Apr 21 2011

Sponsor provides tips on how to write letters, part 1

CFCA sponsor Cheri Duchrow graciously shared with us some of her thoughts about writing to her five sponsored friends. She has a fascinating story, or letter-writing journey, to recount.

How difficult was it to write the first letter?

The first letter is always the easiest because you can fill it with introductory types of information.

It used to be that after the first few letters it was difficult to find new things to say. I thought I always had to have something fun and new or wait and send a photo.

But just letting them know you are thinking about them, they are beautiful creations that God loves and you are praying for them is enough.

Like so many things in my life I needed to change my view and attitude and let go of the fear. I find now that I will share ordinary things.

For instance, many places may not have grass like we do so I take a picture of my feet in the grass and then a picture of the lawn mower telling them it is not my favorite job to mow grass, but I like it better than shoveling snow. In the winter they get pictures of snow.

Then I might ask them what are some jobs that they don’t like to do and we will pray for acceptance. I know how much I long to receive one of their letters.

How often do you correspond?

I try to write the children I sponsor every month but on average I would say it is about every 6-8 weeks. To help keep track of what I have written and the questions we have shared over the years I have a little system that works.

I also find that putting my questions for them at the end of the letter helps me to get an answer more often as it is not buried in the letter.

You mentioned (see Cheri’s previous blog post) that it took a while after sponsoring before you started to write. What got you going?

Sadly I was not the best letter writer for the first two years that I sponsored children.

I would get their letter and enjoy it, think about writing, but would get busy and more time would pass. I would think I needed to send a photo each time and another month would pass.

Months turned into two years. Then I remember the day I received one of my child’s report cards and it indicated that she had failed fifth grade.

I felt in a way responsible because it was hard enough for her to live in a world of poverty and I had done little to encourage her and stand up for her.

The next year I wrote each of my children three or four letters and the rest is history. I am happy to say no more failed report cards.

As I look at that now I am not proud of the way I treated the special relationship God had blessed me with.

As usual God quietly or sometimes very boldly did His work and kept presenting me with articles or people who keep outlining the importance of building a relationship.

The relationship goes beyond charity and allows you to meet Jesus in the other person, which results in making an impact and changing lives. You do this in relationships and becoming family.

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