Writing a Letter to your Sponsored Child: How to get started
Letter writing is not only one of the most popular reasons people love to sponsor, it is also one of the most important aspects of the sponsor-child relationship. Just like in any relationship, communication matters. The child you sponsor longs to have a relationship with you. Building a relationship between a sponsor and their child is the heart of this ministry. The best way to achieve that is through letter writing.
With this new blog series, you will learn about the letter writing process and the best way to write a letter. For many sponsors, deciding what to write can be difficult. If you are having trouble getting started, or staying motivated to write regularly, here are some letter writing ideas and prompts you can use.
It doesn’t have to take up time.
Your letters don’t have to be long. In fact, we suggest keeping your letters to one page. Of course, you are welcome to write longer letters, but don’t let this burden you. Your encouragement and words mean the world to your sponsored child no matter what length you write! It’s a short investment of your time that your child will never forget.
Write about topics your sponsored child can relate to.
Remember, our cultural is not the norm for every country. What may seem okay to talk about with our friends and family may be different to a child in another country. There are ways to talk to your sponsored child that can be relatable to them. Here are some ideas:
- Talk about your family. Share who is part of your family and what you enjoy doing together. Share funny stories about the family pet or favorite memories. Be sure to include photos! This will create a personal bond and will allow them to put a face to your name.
- Talk about your favorite pastimes. Do you like to read? Do you enjoy playing a sport? Talk about the hobbies that you enjoy.
- Talk about your work or education. Especially with the older children, they want to know what job you have or how school is going. If you are a nurse and your child wants to be a nurse then this could be a great way to connect.
- Talk about your relationship with Jesus Christ. Share prayer requests and ask how you can pray for them. Share Bible verses that have encouraged you and about your faith journey. This is very important to help shape your child’s journey as well.
- Talk about where you live. Give a brief description of where you live.
After you tell your sponsored child a little about you, ask them some questions.
This will tell your sponsored child that you care about them and want to get to know them. Questions can include:
- Ask about their friends and family. What are their names and what do they like to do together for fun?
- Ask about the weather. What is the weather like where they live?
- Ask about school. What is your child’s favorite subject? Do they have any tests coming up? Finding out how their education is going can be a great way to help encourage them.
- Ask about church. What is your favorite Bible verse? What is your favorite story in the Bible?
It is important to remember there are a few things that might make your sponsored child feel uncomfortable and these topics should be avoided. These include:
- Talking about your material possessions. For example, the size of your house, how many cars you own, etc. This can make your sponsored child feel jealous and will accentuate the differences between the two of you.
- Talk about visiting the United States.
- Using any modern slang, or acronyms they may have never heard of (for example, LOL).
- Asking what they would want as a gift from you. We will talk more in depth about this in another post.
There are other things you can add with your letter instead of sending a gift.
Remember, the letter you send will be sent in an envelope. Should you wish to send something, you may send something small and flat that can fit in the envelope with the letter. This can include a sheet of stickers, a bookmark, a musical card, a coloring page, artwork from your children, etc.
We hope these ideas and prompts help you get started writing a letter to your sponsored child! Keep checking back for this series to learn more about the letter writing process.