Will you consider sponsoring an older child?

I got a letter from 20 year old Shila in India today.  image

It wasn’t a profound letter.  It wasn’t even terribly interesting, to be honest. She basically just listed every event her church has had for the last quarter.  “On Dec 8th we celebrated Christmas, On 1st January we had celebrated the new years day, on 26th Jan we had celebrated republic day…”.   No descriptions of the festivities, just a listing of them.

But still, I stared at the letter, and marveled at the fact that this young woman in India wrote this thing to me on March 21st, and now I was holding it in my hand.

And I spent a long time studying her text.  I study Shila’s handwriting more than any of my other Compassion kids.  It’s so precise and round and pretty.

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I also got a letter from Compassion recently telling me that Shila would be graduating from the program this year and encouraging me to write to her even more in her remaining months.  I knew this would happen.  I specifically chose Shila because she was the oldest girl listed in India on Compassion’s site.  I’ve never gotten a picture from her other than the one listed in her profile, and she’s never shared anything life changing with me about her life.

But I can only hope that, when describing me, she has a different story.  I hope that the letters, and pictures, and scriptures, and stories I’ve sent to her have made a positive and lasting influence on her existence.

I did not know this when first sponsoring her, but I’ve since read that the maximum entry age into a Compassion Project is 11.  So every child above that age that you see available for sponsorship has been dropped by a previous sponsor.  Possibly many.  I don’t know Shila’s sponsorship past (although if you contact Compassion, they will give you a brief history on your child).  So I don’t know how many sponsors have dropped sponsorship of her, or how few letter’s she may have received from a less than committed sponsor as a younger child.

All I know is that at the age of 19, we became “Aunty and Uncle” to the girl without a smile.  The oldest girl in the program.  I hope our faithfulness to Shila has meant something to her and helped ground her for the hard life ahead of her still.  It’s an odd feeling knowing one day soon we wont’ be able to correspond with her anymore.  That we won’t know the end of her story.  But I’m thankful for the part we’ve been able to play in it.

Are you sponsoring a child yet through Compassion?  If you’ll really commit to letter writing, to the community of other sponsors online, and to the wealth of knowledge out there to make your sponsorship experience special – it can really change your life. 

It’s only $38 dollars a month.  What can it hurt?

  

-Jessica

Comments

  1. I LOVE my older child. I have wonderful friends and family that have helped me sponsor her. Her exit from the program is October 2012, and when she has completed, I plan on sponsoring another older child and asking for more help in sponsoring.
    My recent post The Mirror Doesn’t Lie

  2. I love knowing that we're offering love and support to someone who really needs it at the end of their Compassion journey.

  3. I love that you specifically chose an older child – I have done that too! I love the letters we get from our older children. My oldest is 21 – but I've had him for 11 years, so it will be sad when he finishes later this year.

    I think what i love most about the older kids is the opportunity to disciple them on a higher level.
    My recent post Letter Writing

  4. Wow 11 years, that will be yard. And I know what you mean, I feel like I can say so much more to my older girls – that I can go beyond sticker sheets and simple greetings and really share important things with them.

  5. I love this post! Thank you for advocating for the older children! I was so intimidated when we added our older boy, Johan from India, to our family. I wondered if we would be able to form a relationship. As I have shared recently, I have been blown away by this young man. I love his letters and I know that our letters to him are even more important as he makes his way from boy to man. It won't be long before he has a family of his own and I hope that some of what we share with him is able to help him grow in the Lord and in confidence of his abilities.

    I, too, love the interesting script in the letters from India. So pretty!!
    My recent post A Heads-Up for Bloggers

  6. I love sponsoring our older girls, I find I don't know what to say to our smallest little sponsor boy a lot of times. Lol.

  7. I have bestowed upon you the Versatile Blogger Award! Please stop by here to pick it up! http://www.myhusbandateallmyicecream.com/2011/05/
    My recent post New Blogging Contest!!

  8. Ooooh, well thank you so much. :D

  9. Jonathan B says:

    I haven't sponsored through Compassion, but I did sponsor two children through Partners International's Sponsor a Child program. http://www.partnersintl.org/sponsor/

    I sponsored a boy in India up through his graduation, and a girl in China for a couple of years until her program went to fully locally funded in China and thus left the SAC program.

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