- Missions. I'm listing this topic here because I happen to know that there are several important days and events in Japan in the month of April, and my friend Amanda is currently teaching English in Japan, on a two-year assignment. Have you ever been on a mission trip? Where did you go? Have you ever met a career missionary? Have you ever wanted to do a mission trip? How does your church support missionaries? My church supports a lady in eastern Asia, and the church offers several opportunities for international and stateside missions throughout the year. You could ask your child if he or she has ever met a missionary. Ask your child to join you in praying for the people who have gone out into the world to tell others about Jesus.
- Local holidays. April provides more opportunities to research your child's country and write to him about holidays and customs there. The Thai new year is celebrated in April- there are lots of fun videos and pictures of the Songkran festival on the internet. Take a look online and see what you can find out about what's going on in your child's country this time of year.
- Earth Day. Even if your child's country doesn't observe Earth Day, the festivities in our country for this special day can serve as inspiration for letter-writing. Do you enjoy spending time in the outdoors? Have you ever seen something in nature so beautiful that you have a story to tell about it? Think about vacations to the beach, the mountains, or other places where Earth's beauty can be experienced. Talk to your child about some ways we can take care of the planet. Many "green" ideas are universal, no matter your economic situation (for example, talk to your child about the importance of planting trees, protecting endangered species, or even simply avoiding littering.) Take some pictures (or find some on the internet) of plants and wildlife where you live, and share them with your child. Talk about the Creation story in the Bible, and share some Bible verses about God's creation.
- School friends. My friend Sarah's birthday is in April, and she is the inspiration for this letter-writing topic. Sarah was the first person to speak to me when I started a new school in 8th grade. She just sat right down beside me at lunch that day, and we were instant friends- and we've been friends ever since. What were the names of some of your friends when you were in school? Are you still in touch? What kinds of things did you like to do together? Your sponsor child will undoubtedly be thrilled to tell you about his or her best buddies at school. Ask your child if she gets to sit by her friends in class, or even where they eat while they are at school (some children may eat outside, while others may eat at their desks, or some may even have a cafeteria!)
- Encouragement. Use this letter to offer encouragement to your sponsor child. Tell her what you appreciate about her. Tell him that you value his friendship. Remind her that you are praying for her. Ask him if he would like you to pray for him about anything specific. How can you encourage your child? In so many ways! Compliment their appearance: "I received a new picture of you in the mail, and you look so handsome! You really look grown-up wearing that tie!" Compliment their artistic ability: "Thank you for sending me beautiful drawings with your letters. You are a very talented artist! I wish I could draw as good as you!" Talk about school work: "I know from your letters that you are a very smart boy. I know you must work very hard at school. It is important to always try our best at everything we do!" You can even just tell your child how much it means to you to receive letters from them. Thank them for taking the time to write to you. I have told my kids many times that if I am at home when the mail man comes by, I always run outside to see if there is a letter waiting for me. Often, it is the most exciting part of my day! Do you share information about your sponsor child with friends and family members? Tell your child that! I post letters from my kids on facebook for some of my friends to read. I know that some of my friends are just about as excited to read those letters as I am! This would also be a good opportunity to send some extra special stuff in the mail to your sponsor child. Think reward stickers, like teachers give out; "Pass it On" cards with encouraging Bible verses; fun bookmarks with a cheerful quote or verse. All of these items are extremely inexpensive, and can often be purchased in quantities of more than one. Just be sure to label what you send with your sponsor number and your child's information, in case it gets separated from your letter in-transit!
Monday, April 1, 2013
April Letter Writing Topics
April has arrived! That means it's time for another post about letter-writing. Here are some letter-writing ideas for the month of April. The importance of your letters cannot be understated- they are absolutely essential to success with a child sponsorship. And it really doesn't take long to write one. You can crank out a decent letter in less than five minutes! I promise!