Practical ideas for writing letters to your sponsor child
Do you sponsor a child but feel lost and confused about how to write them? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! These feelings do not make you a bad sponsor. Writing to your sponsor child shouldn’t feel like a burden, so we’re here to provide great tips on how to write an encouraging letter to your child.
Writing to your sponsor child has many benefits for you, and them. Letter writing makes you an active participant in your sponsor child’s life and deepens your relationship. In many countries where Tearfund’s partner Compassion serves, people do not receive letters very often. When a sponsor child receives a letter, it is highly celebrated and often the entire village or community will want to know what it says.
Two sponsored children reading their letters to each other.
A helpful place to start your letter is to use the GREAT acronym as a basic structure:
G - Greetings
R - Remember something your sponsored child has said and build on it
E - Explain something about yourself or your world
A - Ask your sponsored child a question
T - Toodle loo! Say your goodbyes. This is a great place to share a bible verse and a word of encouragement.
Now you’ve got your basic structure, here are some practical questions to help you write a letter to your sponsor child.
A great way to connect with your sponsored child is to ask them what sport they play.
Ask about their childhood:
- How did you get your name? What does it mean?
- Who is/was your favourite teacher?
- *Are you a Christian, or do you have another faith?
- Did you grow up in church?
- If you are a Christian, how did you come to know Jesus?
- What was/is your favourite part of school?
Ask about their daily life:
- What does your typical day look like?
- What are you learning right now?
- What is your biggest challenge at the moment?
- Who understands you more than anyone else?
Receiving a letter from a sponsor is a very exciting time, one that is usually shared with the whole family.
Ask about their family:
- What are your closest family members like?
- What happens when your extended family gets together?
- How has God been faithful to your family?
- Who else in your family knows Jesus? How did they come to know him?
- What’s your favourite thing about your family?
Ask about their spiritual life:
- How has God recently answered your prayers?
- How has God comforted you in hard times?
- Why do you love God?
- How did you become involved in your local church?
Asking a child about their local church can spark great conversation.
Ask about their local church:
- What do you like about your local church?
- What role do you play in your local church?
- Who is your best friend at church, and how did you become friends?
- Why is your local church important to you?
Your sponsored child probably has a different diet to you. Ask them about what they eat, how they cook and what their favourite meal is at home.
Ask about food:
- What is your favourite meal, and how would you describe it?
- Who taught you to cook or who cooks for you now?
- Does your family have any food-related traditions?
Ask about current events:
- What’s something significant occurring in your town or region right now?
- How do you overcome anxiety when facing a worrisome event?
- What news has recently made you happy?
- How has a recent event impacted your faith?
It’s important to encourage your sponsor child. As a sponsor, ask yourself questions such as:
- What is your prayer for your sponsor child?
- Why does this child matter to you?
- What do you want your sponsor child to remember when facing discouragement?
- What do you appreciate about this child? (Comment on a recent letter, the child’s prayers for you, artwork in a letter, smile in the photo, or something else)
- How has being a Compassion sponsor changed you?
During Covid there were a lot of challenges, but your letters stil got delivered.
How can you write to your sponsor child if they are too young to write?
Writing to your sponsor child’s family or caregiver is an option. You can connect with their family and share your excitement about their growth and development. It’s also a great idea to encourage the caregiver that they’re doing an amazing job at raising their child or asking the caregiver specific questions about themselves. Ending the letter in an encouragement, bible verse, or asking how to pray for them specifically, is a way to build that connection between your family and your sponsored child’s family.
*If your child doesn’t profess to be a Christian, ask them more about their faith or beliefs if they have them, and share about yours.
We hope this has given you some practical tips and ideas for writing to your sponsored child! If you’d like to write a letter click below.
WRITE TO YOUR CHILD