Taken from the Fall 2006 Compassion Magazine, entitled "Your Letters - Simple Treasures" written by Briton Kamugisha and Tania Mendes.
"Your letters are beacons of light in your child's dark circumstances of poverty. To show the immense importance of each letter you send, two sponsosred children share their experiences.
"Coming of Age in Brazil...
"Ariane lives in Vista Alegre, Brazil, where only 25% of children complete elementary school. Ariane could have easily been among these children. But she is in secondary school and has hope for her future, a hope she attributes to her sponsors' encouraging letters.
"She says, 'The letters from my sponsors mean that they care for me and remember me. In 2001 my parents were very sick...so I wrote to [my sponsors] telling them about this problem and they answered me telling me that God was in control and that I should remember that God can do everything. My sponsors comforted me with their words and prayers.'
"Ariane treasures each letter from her sponsors and carefully saves each one. 'I like to reread [my letters]. One time per year we have an exhibition here in the project and I have exhibited my letters, cards, and photos with a lot of happiness to share about my sponsor,' she says.
"Through their letters Ariane's sponsors have helped her thrive in her harsh environment. Smiling, she says, 'I think it is very good to receive a letter from a sponsor because we [sponsored children] feel important an valued like a person. Can you imagine receiving a letter from the other side of the planet, from a person you don't know personally who really cares for you? Can you? It's very, very important!
"'I would like to say that it is very important to feel their love. It is so good to be loved. We can exchange prayer requests and this keeps us together. When a child receives a compliment from his sponsor it is forever in his mind and heart. That is why a simple letter is so important to us sponsored children.'
"...But Waiting in Rwanda
"Maritete, a Rwandan orphan, is waiting for her first letter but sees her sponsors as her lifeline to a better future. Her tremendous faith and prayers keep her going from day to day, despite her difficult circumstances. She is eager to build a relationship with her sponsors, so she prays for a letter.
"She says, 'I write to them all the time and I am not sure whether my letters reach them. And if they reach them I feel surprised that they don't reply, but I wait. I know God is on my side and I will never be defeated. I know the God I serve will one day change their hearts and light will shine upon me as I receive the first letter from them.'
"Even though Maritete is waiting, this little girl believes in God's perfect timing. She says, 'I am praying for [my sponsors] because nothing happens without the will of God and nothing happens out of God's time. Maybe the time for them to write to me is not yet. I will be patient and wait; they will reply to me.'
Maritete has not received a letter from her sponsors, but their loving support is helping shape her spirit. Compassion President Wess Stafford explains, 'The spirit of a little child is a lot like wet cement. When a child is young, it takes little effort to make an impression that can last a lifetime.' Your letters, every short note, Bible verse or card, leave a wonderful, lasting impression on a child's heart."
I hope you will take the time today to write to your sponsored child or correspondent child. You don't have to wait for a response from your child to write a new letter, I write my girls every month.
If you are a sponsor and for whatever reason do not want to write to your child or for whatever reason cannot, please call Compassion and let them find a correspondent partner for your child so he/she can reap the benefits of creating this lasting relationship.