Please take a moment to read Part 1 and Part 2 of What is Your Sponsor Type? if you have not already done so.
SPONSOR TYPE ANALYSIS
What I (being the data-driven and analytical nerd I am) have done is taken Compassion’s holistic model and corresponded the four aspects to different writing styles.
First, I want to point out in Part 1 and Part 2 the “Friend” category stood alone, and in the results above I lumped it with “Parent”. This was due to the fact I know there are some teens that sponsor other teens that more than likely write in a “Friend” style but would not feel like they associated with the “Parent” style. However, both of these styles correspond with the “Social” element of the model.
TIME TO ANALYZE
As sponsors new and old, it is our job to work alongside Compassion and our child’s church/child development center to mold these angels through the holistic model to ensure they obliterate poverty.
Take the sponsor type you felt reflected you the most and see which holistic category matches. That means you are doing an AWESOME job developing your child with that aspect of the model!
Take the sponsor type you least related to and start honing that writing style. Try making a conscience effort to alternate the different styles, or use the style that fits you best but write about topics from a different category. I think it is very important when a child graduates from the program, they are perfectly balanced in relation to the holistic model. And by balanced, I mean they are confident and excelling in all four areas.
All four points of the model are extremely important so if you find your child writing in only one style, start mixing it up. Ask them questions and try to encourage them more in whichever style that may be. For example, let’s say your child loves soccer and enjoys writing from the “Physical” side or “Coach/Athlete”, but they are struggling with education. Then, write from the education aspect but use soccer as a teaching tool. We all learn better when the topic is something that interests us.
For example, Lucky loves
football soccer, and he has told me that he feels his ability to play soccer is the strongest talent God designed for him. Lucky was struggling in social studies last year, and he kept sending me prayer requests for God to help him with this subject. I used the FIFA World Cup to help him learn different countries. I have also planned to create a map of Africa and highlight the different regions with the various soccer teams. Another idea is research and find inspirational athletes within your child’s favorite sport that place an emphasis on education, and write to them about it.
Never doubt your voice. Think about when you were a child…maybe there was something your mom would always nag you to do and you would procrastinate. But, maybe there was someone else in your life that you thought was really “cool”, and if they asked you to do whatever it was, you did it with no complaints, and enjoyed it. You might be that “cool” person in your child’s life so while you might not see the results of your letters – be confident and keep at it!
When you notice your child’s letters are hitting on each of the aspects, you know the program is working, and they are becoming more and more balanced! And that much closer to being released from poverty!
If you are thinking your child is simply appeasing you in their writing as discussed in Part 2, I recommend really hitting each topic strong in individual letters. That way when they reply – they will still be mirroring you, but they will be writing on all four areas of growth. Repetition is a strong tool when teaching children. The more they write about a topic, the more they talk about something, it starts becoming a reality for them and a part of their life.
Like I mentioned in Part 2, a child might write a lot about a certain topic, because it is a void they are needing you to fill. If you have this instinct, then write and write some more on this topic. Develop this area within your child. Turn this weakness into a strength.
Take some time to really digest and analyze your results. If you are finding a good balance with your letters, and your child’s letters – GREAT! Keep doing what you’re doing! If you are finding a few areas that could use improvement on your end or your child’s – GREAT! You’ve identified what needs to be worked on so no more wondering what to write about since you now have a general theme and direction to go in.
TIME TO GET REAL
I am now going to share with you what I took away from this exercise.
When I first began writing Lucky – I was hands down the “Parent”. That style came the most natural for me. The “Minister” was the style that least described me. Being brought up in the South and taught it was not polite to discuss politics or religion – I had no clue how to address the spiritual element. I did not know Lucky’s religious views and did not want to offend him so I steered away from that topic as I began to write to him.
I have always had faith, but I stepped away from religion years ago. I wanted to soul search and find what I truly believed in without any type of influence or pre-conceived ideas from my childhood religious experiences and upbringing. I wanted to wipe everything out of my mind, read the Bible as an adult, research every religion possible, pray, and really look within myself.
Fast forward a few years to when I became a sponsor. I was still in the midst of struggling with faith. At that time, my family had finally found a church that felt like home so I was making baby steps into the right direction. I knew some things I believed in, some things I didn’t, and some were just a giant question mark.
Reading the Bible, theological/spiritual books, talking with my new pastor, and praying regularly started making me more in tune to open my heart, eyes, mind, ears, and really listen to what God was saying and where He was leading me.
The first letter after the introductory letter, what did Lucky write about? Religion and politics! (Only in the most innocent and precious way possible.) Love that kiddo!
In the beginning, Lucky’s letters were overwhelmingly classified as the “Minister”.
The “Educator” was his second choice which is no surprise since he is very studious and has been in the top percentile of his class the past two years. I remember him asking me if I knew what a rabbit was in one of his early letters. Adorable!
The “Athlete” was a close tie for 2nd place. Besides being athletic, Lucky is very, very, very competitive! I always compliment him on this personality trait, because his intense drive, motivation, and competitiveness will lead him into a victory over poverty and a successful future. However, I do work with him on not being so hard on himself when he loses or does not come in 1st place. I work with him a lot on using losses as learning experiences.
The “Son/Daughter” was definitely his least writing style. Who can blame him? He lost both parents at such an early age.
If you noticed – mine and Lucky’s styles are the exact opposite!
He would send me verses and Bible stories that were important to him that he wanted me to look up and read – which I would do so immediately. I HAD to know what scripture he had picked out specifically for me to read. His letters were so faith-based, I felt the need to mirror them. BUT I can’t preach what I don’t practice so this caused me to speed up my soul searching.
With every letter Lucky sent, my faith grew intensely stronger.
With every letter I sent, Lucky became a part of our family.
I believe God brings people into our lives for specific purposes. I am 100% positive that divine intervention took place matching me and Lucky together.
Lucky no longer has a mother, and he does not have a grandmother or aunt to fill that maternal role. God knew there was a void, and I believe He chose me (not to replace Lucky’s mother…do not get me wrong), but to provide that type of nurturing relationship for Lucky that every child needs. The “Parent” style comes easy for me – from nagging Lucky about his grades, rearing him to be a gentleman at all times, showing interest in everything he does, and simply loving him unconditionally.
In return, God knew there was a spiritual void in me so He sent Lucky to help me. Lucky knows the Bible like nobody’s business and has the strongest faith and theological knowledge I have ever seen in a child. He has taught me so much and continues to do so. This may sound crazy, but I see God in every one of his letters. I once told Lucky in a letter that his light shines so bright I can see it all the way from Uganda to the United States.
My little sponsor type analysis I came up with was a real eye opener for me. I encourage you to take some time thinking about your results, letters, and life journey. Is your life balanced according to the holistic model? I hope it is apparent, if not already, that God is working in you through your child and vice versa.
Please share in the comments or contact me through the contact page if you don’t want to share publicly, but I would absolutely love to hear how you feel God is working through you and your child and how your paths crossed.
There could be no truer statement than “changing his life changed mine”.
And for that – I am forever grateful.