Monday, June 23, 2014

Involving Your Older Children in Child Sponsorship by Yvonne Reynolds

When we started sponsoring our first child through Compassion, my children were 15 and 10. I remember the mornings that we sat on the couch around my laptop, reading the blog posts of our friend who had traveled to India to visit with a couple of his family’s sponsored children. It was after reading those daily posts, that we started sponsoring Natalia from Colombia. So this was the first way we involved our children in our child sponsorship journey, we asked for their input on who we should sponsor as a family.

Over the past four and a half years, there has been many ways we have involved our children in our child sponsorship journey:

Map it out: Compassion is working through the local churches in 26 countries around the world. Print out maps of the different continents where Compassion is working and have your children locate the 26 countries on these maps.

Country flags: We were able to find printables for most of the country flags on the Crayola web site. Print these out and let your children color them with the appropriate colors. You can also send these to your sponsored children along with your own country’s flag.

What time is it?: Purchase an inexpensive clock and set it to the time where your sponsored child lives. This helps you to think about what your sponsored child could be doing at that time of the day.

Prayer prompts: In the welcome packet you receive when you first start sponsoring a child, there is a bookmark with a photo of your child, and on the back are daily prayer prompts. We created small daily cards to keep at our dining room table to remind us to pray each day for our sponsored children.

Volunteer at events together: Once your children are 13, they can start volunteering at events like the Compassion Mobile Experience and even help out by passing child packets at some concerts. As an advocate, you are able to sign up additional guests to come along and help out at events in your area.

Correspondent sponsor: My daughter (who is now 14) loves to write letters!! Not only are we sponsoring a child for her, but she is also a correspondent sponsor for 4 additional children.

Challenge your children: Is your child old enough to have a job? Suggest they consider being a financial sponsor for their own child. Does your child feel comfortable speaking in front of an audience? Challenge them to do the Compassion Sunday  presentation at your church. Does your child feel passionate about another one of Compassion’s programs? Have them pick a cause and creatively think of ways for fundraising to support the fund.

Are there other ways that you and your older have chosen to be involved together? Share your ideas with us in the comments.

About Yvonne Reynolds...Yvonne is very active when it comes to sponsorship and advocacy for Compassion. She maintains Compassion's Second Friday Letter Writing Pinterest board. Yvonne is a homeschooling mom who likes to read, bake and take photographs. You can find her blogging at Our Little Corner of the World.

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