Letter writing is a precious exchange of stories, lives and words of encouragement. The simple act of sharing our thoughts and emotions through a letter has plenty of benefits for us and our sponsored children.
01 Apr, 2020
Letter writing has been a tool of expression between friends, loved ones and families for generations.
With new technology, it’s easier than ever to send messages of support and encouragement to people around the world but with the convenience of modern-day communication methods, it can be easy to forget its many benefits.
Letter writing is an integral part of our Child Sponsorship Program because we’ve seen the value it adds to the reader and the writer. Here are some of the many benefits of letter writing!
1. Letter writing gives us a break
Letter writing is an invitation to pause and enjoy a moment of rest during our busy day-to-day lives. It can take less than five minutes to write to a sponsored child but in this short amount of time, we gain a few minutes to slow down and enjoy a moment of rest.
As an activity outside of our regular routine, letter writing helps us take a mental break during the day by allowing us to look beyond our schedule and clear our cluttered minds. Slowing down for just a moment to exchange words of truth is a chance to love and remember the people around us.
Too often, we give the people around us our leftover energy and time, but taking a moment to write a letter helps us remember to invest in the people around us and across the globe.
And the best part? Not only does letter writing give us a mental timeout from a stressful or busy day, but it also helps our sponsored children enjoy a moment of hope and confidence too.
With every line of the letter they read, a sponsored child is reminded there is hope beyond poverty.
2. It's a time where we get to meditate on God's word
The experience of poverty is riddled with lies about identity and worth. Poverty tells a child they are hopeless, worthless and undervalued, so when a child living in extreme poverty receives a letter with joy and encouragement, the words on a page uplift their spirit and stir up Bible-based confidence.
But, it’s not just the sponsored child who benefits from this exchange of truth. Letter writing is a practical activity that helps us connect with God. As we share Bible verses with our sponsored children, we are also blessed by God’s truth. By thinking of words of encouragement to write to our sponsored child, we are reminded of God’s truth that applies to us too.
3. Provides a healthy way to process emotions
Discovering how to communicate through a letter is a lifelong skill that teaches us and children how to process life events and emotions in a healthy way. Whether it’s a fun fact or a personal story, letter writing teaches us how to convey our thoughts and emotions with others. This communication method allows us to articulate our thoughts, make sense of our lives and help others understand what we’re feeling. It’s a practical way to deepen our relationships and develop meaningful connections with people—what’s not to love?
4. Letter writing as a life archive
I keep a box full of cherished letters from birthdays, anniversaries and other significant milestones. When I read back over the letters I’ve received, each piece of paper is a time capsule that reminds me of the friendships and journeys over the years. In the same way, an email thread also shows a history of past emotions and encounters.
Sponsored children love to keep the letters they’ve received from you—some are framed in their family homes, others are collected in a folder full of cherished items. To children, your letters are a precious item that in the future, will remind them of the struggles they have overcome. As you also look back on the letters from your sponsored children, you’ll be amazed at the changes you’ve contributed to over the years!
Letter writing is a core component of child sponsorship with Compassion. More than we realise, letter writing deepens our relationship with others and encourages the children we sponsor. But the beauty of it lies in the blessings and benefits we also gain by writing to our sponsored children–here are 10 letter writing tips to get you started.
Words by Shona Yang
Photos by Ben Adams and Sean Sheridan
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