What is an appropriate way to respond to a child's request that we come visit?

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Can you tell me what is a (culturally) appropriate way to respond to requests for a visit? Our correspondence child in Tanzania frequently asks us to come visit (3 times in her last letter!). I hate to completely ignore her requests unless that is a gentle way of saying no in her culture. Is that how she would take it? While we would of course love to visit her, it would cost more money than we have for even one of us to visit. (Yes, we are well below the US poverty line.) It doesn't seem appropriate to tell her that we don't have enough money to visit her, since we are obviously wealthy compared to her. Or is that appropriate? Please let me know if you have any tips on what is a culturally sensitive way to respond (or not respond). Thanks!
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tbmgvd

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Posted 5 years ago

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Laura Evans

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I agree!  I have kids who ask multiple times in every letter to come visit.  And one child who told me he would answer my questions when I came to visit him.  I have stated at this time we can't come we are sorry but the question keeps coming....so what is the best way to respond?
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Susan

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Hi everyone! What a great question! I am checking with some other people within Compassion about what the best way to respond to your child would be. I will keep you updated as we talk through this issue.
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Laura Evans

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Thanks Susan!
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Susan

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Hey again! Our trips and visits team recommends responding to your child with something like this:

I would love to come and visit you, and although I pray that
someday I might get to meet you, I understand it may never be possible. 
We live very far away from each other and traveling can be very
difficult.  Even if we never get to meet face to face, though, please know
that I love you very much and I am always thinking of you.  Although we
may be far apart, my heart is very close to you and I pray for you every day.   
It is important to be clear and to directly answer their question but to do so lovingly. 
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Laura Evans

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Thanks Susan!! That is perfect!!  I am going to use that word for word in the future were needed!
(Edited)
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tbmgvd

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This is wonderful, Susan! Thank you so much! I really appreciate you taking the time to check with the team and come back with this great example and helpful information.

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