Saturday, June 30, 2012

What would you say?

We sponsor children with Compassion.  Yesterday, I got a letter from one of our older boys.  He's our most recent addition to our sponsorship family.  It takes at least a year, sometimes longer, for the letters to change from distant formality to matters of the heart.  So I'm always alert for information in their letters that suggests they might be starting to share more of themselves with us.

Yesterday's letter hurt.  Our lad told us that his father is an alcoholic and asked that we pray that he will be able to break away from his addiction.  The letter was written last month and his dad was going to attend a camp that month for alcoholics aimed at breaking their cycle of addiction.

It's really important that I acknowledge what he's told me in my next  letter to him.  I want to tell him that I feel sad about the pain that he might have experienced because his dad is an alcoholic.  I want to encourage him to keep praying for his dad and give him hope that he might one day be better.  I want to tell him that it's hard to break addictions and that it will be a huge struggle for his dad.  I want to tell him that we care and that we haven't forgotten him.

But it's hard to put that into words and not all of what I want to say might be helpful.  His dad might never get better.  I don't know whether he is angry towards his father or proud of him for trying to beat the bottle.  I don't know what kind of impact his dad's alcoholism has had on the family.  I just don't know enough.  So I need to chose my words carefully.

What would you say?

And if you are interested in sponsoring a child in extreme poverty who needs encouragement and a helping hand up, check out Compassion Australia if you are in Australia, Compassion International for US readers or Compassion UK for readers in the United Kingdom. For information about what child sponsorship involves click here or about Compassion's financial integrity click here.


Karen said...

I thought what you said in paragraph 3 covered it really well actually. And it might be enough to encourage him to give you more information in the next letter he sends that would answer some of your questions...

Deb said...

Thanks, Karen.