Writing my final letter to my sponsored child

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 9 months ago
  • Answered
Archived and Closed

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies and is no longer visible to community members. The community moderator provided the following reason for archiving: Old / account-specific

I've sponsored Mugabe in Tanzania since 2009, when she was 6 years old.  Recently, I was notified that she no longer attends the program, which broke my heart.  I've received photos of her every year, and not once has there been a smile on her beautiful face.  I'm terribly concerned about her.  I'm now faced with the task of writing one final letter to her, this precious 15 year old.

Please, would you help me decide what I can say to her that will be most meaningful?  
Photo of Linda Bruno

Linda Bruno

  • 3 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
  • Sad

Posted 9 months ago

  • 1
Photo of Sarah

Sarah, Official Rep

  • 5223 Posts
  • 1137 Reply Likes
Linda, I am so sorry that Mugabe has left the program! I have had to write several final letters to my own children over the years, and it breaks my heart every time because I love each of them so much. I do want you to know that many of the children in our program do not smile in their photos. For the vast majority of children, our photographs are the only ones they have ever had taken and in some cultures smiling for a photo is not the norm, including Tanzania. It does seem like Mugabe has found such joy and comfort in your sponsorship over the years. Mugabe may have left the program a few months ago for a number of reasons, which her own final letter may explain more fully to you. She could be needed at home or to help her family with their business. I know it's difficult to say goodbye when you have invested in a child's life for so many years. I would encourage you to remind her that you still love her and will continue to pray over her as she grows up. Give her some encouraging words for her future or a Bible verse to reflect on. Sometimes, I share my favorite memory of being my child's sponsor as well. Overall, it always means so much to the children to know that you love and will continue to pray for them.
Photo of Linda Bruno

Linda Bruno

  • 3 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Thank you so much, Sarah!  I haven't received a final letter from her, maybe that will arrive soon.  I appreciate your information on smiling in photos, I didn't realize that.  Whew!  I have so many little drawings from her, and they were happy, I didn't even think of that. :-)
Photo of Jennifer

Jennifer

  • 126 Posts
  • 150 Reply Likes
Here's some more info from a Compassion blog about why those smiles might be elusive! There's also a link in it of another interesting blog post.

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/blog.comp...

Besides not being a norm for many, I suspect a smiling child may sometimes be told not to, or most of the time they probably just don't realize it's what we want! I had the opportunity to meet someone I sponsor, and mentioned during the visit that I like smiling pictures! In my next photo update several months later she was beaming from ear to ear! She has smiled in most of the pictures since. i guess she was listening!
Photo of Linda Bruno

Linda Bruno

  • 3 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Thank you so much!

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.