Help! What do I Write About?


Sometimes writer’s block sets in, so here’s a quick list of topics to use when writing to your sponsored child:


where you live

history of your town/city

your education

your occupation

your dreams for the future

describe your pets

describe your garden

describe an activity you enjoy

describe weather where you live

anything unique or interesting about you

discuss favorites:

color, number, holiday, movie, song, book, book character, author, food, recipe, drink, sport, sports team/player, season


immediate family members’ names/ages

spouse’s occupation

children’s occupations

children’s level in school

what subjects children are studying

number of your siblings

your siblings’ ages

funny stories from childhood with siblings

special cousins & stories from childhood with them


when/how you became a Christian

describe your church

describe your worship service

favorite Bible verse

favorite book of the Bible

favorite woman/man in the Bible and why

favorite Bible story and why

share recent message at church

share current Bible study

favorite thing about church

describe your pastor

something you admire about your pastor

describe someone special at your church


your favorite holidays

how you celebrate them

favorite music you associate with certain holidays

who you visit on holidays



If you could have any job, what would it be and why?

What is your typical day like?

What do you see when you look out your window at home?

What do you see when you look out your window at school?

What is your dream job?

What would you do if you could fly?

Describe the best day of your life.

Who is the person from the Bible you’d most like to meet and why?

Who is the person from history you’d most like to meet and why?

What is your favorite kind of weather and why?

What is your hobby?

Have you ever had to make a difficult decision and what was it?

Did you ever win or lose a contest?

Did your parents ever make you wear something you hated?

Have you ever caught fireflies, crickets, frogs, snakes, etc.?

Did you ever move to a different town/city?

Describe something you learned from a friend.

Describe something you learned from a family member.

Name something you like about yourself and why.

Describe your best personality trait.

Write about your favorite sport and why you like it.

Compassion Sunday – Change the Story

Compassion Sunday is set for April 21 this year, and on this day, many volunteers will present Compassion and its mission to their churches. There are 2,000 churches participating nationwide, and hopefully many children will be sponsored!

Here is my Compassion Sunday page:

On this page, you will see sweet Angel, 5, from Colombia, who currently needs a sponsor. You can sponsor him from here!

You also will see some photos of my own precious sponsored children. 

If you’ve never sponsored a child, please consider doing so. If you’re already a sponsor, maybe Angel is your next child!

Kids These Days


Logan with the first letter from his sponsored child, Osmar.

Kids these days – have you ever noticed that they always seem to have their noses stuck into some kind of electronic gadget? Whether it’s a video game, a phone or sometimes both, it seems there is always something demanding their undivided attention.

I’m sure it’s always been the same. As my children grow older, it’s hard not to compare them to myself and my friends at their age, just as I’m sure my parents and grandparents did.

With so many things distracting today’s kids, it’s easy to worry about the future. It’s hard not to wonder who will see society’s problems and find some solutions. Who will look after tomorrow’s poor? Who will answer the call to look after “the least of these” in a generation that seems so self-absorbed?

It turns out, one answer to those questions is living in my house. Last month, my 11-year-old son Logan sponsored a child.

He pleaded with me and my husband for days, writing out lists of possible sources of income (chores, birthday and Christmas money), and explaining to us just how dedicated he will be. He promised to write to his child monthly. He even agreed to take on a few extra chores. So we finally agreed that he could do it.

Logan headed straight to the computer to search for his child. He pored over the thousands of children available for sponsorship on Compassion’s web site, then narrowed his search to Central and South America.

He was drawn to the boys, and soon had written five names on a list. The boys ranged in age from 4 to 12 years old, and a couple of them really were tugging at his heart because of their family circumstances. I told him it would be a good idea to go to bed, pray about his list, and make his final decision the next day.

After he finished school for the day, he looked back at each of the five boys he had been interested in sponsoring. One of the children was gone from the site, so he had been sponsored already.

Out of the four remaining boys, Logan chose an 11-year-old from Guatemala named Osmar. He decided it would be most fun to have someone close to his age to write to and hopefully to visit at some point in the future.

I can’t explain how it touched my heart to see Logan’s joy at sponsoring Osmar. He spent several days reading everything he could find about sponsorship on Compassion’s web site. He wrote a letter to Osmar right away, and has sent two more since then.

And today, after five weeks of checking the mailbox daily, Logan received his first letter from Osmar. Now their friendship has begun, and I look forward to seeing where it leads.

I’m sure the differences in their lives are many, but like boys everywhere, these two have started off sharing their likes and dislikes with each other. Osmar wrote that his favorite drink is Coca-Cola. Logan’s favorite is Dr. Pepper. Osmar’s favorite color is red, while Logan’s is blue.

He writes that he hopes Logan likes his handwriting and promises to try to improve it, already seeking his new friend’s approval. Likewise, Logan painstakingly chooses photos and soccer cards to send to Osmar, hoping to pick things his new friend will enjoy.

And with friendship and love growing across borders, it makes it hard to worry about kids these days.

Blessed by Giving


Cristian, 4, of Romania, with gifts purchased using family gift money.

I’ve sponsored children in poverty for 2 1/2 years, and the thrill of receiving a sponsored child’s letter in the mail has not worn off.

Today, I was excited to find a letter in the mailbox from a child I sponsor through World Vision. I was even more excited to open the letter and discover two photos inside.

The photos showed Cristian, 4, of Romania, with items his family was able to purchase using a monetary gift I sent them in December. It warms my heart to see so many items stacked on the table in front of him. The purchase of food shows the family’s need, and I’m so thankful to have been able to help them out.

Because Cristian is too young to write, one of his older sisters writes letters for him. I’ve learned several things about his family in just 6 months of sponsoring him.

He lives in a two-bedroom home in rural Romania with his parents and six siblings. They suffer through very cold winters, with lots of snow, often piled as high as their house. One of Cristian’s young sisters has cancer, so she spends some time at a hospital. And, like children everywhere, his siblings like to invent games and make paper airplanes.

Today’s letter thanked me for the gift and listed items purchased: “canned goods, chicken legs, rice, sugar, beans, flour, peas, pasta, bread, biscuits, diary products, tomato sauce, diapers, washing powder, jam, cheese, apples, bananas, oranges and many other products.”

And these words, which humble me in ways I can’t describe: “Thank you so much for the wonderful gift you sent me when I needed it the most. We were going through a difficult time, and your help saved my brothers and me.”

I’m thanking God today that my own children’s needs are met every day, and that we can share God’s blessings with another family.

The Queen of Katwe


“The Queen of Katwe,” by Tim Crothers, is the story of an incredible young girl, who against many odds, surprises many by learning and mastering the game of chess.

Phiona and her peers are growing up in the Ugandan slums of Katwe, an area in the country’s capital city, Kampala, where children don’t know their birth dates or even how to spell their own names. It is a place where children struggle to eat each day, where parents die of AIDS regularly, and where families move from shack to shack, living wherever they can afford.

In this life of day-to-day survival, one young man, Robert Katende, working for Sports Outreach Institute, begins a ministry first focused on soccer, then on chess, and the game captivates the children of the area. Katende relates well to these children, as he, too, grew up in the severe poverty of Katwe. In fact, Katende’s story of survival and pulling himself out of the slum is quite as impressive as Phiona’s.

Considering these circumstances, it’s no wonder that a bowl of porridge is what first attracted the children to Katende’s group.

Phiona is a bit of a late-comer to the group, but after following her brother there one day, she becomes a fixture. She learns the game first from a much younger girl, but soon surpasses many in playing ability. She later practices using bottle caps and a chessboard drawn on scraps of cardboard.

As Phiona travels out of the country and experiences other cultures, her eyes are opened to the fact that there is more out there, more to reach for, than Katwe. On these trips to chess tournaments, she sleeps in hotel rooms on real beds and eats from buffets with endless amounts of foods offered. But after each tournament, she must return to the reality of her home.

It won’t be an easy road for her to reach her goal of becoming a Grandmaster, as many young women much more privileged than Phiona can attest. But where she had nothing to strive for before, she now has a goal and, more importantly, hope.

Looking for Sponsors

I’ve recently become an advocate for Compassion International, and these are the first two children for whom I need to find sponsors. Please contact me if you are interested!


Daniel, 8, of Dominican Republic

Daniel is 8 and lives in the Dominican Republic with his grandmother, who is employed as a laborer. There are four children in the family. The average monthly income in his community is $88/month.

Daniel’s household duties are running errands and making beds. He enjoys rolling a hoop and hide-and-seek. Daniel attends church activities and Vacation Bible School, and his performance is average in primary school. His birthday is June 8.


Constante, 6, of Togo

Constante is 6 years old and lives in Togo with both of her parents, who are sometimes employed. There are two children in the family. The average income in their community is $56/month.

Running errands is Constante’s household duty. She likes playing with dolls and playing group games. Her performance in primary school is average, and she regularly attends church activities and Bible class.