Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Gift of Time

Recently, I have been putting a lot of thought into the two main reason that I hear when it comes to sponsors not writing to their Compassion International children. One is that people do not know what to write about and the other is a lack of time.  Yesterday, I compiled a list of many, many topics for letters for your sponsored child.  Today, I am going to focus on the aspect of time.

Last Sunday evening, I picked up a little booklet that I was given called Live To Make a Difference – An Inspiring Call To Action by Max Lucado.  While the booklet is jammed packed with inspiration, one passage in particular jumped out at me.

There are many reasons to help people in need.  But, for the Christian, none is higher than this: when we love those in need, we are loving Jesus.  It is a mystery beyond science, a truth beyond statistics. But it is a message made crystal clear: when we love them, we love him.

Jesus will recount, one by one, all the acts of kindness.  Every deed done to improve the lot of another person,  Even the small ones. In fact, they all seem small.  Giving water. Offering food. Sharing clothing.  The works of mercy are simple deeds. And yet, in those simple deeds, we serve Jesus.  Astounding, this truth: we serve Christ by serving needy people.”

No, this isn’t a new concept for me and it likely isn’t for you either.  How many of us have memorized the scripture that goes, “The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' “ ?(Matthew 25:40)

But, let’s apply this to writing letters to our sponsored children, shall we?

I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling Mom of very rambunctious girls.  I know busy. Some days I realize that, an hour after the idea first occurred to me, I still haven’t eaten something. Three in the afternoon can sneak up on me and I still have yoga pants on instead of my day clothes.  Yet, throughout those busy days, in most cases I found at least 20 minutes to hop online and check emails, read blogs, update my status, etc.

Twenty minutes is certainly enough time for me to print off a sheet of Compassion stationary (found here or here or here) and write a few paragraphs.  If I log on to my account on the Compassion website and click the Contact Your Child link on the left, I can easily whip off an email to my child in five minutes or less.  So, while we are all busy, I really believe that all of us can spare the time that it takes to send a letter to our sponsored children.

So, my challenge to all of you is this:  Please, commit to setting aside a little bit of time at least once a month to write to your sponsored child.

Your letters are so very important to those children. I have heard, time and time again, what a difference a few words of love and encouragement can make to children who grow up in the hopelessness of poverty.  I plan to share a few of these stories soon!

If you struggle with remembering to write monthly, choose a day each month and write it on your calendar.  Join the Compassion Facebook Page and look for their reminders about the monthly Virtual Letter Writing Party that takes place in the second Friday of each month. Follow Blogging from the Boonies on Facebook or Twitter (look for buttons along my sidebar) and I will remind you!

Your letters are important and you DO have time to write. As the book excerpt above said, Jesus will recount, one by one, all of the acts of kindness.  I don’t think any of us want to stand before Him and tell him we didn’t send love and encouragement to our sponsored children because we needed to watch American Idol or Glee, that we needed to catch up on Tweets or blogs.

Just twenty minutes a month….  Surely you can spare that!

How do you make time to write to your sponsored children?  Do you have any specific ways to remember to write?  Please share!



faithlikemustard said...

When I first became a sponsor, I thought, "Why the virtual letter-writing party? I'll be writing way more than once a month." Then reality hit and I've found the reminders from Compassion to be helpful. For some reason, it's just worked out that I usually write around the time of the letter-writing party even if not on purpose. Another great thing is if I have a specific scripture or short something-or-another to share but don't have time to whip out my letter-writing supplies, I just send a short e-mail. I had to let go of the perfectionism that was saying, "You need to send goodies and cute stationary every time!" and just focus on getting a letter in the mail!

Judy said...

I agree with faithlikemustard that the email feature is is awesome. I completely thought I would NEVER use it, but as I've started writing more than once a month, I find it's easier to send the cute stationary once a month and then send off an email once a month. It makes it less stressful to write multiple times a month. And since I sprained my wrist 2 months ago, all I've been doing are the emails (and they've increased in number because of the non-goodie-sending guilt.) I also put letter writing "dates" on my calendar so I don't forget. :)

Michelle ~ Blogging from the Boonies said...

I have been using the email option for sending quick replies to letters we recieve! That way, I am sure to answer any questions!
I heard from Kees Boer that our emails are printed onto fun and colorful stationary the the country Field Office!

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to write too often? Ever since I was told the importance of letter writing, I've been writing a quick note or email whenever I think of one of my kiddos, but that adds up to a lot of little notes in a month.

Michelle ~ Blogging from the Boonies said...

I think that is a difficult question, with different factors that go into play. The age of the child and frequency of Mail Day at the project need to be considered. For a young child who only receives mail once a month, getting more than a few letters may be overwhelming. For an older child that receives mail 2-4 times a month, it may be fine.
So, I think it could be possible to write too often, but it depends on the above factors.

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