What to say when my child asks if I will visit their country?

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Hi!  Sometimes in letters that I receive from my kids, they ask if I would like to visit their country.  Actually I just got a letter from my girl in Bangladesh, and the translation was "Do you have any plans to visit my country?"  Other kids have put out invitations to visit their country as well... I'm just wondering what is the appropriate way to reply to a question like that?  I usually just don't address it when I answer back.  Of course I wish I could visit all of my kids, and I am hoping to go on a sponsor tour in a few years (if I can save enough money), but I can't promise anything to them.  Do you think the kids are disappointed if we don't visit them, or is it just harmless conversation?  Thanks!

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Anne Oliver

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Posted 1 year ago

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William Blair

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Hello Anne. I'm a sponsor too and I have been able to visit some of my sponsor kids. When they ask you about visits they really want to meet you. I mostly do individual visits that cost much less. This way you get to visit your sponsor kids at their homes unlike sponsor tours where you meet them at a city park with the group. That's a great experience itself but the individual visit is another thing altogether. On some visits I've had a meal with them in their homes, others at restaurants.

You can ask your sponsor child to pray for the time for you to visit. I've heard my sponsor kids pray and they really know how to do that. It's worth the time and effort to save the money to go.  It's a life changer to say the least. It's worth it all.
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Anne Oliver

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Hi William...I really appreciate your perspective on visiting your kids.  I have been on one Sponsor Tour back in 2011 (to India), but have not been able to really afford going on another one.  I've also never considered an individual visit because I always thought it would be complicated to plan, but with your advice it makes me want to look into it more.  Thanks you again for your input!
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Sarah, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Hi Anne! It sounds like your children really value having you as their sponsors since they have been mentioning you are welcome to visit. I know this question is actually rather tough for me to answer with my own kids because it pulls on my heartstrings so deeply! Usually what I do is remind them that whether I am ever able to visit or not, my love for them remains the same. That I don't love them any less because I am not able to visit. Sometimes I tell them I would love to visit many places with God's leading. Like you said, I would definitely steer away from promising anything as many will hold on to that promise. If you are able to visit sometime in the future, it will be a wonderful experience- and it sounds like you've already been able to see that personally in India!
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William Blair

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Most likely they know other sponsor kids who have met their sponsors.  The see the difference it makes. Anne, I really hope you will be able to visit as many of your sponsor kids as possible. We'll never understand the difference it makes in their lives to visit them. We do understand what it does in us. God will make a way.
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Briana

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Does an individual Compassion trip cost less than a group trip, out of curiosity? One of my girls in Thailand would like me to visit on her birthday, which is in February.
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William Blair

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Hi Briana. it does cost much less. Just check any online travel agency and call Compassion for details. You get to see the partner church and the child's home and spend time there with the family and go to a park for the day.
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Briana

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That's fantastic, thank you!
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William Blair

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Now that everyone is considering this, cut back on spending money on what you don't need. As for me going to them and being in their world has compelled me to cut back. Except for the occasional car troubles and other unexpected expenses that only seem to happen when I request a visit and get it paid for, I've been able to cut back on everything and do this.

I see it this way. Every child we sponsor will never join a gang, be trafficked into slave labor/prostitution, never die too young, and never spend the rest of their lives in poverty.

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