Saturday, January 12, 2013

january letters to africa

I love my kids--Dominic, Eyouel, and Mugwaneza--that we sponsor. We pray for them and their families daily. Their faces are on our wall and our desk. Their names are on a necklace Colin created for me. They are everywhere.
I care for their well-being so deeply--that their needs are being met, that they are more than just surviving, that they are happy! That they know Jesus. That they know He has planned out a future for them. A beautiful future.
I read the words of a sponsor who said correspondence is the most important part of sponsorship. She had even suggested to another sponsor that if he/she was not writing their sponsored child, then they should not sponsor them at all.
That profound thought intrigued and convicted me. How could someone suggest that?
While I love, love, love our three children from Kenya, Ethiopia, and Rwanda, I find it difficult to write to them! What does one write to a child? How can letters not become redundant? How can I keep them fresh and exciting?
We receive letters from them approximately every 3 months. Sponsoring them for less than a year, Colin and I had been writing them about every 2 months, give or take.
When I read the sponsor's thoughts on correspondence, I thought--I don't think this is good enough. We can do better!
I have made it a personal goal to write to my kids at least once a month this year. Extra on their birthdays or when we receive a letter from them. I plan to post each month on here what we sent! I hope it will both hold me accountable and also spread ideas to others who sponsor children.
Letter writing can be a bit tricky around the holidays, because letters take up to two months to get to Africa through Compassion. So, if sending a Christmas card, for example, it should be send at least by the end of October. I have to think ahead!
For January, a little late (oops!), I sent them all Valentine-themed letters and goodies. In our letters, we explained what Valentine's Day is and what it means to us, and we shared with them a verse:
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! ~John 3:1
We sent them each valentine dinosaur coloring sheets, alphabet hearts, heart bug bookmarks with their names on them, and Mugwaneza got some Precious Moment stickers.
Fun bookmarks!! Made with craft paper and googly eyes.
If you sponsor children, do you struggle with writing them? I encourage you to get creative and think like a child. Tell me ideas that have worked for you in the past!
Are you interested in sponsorship? Visit Compassion International. If you are in conflict because you want to, but cannot afford it, you can contact Compassion and ask if they have any correspondent children...these are children that are already financially sponsored, but their sponsors do not write to them, for whatever reason. So, you can write to and receive letters from them at no cost! I think that is AWESOME!


  1. We have been sponsoring Caleb for 2 years and I find it hard to write to him!! I total agree with you. I know it is important and I want to do better. Thank you for the encouragement. I am going to make it a point to write to him this week!

  2. I agree. It is hard to write to them. I find it hard to know what to say but I need to make a better effort!

  3. I would have a hard time knowing what to say too ... but I know you always will write a great letter!
    When I get letters from my parents, I usually know some of what they write, but I always enjoy reading it, no matter what. I think your children will treasure your words to them, no matter if they are even the slightest bit repetitive ... it is something to look forward to with anticipation!
    Your gifts are so thoughtful!!!