June 20, 2011

One Letter and the Chance of a Lifetime

I love to write!  Fun stuff.  Silly stuff.  Serious stuff.  Song lyrics I sing in the shower.  Crazy mind dumps that never make it past the wrinkled pages of some dusty journal. But my absolute favorite things to write are letters of encouragement to my Compassion kiddos!

A simple letter can help change the course of a child's life.

I listened intently as my sister-in-law Jill, a Compassion advocate, shared at our church some time ago about her family's relationship with one of their first sponsored boys from Haiti.  Throughout the seven years they sponsored Chirack, they wrote the minimum requested amount of three or four letters per year.

For the most part, Chirack's return letters didn't give them much detail about his personal life either. They conveyed a sense of duty... like a dreaded homework assignment more than a treasured opportunity to connect. Jill wondered if their letters really mattered that much to him, but she continued in her commitment to write.

During his early teens, Jill and her family sent a little extra gift in one of their letters to help Chirack go to a summer bible camp.  They really didn't give it a second thought.   Another letter completed and mailed; nothing special.

Then the response letter came, electric with excitement as he described that how he made a decision to put his faith in Jesus Christ.

After that Chirack's letters were different.  He opened up more, and shared about his life and dreams and how he was doing in school, and most importantly about the things he was learning about his walk with God.  Jill's letters changed, too.

So, just how important were those letters?  



January 12, 2010






Photo courtesy Compassion International





Photo courtesy Compassion International

Hundreds of thousands suffered death, injury and unbelievable trauma in the earthquake that devastated Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, on January 12, 2010.  Fifty-four Compassion assisted children were killed, including Chirack.  

Yet, one boy had the chance of a lifetime... the chance to meet One Man, Jesus, who became his best friend and savior before that day happened.  All because of the work of Compassion, coupled with caring project workers, a local church partner and a sponsor who kept a commitment to write.

Chirack's words echoed in my ears as Jill read an excerpt from his thank-you letter.  Her voice broke, and my heart ripped in two along with it.  Our congregation sat in stunned silence as the reality sunk in.  We listened to words penned by a boy no longer living on this earth, as he described the moment that changed his destiny forever.  A change we could grasp and celebrate because of the exchange of a few pieces of correspondence.

A letter… simple words on paper...  but with so much power in God's hands.

Your letters are very important.  
If you currently sponsor a child through Compassion, please write them today. Tell them how much God loves them and treasures them.   Encourage them just by letting them know they are special and you are thinking about them.  It may be the one letter that makes a life-changing difference.  Who knows?

Photo courtesy of Compassion International
Children living in extreme poverty battle horrible conditions and heinous lies that tell them they are not important... they're worthless they simply do not matter.   Imagine what it means to a child when their sponsor takes the time to ask about them, their family, their well-being, how they are doing in school, or share a favorite bible verse with them.  This simple act tells them that God thinks they are special because someone took time to care.


Need some help with ideas to write about?

OurCompassion is a great community where you can connect with other sponsors,  learn about letter writing tips, ask all kinds of questions, share ideas and grow in understanding your child's world and your role as a sponsor.

Here are some great reads to get your letter-writing juices flowing.
Blogging from the Boonies:  101 Letter Writing Topics

Compassion Family:  Another Round of Letters

Ava's Mom over at Child Sponsor Chat has this  especially unique idea you won't want to miss.

Write, write, write. . .
However you choose to do it, just write.  Use the power of your pen (or the on-line letter-writing feature) to encourage your child's heart and further the mission to release children from poverty in Jesus' name.


I love being a part of the bigger picture of what God is doing in the earth through the simple act of writing a letter.


~De

6 comments:

  1. Wow, De, what a story. I know the importance of writing letters, but stories like this confirm it all the more. How heartbreaking, yet incredibly exciting, is Jill's story. I rejoice in the fact that her little boy is now running through the fields of heaven. It is eye opening to see stories where Compassion sponsors really do make a difference in their children's lives. Thanks for sharing!
    Elizabeth
    windowsandbananas.blogspot.com

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  2. Awesome post, De!! I love your way with words!

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  3. De, thanks for sharing that story. We never know how much time we have on this Earth, so every second counts.

    At times, it might be easy for me to discount taking time from all that needs to get done to write a letter to one of my sponsored children. I try to keep in mind the significance of that letter to a child living in poverty. That puts me in the right frame of mind to make the right decision about the use of my time and the importance of letter-writing.

    Thanks for sharing the links on writing topics.

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  4. @Elizabeth - we don't often get the inside glimpse of all that God is doing through the letters we write. When I heard Chirack's story, it moved my heart... and those of several others ... to get involved with Compassion. As a result, there were 10 or 12 children sponsored. So, in that light, the letters written to him are still making a difference for other children. ~De

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  5. @Michelle - thanks for all your wonderful and informative blogs that help us learn and grow as sponsors. ~ De

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  6. @Jim - How true... our busy lives! That's one of the reasons I love to use the on-line letter writing feature through MyAccount at Compassion. Wonderful technology!

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