The Lie of Poverty Is a Double-Edged Sword

For five years, I had the privilege of leading the tours of our Global Ministry Center in Colorado Springs. It was exhilarating showing adults and children the part they could play in bringing poverty to an end by sponsoring a child.

God blessed me over and over during my years as a tour guide and allowed me to see His spirit move in the hearts of tour guests on behalf of children in poverty. During that time, He also revealed to me the presence of a small but powerful lie being used against us every day – the lie of poverty.

First, poverty lies to the poor by telling them over and over that they do not matter, that no one cares for them, and that they are forgotten. Poverty speaks to the heart of a person (especially children) and tells them, “Give Up!”

Watch Lie of Poverty and subscribe to Compassion YouTube for more stories.

But that’s only one part of the lie of poverty. The lie is actually a double-edged sword, and it cuts us as well.

With stealth and determination, the lie of poverty tries to redefine what sponsorship means. It causes us to doubt to the difference we are making in the lives of our children.

Have any of these thoughts ever gone through your mind?

  • My sponsorship is insignificant, and letters to my sponsored child don’t matter.
  • How can a simple thing like a letter make any difference in the life of a child?
  • It takes so long for my letter to get to my child, there’s no way a relationship could ever be built.
  • They don’t know me and I don’t really know them! Poverty is so big, a simple letter couldn’t possibly be the weapon to use to fight it.

Have you bought into the lie of poverty? Has it fooled you?

As a sponsor, I take great pride in fighting the lie spoken to the poor. I fight it diligently and with fervor. I have to because our enemy is diligent and determined, too.

The truth is that our letters may be the most critical element in releasing our sponsored children from poverty.

The time we spend on writing is sacrificial. The letters we write are mighty weapons that slay the enemy and cut him down at the knees.

I have seen the faces of sponsored children when they talk about receiving letters from their sponsors. They have told me with tears in their eyes how letters from you are the very strength that gives them the courage to keep going and to not give up.

I have met sponsored children who are now adults and still have every precious letter and sticker their sponsors ever gave them. Letters matter!

Letters are weapons against the enemy! Sponsorship makes ALL the difference in the world! Don’t be fooled by the lie!

Write your child now.

17 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Cody Funk January 26, 2010

    Cat! Hopefully you are still active in this blog. Please contact me if you are, I would love to catch up! [email protected]

  2. Catherine Hilger June 16, 2009

    Well said! Keep those letters coming for the kids!

  3. crystlgib June 12, 2009

    When I visited Ethiopia, one of my children arrived with all the letters and pictures I had sent him. We had Compassion country staff members offering assistance as translators. When our translator looked through them all he said, “I see you are a good sponsor by all these letters.” He didn’t say I was a good sponsor because I gave money, or because I traveled half way around the world. He based his assessment on my letters. The money we give may or may not be a little piece of us (depending on how much we value our offering) but our time and our words are. Money is spent and lost forever. But our words have the possibility to last a lifetime.

  4. Carolyn F June 12, 2009

    Thank you so much for this timely post! Until yesterday I hadn’t heard from any of my kids since January (and have only heard from the older one once), and I was listening to those lies…

    I can say four letters went in the mail this morning, and I have renewed my committment to at least twice a month letters. I’m hoping to get some good discussion going over at about how to write better letters, that’s my next goal!

  5. Dana June 11, 2009

    I love writing to my children! Right form the beginning, I knew I wanted to build a relationship with my children. I still remember the excitement of that very first letter from my first child and how I read and re-read it. I love the online feature that allows me to e-mail a letter to my children but I also love writing them either on the computer or in my own printing, though I’m not a tidy printer. It’s such a simple thing, really, and hard to believe that something so small can make such a difference.

  6. russ June 11, 2009

    @Diana Boeke – Diana, I’m really encouraged by knowing your group works in Egypt! Blessings to you and your team. I’m glad we can all learn from each other for the good of God’s Kingdom.

  7. Kate Amaya June 11, 2009

    What a great post! It is so easy to wonder if our sponsorship is really making a difference. Little reminders like this renew my commitment as a sponsor. Thank you for the encouragement.

  8. Julie June 11, 2009

    Thanks for this. She’s one of the younger children that are sponsored, so sometimes I wonder if my letters mean anything to her. But now I realize I have the opportunity to start early and tell her how important she is through her most formative years. I’m going to write my child this week!

  9. Diana Boeke June 11, 2009

    Thank you for this. I work for a NGO that supports nearly 7,000 fatherless children in Egypt to overcome poverty together with their widowed mothers. We have a program similar to World Vision or Compassion, but those organizations aren’t working in Egypt. We have the same challenge getting our sponsors to take their relationship with their child seriously. To us, it’s the most important aspect of sponsorship. This is just the kind of post we need to share with our sponsor community. God bless you and your work.

  10. Terese June 11, 2009

    I am a fairly new sponsor, and I have to admit that I initially saw my sponsorship as a financial obligation only. I soon found these blogs and quickly learned from all of you the importance of letter-writing. Now I am having a ball with it and I was just beside myself to find my first response in the mailbox this week!

  11. Tony B. June 11, 2009

    Excellent post mom! This is so real and I have experienced the lies of poverty from being in the sponsored child side. Letters made a huge difference in making me believe that I was a normal child. Write to your child today!
    Bless you

  12. Vicki Small June 11, 2009

    ‘Scuze me. I need to write to my girl in Rwanda! (I’m current with all the others, just about a week slow on this one.)

  13. Sara Benson June 11, 2009

    Amen. I have always been told that the letters are important but sometimes those lies do creep up. I write to my kids often and some are more responsive than others.

    This summer I will be traveling to Ecuador to meet some of my children and I hope to find that my letters are making a difference for them.

  14. Cheryl J June 11, 2009

    Whenever I talk to someone about sponsoring a child, I, too, always stress the importance of letters. I tell them that the children run to the center on “letter day” and hope that they got a letter. I have built wonderful relationships with my kids. They have truly become part of our family. And don’t forget those little “extras” once in awhile – stickers, color books, paper dolls, post cards, pictures of you and your family. They are such a fun surprise for the kids! I know I get excited whenever they send me a picture.

  15. compasion dave June 11, 2009

    Well said Wess. They (Compassion) should have you talk more about the ministry sometime.

  16. Amy Wallace June 11, 2009

    I know I get excited whenever I get a letter, so I can imagine our sponsored children get so excited when they get our letters! It may seem so small to us, but to them, it means the world.

  17. Chuck Guth June 11, 2009

    AMEN! That is my testimony from going on Sponsor Tours. The letters are the most important connection we can have with our child. They do not understand the dollars but they do understand the love and relationship we develop with the letters. That is what makes the impact. My heart has broken on every tour when a child has said to me “Please tell my sponsor to write”. Now when I present or encourage sponsorships I make sure they understand the importance of their letters.

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