Have you ever met someone and thought you had nothing in common with him or her? Maybe you were different ages, had different interests, or were from different places. Have you ever chatted with someone like this, only to discover you have more in common than you thought?
We’ve all had experiences like this. Sometimes all it takes to bond with a person who seems different from you is sharing your story with him or her.
And if sharing your story can help you bond with a stranger, it can help you bond with your sponsored child, too!
Talking about your own life story can seem unnatural or even self-centered. But it’s actually a great way to help your sponsored child see you as a real person. Sharing your story as you write letters back and forth can help you find things in common and make you more relatable.
Here are a few guidelines for sharing your story:
• Make your letter uplifting. This doesn’t mean you can’t mention personal prayer requests or lessons you’ve learned from challenging times in your life, but be sure to end on a happy note.
• Avoid talking too much about your material possessions as your sponsored child likely has very little.
• Try not to discuss topics an impoverished child won’t understand. For example, telling a boy from the slums of India about a trampoline park won’t work because he doesn’t know what that is!
• Avoid slang and clichés that will be difficult to translate.
• Don’t forget to ask your child about his story, as well! But don’t be discouraged if he doesn’t respond right away or in as much detail as you were expecting. Some cultures have different letter-writing habits, and letters can take a long time to travel between countries.
Sharing your story doesn’t have to be intimidating. Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to bond with your sponsored child even more. And if you’ve never written a letter to your sponsored child before, you can learn how with our online guide.
If you’ve had a good experience writing to your sponsored child, tell us about it on our Facebook page! We always love hearing about invested sponsors. Thank you for sponsoring and for your commitment to change the world and be the one to help a child in need.