Very unhappy with my correspondent child

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I just got a Raymond's letter. (Correpondent child from Togo) and I was happy to see he was able to buy so much stuffs from my gift.

I requested an inquiry for a family gift I have sent to Raymond after 6 months. It took 8 months for me to receive a thank you letter from Raymond. However, the letter was written by his teacher. Raymond is turning 15 years old in a week. I expected him to write his own thank you letter. This is also 6th month since he last wrote to me. I write to him every month. I am surpised that I got a thank you letter in 8 months and it was written by his teacher. I am not sure why he cannot write his own letter. He is my correspondent child and I expected this to be a letter writing relationship.
And its really hard to have a relationship when all letters have same contents saying I am very happy to write you this letter. And then talking about his school started, he passed an exam, going to be in grade 10. And then the letter ends. Same prayer request about him doing well in school. This is all the information I am getting from a letter from him every time. My questions are also never answered.

I remember when I first started with Raymond, he hasnt written to his paying sponsor for 8 months and someone from this forum had to request an inquiry for him to write and that letter to be sent quickly to me. And it was the first letter I got from him last year.

And this time, it is very frustrating especially the fact that someone else wrote for him in 8 months (and 6 months since he last wrote to me) after I requested an inquiry for a family gift.
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Jenny Kim

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Posted 3 years ago

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I sincerely apologize that this letter took so long to reach you and especially that it has not met your expectations. You are right that your very generous gift was sent in August 2016 so it has been eight months and for that we sincerely apologize. Normal timelines for thank you letters should be six months. I am so sorry for the frustration that this incredible delay has caused. 

That said, I am confused. Please help me to understand something. In the thank you letter you mentioned, most of the sentences begin with "I" and the letter is signed "Raymond." I do not see any indication that it was written by his teacher. Can you let me know what is making you think that his teacher wrote this letter? 

His last letter was sent November 28 so you are right that there was almost a five month gap. That said, it is within normal timelines for letters (i.e. not over six months). Again, am I missing something? 
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KristenH, Champion

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Jenny, if you decide to let go of Raymond, I'd be happy to write to him.
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Shannon Massey, Employee

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Hi Jenny, 

I apologize that earlier when we had looked at the letter, we did not notice that a bit further down the page, it does indicate that he had help writing that letter. To be honest, it looks like he is having a hard time writing in general. I looked back at his previous letter, and it looks like he is paying a lot of attention to each individual letter as he writes. Additionally, if he is always asking for you to pray for him to continue to do well in school, maybe it is because he really needs those prayers and encouragement. I am so sorry, as I know it is so hard to hear the same response over and over again, but in some cases it is truly because the child is in need of that specific prayer.

I also know how upsetting and frustrating it can be when you have waited so long to receive a thank you note, only to have it be written by someone else. In most cases when this happens, they likely decided to help him, because they are trying to speed this letter up and get it to you as quickly as possible. If he is having troubles in his schoolwork, and writing in general, they likely wanted to cut down on the time that it would take him to write a letter, so that we could get you a response. 

Again, we know this type of situation is frustrating and often times it makes us feel unappreciated and discouraged. But I want to encourage you to remember why you decided to be a correspondent. These kiddos need love, kindness, encouragement and someone to pray for their needs. We know that you treat your children with such an open and loving heart and that is all Raymond needs, too. Please know that by being his correspondent you are a lifeline to opportunities and knowledge that he doesn't even know exist. Although it is a bummer to not feel the appreciation he has for you in the moment that you receive a letter, I can guarantee that he loves and appreciates you more than we even know how to. However, if you choose not to continue to correspond with him, just let us know and we will be happy to find another correspondent for him. Regrettably, we will not be able to move him onto Kristen's account, as he would go to the next person on the wait list to keep things fair. :) In addition, in cases like this, we do need to let you know that if you decide to drop him as a correspondent, we will not add any new correspondents onto your account. We want to ensure that all of our correspondents are focusing on pouring into the kiddos lives and truly making a their situation more positive and encouraging.

Please let us know what you decide. And again, we apologize for the confusion! We wish you luck in making this prayerful decision!    
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Emily James

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Jenny, I'm also a sponsor and correspondent, including to teen boys.  One of my boys (a 16-year-old from Haiti) has only begun writing letters himself in the last couple of years and sometimes still has a tutor help him.  I was often frustrated by this at first because his letters always seemed so distant, especially since they were written by someone else.  However, I later learned that he was behind in school and struggled academically.  He's since told me that he is the only one of his 15 siblings to be able to read and write or to go to school beyond 6th grade.  That gave me a whole new perspective on where he was coming from in his letters.  He is trying hard at school but still asks for prayers for his studies in every letter and is a less expressive writer overall than some of my others.  I can tell he truly appreciates the encouragement, however, and keep trying to uplift him.  Anyway, I just wanted to encourage you to keep trying with your boy.  So many of these kids don't have access to education like in the US and may struggle to put their thoughts in writing, but I'm sure he does appreciate all of your kind words and your generous gift.  I hope you'll consider continuing writing to this young man!
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Jenny Kim

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Thank you for the comment, Shannon.

I got 3 letters from my sponsored child and 2 letters from my other correspondent child already this year. And I got an introduction letter from a new sponsored child this year. I was impressed to my sponsored child whom I got 3 letters from this year already. I think with other children, we are talking about many things and building a pretty good relationship. I started with two other children pretty much the sametime as Raymond.

So, that made me think Raymond is not motivated to write. I am not saying asking for a same prayer request is not a good thing.I was actually happy to receive his first letter because he seemed like a very hardworking student who focuses alot in his education. It just sounded like he was always saying the samething including the content of the letter. It seems like he is doing well in school and getting a good grade according to his letter.

It makes sense that they tried to speed up so, they decided to help him. At first, I thought it was a tutor who just wrote for him, but to think about it, the content does seem like what Raymond would say. I will see how it goes with Raymond this year. Hopefully things get better and we will be able to build a better relationship. Thank you.
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Jenny Kim

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Hi Emily!

Thank you for sharing your story with your Haiti boy. I just hope one day I will get to find out the reason too just like you. I think I just thought it would be the similar experience with my other children. Anyways, I will see how it goes with him!

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