Thanin Duangporn

Yes, you read that right. No, it’s not a bunch of gibberish. (And no, I didn’t have a stroke before writing this.)

Thanin Duangporn, from Vietnam, is the child Jason and I sponsor through Compassion International. At Passion 2011 as newlyweds we felt the urge to do something. When we walked past the Compassion booth in the Go Center (a place, up until Passion 2012, where causes from all around the world are represented. Here, you can buy animals for a family, pay for surgeries, loans, houses, and the list goes on! Read more here.) We stepped into the booth to see rows and rows of pictures of children waiting to be sponsored. Feeling so overwhelmed that I couldn’t pick all of them and couldn’t even meet them, I stared at picture after picture waiting for God to point me in the right direction. Thanin, honestly, just kind of happened. We picked him, filled out our information and took him home with us.

Since then, Thanin has sent us several letters. It’s strange because they take three months to get here! But when they do, I get so excited to see what he’s up to. In his most recent letter he had started back to school and was getting ready for Christmas. We, as horrible sponsors, have sent him only one postcard. But I decided, as another new found resolution, that I was going to write this kid so many letters he would always have something to read.
When you get a letter from your child Compassion sends another form for you to write back. So, as soon as I finished reading Thanin’s sweet letter I got to work writing him back. What do I say? I thought. What does he want to know about us? I just started writing random things. About how it rained that day, how we just celebrated our nephew’s first birthday, how many siblings Jason and I had, our cats (of course), what we did for Christmas, what Jason’s job is, what I study in school… some of it was just so mundane. How do you get to know someone who lives thousands of miles away? In our next letter I want to send him pictures of us so he can put some names with faces.

As I was writing I started second guessing some things I wanted to write. Like what our favorite foods were (frozen pizza, Chinese food…). Who knows if he’s even had those things or knows what they are? I mean, we are sponsoring him after all.

Does anyone else sponsor a child? Do you have any tips for writing to them? I really can’t wait to actually respond to him and for him to ask us questions about our lives!