in·del·i·ble (adjective) (a) that cannot be removed, washed away, or erased, (b) making marks that cannot easily be removed, (c) lasting, (d) unforgettable, memorable. (Merriam-Webster)
When was the last time you tried to get permanent marker off something that it was not supposed to go on? Maybe you accidentally swiped it across your shirt when juggling multiple things at work, or perhaps you have young children at home who decided that your walls were the perfect place to draw a picture. No matter how that big black streak got there, it certainly gave you a better idea of what “indelible” means.
Some things just make a mark that lasts.
For Compassion kids, the letters they receive from their sponsors might as well be written in permanent marker on their hearts. They are indelible.
What makes a letter so important?
There are so many reasons why letters have a profound impression on children, but perhaps the most important thing to point out is that a letter is an expression of being known, loved and connected. When a child receives a letter, the reality of being sponsored finds its fullest expression in that act of fostering relationship. But don’t take it from us! Hear from Compassion kids—past and present—the impact their sponsor’s letters have had on their lives.
Letters spark motivation.
When you write a letter, your words could be exactly what the child you sponsor needs to hear that day or even that year. Your words show them that they are loved and that someone across the world believes in them.
“I felt so happy when I got my sponsor’s first letter. When I wrote back, I made a special drawing because her letter motivated me.”- Steveen, 7
Letters inspire identity.
Liz, Compassion Alumna, Peru
For many children, the letters they receive have a profound impact on how they view themselves. The Bible verses, words of affirmation and interest in who they are that is expressed in letters are instrumental in communicating their value and shape the way they see themselves.
“Your letters and the verses you shared with me would change my perspective and would strengthen my identity in Jesus Christ… The verses you shared with me in every letter gave me hope. They brought happiness when I was in sadness. If only you knew how these words changed my life.” – Liz, writing a letter to her former sponsor
Letters shape dreams.
Letters help open the world up for Compassion kids. It helps them see from different perspectives, learn new things and it inspires them to dream big! A letter is precious because it is a window into the world.
“Every letter from my sponsor has sentimental value to me, to know what she was doing and what life was like for her. And every letter always encouraged me to keep believing in myself.” -Thidarat, 18
Letters communicate love.
Ria, Compassion Alumna, Philippines
Receiving a letter from someone you don’t know is already a noteworthy experience. But when that stranger is your sponsor who chose to invest in you and support you, it is tangible evidence that you are loved. Writing a letter is an act of love.
“The letters that she sent to me; I actually have them still. They are my little treasures. She always treated me as her family. How come this stranger tells me that ‘I love you, I care for you, I pray for you’? That’s how I felt the love of Jesus.” – Ria, sharing her Compassion story
Letters create connection.
Fabrice, Burkina Faso
When a child receives a letter, they definitely feel loved. But not only that, they feel a sense of connection to their sponsor. A letter can close large spans of distance and make them feel closer to a very significant person in their life.
“I have been spiritually impacted by [my sponsor’s] letters and during a youth camp organized by the centre a few years ago, I committed my life to Jesus. I am now born again— what a joy and blessing to be loved by someone I have never met physically; only letters could make it possible. Our relationship would have been impossible without letters.” – Fabrice, 19
Letters provide hope.
Owen, Compassion alumnus, Kenya
Compassion kids live in poverty and one of the most profound impacts of this is the hopelessness in their environment. Of course, their participation in Compassion’s program and their connection to their local church are key components of bringing hope to their lives. But when their sponsor writes a letter of encouragement, it becomes an anchor of hope and joy when they face discouragement.
“…There were some things we didn’t expect [about sponsorship], like how much your letters would be a constant source of joy and hope, how the first time I heard the words “I love you” was from reading one of your letters.” – Owen, writing a letter to his former sponsor
It’s unanimous—your letters leave a lasting impact on the lives of children, even years down the line! It’s easy to underestimate what the simple act of writing a letter can do, but rest assured, your words are changing lives.
Make a mark that lasts.
Write a letter to the child you sponsor today.
Pst! Still have questions about letter-writing? Not to worry. We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you continue your letter writing journey with inspiration and confidence!
How does my letter actually get to my sponsored child?
Why do my sponsored child’s letters sound the same?
Can you help me write a letter to my sponsor child?
Do you have any letter writing tips?
Can you tell me more about the letter writing process?
Why does letter writing matter in a social media age?