
My husband and I are new sponsors. We received our first letter from our sponsored child from Ecuador. She just turned 4 years old. She drew a picture of herself in front of her house. I feel very blessed to be able to meet Julieth’s needs physically and spiritually. It was amazing how a three year old could draw such a good picture of herself. She drew hands on the picture of herself. My friend from Belivia told me she is probably from a tribe because of her last name and their hands are a very important tools to work with. Looking forward to watching Julieth grow.
How come I only gotten one letter from my sponsor child Julia I have written her 17 times I look forward to her letters I am just wondering and concerned that’s all
Stephen, I am so sorry for the delay in letters from Julia. It looks like there are three letters in process from her right now. We had some issues with our translation and processing systems over the summer, but letters should begin coming more speedily now. Thank you so much for your patience!
I am a new sponsor and have only used the online email letters (not hand written). I would like to hand write a letter to the two children that I sponsor. I understand that my handwritten letters will be scanned and emailed. Where do I send the handwritten letter so that it can be scanned and sent? I think the children will value both styles of letters, but I think actually SEEING my writing will make it more personal to them.
Hi Tracy! You can mail your letter to the following address:
Colorado Springs, CO 80997
This is the full address. Please include your sponsor number and child number on anything you send. Happy writing and thanks for sending your kiddo so much love and encouragement!
I would like to know if I can find out more about the area the child I sponsor lives in…about the house he lies in and the town he lives in . Can I go online and find out?
Hi Shelia and Frank! Thank you so much for your desire to get to know Wendy and the environment he lives in! A great way to learn more about his community and country is by asking him questions in your letters :). Children love learning about your environment as well as talking about where they live! You can also learn about Wendy’s country, culture, food, language, and more on our website. Wendy lives in the rural community of Mapou. Here, the typical homes are made of brick or cement and the roofs are often tin or corrugated iron. It’s a very mountainous town and the climate is dry. Right now, in April, they are in between their planting season which was last month, and they have a really rainy season coming up in May :). I hope this gave you more insight and inspired some things you can talk to your boy about!
My family just recieved our packet about the little boy we are sponsoring. We are looking forward to writing to him online but especially with hand written letters. My question is if we send him photos online will those get printed for him as the letters do? Thank you!
Hi Jennifer! Thank you so much for choosing to invest in Ajir’s life! When you add photos online through the letter writing tool, the photos are actually printed directly on the letter. The letters and photos are printed with a high quality printer and paper, so Ajir will quite a treat when you write to him! You can actually preview your letter right before you send it, and it will show you exactly how the photos are printed on the letter itself :). Happy letter writing!
I should like to write to a child in India -but not sponsor them -I know they get great joy out of receiving lettere -and I being retired have spare time to do so -Please let me know how to add another child to my list of kids I write to now -(one )- I already have Aditya -and would like an older child also who can read n write –
Regards Lyle Payne –
Hi Lyle! We would be delighted to have you write to and encourage a child in our program! Please email [email protected] for more information about our correspondent program.
I’ve always wondered–do the online letters get printed and given to them to save as well?
Sandy, the letters that sponsors send online do get printed out and given to the children by hand. It’s great that the children still receive a hard copy of the letter, because we do know how valuable those are to the kiddos!