Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Letter Writing Get-Togethers

Last month, Yvonne shared with us how she encourages other sponsors by holding regular letter writing nights.

I've had the opportunity to do this myself with a group of sponsors in my church and it's been hugely successful.  We met in January for the first time and since all attendees were new sponsors, there were many questions about what to write, how often to write and the letter writing process in general.

We just met again this past weekend, and I was pleasantly surprised that a couple who does not even attend our church came. In fact, they don't sponsor a child through Compassion, but through another organization. They heard about the event and came for encouragement.

With only two letter writing get-togethers under my belt, I can see several significant reasons for continuing this practice.

1. Build community ~ Whether this group of sponsors is within your church, your family or your circle of friends, as you meet regularly you will build community with other believers. God calls us into these types of situations and meeting with other sponsors is a great way to commune with other believers.

2. Accountability ~ When you go to a letter writing event, chances are good you will actually get a letter written. How often do we intend to write a letter only to find ourselves out of energy at the end of the day. The actual writing of the letter gets put off until the next day (or the next, or the next....)

3. Encourage one another ~ There will be weeks, even months when you experience a personal letter drought - not hearing from your sponsored child for a while. When you attend a letter writing event with other sponsors, you can rejoice in the letters they have received. Other times we may wonder if our small contribution is making any difference in the lives of the children we sponsor. By meeting with other sponsors and sharing stories, you will realize that you are indeed making a difference.

4. Share ideas and resources ~ There is not a single one of us that has thought of every great idea out there. It's fun and refreshing to share ideas with each other, as well as resources. Next time you see something you think would be fun to send to your sponsored child, pick up a couple extra and share them with your friends who also sponsor kids.

5. Pray ~ This is a great opportunity and time to gather with other believers and pray for the needs and requests of your sponsored children. Pray for their salvation. Pray for their health. Pray for their safety. Pray for their families. The list goes on and on. You can also pray for your church, family, group of friends - whatever group you are involved in. Pray that God will raise up more and more sponsors so you can band together in the work God is doing through Compassion.

6. Share about the ministry of Compassion ~ Many people sign up to sponsor a child without fulling understanding the scope and nature of Compassion's ministry. When you have a group of sponsors together, you have a captive audience that will welcome information about Compassion.

Here are a couple tips to consider.....

1. Have extra child packets ~ If you are an advocate, have extra child packets on hand each time you meet. When we announce this event at our church, we invite anyone who sponsors a child (with any organization) as well as anyone who is simply interested in learning more about sponsorship or children living in poverty. I have had two new children sponsored at these events (one each month). At the very least, your group can pray for the children you have packets for.

2. Snack ~ I got this tip from Yvonne and love it. Have something for your participants to nibble on. It doesn't have to be fancy, but it's a thoughtful gesture. I made cookies the first month and took a bag of M&Ms the second month.

3. Provide letter writing materials and extra goodies to send ~ I provide pretty paper, a general theme and something extra for the sponsors to send to their kids. You can help sponsors learn how to think ahead and send timely messages to their kids. This past weekend I provided materials with an Easter theme. I also had copies of letters I've sent over the past year so others could see what kind of things I write about.

4. Don't get discouraged if only one person shows up ~ Just as Compassion's motto of "one child matters", so does one sponsor. You can get all of the benefits mentioned above regardless of the size of the group!

So what are you waiting for? Organize a letter writing get-together today!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...