A few months ago when I was heading to Zambia, my Bible study class was studying the book of James. They wanted to give towards the mamas and children and one Tuesday evening, all the items were given to me to take right before my trip. The ladies brought so many wonderful things – nail polish and lotion for the mamas, school supplies for the children and toys and games for everyone to share. And then one specific lady handed me three envelopes and shyly said, “It’s really hard to write to someone you’ve never met.” I told her those letters would mean the world to three special mamas and thanked her so much for the time she took to write them.
Fast forward to Zambia. I met with our Lusaka and Chongwe coordinators and asked them which mamas would benefit most from the three hand-written letters. They gave me three names and when we delivered all the other gifts/letters, I excitedly handed these three mamas a letter written with love from my friend at Bible study.
At the end of my trip, I was handed a PILE of letters and drawings from the children. A few of the mamas had also written thank you notes for gifts that had been given – all for me to mail out when I got home.
Going through the stack of letters once I was home, I came across a surprise. One of the three mamas that received a letter from my Bible study friend had written her a lengthy letter in return! The ladies didn’t have much time to write after we had handed out the letters and gifts, so I really didn’t expect to receive a response on this trip. Maybe they’d have time to write later, and even then, my friend never expected a response – she had just written to encourage and prayed the letters would uplift these hard working mamas on the other side of the world.
I’ll never forget giving my friend that letter at Bible study. I slid it across the table and her eyes lit up. I thought she’d save it to read later. But no, she ripped it open and read the long letter right then and there. Shock was all over her face and tears glistened in her eyes. This Zambian mama had shared the hard things she had been through and my friend felt so honored that this lady on the other side of the globe would share so much with her. Never expecting a letter in return, my friend was humbled that this mama would take the time to write. It was almost like she couldn’t believe this was really happening!
So often when we talk about letter writing in sponsorship programs, the message is directed toward the sponsor. Sponsors are encouraged to write and send photos, for the sake of the sweet children they sponsor. And while I have the incredible privilege of delivering these letters and seeing the children’s faces light up, what has caught me by surprise is the response of a sponsor when THEY receive a letter.
I love seeing the excitement in someone’s eyes when they tell me they received a letter. And I love to hear their child’s drawings are on their refrigerator at home!
Thank you sponsors for initiating this relationship with the 88 children who live at My Father’s House in Zambia. I’ve seen it change your lives and the lives of the children and mamas who love hearing from you. Keep investing in Kingdom work!
– Michelle Jackson, Director of Sponsorship
For more information about sponsoring a child, click here!