CAN WE HELP BUILD OUR CHILD A HOUSE IN HAITI?

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Our sponsored child in Haiti, Sterson Bonhomme, lost his home in the hurricane last September. He and his mother have been living with a relative. How much money would it take to build them a home of their own?  What options do they have--like, does the money have to be all up front, does Compassion have a special fund for helping out in such cases, etc? 

If building a house is within our means to contribute, we need to be sure this is what he and his mother would want. We know the usual rule is to consider sponsor suggestions regarding family gifts with the understanding those suggestions don't obligate the family. Problem is, we can't afford to give a gift several times larger than we normally give without knowing if this is what they need. You see, we'd have to give less to our other three children's families in order to afford a much greater gift to Sterson and his mother. We're willing to do this if we can make a significant difference in his life, but it isn't fair to the others if we're misunderstanding the urgency of this need for a house of their own.

Of course, all this is moot if it costs more than we can give in a year. 

We'd like to send family gifts to all our sponsored children soon, but we're going to wait until we find out from you if this desire of ours is practical.

Thank you for taking time to look into this and let us know something.
--Mitchel & Kathleen Young
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Mitchel and Kathleen

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Posted 4 months ago

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Shannon Massey, Employee

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Mitchel & Kathleen, 

I cannot tell you how full my heart is just reading your selfless request to bless this sweet family! It is truly such a wonderful blessing to know you want to help, and in such a huge and tangible way! 

Regrettably, there are a few complications with this. First off, we do not have the ability to inquiry with the family about their need for a new home or the amount they think it would cost. Our field staff works hand in hand with each family and they do continual check ups each month to ensure our families are receiving the best care possible. Please know that this does include access to funding for a new home if our staff feels they are in true need. This does not mean that all of our families live in great homes, but it does ensure shelter; and Compassion will do everything they can to make sure it is safe as well. We do leave this process to our field staff who know these families well and can truly use these funds for the families that need it the most. 

Secondly, although we cannot ask the family about their need, you are always welcome to ask in your next child letter. However, please know that you still must follow the guidelines which means you are not able to give more than $1,000 per calendar year, and they may need more than this. Also, if you have given family gifts up to this point in the year, we will need to deduct that amount from the $1,000 as well. We must follow these guidelines, even if they need additional funds. I know it can be really hard in situations like this to ask the family about their needs without knowing if you will be able to provide the help they need. We wish you luck and pray that you will find a way to help them that fits you both best! 
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Mitchel and Kathleen

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Thank you for your reply, Shannon.  Although we wish it was as simple as giving a cup of water, we realize Compassion has developed its guidelines through years of experience, and we respect this.  We'll inquire delicately but directly (that'll be an interesting letter-writing challenge!) in our next letter to Sterson.  Meanwhile, we'll prayerfully consider giving equally to each child's family this year and let our Heavenly Father, by His Spirit, direct what we should do in the name of His Son in the way of family gifts.  Since we were unable to learn until a few weeks ago how Sterson and his mother fared after the hurricane, and they are at least in a dwelling, albeit not their own, we must trust them to the Father's care and remain ready and willing to act as He sees fit. It's imperative we not race ahead or lag behind the Spirit but wait with hope and eager anticipation for His next directive. Prayer is always in season! That we can most assuredly do with confidence our Father is well pleased with this.
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Shannon Massey, Employee

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Hi Mitchel & Kathleen,
Thank you so much for your understanding! :) I wish you luck as you write your letter and pray that God leads you exactly where you need to be for them! 
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Caroline Bates

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My sponsor child in Tanzania is using the money I send to build a new house. I send less than $200/year, and they've been building the house since at least 2013. So if your sponsor child's family decides they need to build a new house, you don't have to worry about sending a large gift to pay for all of the construction costs at once. 

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