Entries in letters (58)
Looking for some new letter writing topics? Kate, who works in One Child Matters' communications department and writes most of the stories on this blog, shares this interesting angle after receiving yet another letter where one of the girls she sponsored thanked her for her help and sponsorship.
Take a look at that drawing above -- Sovanna drew the famous Ankor Wat temple in Siem Reap and included it with one of her letters. I am so thankful I hung it just over my computer monitor at work, because when the day grows long, it's always within my sight. That intricate pen-and-ink drawing reminds me to pray for Sovanna and Munni, the other girl I sponsor in Bangladesh.
I've sponsored them for almost three years now, and sometimes it's hard to figure out what to say in my letters to them. So when I received Sovanna's letter, her sweet "thank you for all you continue to do for me" at the end inspired me.
Why not write a thank you note back to her and to Munni? There are so many reasons I am grateful for them, why not tell them directly?
Munni and Sovanna have opened my eyes to a different part of the world, and not just through their fantastic drawings. With each letter or prayer for them, I discover more of God's heart for justice and mercy. His redemption knows no bounds, and it is exciting to be a part of that.
As my heart for them grows, I want them to see themselves as God does: beloved daughters of the King. Yet in trying to emphasize that, my self-perception has changed. They are as fearfully and wonderfully made as I am, but do I live out of that identity?
Since sponsoring my girls, my habits have changed. I love to shop, but I increasingly find myself wondering, "Do I need that? Could this money be put to better use?" (And almost always, the answer is yes.) I am more conscious of each dollar I spend and what I am supporting by those choices. In the end, the money isn't mine -- it's God's -- and my choices either glorify Him or glorify myself.
I'm thankful that my sponsorship gives my girls access to a solid education, a nutritious meal, and interaction with adults who will love and encourage them. My girls are so worthwhile.
I am thankful that although sponsorship started as something sacrificial, it has become joyful. What I hoped was life-giving for them has brought me life, as well.
So my tip is to think about how or if sponsorship has changed your heart. And if it has, write that down. Send it to your sponsored child. One of our goals at One Child Matters is that a sponsored child will learn that he or she can change the world. Wouldn't it be cool for them to know -- to know -- that the first person they changed was you?
In the past few weeks, we've been as eager as kids waiting next to the Christmas tree full of presents... and now we finally get to unwrap our favorite features, designed just for you!
There are so many great things to choose from, but let's start with the biggest change to sponsorship ministry in a long while: writing letters from your phone!
Here are a few tips that will definitely change the way you approach letter-writing.
The approach of Thanksgiving makes us consider all that we are grateful for -- so it may be worth hearing why our sponsored children are thankful:
“I thank God for your life and for picking me to sponsor me and letting me come to the center. I feel happy to know that someone is worried for my own good. Without knowing you, I feel that I know you, but I know you love me too…” – Helen, age 12, Honduras
“I am very fine here by the grace of God and by the blessing of yours. I am still trying to do much better and work hard from before days. Thanks for making me confident to do my work well. I also want to see your picture. I am very prosperous and happy to receive your letter. Myself also feels very lucky that you are my sponsor. I love you all.” – Shirpa, age 13, India
“My family and I thank you for all the love you have toward me. I ask God to take care of you and of all your family. I thank God every day for giving me the opportunity to be in this project and because he made us to be together. I love you a lot and I carry you inside my heart and mind. I thank you for helping me to reach my dream …I don’t find a way to thank your kindness. I say bye with lots of love and appreciation and wishing that God bless you.” – Maycol, age 9, Honduras
“Hello, how are you? I am good and happy because you love me and want me and I love you a lot, too. And I pray for you so God will care for you and give you peace.” – Darwin, age 12, Dominican Republic
“Thank you very much for your support for my education. May the Lord Father bless your profession. I have secured good grades in the final exam. Your support is the main cause for my success. May the Lord bless all your activities enabling to help poor children like me. I will never forget you.” – Anushan, age 12, Sri Lanka
“I am very happy when I accept your letter. I thought as if we met face to face your word of love and advice forces me to read your letter again and again. Thank you very much! I am very lucky of getting your love. I love you and also pray for you.” – Wasyihun, age 6, Ethiopia
Your sponsored child is so grateful for you. We hope you know how thankful we are for you, too!
If our recent post about the Christmas Gift Fund got you thinking about sending a Christmas gift on your own, we have two words for you: please don't.
Okay, two more: here's why...
The Bible shows us that a person's name has a lot of symbolism. So what does it mean when your sponsored child's name changes?
How should you respond if your child is not yet able to write? When should you expect them to write on their own?
It may seem like a simple question, and the answer is hugely important. It involves your prayers and perseverance... and to help, we've included lots of tips.
When you think about writing to your sponsored child, do you struggle to come up with something to write about? The inspiration for four letters may be right outside your window...
How do you measure poverty? If a child has access to a television, is he truly poor? If your sponsored child has mentioned watching cartoons or movies, this may provide some perspective.
One sponsor shares how committing to help a young Muslim girl changed the way she wrote letters... click here to read more.
Have you struggled to write out your prayers for your sponsored child? One sponsor reveals her hesitations, and what a project worker in Ethiopia said to change her mind.
How have you responded to the prayers of others? What will it be like for your sponsored child to receive a written prayer? A Sponsor's Journal explores her own child's requests...
We are so excited about this new push to bless your sponsored child! One act that takes only a few minutes will bear much fruit in your sponsored child's heart and life.
Want to learn more? Check this out, and watch your mail...
Trying to keep all of your group members engaged in child sponsorship can be tricky. And yet with a little creativity, you can find ways to include everyone – including your sponsored child – in this unique ministry.
When did you first hear about child sponsorship? Was it at a large event like a concert or a church service? Was it because one of your friends began sponsoring?
Many of our sponsors first heard about Mission of Mercy in a church-sponsored event. Just as we partner with churches in the countries in which we work, we hope to form similar relationships here in the States, to make a commitment to reach the children of the world together.
And yet sometimes those commitments occur in a more intimate sphere: many first hear about sponsorship in a Sunday school class or Bible study, when a group decides to sponsor a child together.
In some ways, this type of setup works well for people. You share the financial responsibility of sponsorship, which makes the commitment a little easier. In a larger group, the writing tasks are often shared, as well.
Here at Mission of Mercy, we love to see the Sunday school teacher who shepherds a group of students in the sponsorship process so they can learn more about the world and God’s kingdom as they help a child halfway around the world. Often the children are the same ages, and the opportunities to grow in awareness of each other’s culture are many.
So how do you make the most of group sponsorship? What is the best way to write a letter? What may confuse your sponsored child? We’ll explore those topics and share some great examples from other group sponsors this week on the blog. Even if you sponsor a child individually, you might learn something about making your letters as clear as possible, so stay tuned!
In honor of Mother's Day, we thought we'd focus on a very important influence on your sponsored child's life: his mother.
Occasionally, we receive letters from the field that include a note from a child's parent. Although parents often express their gratitude for the programs their child is able to attend, rarely do we receive these thanks in writing.
Christine is a child enrolled in our program in Kenya. Because Christine is young, she does not yet know how to write. Her mother, however, is not able to read and write, either, and so a project worker helped write this letter to Christine's sponsor:
The child says thanks to you for the good letter you wrote to her. She says that she was very happy to hear from you… the child says that going to the project is very interesting as she enjoy singing, dancing, and learning about God in the Bible. She says she likes singing and that sometimes she enjoy leading praise choruses. The child says that she loves you and liking to hear from you. She ask you to send her your photo. – Christine
Then, on the other side of the letter was the note from Christine's mother:
Receive greetings from Abigael, the mother of Christine. The parents is very thankful to you for your kind support that her child is receiving from you. The parent said that she can not forget the wonderful role you are playing in the life of Christine. The child’s mother added that Christine is doing well in school and enjoy attending the project. The parent says that she loves you and appreciate the support you are giving Christine. She says that she will continue praying for you so that God can bless you and enable you. – from Christine’s mother
What a gift to receive such encouragement for your faithfulness as a sponsor! Please take a moment to pray for your sponsored child's mother in honor of Mother's Day. In some ways it seems that a sponsored child's parents are just as encouraged by your commitment as the child!
*The photo above is not Christine and Abigael, but we wanted to share it because we simply love the joy evident in both mother and child and thought you'd appreciate it, too!
Now you know how we process your letters. Did you know we have a party strong> when we process letters from your sponsored child?