By Steve Taylor, CFCA sponsor
In 2007 my wife, Jayne, and I began sponsoring Khain, then age 10. We enjoy a wonderful relationship through the letters we exchange on a regular basis.Jayne and I look forward to receiving the letters Ö even the one where Khain, age 14, gently questioned why I have not written for roughly 7 months, but she also offered an excuse for me, “You are probably very busy with work.”
I can honestly say I’ve never been so pleased about a reprimand. We loved that she looked forward to the letters, even enough to ask for them.
This gentle reprimand strengthened our relationship and made us think about Khain’s maturity and our interest in her future. We wanted to focus on her long-term future.
To match Khain’s maturity, Jayne and I transitioned our letters from general news to asking more about her goals and ambitions.
In addition to encouraging her to do well in school, we also determined we could help her with college or technical training costs after high school.
We decided the best way to communicate our offer was face to face during the 2012 CFCA mission awareness trip to the Philippines.
Now here’s the challenge. The day prior to visiting Khain and her family at their home, I was informed Khain had left home and dropped out of school for a month while only 14.
Fortunately, she returned home and is back in school. Now the long-term vision for college changes to ensuring she finishes high school.
The trip provided the opportunity to understand realities not described in the letters. We hope we never receive the letter stating she’s out of the program, unexpectedly.
We did receive a letter from Khain since returning from the trip, and it appears she is back on track and focused on school.
I asked Khain’s parents if they support her remaining in school versus having to go to work, and they said they do. Now Khain’s parents, Jayne and I will work together to encourage and keep her in school and reach the goal of a brighter future.
The encouragement we offered Khain was, “Determine your goals in your head, but put them in your heart … and then pursue your heart.
“We want you to know, your goals will also be in Ma’am Jayne’s and my heart. Now that we have met, I look forward to reading your letters, not as a sponsor but as a friend or even a grandfather.”
We hope and pray her dreams come true. We look forward to being there to find out.
Also as a result of the mission awareness trip, we are now sponsoring Khain’s brother, Anjo.