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Sponsor Child


wanderinstar
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Since 2003 I have sponsored a girl from Thailand through Compassion (a christian organisation). It was my intention to not only save her from crippling poverty, but to also save her soul (being the arrogant christian I was). Now I am very pleased to have sponsored her as she was a likely candidate for child sex slavery had her family not had the financial support, and I am very proud of her. She has worked hard in school and is due to graduate this year then intends to be a police officer to try and help her country and fellow man (young and idealistic, but at least good at heart). However now I have deconverted and seen the horror that christianity (and any religion really) can bring on peoples lives it really bothers me that I 'led her to christ' and she wholeheartedly believes this, in a strongly buddhist country. I have brainwashed her and made her isolated from her culture. 

 

Do I continue to ignore the whole christian issue in my letters to her, pretend to be christian in the letters to directly respond to her questions, or tell her the truth. She is 17, and pretty smart but to only have contact via letters translated by christians makes it very difficult to properly explain to her what has happened. I feel responsible as I paid for the church to preach to her in her vulnerable state and I care very deeply about her; she is the closest person to a child I may ever have. The other option is to play the game until sponsorship ends when she graduates from police academy in 2015 and fly over and visit her with a non-christian translator (costly as that would be). I don't want to deconvert her, I just want her to know my full story and the facts available on the christian faith so she can make up her mind based on facts. This really makes me feel for those of you who have children of your own that you fed christianity to before deconverting. Must hurt like hell. Anyway, I would appreciate any insight on this. thanks :)

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I would be very nervous about telling her about your deconversion through letters getting translated by a Christian agency. I wouldn't lie to her by making up Christiany stuff to make it sound like you still believe, but I'd guess you'd be ok sending secular (not anti-christian, just avoiding the entire topic) letters through Compassion. Maybe see if there's a local-ish atheist group in her area you could contact, and go through them for translation? Maybe even a Buddhist organization that has members who've visited an English speaking country? Or figure out how to send mail to her directly and hire a translator in your area? Is there any large university near you that might have a Thai student organization? Or a Thai restaurant run by first (maybe even second) generation immigrants? There's likely a few options in between telling her through Christian translators and flying out there yourself.

 

The other thing I'd be worried about is how she'll take the news. If she's just going along with the Christian thing because of the money and the friendly people, it may help her to know that even though you're no longer a Christian you still care about and support her. On the other hand, if she's really bought into it, she may end up upset and worried about your eternal soul. I would certainly be sure to include a lot of details in your letter about why you've deconverted and why you think it's important for her to know about it, to tell her that you want her to have the most fulfilling live possible and not be separated from her community.

 

Good luck with whatever you decide to do about it! The situation sucks, and I hope you find a solution that works out well for both you and her.

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WS, you helped a gal who might have been sold,,,,,

 

you helped someone,,,,

 

religion wise,,,, let it be secondary for the time being,,,,,,,,

 

you did good for the humankind,,,, and hope she does not become a religious freak thats all

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Thanks Flux and Pratt, I am comforted by the good that has been done in her life. Being a police officer is a respected position with decent pay (for Thailand anyway) so compared with being a slave and/or prostitute the christian bit is not so much of a deal. She lives in rural N/W Thailand. To get there you have to fly to Chang Mai from Bangkok then drive for four hours on terrible mountain roads in a 4WD. This is why I have yet to visit her, the travel would really make my Fibromyalgia flare-up bad. I do have some loose connections in Thailand but nowhere near that part. As the deconversion was so tough on me I would hate for her to go through anything similar, but then again I am glad to be free to think for myself and I want the same for her.

 

She is certainly a passionate christian and has already many converts of her own :(  It makes me proud that she has such a strong character, cares for her fellow man and walks what she talks, she is obviously very courageous to want to be a female police officer too and I admire that; I guess I find it sad her energies are often going into spreading old myths I fed her. If she were in a mostly christian country I would be a little more peaceful but as the american non-christians know, being of a different belief system in a very religious country can be isolating. My cousins wife is Thai and she is a devout Buddhist and EXTREMELY religious; apart from the belief system she is the same kind of crazy you get from a christian fundie. So maybe I just changed the religion of my sponsor child and she was going to be a little fanatical anyway? I guess I have made a mistake by choosing a christian aid organisation and really wish I could undo it somehow. All I want for her is to have a life that is as free as possible, with as much opportunity as she needs to do well and have all the family/friends she needs around her. 

 

Why do we think it is ok to preach to people about 'our' religion when we help them in their time of financial/medical/emotional need? If Buddhists came to the USA, say after Hurricane Katrina, and offered practical help but only while we listened to their non-stop preaching would the USA accept that? or Muslim preaching? Is there not a human right for a child to grow up free from brainwashing? I feel strongly about this as we need the minds of the future to be as free as possible so they can dream big, unrestrained.

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I know your not asking for praise, but I'm giving it anyway. I think you did what all

of us need to do more of.(Forget the dangling participle.)

 

If I were you I would not do anything to try to get her to change her mind about

Xtianty. Who knows how much her belief in that religion (false though it is) has helped her in her progress. One more Xtian in the world is not going to make any difference, provided it is not hurting her. Also, you don't know what kind of impact your

non-christian comments might have on her. The timing of her learning the truth might

be wrong for her. It might shake her up too much at the wrong time.

 

Most Xtians don't cause any harm and are good people, though they believe a myth. We're not trying to deconvert the world. If you see her going off in an irrational direction you can step in and give her suggestions. You can, in your continued relationship with her, give good positive advice and support without referencing Xtianity at all.

For example, you can give advice about the benefits of rationality and the use of

reason without talking about religion at all. If she talks about her faith, you don't

have to respond with a religious reply. It is unlikely that she will challenge you for

inconsistencies , but if she does, you can then address your deconversion

diplomatically.

 

In other words, I wouldn't discuss Xtianity at all unless circumstances demand it. Good luck with her.

Bill

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I know you are not asking for it, but I applaud you as well for making that commitment to her.  You have made a difference in the life of a child, and that is a huge thing.

 

Interestingly, my daughter also sponsored a child through Compassion Int. for a number of years, exchanging letters, pictures, etc., but then one day she got a notice from them saying that the child had been dropped from the program because she no longer wanted to attend bible study class, and so she would no longer receive any services!!!  Of course, my daughter was asked to sponsor a new child, which she has not done.  She was quite shocked - she had developed a bond with this child, and then for Compassion International to just drop her was very upsetting...she has worried about what became of the girl, not to mention angry for the reason given for removing her from the program.  (My daughter was a christian when the sponsorship began too - and is now a non-theist). 

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She is certainly a passionate christian and has already many converts of her own sad.png  It makes me proud that she has such a strong character, cares for her fellow man and walks what she talks, she is obviously very courageous to want to be a female police officer too and I admire that; I guess I find it sad her energies are often going into spreading old myths I fed her. If she were in a mostly christian country I would be a little more peaceful but as the american non-christians know, being of a different belief system in a very religious country can be isolating. My cousins wife is Thai and she is a devout Buddhist and EXTREMELY religious; apart from the belief system she is the same kind of crazy you get from a christian fundie. So maybe I just changed the religion of my sponsor child and she was going to be a little fanatical anyway? I guess I have made a mistake by choosing a christian aid organisation and really wish I could undo it somehow. All I want for her is to have a life that is as free as possible, with as much opportunity as she needs to do well and have all the family/friends she needs around her. 

 

Why do we think it is ok to preach to people about 'our' religion when we help them in their time of financial/medical/emotional need? If Buddhists came to the USA, say after Hurricane Katrina, and offered practical help but only while we listened to their non-stop preaching would the USA accept that? or Muslim preaching? Is there not a human right for a child to grow up free from brainwashing? I feel strongly about this as we need the minds of the future to be as free as possible so they can dream big, unrestrained.

 

It probably DOES have something to do with personality. If she'd stayed Buddhist, she might very well still be super religious. Some people can deal with religion healthily and not really take it too seriously (unlike us "true believers") and, in SOME, cases it might even be good for them. My dad and youngest sister seem to fall into this category.  But anything with extremity is not healthy. She is probably just so grateful that you have helped her out and she will work things out in her own time. I don't necessarily buy into the "Everything happens for a reason" saying but sometimes it's just best to accept that it could be the case. It's just all part of the human world we live in. You grew up in a religious country and were taught to spread the word and do good. You did good because you're a good person and used an organization that you believed truly helped people (and sounds like they do to an extent with conditions). Look at one of the alternatives: you never were involved at all and possibly no one else took your place and possibly she would up sold and has a miserable life.  I certainly wouldn't feel bad for teaching her Christianity; you were simply doing what you felt was right at the time. We're humans. We learn from life experiences and our thought processes change and  evolve. 

 

 

I know you are not asking for it, but I applaud you as well for making that commitment to her.  You have made a difference in the life of a child, and that is a huge thing.

 

Interestingly, my daughter also sponsored a child through Compassion Int. for a number of years, exchanging letters, pictures, etc., but then one day she got a notice from them saying that the child had been dropped from the program because she no longer wanted to attend bible study class, and so she would no longer receive any services!!!  Of course, my daughter was asked to sponsor a new child, which she has not done.  She was quite shocked - she had developed a bond with this child, and then for Compassion International to just drop her was very upsetting...she has worried about what became of the girl, not to mention angry for the reason given for removing her from the program.  (My daughter was a christian when the sponsorship began too - and is now a non-theist). 

 

Wow, that is crazy. They didn't even offer your daughter alternative forms of contact? That's too bad. How sad. I'd been so upset and hurt if I was your daughter especially after forming a bond!! 

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Thanks Bill, Julilyn and Kolaida! I think I will keep avoiding the christianity topic in correspondence for now and just encourage her as she graduates from high school and trains to become a police officer. She has worked hard and deserves to know she has achieved this herself, as I expect christians around her will call it all a miracle from god. 

 

Julilyn, my gosh, how could they do that to a child in need!!!!!!!!! Was it just the religious classes they were refusing to attend or the education too? Not that I can see a third world child refusing practical education if financially able. I have a close friend who worked for Compassion here in Australia and she had a lot of praise for the work they do. She is a christian, but quite liberal, and is highly educated; she worked in the office and went all over the world making assessments of the effectiveness of the work. She is big on social justice and although she would support the indoctrination of children I cannot imagine she would accept rejecting helping a child in the 3rd world because they refused religious ed. I will have to have a talk to her as that is outrageous. World Vision don't have the best reputation when it comes to the percentage of your donation that gets to the child but at least they don't indoctrinate.

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