When a Child Doesn’t Receive Letters
On the previous page, I shared about the positive impact that letters have on a sponsored child, but there is also a negative impact when a child does not receive letters. While the children benefit in a big way from being sponsored, they feel so rejected and unloved when they don’t receive letters from their sponsors. Imagine if you were a child in a family where your parents fed you, clothed you, and provided for all your physical needs, but they never developed a relationship with you… they wouldn’t spend time with you, talk with you, or share their heart with you. What if you didn’t feel like they listened to you to hear your thoughts and ideas, and you didn’t feel like they ever heard your heart…
Would you feel loved and valued?
It’s the same with a sponsored child. Many of my sponsored kids have written to me to say how grateful they are for the letters that I write to them, and that they feel so special. But they also have written to say how sad the other children in their projects are who do not hear from their sponsors… and they say that many of them are sad. A letter that I received from Lidia poignantly described this…
This sweetie is Aracely, one of the many children at my Yolani’s project in Honduras who has never received even a single letter from her sponsor, though she has been in the program for quite a number of years now. She came to me very downcast, and asked if I knew her sponsor. I cannot forget her eyes, and my heart hurts for her. She wanted to know if I could please tell her sponsor that she wanted to receive a letter. Her sponsors are missing out on a treasure of a relationship with a very precious girl. I had to coax this smile from her, taking several photos before this hint of one appeared. Her eyes still were sad though, and she was speaking volumes to me. Her eyes speak for all the sad children waiting to hear from their sponsors.
It was distressing to learn that only 15% of the children in this project have ever received a letter from their sponsor. Seriously… they WANT to hear from their sponsors! “You’ve got mail!” are the words that these children long to hear, for in their minds, it’s synonymous with being told, “You love me.” Here is another photo of Aracely that I took after promising her that I would arrange to send some photos of her to her sponsors, and let them know that she would love to hear from them. Hope is in her eyes, and I pray that she will not be disappointed.
When I visited Daniela’s project in another part of Honduras, I was very impressed with my teenaged translator, Nathan. He is fluent in English, having been blessed to attend a bilingual school. He has grown up in Compassion’s program, and is a wonderful testimony to the program’s work. I asked Nathan if his sponsor writes to him, but unfortunately, he does not. All I can say is that his sponsor is really missing out, and told him so. I also told him that I was so proud of him, and that his sponsors would be too if they knew him.
When I started sponsoring Dora, I thoroughly enjoyed writing to her, but was rather sporadic in sending letters… it was somewhat of a feast or famine approach. When I thought of it, I wrote lots, but then forgot for long periods of time. But when I understood how important my letters were to my child, I determined right then and there that the kids I sponsored would not be the ones left wondering if they were loved or valuable! Did you ever go to camp as a child? Remember how wonderful it was to receive a letter? Now imagine your child in a roomful of kids, waiting and hoping that his name will finally be called to receive a letter… the joy over receiving a letter, and the disappointment when left empty-handed. I’m making sure that my sponsored children are among the happiest ones!