People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-16)

As some of you may know, I (Clare) administer the ChildAid sponsorship programme here at WorldShare. It has been such a personal blessing to me to be part of the journey of thousands of children over the last nearly 30 years. Our sponsorship programme brings the hope of the Gospel, practical help and education to vulnerable and needy children. Today I’m going to reflect on some of my thoughts about what makes a brilliant ChildAid sponsor. For those who already sponsor a child, I hope this blog will help you to know how best to engage and for those who don’t, I hope it will show that it’s not as daunting as you might have thought!

1. Pray

Summer Bible School - Potter's House praying

Praying for your sponsored child and their family is a wonderful way of supporting them. Pray in faith for their family, studies, and health. Other people in their lives such as ministry leaders, workers, and teachers around them may too be uplifted by your prayers. Know that your sponsored child is also encouraged to pray for you and your family- what a mutual blessing! If you need help knowing what to pray for, you can sign up to receive WorldShare’s monthly prayer calendar, where daily prayers outline the requests of our ministry partners. We also have a feed on PrayerMate – find WorldShare under the ‘World Mission & Bible Translation’ category.

2. Engage

We really encourage you to get to know your sponsored child and the ways they are supported by learning about their location in the world. To discover more about a specific country and the challenges of ministry there, the Operation World website is a great place to go. You can find out all about the ministry partner that runs your child’s programme by visiting the ChildAid page of our website, and to see any other projects they run, visit our Ministry Partners page. Then, by sharing the interesting things you learn about with your friends and family, you can help us to spread awareness of WorldShare and the impact sponsoring a child makes. We always have children who are waiting for sponsors up on our website, if you want to direct people there.

3. Write

Library book 2

Children love to receive letters, cards and unframed photos from you and your family! You can bless and support them by writing to them regularly and by responding to their letters. You may want to ask them questions about their families or studies, or share small things with them about you and where you live and what you do. You can find ChildAid letter writing paper to print out in our sponsor’s area.

Please note, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, letters from sponsored children may not arrive for some time. Feel free to continue to send letters and cards to your sponsored child though, these are being sent on.

4. Commit

Even though you have full freedom to end your sponsorship at any time, both we and your sponsored child really appreciate your commitment to this programme. We see the way it enriches and improves the children’s lives when you can be a stable support for at least four years. This also gives space for your relationship through letters to flourish and will give you the best experience possible of being a child sponsor.

5. Give

Potter's House ChildAid

Your monthly giving is sent directly to the ministry partner who supports your sponsored child and used to benefit all of the ministry’s children. Your support provides a wide range of help to your child, depending on which ministry partner they are supported by. They may be in a place where they must pay for education and it covers this cost for them, or maybe it’s providing them with hot meals, food parcels, and enjoyable days out that they would usually not be able to have. For these children who live in desperate poverty and very difficult environments, the opportunities they are given are incredible and the support lifechanging.

In my experience, all of these things make sponsoring a child a really worthwhile and enriching commitment. We are always so appreciative and thankful for any and all of these things!

By Clare Hill, WorldShare’s Administration & ChildAid Officer.