May 24, 2010

Be a Compassion Correspondence sponsor

As I blogged earlier, I was in El Salvador two weeks ago with Compassion International. It was inspiring to see how the Compassion program works to get kids out of poverty. They give them medical, nutritional and educational assistance; they teach them valuable skills they can take into the marketplace.  And they teach them how valuable they are, and how much God loves them. There's nothing blasé or self-satisfied about a church in a poor community.  They don't have the luxuries to buffer them from the truth: that we are all dependent upon God.   And they humbled me with their faith and love for God.

But it was heartbreaking to hear that some sponsored kids never get letters from their sponsors.  In fact, our new friend Alejandro told us he was sponsored for ten years and NEVER got one letter from his sponsor. He spoke about it a few times, and he always choked up. All those years the mail came, and his friends got letters. As a child he wondered what was wrong with him?

Well, there's a happy ending: Alejandro excelled scholastically and spiritually, and got accepted into Compassion's Leadership Development Program. Now a new sponsor is paying to put Alejandro through college! (I pray that sponsor writes him.) Who knows why sponsors don't write.  Maybe they don't think the child is interested. Or maybe they run out of things to talk about.  Maybe the kids don't write back, so they stop writing. Or maybe they don't feel comfortable talking about spiritual matters. In any event, many sponsored children don't get letters.

Well, there are many people can't afford the $38 a month. But they can write.

So here's a solution!

You can be a Correspondence Sponsor, and write to a child who doesn't get letters. They ask that you write three letters a year.

Call the Compassion International Call Center.  800-336-7676. Tell them you want to participate in the Correspondence Sponsorship program, to write to a child who doesn't get letters. Tell them that Susan Isaacs sent you. If they ask, "who the heck is she?" Tell them I'm speaker #111964.

Thanks for considering this.  I saw first-hand how much those letters meant to the kids.  I've sponsor a girl in Kenya for five years. Of course it's great to assist her financially; and how that I've seen the compassion program at work, I realize how much she needed our help.  But the letters I get back are a blessing to me. It's wonderful to see her grow and develop.

If the idea interests you, I know you will love doing it!


Taking Heart said...

Thanks to you and others who put your heads together to think this correspondant program up. I am very excited to call and hopefully be linked with three children... for myself, my 9y/o Jonah, and 12 y/o Christian to write to. I look forward to also financially sponsoring a Comassion child... with other possibilities that may come along.

My heart would have broken to hear from the teen who had received not one letter. Makes me want to write him ten right now.

Meredith said...

I love this idea thanks for sharing susan!! I didn't know you could do this, so I'm going to sign up!

Tyler McCabe said...

Done! --What a great idea!

Michelle ~ Blogging from the Boonies said...

Instead of 3 letters a year, we aim to send 2 a month! We now have 6 Compassion children and have pledged to write a minimum of 2 snail mail letters per month plus we also email replies to letters we receive.
Also, I believe that Compassion asks that you be a financial sponsor to at least one child before becoming a Correspondent.
It is such a gift to be involved in this ministry!

Kees Boer said...

I'm glad you're sharing this. I think that many sponsors don't know the importance of writing letters. They see the sponsorship first of all as a financial commitment. The child however sees the sponsorship first and foremost as a relationship. Your letters mean so much to these children.

In order for a child to get a correspondent, the sponsor needs to request this. However many sponsors don't know that this is even an option to request it. So, it's important to tell the sponsors about it, if you meet a sponsor, who doesn't write. Of course, maybe you can encourage them to write, but if they don't want this, then encourage them to call the 1-800-336-7676 number and to request a correspondent for their child. It will make such a different to that child. I've seen children cry when they don't get letters. It's the biggest question that always comes up when visiting centers. But about 30% of the children don't get letters. And the average child gets about 1 letter/year.

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