May 21, 2015

Why Writing to your Compassion Child Matters

Caption taken from Compassion International's website
Sarah and I have been sponsoring a child with Compassion International for nearly as long as we've been married. In fact, shortly after we got married it was one of the first things we decided to do together. The way we chose our child was a bit random. Sarah always had the country of Bolivia on her heart, so when we saw a boy named Daniel from that country on Compassion's list of unsponsored children, we figured it was meant to be. We prayed about it briefly and ultimately decided Daniel was our guy.

As I mentioned, it felt a bit random. But then again, maybe it was anything but.

Truth be told, I've had a hard time consistently writing letters to Daniel. Despite the fact that Compassion sends a reminder email to do so about every 13 minutes and even created this nifty app that allows sponsors to craft a letter in no time at all, I still didn't write very often. I'm never quite sure what to say and usually just default to writing the same thing over and over again ("we pray for you every day", "we had lots of snow this winter", etc.).

According to Compassion's website there are 1.5 million children who have been sponsored through the organization. I don't doubt the impact $38 dollars a month can have on these kids' lives; but I still wasn't convinced it mattered who wrote the check. After all, does Daniel really care about the weather in Boston? Does it matter the money came from us?

Then about a week and a half ago, my perspective completely changed when we received a letter from Daniel. I now don't believe there is an ounce of randomness in the Compassion process. Let me explain.

The letter begin as his letters typically do. He mentioned that he enjoys going to school and helping his mother with chores around the house. Then he said something new -- something he had never said before. He told us that sometimes he gets sad because his dad isn't around much. Apparently his father works in the city and because his family lives in the country he goes long stretches of time without seeing him.

It's amazing how a nine year-old you've never met can bring you to tears.

Not only was this the first time Daniel had "opened up" to us in a letter, this was the first time he had mentioned this situation with his father. Although our situations certainly aren't identical, I do know a bit about growing up without a dad (something I've actually written about before on this blog).

Maybe anyone's $38 a month would do the same "good" for Daniel. But maybe what Compassion does is truly about more than just the money. Maybe our random "selection" of Daniel was anything but random. Maybe our being partnered together is something much more than just serendipity. Maybe it was because God actually does care about these seemingly minor details. That's the kind of God I choose to believe in.

So I'd encourage you to write to your sponsored children. I'd be willing to bet you have more to offer than you realize. I don't know what will come of this common "bond" we share, but I do know how to specifically pray for him now. Scratch that...maybe we now know how to pray for each other.

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