Monday, February 17, 2014

Guest Post ~ Hannah Hinojosa

Today we get to hear from Hannah Hinojosa about letter writing. Hannah is a wife, mom (one son with a baby on the way), college math professor and long time Compassion sponsor (almost 15 years!). Hannah recently joined the advocate network and blogs regularly about her Compassion sponsorship experience at Because of Shamin.

Why do I write to my Compassion kids? This is a question that I like to revisit each year to evaluate my motives and to reconsider my vision for writing to our kids!

It is so easy to write letters to my kids for selfish reasons—for the sweet comments, for the cute drawings, for the good news of hearing that a child has received Christ or that he or she has improved in school, to feel important and that I am making a difference in a person’s life. These aren’t bad things and are frequently the bonuses of corresponding with Compassion kids!

But what happens when I have a kid who writes shorts, impersonal letters? When I hear the news that a sponsored child has left Compassion’s program to move in with her boyfriend? What happens when a child we have sponsored for over 7 years graduates and I never learned anything about her personal life, her hopes and dreams, whether or not she has received Christ and what she will do with her future? Will I be content? Will I love these children as much as the others? Will I continue to be an advocate via prayer for that child who left? These situations are always wonderful checks to my attitude and purpose behind writing. 

If I wrote to receive rewards, I would give up…some Compassion children are easy to get to know, but I have not found that to be the norm. But I believe that writing to our Compassion children is one way to live out our walk of faith on earth. 1 John 4:19 says, “We love because He first loved us,” (ESV). We aren’t to love because others love us in return, but because we have been loved by God! So I believe that we should write and show this tangible love to our Compassion children because God first loved us. I know that God doesn’t love me based on my attitude toward Him! Thank God for that! He loves me because He chose to. So I choose to love my Compassion children and to write to them. 

God has also called us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19a). As a mom with young children, it can be hard for me to leave the house. But writing to my Compassion kids is a way that I can disciple children from many nations! Reminding myself of this purpose helps direct what I share in my letters. While it can be good for my letters to be fun, I also have the unique opportunity to be in a position to really share and encourage each Compassion child in his or her walk with God! What a privilege! 

There are other reasons why we write that I could pursue. But today I feel that God has laid these two on my heart. My hope is that during this year of 2014 I focus on loving my children because God loves me and taking advantage of being able to faithfully encourage my children to know God more. And I know that God holds the outcomes in His hands. He loves our Compassion children more than we do—and I trust that He has a wonderful plan for their lives! I may not live to see it, but God is working and I look forward to seeing the bigger picture when we arrive in heaven. 

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