Frequently Asked Questions

How many children has BTCM supported since it started?

As of December 31, 2019, Bless the Children Ministries has served the lives of over 470 children in Uganda. 

How many children have successfully graduated from BTCM's program?

We work diligently to help each child be successful. We have celebrated 86 children so far that have successfully graduated from the program since we began Bless the Children Ministries in 2008! 

I'm not sure what to write in my letter to my child. What would they like to know about me? Do you have any letter prompts I could follow to get an idea?

Absolutely! Our children deeply desire relationship and an opportunity to communicate with their sponsors.

Here are some guidelines when writing your letter:

  1. Keep your letter simple. Write about things they will understand, such

as family, pets, hobbies, and activities. Encourage learning activities and their

relationship with the Lord.

  1. Emphasize things you have in common. As time goes on you’ll

discover shared interests, perhaps a favorite subject in school or a love for

music. Because of your significance in their life these common interests will

enhance self-esteem. (Please avoid discussing material possessions, which

will emphasize differences.)

  1. Send pictures of yourself and your family. Such photographs will

become prized possessions. Because dress standards are different in Uganda,

please dress modestly. (Beach attire, for example, is not suitable for these

photographs.)

  1. Send postcards of where you live and places you’ve visited.

Postcards are fun (and educational).

  1. Flat paper items are recommended for sending. Bookmarks, pages

from coloring books, photos, postcards, and stickers are all acceptable. Items

such as jewelry—or anything that changes the shape of the envelope—are

usually confiscated by customs officials.

  1. Please do not send communications inconsistent with Biblical

Christian values and philosophy. We minister to people in the context

of the local Christian Church that share a common evangelical statement of

faith.

Important: On the back of the envelope write: Bless The Children Ministries

and include the sponsored child’s, student’s or staff’s full name and reference

number. Also include this information on the card or letter inside the envelope.

Mailing Address:

9125 S Toledo Ave
Tulsa, OK 74137

We will get your letter to your sponsored child on the next trip!

*Sometimes it is difficult for children to write back more than twice a year, but if your child is able to return a letter it will be sent to Bless The Children. We will contact you when we have received mail for you from your sponsored child, student or staff member.

Packages: Delivery and customs systems prohibit us from delivering

packages. The risk of theft or loss of a package in route is high and the duty charged

by Uganda often exceeds the value of the package. BTCM will accept only

monetary gifts. Monetary gifts are used to mostly make purchases in country in

the local economy. You may give a monetary gift for a special occasion or need at

any time.

For more suggestions on writing prompts and content, please contact shelli@btcm.org.

How much does it cost to sponsor a child?

The monthly need is just $44 for a child to receive the full benefits of BTCM’s program. However, some children with special needs or other medical conditions may need more funding. When a child reaches 8th grade, their monthly need increases, as well as when a child enters college or vocational training because of increased school fees.

How does sponsorship work?

The majority of children who are in Primary School only need one sponsor because their monthly need is just $44. However, there are few exceptions for children that have special needs or medical conditions that need more funding and therefore possibly receive another sponsor to meet that need.

In church Secondary School which is about 8th grade their monthly need increases. At this point, sponsors are offered the opportunity to increase. If they are unable to increase we will find another sponsor to help meet the need. When they enter college or vocational there will be another increase in financial need due to college fees as well as vocational training opportunities. At that point, sponsors will be given another opportunity to increase if able or more sponsors will be found. 

Children are received into the program when they are evaluated by a Social Worker and it’s determined that the child is in need of care from BTCM and the resources/support we offer. The child will be assigned to a champion who will get to know that child personally and address any needs they have and help them succeed emotionally, spiritually, physically, developmentally, educationally, etc. They will continue in school and the program throughout the duration of the program, whether they are sponsored or not as our general fund will cover them until additional sponsors are found.

Do the children go to the same church? How is a church chosen for the child? Are there many churches in Mabaale?

Children that live in and near the town Mabaale attend Gospel of Truth church, an independent community church that Bless the Children Ministries invest in. Those that live in the nearby town of Kagadi go to Revival Church. We carefully help identify churches that align with BTCM for children who live in villages outside of Mabaale. Children that live at boarding school normally go to whatever church is available. 

What kind of vocation/trainings are available to the older children? What kind of jobs are common in Mabaale?

Mabaale is a very rural area in Uganda. Farming is a common occupation in Uganda, with crop such as corn, potatoes, coffee, plantains, and groundnuts. Other professions you will find are mechanics, hair stylists, teachers, police officers, government officials, motorcycle/taxi drivers, and assorted street vendors (meat, clothing, electronics.)

Is BTCM an NGO?

Yes! Bless the Children Ministries US is a registered 501c3. We also have a partner ministry in Uganda also named Bless the Children Ministries, which is registered as a NGO with the Ugandan government. Bless the Children Ministries is one of the few licensed orphan homes in Uganda, a title received by organizations who pass strict governmental requirements for high standards of care for each child. 

Is BTCM trustworthy?

We believe God has gifted and entrusted us with this ministry, it’s children, as well as the staff. As such, we understand we have a responsibility to ensure funds are being properly received, managed and distributed for the benefit of the children under BTCM’s care. We deeply care about each child and work hard to see that our work and funds are used effectively in supporting each child as they receive their basic needs, come to know and follow Jesus Christ, discover their gifts and calling, and be equipped to grow into authentic godly leaders in their communities. For every sponsorship dollar, 90% goes directly to Uganda to care for each child. The remaining 10% covers unsponsored children and staff or expenses to support running our sponsorship program. Internal audits by the Ugandan government are conducted annually for Bless the Children Ministries, Uganda. 

When did BTCM start?

In 2007, our founders, Craig and Amy Bay and Drew Files, responded to God’s stirring and joined a church planting trip in western Uganda. When they arrived in the tropical, rural village of Mabaale, they quickly saw the needs of God’s orphaned and vulnerable children. Responding to God’s prompting, Bless the Children Ministries was created in 2008, dedicated to caring for orphaned and vulnerable children through discipleship, education, and holistic care. 

Who is BTCM?

Bless the Children Ministries is a Christian ministry based in Western Uganda, dedicated to caring for, championing and equipping orphaned and vulnerable children through discipleship, education, and holistic care. 

Today, Bless the Children Ministries brings the body of Christ together to respond to see a generation of children come alive with hope for a better future.

Do the children have to be Christians to be part of the program?

Bless the Children ministries does not discriminate based on religion.  

Can I write my 2 letters per year, online?

We currently don’t have the capabilities for online letter writing. However, handwritten letters are so special to our children and we provide the opportunity for our sponsors to send special letters and gifts to their sponsored child, two times throughout the year. Join our email list (info@btcm.org) to receive updates on when it’s time to write your biannual letter! 

Where is BTCM's headquarters in the U.S.?

Bless the Children is headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

Where can I find more information about Mabaale, Uganda?

Uganda is named the Pearl of Africa because of its large forested areas that give life and home to many primates, butterflies, birds, and other larger species of animals not found anywhere else in Africa. 

Because of its many bodies of water, Uganda has a relatively moist climate besides the northernmost part of Uganda which is dry and semi-desert. 

Here are a few credible and up to date websites on Uganda:

The World Factbook

Fact Monster (here you can even find news and current events)

Are you guys on Amazon Smile? How does it work?

Yes! We are! AmazonSmile allows you to support Bless the Children every time you shop. Be sure to choose Bless the Children Ministries as your organization of choice. 

Your shopping will be as normal and you will still be logged into your same account and all of your settings, login, and wishlists stay the same. 

When you shop through AmazonSmile, you’ll find the exact same shopping experience with the added benefit of supporting our ministry at no cost to you. 

Each time you shop, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase, to our ministry! Make sure you bookmark the page so it’s easy to return to! Thank you!

How do I cancel my sponsorship?

We understand that unknown circumstances might happen and if for some reason you need to discontinue your support, you can contact Bless the Children Ministries sponsorship staff at info@btcm.org 

How long is a sponsorship commitment?

We encourage sponsors to stay with their sponsor child for the duration of their time at Bless the Children Ministries. We’ve seen that transformation happens best through long lasting authentic relationships. However, we understand that unknown circumstances might happen and if for some reason you need to discontinue your support, you can contact Bless the Children Ministries sponsorship staff at info@btcm.org 

How do I contact BTCM?

You can reach us via email: info@btcm.org

What are the letter writing guidelines and what is the address to send my child a letter?

HERE ARE SOME GUIDELINES WHEN WRITING YOU LETTER:

  1. Keep your letter simple. Write about things they will understand, such as family, pets, hobbies, and activities. Encourage learning activities and their relationship with the Lord.
  2. Emphasize things you have in common. As time goes on you’ll discover shared interests, perhaps a favorite subject in school or a love for music. Because of your significance in their life these common interests will enhance self-esteem. (Please avoid discussing material possessions, which will emphasize differences.)
  3. Send pictures of yourself and your family. Such photographs will become prized possessions. Because dress standards are different in Uganda, please dress modestly. (Swimsuits or beach attire, for example, is not suitable for these photographs.)
  4. Send postcards of where you live and places you’ve visited. Postcards are fun (and educational).
  5. Flat paper items are encouraged for sending. Bookmarks, pages from coloring books, photos, postcards, and stickers are all acceptable.
  6. Please do not send communications inconsistent with Biblical Christian values and philosophy. We minister to people in the context of the local Christian Church that share a common evangelical statement of faith.

TWO WAYS OF GETTING YOUR LETTER TO YOUR CHILD:
– Email your BTCM Letters to: letters@BTCM.org
– Mail your letter and photos to:
Bless The Children Min.
C/O Gibraltar Capital Mgmt.
9125 S. Toledo Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74137


Once we receive your letters, we will be forwarding it on to your sponsored child via mail, or with the next trip over. We understand that this is not a speedy system and are looking into a process to have our letters shared digitally with our staff in Mabaale, but the cost of printing (and printer cartridges) is quite expensive over in Uganda. 

Sometimes it is difficult for children to write back more than twice a year, but if your child is able to return a letter it will be sent to Bless The Children. We will contact you when we have received mail for you from your sponsored child, student or staff member.
SENDING GIFTS:
*Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are currently  “on pause” for sending any gifts to our children. Check this page often for an update*
-Twice a year, we ask that all of our sponsors consider sending a gift to their child with our summer and winter missions teams, or make a separate donation to cover the cost and we’ll purchase it on your behalf. You will be notified by email and/or mail on when we gather those items up. We will let you know when and where you can send them.
-If you would like to send a special item or gift to your child, (in addition to the reschedule twice a year gifts), you may do so. Please contact shelli@btcm.org for further instruction.
For other questions, please contact shelli@btcm.org.