How often do we get a physical letter from someone? Before the wonderful technology known as email came about, a handwritten letter was a common way of talking to someone and telling them what was happening in their life. Some people still get a handwritten letter from a friend or family member who still likes the idea of putting down their thoughts on a piece of paper to send to a friend or family member.
For me, I get a physical letter about once a month.
Now, I will be 21 this summer, and I had pen pals when I was younger (I am actually friends with a former pen pal from British Columbia on Facebook). But this pen pal is little different from ones I have had in the past. There are many reasons why I enjoy writing to this pen pal and why I am going to tell you about her. But the biggest reason is that this pen pal has changed my life.
On March 11, 2012 I attended a concert called Rock and Worship Roadshow. This is a Christian concert that features 5 to 8 bands that audience members pay $10 at the door. There are no pre-sale tickets unless you buy backstage passes or VIP tickets. I was attending the concert with my dad, my ex-boyfriend, and my ex-boyfriends dad (Note: I am on very good terms with my ex and his family because I play softball with them every week). While at the concert, one of the sponsors of the concert got up and gave a short speech that left multiple people teary eyed. I decided to help out this sponsor of the concert by going in on a monthly sponsorship together.
It wasn’t too easy for an 18 year old to take over a $38 a month payment plan by herself. But, I worked hard to make sure that this payment was always paid because this sponsorship meant a lot to me.
And because of this determination, I am still a monthly sponsor with Compassion International.
What is Compassion International? This organization was created in 1952 to help orphaned children from the Korean War by providing them with food, shelter, education, healthcare, and Christian training. And to this day, over 60 years later, Compassion helps more than 1.5 million children in 26 different 3rd world countries.
On March 11, 2012, I became the official sponsor of Angèle Kouka Nakoulma.
Angèle was 6 years old when I started sponsoring her. She is from Burkina Faso, which is right in between Ghana, Niger, and Mali in Africa. She is one of 5 kids, and she is the next sibling after a set of twins. The name Kouka means “after twins” and is given to children who are born after twins in a family. According to one of her last letters, she wants to be a teacher, but she has also said that she wanted to be a doctor. This girl has big dreams! At home, she runs errands, cleans, and helps in the kitchen. Some of her hobbies include playing group games, jumping rope, and playing house.
Because of this sponsorship I feel like I am making a difference in the life of this little girl. I am spending $38 a month to give Angèle food, clean water, healthcare, an education, and learning about God. And I can tell by what she tells me in the letters I receive from her. She talks a lot about her friends, and always asks me questions. She wants to know as much about me as I want to know about her.
On March 20, 2015 I attended the Rock and Worship Roadshow yet again. And as I was sitting there, I had the sudden realization that I had been sponsoring Angèle for 3 years. Me, a 20 year old college student, has been making a difference in this 9 year old’s life for 3 years. I have been giving her things that she couldn’t get without me helping out.
So, why have I decided to tell you all about Angèle? I have a new appreciation for things that many people take for granted. Things like clean water, healthcare, and a place to live. I don’t have to travel a long distance to get water, and then do something to the water to make it clean. I don’t have to sleep in the same room as my whole family. I can go to a doctor when I am sick and not have to worry about how I will pay for it. Too many people take this for granted because they don’t know what it is like to not have these things.
So what can you do?
You can got to Compassion International’s official website and find out more information. You can get questions answered, find out more about the program, and look at children who need sponsors. If you would like to visit Compassion’s website, please click here.
There are thousands of children who need someone to help them out. This will change your life if your life if you decide to sponsor a child. I have a biggest appreciation for a lot of things because of the things that others don’t have. Angèle has taught me a lot of another culture, and I have learned a lot about myself along the way.
Do you sponsor a child, either through Compassion or another organization? Have you thought about sponsoring a child, but didn’t know where to get started? Let me know in the comments below what you think!