Confessions of a Not So Great Compassion Sponsor

  Red and blue

Her name is Preetha.  She’s 15 and from a very poor village in India.  We’ve been sponsoring her for a couple of years.  Before her was Vasantha.  At 16, her parents removed her from the Compassion program.  We had sponsored her for many years as well.  Both are beautiful girls living in extreme poverty.

A team from Hearts at Home, led by Jill Savage, has been on a Compassion sponsored trip in Tanzania this week.  I have been struck by how much Compassion really does for a community.  The day Jill met their sponsored child and how, through Compassion, this lovely young woman now has a hope and a future. Or the day they spent with the Maasai tribe.  What beautiful people.

Then I read where all the letters go and how they are processed.  I saw the pictures and read how much the kids REALLY look forward to receiving letters and how much these letters and small gifts are cherished.

I have a pit in my stomach.

We send money for birthdays and Christmas every year, yet I only write maybe a couple of times a year.  My thoughtlessness saddens me.

I don’t want the be that someone who just sends money and goes about my day without another thought.  That’s what I’ve done though.

Writing the check is easy.  I see now that engaging in the relationship is crucial.

A simple letter written in hand, or even online, can build a child up.  We are called to take care of these children.  It is a privilege that God entrusts us with.

I ask you to not just commit to the $38 per month.  Commit to a relationship as well.   These kids have so little and we, living in the first world countries, have more than they could ever imagine.  They need us.

My eyes have been opened.  I commit to write the first Friday of every month.  I have put it on my calendar so I don’t miss it.

Now, I close down my computer and will write a note asking Preetha for forgiveness. Today is a new day.  A new relationship can begin.

If you sponsor a child, what is your experience?  How often do you write?  If not, will you consider sponsoring a child?  You can change a life.
Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

Joining with Jill Savage and Hearts at Home

Also, linking with Thriving Thursdays, and Fellowship Fridays.

*photo credit Rachel via Compfight

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12 Responses

  1. Jill Savage
    Jill Savage 08/15/2013 at 8:23 am | | Reply

    Cheri, this touched my heart so much! I’m sooooo glad that you have been inspired to take your relationship with Preetha to the next level. You will bless her soooo much!

  2. Karen
    Karen 08/15/2013 at 8:51 am | | Reply

    Oh boy, Cheri – GUILTY, I am putting this as priority of my list as well. Our sponsored child’s name is Miriam – she even has the same birthday as my son.

  3. Stephanie @ CrayonMarks&TigerStripes

    I have been sponsoring since I was 14 (for 14 years now!) I love it :) Compassion is such a great thing! I always reply when I get the letters but I like the idea of sending a note online every first Friday of the month. I’m going to begin doing that! Thank you!

  4. Barbie
    Barbie 08/18/2013 at 11:21 am | | Reply

    My husband and I use to sponsor a child years ago. When unemployment hit, we just didn’t have the money. I’ve been praying about sponsorship lately, whether through Compassion or an organization that helps children out of trafficking. Thank you for this post as a reminder when God brings me to my sponsored child, to continue to encourage them through letters!

  5. JayDee
    JayDee 08/20/2013 at 3:18 pm | | Reply

    Wow. This was eye-opening for me to read, just a few days after I posted a very similar story (http://alifewithcompassion.wordpress.com/2013/08/17/things-ive-learned-giving-and-investing-are-not-the-same-things/)!

    Since discovering how important this aspect of the relationship is, I’ve picked up two more children (just got them today!) to correspond with. I can understand a corporation sponsoring a child, but what I can’t take any longer is the heartbreak those kids feel when it is time for the mail call every other week, and they wait for their name…and it is never called. To combat that, Compassion will allow you to be a Correspondence sponsor. You don’t pay anything; you’re the one who gets to have a relationship with that child! Sounds like a win-win to me.

    Thanks for being brave enough to post this, and being brave enough to commit to a change.

  6. Miranda
    Miranda 08/31/2013 at 7:26 pm | | Reply

    Thank you for this honest post. When we began sponsoring through Compassion in December of 2004, my husband and I did not truly understand the impact this ministry had on our sponsored child–or us! Sadly, it took us 7 years and a few children to fully grasp the importance of the child-sponsor relationship, and that 7-year struggle included becoming involved with the correspondence program, still not understanding the impact. We now have a total of 11 children and teens in our Compassion family, and we write at least once a month. We also encourage sponsors in their relationships with their sponsored children through our blog, as we now understand the impact the beautiful relationships can have on everyone involved. Thank you again for your honesty, and please know you are not alone!

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