I remember when I read that first letter from Cecile.
Her words were scribbled across the paper as though the page could not contain all the joy she wanted to share with her new family across the world. At the end of that letter was attached a photo of her with her father at the farm. That letter would be the first of other letters that have grafted Cecile and her family into our own family. She writes of how her life is being impacted by our sponsorship, if only she knew how much our lives will remain deeply touched by hers. Because miles away and across our big world, seeds of love and compassion continue to find their roots and grow in the lives of many families by the means of sponsorship – leaving harvests of unforgettable relationships and lives transformed.
There’s just no other way to say this: sponsorship matters. Hear from sponsored children and sponsors alike about the impact that sponsorship has had on their lives.
Sara loves to write her sponsor, Pamela, about her family, community and the things she enjoys. She also enjoys receiving Pamela’s letters and learning more about her life. “When I receive a letter, it makes me feel that I am important to my sponsor. I like to write letters to Pamela and tell her about my life and family. The most important thing about being sponsored is to have a person who writes to me from the other side of the world to teach me about her culture and tell me nice things like she loves me. I feel happy when I receive a letter from my sponsor. As she often writes to me, when the letters arrive at the project, I expect to receive one.”
Thanyaporn shares her beautiful relationship with her sponsor through letter writing. When she was diagnosed with a serious illness at 9 years old, and in the years since, her sponsor’s letters and prayers have given her the strength she needs. Throughout hard times, communication from her sponsor has inspired her to have an optimistic outlook. “I remember the first time I received a letter from my sponsor. I was dancing and jumping and screaming. Then my mum read to me about my sponsors and how glad they are to know me and my family,” says Thanyaporn.
Josué, El Salvador
Josué’s dream is to become a pastor and he feels motivated every time he remembers the encouraging words he has read in his sponsor’s letters. Josué and his family wish his sponsors knew how much their advice helps, strengthens, and impacts their spiritual lives. “Each of my letters brings me joy, but there’s a special one that filled me with happiness and motivated me to follow the principles of the Bible and to work harder at school, not losing time in useless things,” Josué says.
Rosalinda recalls a special moment when she was a little girl and sponsors arrived to visit her Compassion centre. “I dream of becoming a translator and I would love to translate for sponsors in Compassion. The sponsors’ visits were my inspiration, I liked what translators did during the visit, and I want to be like that,” says Rosa. She just started to study linguistics and she is happy she can understand a little of her sponsor’s letters. “The letters marked my life. My sponsor is a pastor. Since I’m studying English, I can understand his letters a little. I like that he sends me photos and that we can communicate with each other. When I receive a letter, I always feel very, very happy to write him back. I always space to continue writing. I love that my sponsors say that they prayed for me, even one of his daughters tried to write to me in Spanish. That was nice. They made me feel very special,” says Rosalinda.
“I like talking to my sponsor. When my sponsor sends letters and some pictures, I feel that he cares about me. Even not talking to him in person, I feel like he’s a real friend. It’s weird to think that, but I feel he’s someone I can always count on. We teenagers need help and support. It’s so good to know that there’s someone on the other side of the world who, even though he has never seen me, likes me, cares to write me and supports me here in the project. I know without him I wouldn’t be here.” Carlos says.
“What I love to write my sponsors is about my educational progress and the history of my country. It gives me joy to tell them about my country.” Kalkidan shares gleefully.
When Mallory decided to travel to Ecuador to visit her sponsored child, she raised the money for her trip. She sold homemade lemonade to neighbours, and week after week, the 13-year-old girl raised the resources to fulfill her dream of meeting Elian. “I was so excited when I got on the plane. I could not believe it. I was finally going to meet Elian,” Mallory said. “One of the greatest dreams I’ve ever had is being able to travel to see my sponsored child, and God gave me that beautiful blessing. I fulfilled the dream of my life. It was very difficult to say goodbye. Part of my heart stayed in that place.”
Rose, El Salvador
“When my daughter and I first visited, Allison, she was only 7 at the time. At the end of our visit, we shared a few gifts that we had brought for Allison and her family. We were able to give them a Bible and asked if they had one in their home. Allison’s dad said, “Yes, we have a Bible and I want to share something with you.” He continued, “There was a time that Allison’s mother and I struggled in our relationship. We face challenges that make life very difficult. But we decided that we needed to turn to God and rely on Him. We started reading the Bible together and now we read together as a family every night and we pray for your family every night.” I felt chills and teared up as he shared this with us. I can’t tell you how moving that moment was. That they would be in such need and yet be praying for us was humbling. This spurred my husband and I on and actually transformed our prayer life, something that had waned in our busy lives. We started praying together every day and remembering Allison and her family in our prayers. Our lives are better and richer because of the connection we have with Allison and her family. It is still humbling when we visit with them to hear them pray for us and ask God to continue blessing our family. If sponsors only knew how much their sponsor family appreciates them and pray for blessings on them.”
“The children you sponsor will grow on you. It really gives back more than you know. It really blesses you by adding a little light into this seemingly more darkening world. When I first became a sponsor, I was a young father with a good job, blessed with three young children who would never know what it would be like to grow up poor. I attended a Christian conference where Compassion Canada had a table covered with pictures of young children about 3-5 years old or so. My youngest, a boy, was 4 years old. After scanning several cards I finally caught a glimpse of a young boy the same age as my son. He even looked like they could be brothers. I thought that this other boy born a half a world away did not have a choice where he was born but I felt like I could and should make a difference in his life. It feels good now seeing him all grown up just like his brother half a world away.” Ken shares.
“When I first saw Jennifer’s photo, I felt like she was the one I wanted to sponsor. I am happy she is part of my life. Sponsoring Jennifer constantly reminds me of God’s design for the church, which is meeting people’s needs and being the hands and feet of Christ.”
Fred, Dominican Republic
“We sponsor to share the love of God with children in poverty. We love the letters and photos we receive from our sponsor children. To see the smiles on their faces and read of the progress that they are making with their education is very special. We are so surprised at how a small investment of time and a little money can change a life. Sponsorship makes a huge difference in the life of a child. We have seen one of our sponsor children grow from an 8-year-old boy to a 20-year-old young man. For a very small investment each month, he has received a high school education, is currently taking technical training, continues to grow in his faith in Jesus Christ, and has a safe community with his family in a local church. We highly recommend Compassion because of their philosophy of partnering with local churches to share the love of God in practical, Christ-centred ways.”
“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them.” (Acts 4: 32-35)
Imagine when we all begin to lay down our lives and weave ourselves into the stories of others, share with them as we are able, commune with others as long as it takes to disciple them for Christ. Only then can we truly defend the weak, uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed, rescue the needy, and see more people set free indeed (Psalm 82: 3-4).
When you sponsor a child, you’re creating a space for heartfelt relationships and a life-changing journey.