When I asked if it was okay to give the tiny gift I brought to my sponsored child while the other kids were still around, our Zimbabwe Country Director replied, "Oh it's okay, all the kids know you're her American Mama."
This was the first time I was meeting my sweet sponsored child and I'm not going to lie to you, I had sent her a total of one letter in the year I had been sponsoring her (and I work for VisionTrust for goodness sakes). I felt under-qualified for the title of Mama in any context; I barely knew her and hadn't given her the opportunity to know me. I realized how many people were in the same boat as me when I watched kids at our Learning Center be called up one by one to claim a letter from their sponsor. So many of the kids in the crowd were left without.
A week after Zimbabwe I led a team to the Dominican Republic. Right when we entered our transitional home, each girl tried to find their sponsor or ask (if they weren't there) if you knew them. As we toured their rooms it was impossible not to notice the letters and pictures of sponsors taped lovingly next to bunk beds. The girls would point to the pictures and tell you the name of each person and even animal present. They wanted to know everything they could about their "American Family."
If these trips taught me anything, it's that as a sponsor I get the opportunity to love on my dear girl from an ocean away, to encourage her, to tell her she is special and Jesus loves her...and I hadn't taken advantage of it.
I promised myself I would be better at writing, and I've improved, but only minutely. (Let's be real, I've been meaning to write this blog post since October.) It's not always easy to take the time, but I promise you, there is a kid on the other side of the world that wants to know you and needs your encouragement.
So, here's to writing more consistently, who's with me?
PS- A really easy way I've found to write is to email my letter and attached pictures to