How do I know that our sponsor child is active at her Compassion Center?

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After losing our sponsor child in India after 4 years, my wife and I decided to find and older girl from the Philippines to sponsor. This decision was made in part because my wife is from there and she knows how difficult it can be for a teenage girl. Norlyn (PH084400023)  had been waiting for quite a long time for a sponsor and we immediately decided to sponsor her. We wrote write away and received our first letter from her on 4/17/17. The letter was dated 4/8/17 so it didn't take very long under the new process for us to receive our first letter from her. We were a little disappointed with the first letter, considering her age, but we just chalked it up to shyness. We have written two more letters since then and have not received any new letters from the child. To be honest, we have run out of things to say and ask about because we really don't know anything about Norlyn outside of what we were told in the sponsorship package and she hasn't written back since her first letter. We have asked a lot of questions in both letters. Norlyn is 17 so it wouldn't be surprising if she had to focus on work of some kind to help the family but if she isn't active in the program then I don't see where our sponsorship is really going to benefit her. If she isn't active in the program, we would rather sponsor a child who is going to benefit from our sponsorship but we don't want to pull the rug out from under Norlyn either if there are circumstances keeping her from writing at the moment. What do we do?
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kevjanbrown .

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Posted 2 years ago

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Susan

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Kevjan, I am so sorry to hear that you are getting so discouraged and disappointed after just a few months of sponsoring this girl. According to our records, she is still attending and is doing well at this time. I am glad to hear that you received the first letter so quickly. Regrettably, it typically takes some time for the letters to get on schedule at the beginning of a sponsorship. Letters can take anywhere between a few weeks to a few months to be delivered so it does typically take several months to begin receiving replies to your letters. That said, it looks like she is working on two reply letters right now for the two letters you had sent. You should receive these two letters in the coming months.

I hope to give you a few ideas to encourage you in the letter writing process. In her first letter, she says she really really likes books, music, and dancing (what a typical teen girl!). That said, I could see that it might be tough to relate to those things in letters. I would write the letters and talk to her as if you are mentoring a teen locally. Here are some tips and ideas that I just brainstormed to hopefully help with the next few letters:

  • Share life advice and encouragement you (or your wife) would have liked to hear when you were a teen. This one is maybe most important and tends to stick with the students longer than questions or other information.
  • Maybe ask what kind of music she likes to listen to and dance to. Share what kind of music you like and why. You could even do a whole letter on the topic of music and share the lyrics of your favorite song. 
  • Write about your last vacation and historical landmarks you saw. 
  • Share stories, bible verses, or quotes that have been meaningful for you. 
  • Try asking her specific questions about her life that you would like to know about. She is an only child living with her father and mother who are food venders. Maybe you could ask what kind of food they sell or what kind of food she likes best? I have found that food is one thing that all cultures tend to appreciate and understand. Many sponsors find that writing in themes helps. 
Please do let us know if we can help in any other way or if you have any other questions. We're happy to help!
(Edited)

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