Last week CFCA sponsor Cheri Duchrow shared with us some of her thoughts about writing to her five sponsored friends. She answers the rest of our questions in this blog post.
You have already met some of your friends. How does meeting them face to face enhance your correspondence?
I have met two of the children I sponsor so far and will meet Florence in August.
Meeting them can take your relationship to the next level. It is like when you watch the news and see a story that takes place where you have actually been.
Francini, a child sponsored through CFCA in Costa Rica, reads a letter from her sponsor.
When you visit your child, not only do they have the affirmation that there is a real person behind the letters, but so do all of the other children. To touch and talk with a real live sponsor gives them all a gift.
One girl I sponsored had to travel on a bus for almost 24 hours one way with her mother just to meet me. Her teacher postponed a test for her whole class for three days at school so she could meet me.
Writing a letter is not even close to riding a bus one way for 24 hours. I met one of the mothers who had worked for 10 years, never taking a day of vacation until I came to meet her son.
It humbles you to see the faith and joy they have rising up out of their situations. No longer can you turn a blind eye to what really matters.
What have been the highlights of your correspondence?
Florence is one of my best letter writers. She shares the name of my mother, and that is a God story all in itself how I came to sponsor her.
But I feel she has the same spirit as my mother. At only 9 years old she wants to become a doctor so she can help others like all of the people who have helped her. She has shared scripture with me.
Two children I sponsor are being raised in a single-parent (mother only) home. I have shared with them that I raised my daughter by myself and understand what a single-parent home is like.
I have asked them to pray for me for specific situations in my life. The more often I write I am more likely to get a small gold nugget of new information and not just what they have done at Christmas or Easter!
How do you think your sponsorship experience would be if you did not write?
I met a girl who was sponsored for 13 years and never once received a letter from her sponsors. She prayed for her name to be called and each time she went home feeling the disappointment.
But she told me she prayed for her sponsors, loved them, wrote to them and was forever grateful for their support.
It makes me sad that her sponsor missed a full relationship with her. I donít want a glass half full. I want it all! Just as I want a full relationship with our Lord and He is the one who allowed these relationships to form.
In Matthew 25:40, ìThe King will reply, ëTruly I tell you whatever you did for the least of one of these brothers and sisters of mine you did for me.íî If I meet God through the least of these donít I want to know more about them so I can meet God fully and become the least myself?
Anything else you would like to share?
- Take a picture of you with their picture and send it. It is the next best thing to being there.
- I found a sudoku puzzle book with Spanish instructions so I can send individual puzzles with directions.
- If they like soccer the Internet will give you the names and images of the players of their countries. I have made soccer cards for them.
- Pick one place in your city and take your photo in the same place during each season of the year so they know what your climate is like.
- Hold a letter-writing party at your church and ask some of the younger kids there to draw or color a picture for your person. Even though I am older I like to pick up a crayon or two!
- I share the current scripture God has given to me during my Bible study times.
- Take a picture of a pumpkin and then the pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.
- Cut out the letters for their names and make them a decorated sign with their name.
I started out by thinking it would be a good thing for me to do and I could help change a small piece of the world when in fact, it was these young individuals who changed me and perhaps saved my life.