“Why are my child’s letters so impersonal?”
Communication between a sponsor and a child is an important part of the sponsorship experience. While it is always a joyous occasion to receive something from your sponsored child, it may be difficult at times to understand why there isn’t a greater connection. You may sometimes wonder, “Why are my child’s letters so impersonal?” or, “Why don’t they mention the gifts I send or answer my questions?”
Personal, cultural, and economic differences make every day interaction and communication difficult. The same is true when it comes to communication within sponsorship. The children that live in these developing countries sometimes have a hard time grasping the fact that their sponsor wants to know more about them, much less have a conversation with them! This is a totally foreign concept.
Culturally speaking, most countries are not nearly as open as the United States. In these situations, it takes the donor to develop a trustworthy relationship through ongoing correspondence before the child may feel comfortable enough to open up. For example, in Asian cultures, it is traditionally frowned upon to be too open or personal. The children that participate in sponsorship may have a hard time expressing gratitude, joy, and other emotions, especially in a letter. But they are continually encouraged by our staff to share about themselves, their families, and their faith.
While there are many difficulties and time involved to develop trust in a sponsorship relationship, it is worth it. Sponsors may never see the impact their commitment, words of encouragement, and prayers have on their child, but these are things that are highly treasured, and their impact is real, lasting, and genuine.
Sponsors that remain consistent through the difficulties of correspondence are investing in something beyond words or letters . . . they are touching a lonely heart and investing in the life of a child.