I have been doing a lot of crying lately, and many of my tears are for you. I am writing this letter to you as a way to soothe my soul, wishing I could somehow see your sweet face and tell you myself.
Esther, please forgive me. I lied to you. I lied when I agreed to sponsor you. I lied when I said my sponsorship of you was an expression of God's love. I lied about all that. I thought it was "the right thing" to do. And I did it so I could convince myself I was doing something for kids like you, who have so little when I have so much. I did it so I could put your picture on my refrigerator and my friends would all see what a good person I am. (a refrigerator is something we have in our kitchen, where we keep the food and it remains cold).
But then a few years ago, after I had been writing to you for a while, things got hard for me and my family. We had a lot less money. My husband was out of work and I was scared. (You can read about that here: http://www.matthew185.blogspot.com/2013/01/50-and-broke.html)
I should have trusted God. I should have known He would get us through - He did! I should have known that the small amount I was sending you would not make much of a difference in our overall problems. But I let fear get the best of me. And I cancelled my sponsorship of you. I know you have to believe in God EVERY DAY for what you need, and I am so ashamed that I did not have as much courage as you do.
My heart is truly broken now to realize what I did. And the only reason I am realizing it now, is because some people here in America got in an argument and it made them cancel their sponsorships of thousands of other kids. I know that sounds terrible. It is. I wonder now how they told you I wouldn't be writing to you any more. What did they say? I am realizing now that because you live in a country where so many people die young, you might even think that I died! How did they explain it? I pray with all my heart that you do not think it had anything to do with you.
Your letters were awesome. You are so strong and so brave. I know a lot more now about what it means to you to have a sponsor. See, now I have four kids that I adopted from an orphanage. They have told me about how having a sponsor kept them from being too sad. They told me that having JUST ONE person care about them in the whole world gave them the courage to keep going. They didn't care about having an extra meal or a Christmas present as much as they cared about knowing that someone knew their name, thought about them, prayed for them.
Precious Esther, I am so sorry that I failed you. I am sorry that I was not that person for you. After my husband got a job again I started sponsoring another little girl. Here she is:
I felt like it didn't matter that it was a different girl, but now I know that I was wrong. I know that I am real to you too. That you think about me when you lie in your bed at night. That you wonder what I am doing, what I am eating, what my house looks like. I know you pray for me. I know sometimes you even wrote my name as your last name on your school papers.
My new girl writes me sweet letters just like yours.
She even sent me a copy of her report card so I could see how well she is doing in school.
She told me that she tries so much harder in school now because she wants me to be proud of her, and she knows I believe in her because I pay for her to go to school.
Esther, I pray there is some way, any way I can find you one day and tell you how great you are. But most importantly, I want you to know that even though I lied to you, even though lots of people lied to lots of kids that they have stopped sponsoring, Jesus will never lie to you. Grown-ups are sinners. We do bad things and we make lots of mistakes. Please don't let the way I acted make you think that the love of Jesus is not real. Because He really, really, will not give up on you. His love is not like my human love. His love is so much better. His love does not change. He does not get afraid. He does not get in arguments. He does not leave you no matter what you say about Him, or what you do that is wrong. His love is pure. He will ALWAYS be there for you. Not like a sponsor…He is so, so much better.
I love you Esther
· Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:4-6