Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wait A Minute Mr. Postman

Waayait Mr. Pooostman.....

I love getting mail. Real mail. Maybe that's one reason I'm an internet shopper. There's something real special about getting real mail. Maybe because we have all these new fangled ways of communication like email and twitter and facebook. So getting genuine mail is rare. And special.

I remember I used to write letters to my best friend Anna Sweeney in the 7th and 8th grade over the summer. Passing notes was a big thing during school. Helped keep you awake during class when discussions of feminist writers wasn't doing it for you. (Oh 8th grade AP English....and Ms. Rob....) Anna and I would decorate our envelopes, write in markers, and sometimes color on top of the entire letter. And how exciting it was to get a letter in the mail!!!

Because of this memory, I try to write to our Compassion sponsored children at least once every 4-6 weeks. Sometimes the turn around time between here to Colorado Springs to their country takes about 4 weeks. (Longer to Tanzania where I get letters dates 2-3 months prior to arrival.)

Something I have heard frequently from newer and even more experienced sponsors is, "What do I say to my sponsored kids?? It doesn't even sound like they're the ones writing back to me."

Don't be discouraged. You're not alone.

Ever wondered if your letter really means anything? Look at this well read letter that was held on to for over 3 years in a shack in Kenya:

More of Eliud's heartbreaking and hopeful story is found with Compassion bloggers Brad Ruggles and Shaun Groves (who's one of my favorites). Warning: Eliud's story will change your life. Especially after watching his video in Brad's blog.

If you don't follow Compassion's blog, you need to. Recently a wonderful post was written about what Compassion kids want to hear from their sponsor. You'll be surprised. And filled with a sad sort of hope for them. Here's a few examples:

I would like my sponsor to write me more about her future plans, hobbies, and what she does during her free time. I hope she will never forget to write me and pray for me.” — Pauline

“What I like most about everything she writes is how she tells me to walk on God’s path. I also like it when she praises my talent, my personality and everything I do is a blessing to her. She writes mostly about her work in a camp and how she spends her time with her husband. One thing I’m curious about my sponsor is if she’s pregnant because she’s been married for almost two years now and I still haven’t read in her letters of them having a baby.” — Hallelujah

“My sponsor always sends me greetings and holiday cards. It feels like I am physically with them during special occasions when I actually am not. She really loves me and shows care for me in each of her letters. I am curious to know how it feels to live in their country. Is it like also here in the Philippines?” — Christopher

Other great ideas can be found at Relationship Building Through Child Sponsorship

Some interesting statistics have crossed my path about the letter writing relationship that I think you'll be interested to know.

Sponsored children do 40% better in school if they receive 2 or more letters a year.

A group of sponsored children were polled, and when asked what is your favorite part of being sponsored, the main response was "receiving letters from my sponsor" more than gifts, going to the center's activities, or receiving the lunch meal at the center (sometimes their only meal of the day).

On Sunday November 7th, we are hosting the first annual Christmas Letter Writing Party for Compassion at Celebration Fellowship. And you're not going to want to miss it. We'll have all the paper supplies you could dream of (but if you've got a scrapbook-junkie friend who wants to get rid of some stuff, we'll gladly take it off her hands).
You can even write unaddressed letters that will be given to Compassion kids who are still waiting for a sponsor.

Now they can all join in the excitement of a handwritten letter together.

So bring your photos, your sponsor number and child's number, your friends, and your family, and we'll see you there. November 7th, 4:00pm. Don't miss it. It'll could change the life of a child.

1 comment:

  1. I just wrote my kids today! :) I drew them lame stick figure pictures of our family and drew them in too! And I put sports trading cards and pretty calendar pictures in the envelopes.