Can I change my sponsorship to an older child?

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I attended a Matthew West where he introduced us to Compassion International.  MANY people came out with folders of introduction to each child and they handed them out to people who raised their hands saying that they would be interested to help.  Including ME!  I was given information on a 4 year old girl in Rwanda and I signed up to sponsor her.  After receiving one letter from her (written very briefly by a Compassion worker), I realized that I would rather have a child that I could actually correspond with.  I know this child needs just as much help as the others but I know it will be years before the little girl can actually write to me or even understand what the nature of our relationship is.

Is there anyway that I can trade with someone or be assigned an older child?  I'd love to have one that I could talk with and maybe even visit one day.  I hope I do not sound cruel as my child is a beautiful young lady.  Any ideas?  And no, I can not afford to sponsor two children. 

Thank you!
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Mary Lee Marshman

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Posted 4 years ago

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Kristen

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You could consider being a correspondent to an older child. Sometimes kids are sponsored by companies or individuals that only meet the financial commitment and not the letter writing part. So Compassion allows other sponsors to come alongside them and do the letter writing portion. Basically, someone else pays the sponsorship and you get to have the relationship with the child through letter writing!! That way you could continue to financially sponsor your sweet girl in Rwanda but still have the satisfaction of writing to an older child as well. A couple words of caution, though: If you are a correspondent for someone and their financial sponsor stops sponsoring them, you will no longer get to continue your correspondence with them (unless you choose to financially sponsor them yourself). Also, just because a child is older, it does not mean you'll have a fulfilling letter writing relationship with them. The concept of letter writing is kind of foreign in some countries and some kids just aren't good letter writers. Anyway, hope that's helpful! I have 3 sponsored kids and I'm a correspondent to 6 others. It's been a great experience!!
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Mary Lee Marshman

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How do I find those kids Kristen? Sounds like a good idea.
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Kristen

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You can email Compassion at ciinfo@us.ci.org, or call at (800) 336-7676 and they will get you taken care of.
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Susan

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Hi Mary! We can certainly pair you up with an older child if you would like. It's harder because you have already started the relationship with this little girl but it can be done. Otherwise you are more than welcome to do what Kristen suggested an simply get a correspondent relationship started with an older child while keeping the little girl. Let us know what yo uwould like to do and we are happy to help you with whatever you decide. :) 
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Mary Lee Marshman

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Do I need to contact you by phone?
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Elizabeth York

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Hi Mary! The Compassion employees, Susan and Emily, should be able to answer your question on Tuesday, but they have Memorial day off. You can email them using the contact button on their website, or you can call them on weekdays (other than Memorial Day :) ) 7am-5:30pm MT. I do know that the kids are sad when they learn their sponsor has cancelled their sponsorship. But I think you should so what you think is best. I am corresponding with a ten year old girl in Nicaragua. I am not her financial sponsor, but I am so happy to be blessing her with encouragement of letters! You cannot choose which child you correspond with, but you can specify gender, country or age and then Compassion employees will assign a child to you once one comes available. I hope this helps you some! :)
(Edited)
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Debi

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I'll second what Kristen wrote :)

I've just recently signed up to correspond with several young people in addition to the ones we sponsor, so I don't have a lot of experience but am excited to be starting in this direction. It gives opportunity to broaden my horizons -- currently corresponding with 7 individuals, boys and girls, ages 9-21, in 5 countries -- while partnering in ministry with people/companies who provide financial support through sponsorship. It's pretty amazing to have such an opportunity.

On a little different note... this whole thing about committing to praying for and building relationship with a child around the world has been a growth experience for me. As we approach Pentecost I have been reminded over and over of Acts 1:8 -- with its Jerusalem (hometown), Judea and Samaria (a little beyond comfort zone geographically, and far more culturally), and the ends of the earth. As I have been building into my days and months new rhythms of thinking of, praying for, and expressing love to the ends of the earth, I've been drawn to figuring out what that means in my "Judea" and "Samaria," too. I may include our church's children in my own correspondence rhythms now, and our nieces and nephews who live so far away.
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Mary Lee Marshman

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I am new to all of this. Debi I didn't understand a word you saidd. :-) I think I'll switch my sponsorship before I develop a relationship with the little girl so I won't hurt her feelings.
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Emily

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Good morning, Mary! If you prefer to call, you're certainly welcome to at (800) 336-7676 and one of our representatives can assist you in finding a child that fits what you're looking for. Susan and I would also be happy to assign an older child to you however, if you're not wanting to call in. 

If you'd like Susan and I to find you another child, please let us know if you would still like a girl from Rwanda and if you had a specific age in mind and we can email you information on another kiddo :). 
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Susan

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Mary, you are also welcome to go select a different child to sponsor here
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