I think one of the biggest challenges of sponsoring a child is being mindful of them. Our family knew that we wanted to join our community when we were given the challenge to sponsor more kids in the country of Nicaragua than had ever been done before.That part was easy for us and a bit of a no brainer. Our running joke as a family with two boys was that if we ever wanted a girl, we could always adopt. I don’t know if we will ever decide to adopt a girl, but sponsoring a girl felt right.
Financially it was a sacrifice, but we knew that when we give to others it helps change our hearts for the better too. The amount is all about perspective. It might mean not going out to eat as often or spending our money a little tighter one week, but our 1st world problems seem so trivial with a healthy dose of perspective.
So the decision to sponsor a child was pretty easy but I found myself to be a slacker sponsor.
So here is why I have felt like a sub par sponsor.
I autopay the sponsored amount each month so I don’t really think about it.
I forget to write letters.
I get reminders to please write letters.
I remember to write letters at the wrong time, like while we are at the grocery store or at a sporting event.
I get another reminder.
I write letters and then forget to mail them because I don’t have stamps.
I bought gifts for our sponsor child and then forgot to mail them. I later found out that we are not supposed to mail items bigger than what fits in a large envelope because unfortunately a lot of times the children never get them due to theft at some point along the way during delivery.
It’s so lame that a simple and easy task of writing letters seemed so challenging to me ….and if I’m honest, it just wasn’t as much of a priority because I wasn’t really thinking of our Compassion sponsor child as someone who would really love to hear from us…..who was waiting to hear from us……someone who might be feeling the opposite effect because other kids got letters from their sponsors more frequently and she didn’t.
I found out about the Compassion Experience and I knew that it would be a great reminder for the boys and I to be mindful of our sponsor child. We drove 30 minutes to the location and it was worth it.
So what is the Compassion Experience?
An immersive exhibit that allows you to experience other cultures, the realities of global poverty, and how you can change the life of a child living half a world away.
It’s free and family-friendly.
You can register to attend an event online for a scheduled time or show up without a reservation but you might have to wait a little longer in line.
The experience starts with headphones and a cellphone that prompts you as you enter each room. You hear a narration by a child, you see a staged area created to look like the living conditions where they are from. You have the option to hear about two different experiences of children who are from two different countries. You can go through one or both.
It really helps you understand how helping one person who is at risk because of poverty can help change a family and a community.
At the end of The Compassion Experience you will see images of children who would still love to be sponsored. When you sponsor a child, that is the child you get. You might not be able to help them all but helping one makes a huge difference to that one.
After going through the Compassion Experience we eventually worked on letters again…..and then set them in a pile and forgot to mail them …again. I know… so lame. I told you that I was a sub par sponsor with great intentions but nobody’s life is made better by good intentions of what you might have done.
So when the The Compassion Experience was set up in the parking lot of the Crossroads Florence campus, I knew I needed another reminder. It was also a good excuse to have my husband check it out for the 1st time and give my kids and myself another reminder of perspective.
We had the option to once again experience two other Compassion kids’ stories that we had not heard before.
Once again we were reminded of what life for a sponsor kid was like and how a sponsorship really helped them in their future.
One of the stories was about a child from the Dominican Republic which was really interesting for my boys who just visited the DR for the 1st time over the summer.
Having access to a good meal, encouragement and hope can go a long way.
After going through three different story experiences with the Compassion Experience, I finally sent that letter. I vowed that day to send it that evening and I did. The Compassion Experience made me want to be a better sponsor, I just took a little longer than most to get there. I took advantage of the online option that made it easy to upload images and type a letter. That option helped take out the extra excuses and steps.
Need a healthy dose of perspective?
You can learn more about The Compassion Experience and find a location coming to a city near you here.
You can find out more about sponsoring a child with Compassion here.