Child Sponsorship: How Does Letter Writing Make a Difference?

This weekend, Nazarene churches joined together to highlight Child Sponsorship Sunday, an opportunity for churches to invite families and individuals (or even small groups) to sponsor a child living in poverty through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries child sponsorship program. 



When a child is sponsored, they are connected to a church-led child development center where they receive holistic care that helps them grow spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally. But they aren’t the only ones impacted by sponsorship! In many places, child development centers also offer specific guidance and assistance for parents beyond the programs for children. During the pandemic, centers have been a crucial link to families in need in the community, making it possible for staff to provide resources and food staples.

Once you commit to supporting a child and their family through sponsorship, how can you know for sure that you’re making a difference? While you can rest assured that the funds you send monthly are providing holistic care for the child you sponsor, the letter-writing relationship you will have with your sponsored child is a simple yet profound way to be involved in a child’s life. 

When you write a letter to the child you sponsor, either through the mail or through your online account, that letter will be translated (if needed) and sent to the coordinators in the country where the child lives. Several times a year, you will receive various kinds of correspondence back from the child you sponsor. Sometimes that will be a card or a drawing, other times you’ll receive a letter full of stories and questions for you to answer or a newsletter from the child development center.

This pen-pal relationship is key to sponsored children knowing they are cared for by those who sponsor them. 


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Let’s take a look at three ways writing letters makes a difference:


1. Helps a Child Feel Seen and Heard 

It’s only natural that the better we know people, the more we can feel deeply for them and their needs. With each letter you receive, you’ll learn more about the story of the child you sponsor and his or her family. And with each letter you send, you have a chance to share your story (in age-appropriate ways, of course). The child you sponsor will appreciate knowing more about you, and will be thrilled to know that you truly care about their life.  

For example, one sponsored child in Ecuador was asked about the letters he receives. It’s very clear in his response what an impact his sponsors are making as they take care to write in a specific and personalized way: "There are several things that I like, for example the decoration they make, I also like that they tell me a little about them. I like to be asked questions. I feel connected because the people who write to me remember the things I tell them." 


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2. Brings Joy to Children and their Family

Nearly all children enjoy receiving mail; children who are part of child sponsorship are no different! Letters become a fun item to share with friends, classmates, and family. Many children store each letter carefully and save to reread later.

One child shared what she does with the letters she receives, saying, "Receiving a letter makes me very happy, it makes me feel that there are people thinking about me and that I have friends who love me, when a letter arrives I like to read it first in English and then in Spanish because that's how I'm learning. I read with my parents and then I keep it in a place of memories of mine." 

Another commented, “Receiving a letter from you, dear Sponsor, is a blessing for me and my family. It makes me very happy to receive a letter. The letters that you send me I keep in a very special place and I share them with my family." 



3. Broadens Horizons for Child and Sponsor

While the world has been made smaller by the advances in technology, there are still many divides between different countries and different cultures. If they are old enough, sponsored children may want to tell you about their home life, their country, their favorite foods, holiday traditions, and much more. As you reciprocate and share about your life, you can give children a window into your world just as they gave you a window into theirs. They may have many questions about where you live, what work you do, what the weather is like, and more. Anything you choose to share about your life will be read with curiosity and interest. 

You’ll also gain insight into their lives. Encourage them to share about their favorite games or foods. You can build a relationship as children of Christ together through your shared and different experiences.  

One child in Rwanda wrote, “Dear Sponsor, thank you for all you have done for me, because of your love and kindness I feel so much blessed and positive for my future.”

You and your sponsored child may also exchange prayer requests with each other. It will be an encouragement to know you are praying for each other’s needs, and it is a prime way that sponsorship a blessing to both sponsor and child.



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