Letter of love for March: Family and childhood

Spring is desperately trying to poke its nervous head through the mounds of snow here and there, as we prepare to move from our home state of Michigan to the state of Virginia. We move in just two weeks, and I have become quite reflective as of late. Other than one year spent in Indiana, I have lived in Michigan my entire life. Along with reflecting on leaving my home state, I have also been anxiously anticipating the spring-like weather awaiting us in Virginia. I cannot wait to do my first happy dance of the year the moment my feet touch down on earth not hidden by snow. If you cannot tell, this winter has clung to us way too long.

 

What do you think of when you think of spring? Do you, like me, think of new life? If so, then you will enjoy this month’s letter of love, as we share about our family and childhood with our sponsored children.

 

Possible Topics to include:

 

• Share about the beginning of spring and how it reminds you of new life

• Share any special story surrounding your birth

• Introduce your family (parents, siblings, grandparents, ETC)

• Share your childhood hobbies

• Share about pets you had as a child

• Share favorite childhood memories of family activities, annual vacations, ETC

• Share childhood dreams and aspirations (what you wanted to be when you grew up)

• Share any difficult circumstances you faced as a child that you are comfortable sharing and how God brought you through them

• Share about people who were important role models in your life growing up

• Share about school (favorite and least favorite subjects, favorite teachers and why, ETC)

• Share about childhood friends and activities you did together. Are you still in contact?

• Share how childhood is an important time in development and encourage your sponsored child to enjoy this time of growth

• Let your sponsored child know you are praying for him/her to grow in Christ (be specific)

 

Possible Questions to ask:

 

  1. Can you tell me about your family (ask specifically about information not already given)
  2.  What do you like to do for fun?
  3.  Do you have any pets?
  4.  What do you want to be when you grow up?
  5.  Can you share about a time when God used you to minister to someone (think of 1 Timothy 4:12)
  6.  What is your favorite/least favorite school subject?
  7.  Can you share about your best friends?
  8.  Can you tell me about an adult who has influenced you in a positive way and how?

 

Scriptures to share

 

Psalm 71:5-6

Psalm 71:16-18

Psalm 139:14-16

Ecclesiastes 12:1

Isaiah 40:30-31

1 Timothy 4:12

 

Extra Goodies to send:

 

• A baby photo of you

• Photos of you growing up (maybe in a homemade photo album or collage)

• Photos from childhood vacations, special celebrations or milestones, ETC

• A homemade family photo album (label with names, relationship, birthday, hobbies, ETC)

 

You’re Turn

 

Have you shared your family and childhood with your sponsored children? If so, what did you share? Did you send anything extra or unique with your letter? What responses did you receive? Writing a letter about our family and childhood reminds us how we are not that different from our sponsored child, and it can bring us closer together too.

Sunday’s Special Children for 11/03/2013

 

 

You may have noticed a new page on our blog in the past week. There are many children who are waiting for someone to step up and share the love of Christ with them through sponsorship. Each Sunday as we begin the week in praise to the Lord for all he has given us, we want to take a moment and introduce a few of these special young people to you. Please pray for each of the below children throughout this week, and if the Lord leads you to sponsor one of them, then do not hesitate to do so. You can release your sponsored child from poverty in Jesus’ name! Through your prayers and letters of love and encouragement, your sponsored child will know that he can rise above the circumstances surrounding him. She will know that God’s love is greater than the lies of poverty that are whispered in her ears and heart every day. Thank you for praying and speaking up on behalf of a child living in poverty.

 

November is National Adoption month! Will you sponsor an orphaned child today?

 

Here in the United States, November is known as National Adoption month. You may already know that children who have been orphaned are not just located here in the United States, but you may not be called to adopt. By sponsoring a child who has lost one or both parents, you can show them that they will never lose the love of their father in Heaven. The orphan crisis is global, but as children of God, we can each do something to make a difference. Will you speak up on behalf of an orphaned child today?

 

Thasidu

 

6-year-old Thasidu lives in Sri Lanka with his father and sister, and there are 3 other children in the family. Thasidu is in kindergarten. Like many little boys his age, Thasidu enjoys playing with cars, hide-and-seek, and running. As of November 3, this precious child has been waiting 428 days for someone to release him from poverty in Jesus’ name. Will you sponsor Thasidu today?

 

Jhon

 

Jhon lives with his father and 2 other siblings in Colombia. He is seven years old and in kindergarten, and one of his favorite activities is soccer. Jhon and his family live in an area with higher risk of child abuse and exploitation. I am sure he would appreciate a woman who would step in as his Godmother to help in his spiritual nurturing and development. Will you or someone you know end this sweet boy’s 428-day wait for a sponsor?

 

Rose

 

This sweet little girl attends the same Compassion child development center as our Miguel in the Philippines. Rose is four years old and lives with her parents and three siblings. She cares for animals, and she is in preschool. Will you help this beautiful rose to blossom and grow to her fullest God-given potential? Through your love and nourishment, this sweet little flower could radiate God’s beauty amidst her surrounding circumstances.

 

Lorenz

 

5-year-old Lorenz also attends our Miguel’s Compassion child development center in the Philippines, and he lives with his parents and one other sibling. Lorenz is in kindergarten and enjoys reading and playing with cars. Lorenz has asthma, but he is receiving  regular medical treatment. Will you help to ensure this precious child can continue to receive the love and care he so desperately needs?

 

Melanie

 

5-year-old Melanie lives in Ecuador with her parents and one sibling. Despite the fact that she is visually impaired, this sweet little girl is exceling in kindergarten. Will you let Melanie know that with God all things are possible? Will you be the one to tell her that she can continue to reach her dreams no matter the circumstances that surround her?

 

Hector

 

Hector is seven years old and lives with his grandparents and four siblings in Mexico. Hector has partial hearing loss and is struggling in school. Will you pray for and encourage him? Will you let him know that he can trust in Christ and reach his dreams despite his circumstances? Will you tell Hector he is special in the eyes of God?

 

Ruhama

 

Ruhama is six and lives in Ethiopia with her foster parents and one sibling. She is in kindergarten and enjoys running and playing volleyball. Will you please end Ruhama’s long wait for a sponsor? As of October 27, she has been waiting 244 days for someone to step in the gap for her. Will that someone be you?

 

Jackson

 

18-year-old Jackson lives in Tanzania with his uncle, aunt, and three siblings. This young man is excelling in his college studies. As he enters adulthood, he could use a mentor to walk beside him and encourage him with prayers and letters of love. Will you let Jackson know he is not forgotten today?

 

Alexander

 

Alexander lives in the Dominican Republic. In fact, this 14-year-old young man attends the same Compassion child development center as our sponsored son Vladimir. Alexander lives with his parents and three siblings, and he enjoys riding a bike, listening to music, and playing group games. I would not be surprised if Alexander and Vladimir may know one another. We would love to tell Vladimir that you sponsored Alexander!

 

Gabriela

 

11-year-old Gabriela lives in El Salvador, and she attends the same Compassion child development center as our precious Tatiana. Gabriela lives with her mother and two siblings, and she enjoys art and playing with dolls. Gabriela and Tatiana may very well be friends, and they may even enjoy drawing together as well. As of October 27, Gabriela has been waiting 250 long days for a sponsor. Will you release this precious girl from poverty in Jesus’ name? We would love to write a letter to Tatiana and tell her that you changed Gabriela’s life forever!

 

 

Day 30: Give a gift with blessings beyond the wrapping this Christmas!

As we wrap up the month of October and our 31 days of compassion series tomorrow, it is hard to believe that we will soon enter the holiday season. Have you done your Christmas shopping yet? Admittedly, we have not. As we each consider the gifts we will give this Christmas, have you thought of giving a gift that will bring blessings beyond the wrapping? Have you thought of giving a gift in honor of someone to help release another from poverty in Jesus’ name?

 

Give a gift this Christmas from Compassion International’s 2013 gift catalog!

 

Instead of making snowmen just to get out of your driveway, dealing with holiday traffic both on the roads and in the stores, and standing in line long enough to memorize the fruit of the Spirit, why not take a moment to bless more than one person with your Christmas giving this year? You can spread God’s love around the globe and honor someone you love with the same gift. Show compassion to someone this Christmas.

 

Possible gift ideas

 

Below are just a few of the possible gift choices you have and how you can personalize these gifts for someone on your Christmas list.

 

Mothers and infants

 

In honor of your mother, a friend who is expecting or has an infant, or someone who cares for infants through ministry or employment you can:

 

• Feed a mother and baby for a suggested donation of $14.00

• Give the gift of a newborn care package for a suggested donation of $34.00

• Provide an infant with a year of medical care for a suggested donation of $55.00

 

Healthcare

 

• In honor of your dentist, give a child dental care for a suggested gift of $20.00

• In honor of your doctor, provide treatment for illness or injury for a suggested gift of $40.00

• Partner with others to provide lifesaving surgery for a suggested donation of $100.00

 

Safe Water and Sanitation

 

• In honor of your plumber, provide a Compassion center with bathrooms for a suggested gift of $25.00

• Provide water wells for a suggested gift of $30.00

 

Education

 

• In honor of your librarian or book club, provide adult literacy for a suggested gift of $22.00

• In honor of a college student or professor, develop a future leader for a suggested gift of $40.00

• In honor of a student or teacher, provide textbooks for a suggested donation of $40.00

• Partner with others to provide students with vocational training for a suggested gift of $25.00

 

Income generation

 

• Honor someone with chickens by providing chickens to a family for a suggested gift of $42.00

• Honor a small business owner by partnering with others to help a family start a business for a suggested donation of $25.00

 

We pray that you will take this opportunity to bless and honor someone by giving a gift with blessings beyond the wrapping this Christmas season. We would love to hear how you are sharing the gifts of Compassion catalog with your family and friends, or the creative ways in which you are honoring others this year.

31 Days of Compassion

Day 29: Is your radio ready?

 

Considering how much Andy and I love music, it should be no surprise that we love the radio. Whether your radio is in your car, on your stereo at home, or like us on your iPhone, I would imagine you enjoy the radio too, or you most likely would not be reading this post. If my assumption is correct, I have a question for you. Is your radio ready? You may be wondering, “Is my radio ready? Ready for what?” Is your radio ready to spread God’s love locally and globally through compassion?

 

10 ways to make sure your radio is ready:

 

  1. Find out if your favorite radio station(s) participates in campaigns to spread God’s love locally
  2. Find out if your favorite radio station(s) is involved in helping those living in poverty around the world
  3. Find out if your favorite radio station(s) would be willing to share with listeners about Malaria or HIV/AIDS
  4. Find out if your favorite radio station(s) would do a Christmas card drive
  5. Find out if your favorite radio station(s) plays music from your chosen Compassion artist
  6. Find out if your favorite radio station(s) airs “Speak Up”
  7. Think of other ways to get your radio ready, whether from this series or beyond these 31 days.
  8. Thank them for all they do to spread God’s love locally and globally
  9. Ask if they would be willing to prayerfully consider any of the ideas mentioned above.
  10. Pray for your favorite radio station as they continue spreading God’s love to a hurting world.

 

Is your radio ready? If so, please share with us the ways your favorite radio station(s) are spreading God’s love locally and globally through compassion. If not, what will you do to make sure your radio is ready?

 

31 Days of Compassion

Day 28: Host a day or night of Compassion

We are just four short days away from the end of this series. It does not seem like it has been 31 days. Instead, it seems like just yesterday when we introduced “31 days of compassion: Spreading God’s love locally and globally”. As we have said before, this has been an incredible month. We have been challenged in ways we could have never imagined, and we will share more about that in a few days. However, today we want to encourage you to share something you have learned from the Lord this month.

 

(To the tune of “If you’re happy and you know it): If you like free food and fellowship, say “Amen”!

 

We invited you to join us for dinner on October 16, and we would like you to pass that invitation along. You can either gather some friends and participate in the $2.00 dinner challenge together, do a poverty cultural night, or make some tasty international cuisine from a country where Compassion works.

 

Ideas for your time of Compassion

 

share your favorite Scripture or something you learned from your Bible reading plan about compassion, justice, or poverty.

• Please pray for the countries and/or regions where Compassion serves, and specific children in need.

• Remember to invite your friends to join you on November 6 for One Meal One Day.

• If your friends are creative or crafty, have supplies available for everyone to make Christmas cards for unsponsored children.

• If your friends want to get involved beyond your time together, invite them to sponsor or correspond with a child.

 

You can make this time as elaborate (or not) as you wish. No matter how or when you host your night (or day) of Compassion, we encourage you to share about this series and the message and ministry of Compassion International. Invite your guest(s) to ask questions, and do not be ashamed or afraid to say, “I don’t know”. If you do not have the answers, feel free to ask. You are welcome to refer them to Compassion directly, or we would love to help in any way we can.

 

Possible recipes

 

If you are wondering where to find recipes from countries where Compassion works, you have come to the right place. Compassion has a Pinterest board where they pin recipes, and there is a series on their official blog called, “Cook with Compassion”. If you need more ideas, choose a recipe from your favorite Compassion country.

 

Our experience and a special video presentation

 

I just completed a college course in speech communication, and as part of this course, I was required to present a persuasive speech. While we were unable to make tasty treats due to time constraints, we thoroughly enjoyed meeting with a new friend who very graciously recorded this video for us. Feel free to share this video if you would like.

 

 

Tell us about your night of Compassion!

 

Did you host a night of Compassion, either in conjunction with this post or in the past? If so, we would love to hear about it! What did you incorporate into your time together? Did you make any special meal or treat? If so, are you willing to share the recipe? What did you and your guests gain from this experience? Please share your feedback in the comments, and enjoy sharing Compassion with your family and friends!

 

31 Days of Compassion

Day 27: Music lovers unite, and another blog giveaway!

“Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises” (Psalm 47:6).

 

Andy and I absolutely love music. Not only do we enjoy listening to music, but also we travel to churches, camps, conference centers, and wherever the Lord leads us to share the love of Christ and the message and ministry of Compassion International. I also teach private singing lessons, take piano lessons, and sing in a local college choir. As you may have noticed, music is very important to us. Today, for day 27 of our 31 days of compassion, we want to introduce you to some very gifted musicians who are using their ministries to speak up on behalf of children living in poverty. You may be surprised at whose music you have heard before, and you may find a new favorite or a few along the way too.

 

Our Compassion story began with music

 

It was in early December of 2004 when we attended our first concert as a married couple. That night of worship with Michael W. Smith, Point of Grace, and the Katinas was about much more than music for us. It was after Michael W. Smith shared a video that we chose to sponsor our first child with Compassion International. Looking back now, I reflect on how profoundly that night changed our lives forever.

 

Music makes a difference through the years

 

Since that blustery night almost nine years ago, we have joined Compassion’s advocates network. As Compassion advocates, we have been humbled to volunteer in partnership with such gifted musicians and bands as the Newsboys, Rebecca St. James, and Tenth Avenue North. These opportunities have given us the privilege of combining two of our passions—music and the ministry of Compassion—to spread God’s love around the globe.

 

Do you love music?

 

If so, today is your opportunity to show your support and appreciation to these gifted music artists for their partnership with Compassion International to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. Choose an artist whose music you enjoy, or find one whose music is new to you. Purchase some of their music to support their ministry. Spend time praying for that musician or band. Pray for their relationships with God and family to withstand the public eye, and that their ministry would glorify the Lord and impact many for Christ. Pray that many children will be released from poverty as the message of Compassion is spread through your chosen musician or band’s ministry. If possible, contact your chosen musician or band via social media and thank them for their music and for partnering with Compassion to speak up on behalf of children living in poverty.

 

Our chosen musician: Shaun Groves

 

I remember my favorite song by Shaun Groves in high school being “Should I Tell Them?” That song challenged and convicted me as I was humbly reminded of Christ’s work in and through my life and walk with the Lord. Andy and I have since read Shaun’s blog for a few years now, and we have virtually traveled with him and other bloggers as they see the work of Compassion International firsthand.

 

When Shaun began work on his latest album, “Third World Symphony”, the anticipation in our home grew to unbearable heights. Since the release of Third World Symphony, Andy and I have been challenged and refreshed each time the CD is played—unashamedly loudly and on repeat more often than not. From the first note of “All Is Grace” to the very end of “Just as I Am”, Shaun paints beautifully vivid pictures that capture our hearts. With Third World Symphony, he has without a doubt connected the first and third world in a moving tapestry of song. The first time I heard this CD from beginning to end, I had to simply be still. Shaun had already struck me as a poignant storyteller through his blog, but I was not prepared for the stories that flowed through my stereo and straight to my heart. I learned much about poverty, wealth, the Lord, and myself that day. While I love every song on this album, “Enough” has left me speechless and in tears on many occasions. These songs are as prayers lifted from a broken yet hopeful heart on behalf of a broken world—prayers for mercy, justice and healing. These prayers are lifted to the throne of our merciful healer, the Lamb of God.

 

If you want a fresh take on music that will challenge and inspire you, then please purchase Third World Symphony from Shaun’s online store or through iTunes, and support his music and ministry. Moreover, would you join us in praying for Shaun and his family as he travels to sing, speak, and lead bloggers in advocating on behalf of the children of Compassion?

 

Blog Giveaway: Two copies of Third World Symphony for you and a friend!

 

We have two copies of Shaun’s latest album, “Third World Symphony”, to give to you and a friend. For your chance to win, please comment and tell us about the friend you plan to bless with this music. What is his or her first name, and why do you feel he or she would enjoy the music and message of Third World Symphony? Whether you write to enter this giveaway or not, we would love to hear from you. Have you been blessed by Shaun’s ministry and Third World Symphony?

 

Official contest rules:

 

• Previous blog giveaway winners are asked not to enter in order to give others a chance to win

• Only one copy of the CD per household, so please be sure your friend does not live with you

• Both CD’s will be sent to the winner’s address, and the winner is responsible for giving a copy to their chosen friend

• Contest entrants need to be 13 years of age or older, and minors should request parental consent prior to entering

• Contest entrants are asked to reside in the United States due to international shipping costs

• This contest will run through Friday, November 8.

 

It’s your turn. Music lovers let us unite on behalf of children in poverty. May we spread God’s love to the musicians and bands as they spread God’s love around the globe.

 

31 Days of Compassion

Day 26: Write a letter to your sponsored child

Today is Saturday. For children registered in Compassion’s program, this is usually a day of the week when they attend the local Compassion child development center hosted by a local church in their community. Amidst the meals, recreation, vocational training, Bible studies, and other classes, one of the most favorite activities for the children is writing and receiving letters. When writing about her time spent at her Compassion project, Tatiana in El Salvador once wrote, “What I like most is writing letters to my sponsors.” Then, as one of the benefits she shared with us she wrote, “I get letters from my sponsors.” As all children registered with Compassion, Tatiana enjoys writing and receiving letters!

 

Letters are very important to your sponsored child!

 

If you do not believe me, and you think a letter will not make a difference, grab a box of Kleenex and read this. It will change your life and letter writing habits. After reading this and drying my eyes, I never thought of writing to our sponsored children the same again.

 

Write your sponsored child a letter today

 

If you have never written a letter to your sponsored child, it is not too late to start that life changing relationship. We can help you write your first-ever letter, and we can also help you take your letter writing relationship beyond “hello”. If you need some letter writing ideas, or you want to know how often to write your sponsored child, we can answer those questions as well. Whether you use Compassion’s online letter writing tool or send a letter in the mail, I know your sponsored child will be eternally grateful for the time you took to write words of love and encouragement just for him or her. Your letter does not need to be long or detailed. You can send a short note just to say, “I love you and pray for you often.”

 

Have you written to your sponsored child lately?

 

If so, what did you write about? Did you reply to a letter you received from your child? What news did he or she share? What is your favorite part about sending and receiving letters? What is your sponsored child’s favorite part of receiving your letters? Please share any questions or comments with us, and thank you for taking time to nurture the relationship with your sponsored child today.

 

31 Days of Compassion

Day 25: Make sure you’re not alone

Child sponsorship can seem like a lonely calling at times. You have such a joy, love, and passion for this ministry, and while you share about your sponsored children with everyone you know, it can be difficult to find someone who truly understands. You wish there was at least one other person who is excited when a letter from your sponsored child arrives in your mailbox, or when a surprise photo is included in that envelope. You wish you had a friend who joins you in praying for your sponsored child’s prayer requests and is there when difficult news arrives. You want a friend who will eagerly listen as you share about the extra goodies you’re sending with your letters this month, or when you show off the gifts you’re sending with a friend traveling to your sponsored child’s country. Your family and friends try to be patient and bear with your incessant chatter about letters, gifts, photos, and the dollar store deals, but you know they do not share your passion for this ministry. As you shrink back in your little corner, you wonder if there is such a friend who truly understands.

 

Good news: There is more than one such friend, and they truly understand!

 

 

What is OurCompassion?

 

OurCompassion is an online community of like-minded friends from all around the world who have a shared passion and love for children living in poverty. It is a safe place to connect and learn more about the ministry of Compassion International, child sponsorship, and your sponsored child. Being part of OurCompassion for a few years now, Andy and I can tell you that the blessings we have found via this community are innumerable.

 

Blessings of OurCompassion

 

• You can learn more about the ministry of Compassion International and ask questions in a safe and welcoming environment

• If you are a child sponsor with Compassion, there is a private forum dedicated to the sponsor community

• There is a private forum not open to unregistered users where you can post prayer requests and praise reports, whether related to child sponsorship or not

• There is a forum to exchange ideas for sending letters and gifts to your sponsored child

• You can connect with sponsors who have sponsored children in the same country or Compassion church partner as you

• You may have the opportunity to send gifts with sponsors visiting your sponsored child’s country. We have had this blessed opportunity extended to us twice!

• If you travel to visit your sponsored child, you may be able to get to know others traveling on the same trip! We found a new friend going to the Dominican Republic with us this coming April!

• You can learn about other cultures, both by being involved with Compassion, and from your new friends all around the world!

 

Child sponsorship can seem like a lonely calling at times, but it does not have to be this way. Since we have joined OurCompassion, Andy and I have noticed a growing passion for the ministry of sponsorship. It is through this community of like-minded friends where we learned about the importance of writing letters. We have received creative ideas and bookmarked enough websites to browse for too many days. We have prayed, laughed, and cried together. These people are our family, united by hearts in love with children around the world. We want to extend a warm welcome to you as you join us on OurCompassion.

 

Are you part of the OurCompassion family?

 

If so, we want to hear from you! What blessings have you found while being part of OurCompassion? How has this community helped you in your ministry to children living in poverty? Please leave your feedback in the comments, and tell us why you love OurCompassion.

 

31 Days of Compassion

Day 24: Sponsorship Part II: Correspond with a child living in poverty

Yesterday, we shared how you can release a child from poverty in Jesus’ name through financial sponsorship with Compassion International. As we have written here many times before, child sponsorship is much more than the $38.00 sent to Compassion International each month. While that financial gift is very much appreciated, letters and the relationship built between the sponsor and child makes an eternal impact on all involved. Go here to learn about the importance of letters and how you can build a beautiful letter-writing relationship with your sponsored child.

Today, we want to share with you another way beyond financial sponsorship in which you can bless a child and be blessed in return. My husband Andy and I can attest to how life changing what we are about to share has been for us and many sponsors and children around the world.

 

Questions to ask yourself

 

• Do you love to write?

• Can you commit to write letters on a consistent basis?

• Do you want to minister to a child who needs to know the love of Christ?

• Do you want to spread God’s love around the globe through a tangible act of compassion?

• Are you interested in learning more about another culture?

• Do you want to instill a spirit of giving and Christ-like compassion in your children before they leave home?

• Would you like to build a relationship with a child prior to making a substantial financial commitment to the ministry?

• Are you struggling financially, but wishing you could do something significant for the kingdom of God?

 

If you answered “Yes”, then correspondence sponsorship may be for you!

 

There are many children who are financially sponsored, but they do not receive any letters from their financial sponsor. The reasons for the lack of letters could be numerous—the child is among a number of children sponsored by a business, corporation, or as part of an individual’s last will and testament; the financial sponsor lacks time or interest to write; health or other concerns may be preventing the sponsor from writing, ETC. In such cases, a financial sponsor is welcome to request that a correspondence sponsor be assigned to write to his or her sponsored child in their place.

 

A few frequently asked questions about correspondence sponsorship

 

“How do I become a correspondence sponsor?”

 

If you are in the United States, call Compassion International’s Global Ministry Center at (800) 336-7676.

If you live outside the United States, go here to locate and contact Compassion’s global partner nearest you. When you contact the Compassion International office in your country, you can ask for more information about becoming a child correspondent.

 

“Can I choose the child with whom I correspond?”

 

While you are not able to choose the exact child with whom you correspond, you can request a specific gender, region of the world or country, age, ETC. Please know however, that such requests may not be able to be filled depending on the current children needing correspondent sponsors at the time of your request. Furthermore, such specific requests may delay the process of you receiving a correspondent child, again depending on the current children needing correspondent sponsors at the time of your request.

 

“Does my correspondent-sponsored child know I am not his or her financial sponsor?”

 

It is our understanding that the child usually does not know that the correspondence sponsor is writing on their financial sponsor’s behalf, and instead they believe they have received a new sponsor. Moreover, it is also our understanding that this is in no way meant to be dishonest or deceitful, but instead to avoid any confusion on the part of the child and his or her family. When we write our first letter to a new correspondent-sponsored child, Andy and I simply say how blessed we are to be his or her new friend without mentioning anything about “sponsorship”.

 

“Does my correspondent-sponsored child receive the same benefits as a financially-sponsored child?”

 

Yes, your correspondent-sponsored child receives the same benefits through Compassion, because they are in fact financially sponsored. The only financial difference between sponsorship types is that you are not the one providing the funds for these benefits.

 

“Can I visit my correspondent-sponsored child?”

 

Yes, as with a financially sponsored child, you are encouraged and invited to visit your correspondent-sponsored child. Please contact the trips and visits department of the Compassion International office nearest you to learn more about this life changing opportunity. You will be glad you prayerfully considered meeting your sponsored child face-to-face!

 

“What happens if my correspondent-sponsored child’s financial sponsor discontinues the sponsorship?”

 

If financial sponsorship is discontinued, you will be asked if you would like to financially sponsor that child and continue nurturing the relationship. If you are unable to financially sponsor your correspondent child, then he or she will be placed among the children awaiting sponsors. If in the future you are able to financially sponsor that child, please do not hesitate to contact your nearest Compassion office and ask them to see if that child is still available for financial sponsorship. The best way to request this information is to have that child’s number available when you contact Compassion. This number is on the letters you receive, and it begins with a 2-letter country code.

 

For more answers to frequently asked questions about the correspondent sponsorship program, please read this post on Compassion International’s official blog.

 

Are you a correspondence sponsor?

 

If so, please share your experience in the comments. Why should someone become a correspondence sponsor? How has this changed your life? Has this opened your eyes to another culture or poverty around the world? What frequently asked questions have we missed here that are not covered in the aforementioned blog post? Please feel free to ask them in the comments as well!

 

31 Days of Compassion

Day 23: Sponsorship Part I: Release a child from poverty in Jesus’ name!

We are entering the home stretch of our 31 days of compassion. This has been an incredible month filled with many challenges and blessings. We have defined and shown compassion, heard God’s heart for the poor, discussed spreading God’s love in our local communities, and learned about poverty and specific issues faced by people living in poverty around the world. We have been challenged to pray, watch, read, blog, and eat with a global focus. Children have been encouraged to show compassion, and Christmas joy is being sent. Our hearts are filled to overflowing, and we are not done yet!

 

In response to all that you have learned over the past few weeks, we want to challenge you to step out in faith. We recently advocated on behalf of a child living in poverty, but we can take this advocacy one step further. Will you please pray about sponsoring or corresponding with a child living in poverty? Today, we will share with you about child sponsorship, and tomorrow we will discuss becoming a correspondence sponsor.

 

Reflections on our child sponsorship story

 

My husband Andy and I have been child sponsors with the ministry of Compassion International for close to nine years, and we can tell you that this experience has blessed and changed our lives. Our perspective on life, finances, faith, and what it means to spread God’s love has shifted. Our world has spun and tilted, and we have a global focus in our line of vision now.

 

Sponsorship is not about the $38.00 we send each month. It is about building a relationship with our sponsored child through letters. It is about praying for their studies, health, dreams, and family. It is about rejoicing with them when they pass to the next school grade, win baseball trophies, or see the Lord answer prayers miraculously. We evangelize, encourage, and disciple. They pray, send Scriptures, and give us unconditional love. We started sponsoring with the intent to bless a child, but we are the ones who have received the greatest blessings and rewards. We have become uncle and aunt, and mom and dad. Our family is spread across the globe, but we are all bound by the blood and love of Christ.

 

“Why should I sponsor a child?”

 

For $38.00 a month, just over $1.25 a day, you can release a child from physical, social, economic, and spiritual poverty. Through a local church in his or her community, your sponsored child will receive many benefits including medical check-ups, educational opportunities and support, a safe place to play, nutritional meals, life skills training, and the opportunity to hear about the love of Jesus and build a personal relationship with him. Through your prayers and letters, your sponsored child will know that dreams are possible and life is worth living. He or she will know that someone loves them, and the whispered lies of poverty will be drowned out by your words of encouragement.

 

Please, do not just take our word for it!

 

A recent independent study was conducted that shows the immensely positive impact Compassion International’s child sponsorship program has had on the success and lives of formerly sponsored children in the areas of education, employment, and leadership. Here, four formerly sponsored children share their stories of success and the impact sponsorship has had on their lives.

 

$1.25 a day—enough to buy a coffee or a song from iTunes. Or, enough to change the lives of your sponsored child, his or her family and community, and you. We have learned that every child is close to the heart of God. What is $1.25 worth to you? Is it worth a cup of coffee, a song, or releasing a child from poverty in Jesus’ name?

 

“How do I choose a child to sponsor?”

 

As you pray and seek the Lord’s guidance about the child you will sponsor, we want to introduce you to some children waiting to be released from poverty in Jesus’ name. Maybe one of these children is waiting for you.

 

Denelson

 

Six-year-old Denelson lives in Haiti with his aunt and three siblings. He is in preschool and enjoys soccer. This precious little boy would love your letters of encouragement, and you could be the one to share with him about his father in Heaven.

 

Hector

 

Hector is seven years old and lives with his grandparents and four siblings in Mexico. Hector has partial hearing loss and is struggling in school. Will you pray for and encourage him? Will you let him know that he can trust in Christ and reach his dreams despite his circumstances? Will you tell Hector he is special in the eyes of God?

 

Ruhama

 

Ruhama is six and lives in Ethiopia with her foster parents and one sibling. She is in kindergarten and enjoys running and playing volleyball. Will you please end Ruhama’s long wait for a sponsor? As of October 27, she has been waiting 244 days for someone to step in the gap for her. Will that someone be you?

 

Jackson

 

18-year-old Jackson lives in Tanzania with his uncle, aunt, and three siblings. This young man is excelling in his college studies. As he enters adulthood, he could use a mentor to walk beside him and encourage him with prayers and letters of love. Will you let Jackson know he is not forgotten today?

 

Layanel

 

Living in the Dominican Republic with his grandparents and four siblings, 6-year-old Layanel is in kindergarten and enjoys baseball. Will you give this sweet little boy an early birthday present by ending his too long wait for a sponsor? His birthday is on November 23, and as of October 27, Layanel has been waiting 330 days for someone to release him from poverty in Jesus’ name. Is the answer to Layanel’s birthday wish going to be you?

 

31 Days of Compassion