Short and Sweet

When was the last time you received a note in the mail? In and amongst the junk mail and bills, our mail boxes rarely are filled with notes and letters from friends and relatives. We live in a world where encouragement and praise can be received on a daily basis by those who we live life with.

But imagine you live in a world where you have no mail box.

Imagine you live in a world where there are no house numbers and street names.

Imagine you live in a world where no one gives you encouragement and praise.

Many of our Compassion sponsored children live in areas where it is very rare for them to receive mail of any kind.

But you can change all that!

Just yesterday, reading the Compassion blog, I was reminded how simple it is for me to set aside time to write a short and sweet note to the children we sponsor.

Here is what I wrote to Lina yesterday:

Hello Lina, 

I hope you are doing well! I was thinking about you today, so I decided to write to you to remind you how special you are to God. He loves you and is always watching over you.

Here is a question for you: If you could invent one thing to make life easier, what would it be?

I encourage you to spend time reading your Bible every day, learning more about God and His plan for you. Matthew 5:16 would be a good verse to read.

Love and hugs to you!

Short and sweet, and it didn't take much time for me to write this to her either.

Since I know the kids love receiving photos, I included this with the letter:

Click on the link    here    to download and add this image to your next letter

Click on the link here to download and add this image to your next letter

So what are you waiting for? Will you write a short and sweet letter to your Compassion children right now?

All About Me

Are you a new Compassion sponsor? Or have you added a new sponsored child to your family?

One of the first letters we receive from our Compassion sponsored children is an "All About Me" page where they share some of their favorite things. I loved receiving Emerson's first letter this past week. Emerson is our newest Compassion child. We added him to our Compassion family when I was in El Salvador in February. I didn't have a chance to meet him while I was there, but I am looking forward to getting to know him through letter writing.

Emerson from El Salvador

In his letter he shared that his favorite game is soccer, his favorite food is beef and chicken, and his favorite color is blue.

So I thought, what if I create a page sharing some of my favorite things to send to him?

Using Canva, I created this page to send to Emerson:

All About Me page

The page was fairly easy to create. I chose a background and selected a color that I liked. Then I started adding boxes and changed the opacity so the boxes ended up being a light blue. Next, I added photos and text to the boxes with some of my favorite things. Then I saved the creation as a jpeg which makes it easy to add to an online Compassion letter.

When you write a letter or send a card to your sponsored child, you can upload a full page 'photo' like this to your letter or card. 

Our sponsored children want to know more about us and what are lives are like where we live. I sure hope Emerson enjoys learning some of these things about me.

What have you shared with your sponsored child lately?

Sending Hope

You have been thinking about your Compassion child.

It has been a while since you received your last letter...and it has been quite a few months since you wrote your last letter.

You know you should write, but sometimes you just are not sure what to write.

Corresponding with a child growing up in extreme poverty is not like sending a text to a family member.

Corresponding with a child growing up in extreme poverty is not like commenting on a friend's Facebook post.

Corresponding with a child growing up in extreme poverty is not for what I get out of it.

Corresponding with a child growing up in extreme poverty is hard to do.

But corresponding with a child growing up in extreme poverty is an important part of building a relationship with that child.

When you find yourself at a loss for words when writing to your sponsored child, remember that all we really need to do is send them encouraging words.

Share a Bible verse.

Send a photo.

Click on this   link   to add this verse image to your next letter

Click on this link to add this verse image to your next letter

Tell the child that you love them.

Tell the child that God loves them.

It really is this simple to send hope.

What will you write in your next letter?

The Impact of Our Words

I have mentioned before, that when we first became sponsors with Compassion, we really didn't understand the importance of letter writing to our sponsored child.

It wasn't until our first child's family moved away, and we chose another child, that we made more of an effort at writing letters on a regular basis.

We followed the suggestions, shared some of our favorite things, talked about the seasons, added a Bible verse, attached a photo or two, and sent some encouraging words.

But it wasn't until I met Lina on my Compassion sponsor trip to Colombia that I learned about the impact of our words.

When I learned that my letters to Lina made a positive impact, how could I not want to continue to do this?

Sponsoring a Compassion child and writing letters seems like such a small sacrifice.

But the impact is much bigger than I may ever know.

Compassion children in Mexico

So many Compassion kids are learning about Jesus, because lots of people have decided to spend $38 a month on a child living in extreme poverty.

So many Compassion kids are staying out of gangs, because lots of people are sending letters with Bible verses to these kids.

So many Compassion kids are making a difference in their communities, because the impact of our words are making a difference to these kids.


Better Than We Expected

When you make big plans to go on a Compassion sponsor trip, you expect to be able to meet and visit with the child you sponsor. This is, after all, the main reason that most people go on a trip like this in the first place. You want to see that the child you have been communicating with and investing in is a real person, receiving the benefits of the program you have trusted in.

But on this last trip, there was a very real possibility that I would not be able to see Felix again.

Now, if this had been my first Compassion trip, I most certainly would have been devastated!

But this was my second trip to Mexico with Compassion.

On my first trip, not only did I meet Felix, I met his mom, his big sister, his little brother, and I spent time in his home and at the project he attends. This was a really big deal!

I have to tell you though, the thought of not being able to see Felix on this second trip never crossed my mind until the middle of this last trip when our trip leader said they needed to talk with me the night before the child fun day.

We had plans, Kelsey and I. We were going to play with both boys on the child fun day. That was what we expected, that was what we had planned.

But the way this all played out was better than we expected, even with the unfortunate set of circumstances that surrounded the change of plans.

Very early on Friday morning of our last full day in Mexico, Kelsey and I, along with Gloria from Compassion Mexico, boarded a plane in Veracruz on our way to Mexico City for the day. While the rest of our group spent the day touring historical sites in Veracruz, we were on our way to spend the day with Felix. We really didn't even know all of the details when we boarded that early morning flight, the only thing I was sure of was that we were on our way to see Felix.

Our time with Felix was precious! 

Me and Felix

We shared a meal together.

first time on an escalator

He experienced an escalator for the first time.

playing together

We played together at a trampoline place.

sharing frozen yogurt

We had frozen yogurt together.

good conversation

We had time to ask questions, answer questions, and laugh together.

Special gift for Felix

And I was able to give him a backpack full of gifts and a Bible with his name on it.

There are no words to explain how special this day was. God had a better plan and the day was much better than we expected.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts."

- Isaiah 55:8-9