Monday, May 20, 2013

Sweet Greetings

On Mondays, blogging Compassion sponsors often post the letters they may have received during the week. I am linking up with Blogging from the Boonies- please check out Michelle's lovely blog and the wonderful Compassion-related resources she posts there.

This week we didn't receive any letters from our kids, but we did get two letters from the pastors of our traditionally sponsored kids' churches, where the child development centers are located. I was excited to get these letters so I can learn more about their communities. 

The first letter was from Tasya's pastor in Indonesia:

Dear Jessi,, 
We send greetings from your sponsored child Tasya. 
Greetings in the name of God!
I am VCK Lunt, S.Th as the pastor of Evangelical Christian Church in Sangihe Talaud, Immanuel Kalasuge Church and in charge in Project Mangsumombo where Tasya attends. Project is located in Kalasuge village, Sangihe district, Eastern Indonesia. I would like to say thank you so much for sponsoring Tasya in our project. 
The majority of people in our area have low-income with limited resources. Most parents are just as the farmers because their land had been sold to someone else, so that life is uncertain. 
We wrestled with existing stewardship of children's life in Kalasuge who had not able to be carried out in the field of spiritual care. The church is less able to touch another aspect to be an integral part of a child's life, which is the provision of health services for child nutrition, growth, intellectual improvement, and aid for the needs of children such as tuition assistance and others. This is due to the lack of funding of the church. There is help for children's services but small budget presentation, and most of the funds are absorbed by financing the building physical structures of worship and ministry of the church. 
The children we serve initially had poor nutrition, lack of awareness of healthy living, were still not daring to pray, still shy. But after the presence of Project, children are bold to lead the opening prayer, even closing prayer intercession in group worship. 
Project also helps assisting in the fulfillment of nutrition, providing an understanding of how to live a healthy life. Even some of the children who are served show a chart of significant increase in the value of school. Some of the Project children get the champion their classes. It is something of great pride for me personally, especially to God. 
In addition, the presence of Project can also maximize the potential of the church workers who have a desire to serve children. Some of those are entrusted by the church to be staffs and tutors of children. 
Through the Project we have a vision to make the children get high intellectual ability, personality of God, and become a leader in the transformation process in the Sangihe. They become agents of change both in the neighborhood, at church, or community, so that future generations eventually became the inheritance of the church and God's favorite. 
After 3 years passed, there is no any sponsor visited the Project we serve. But from the deepest of heart, we have desire that there will be sponsor who can visit our children to see their progress and even to become motivator that helps the children to get out from poverty. 
In one year there have been 145 letters from sponsors that we received for Project children. This makes children more enthusiasm in learning. Communities around the Project also been aware and take part in this ministry by helping to prepare the land for children's learning space. Until now we are still borrowing room of school and church hall to be used as a study room for the Project. 
The positive impact is also felt that contributes to the child's relationship with the sponsor. We are seeing more and more children are motivated to learn when the sponsor is also providing advice through mail communication, gifts, and prayer support. 
Please pray for the church, child, their parents, and all project staff. We also ask prayers for recovery for our environment, because there is still a lot going on, binge drinking, gambling, domestic violence, which certainly is major obstacle for the development of Project children to their maximum potential. In addition many children still do not have a father as a result of relationships outside of marriage. 
Pray also that this vision will remain stay in the midst of the congregation of Immanuel Kalasuge so that everyone has a deep desire to serve children and become active contributors in their development. 
Thank you for reading my letter. I pray blessings of God's anointing to you. God bless!
With love, 
Pastor VCK Lunt, S. Th

It made me sad to read that no sponsors have visited Tasya's center in a long time. It is out of the way and when Compassion does do sponsor trips to Indonesia, they really don't go up to where Tasya lives (Indonesia is made up of several thousand islands, so you really can't blame them.) I sincerely hope that I am able to visit Tasya some day.

The second letter was from Jayid's church leader in India:

Dear Jessi, 
My name is Mrs. M. and I am the pastor of the church associated with the project where Jayid attends. This project is located in the state of Madhya Pradesh in India. We are very glad for your sponsorship to Jayid. We heartily thank you. 
In our project area there are many people that live below the poverty line. They make local cigarette called Bidi. Many family member and children are also involved in this. Because of this people also suffer from tuberculosis and other diseases. Because of employment problem they have to do this job. 
Children are unable to attend school because they go to shop for taking material and they also learn to use tobacco. Children are selected from the families that are involved in fishing, begging, rickshaw pulling, bidi making as their profession. 
Needs of the children in this community is basic meal, cloth, and education. Children see their parents fight every day. They live in make shift houses because they lack money to build a reasonable house. Many times parents are unable to give food to their children. Children suffer from depression. 
We are thankful to God for this project because many children and their parents are coming to know about God. At the project Jayid listens to scripture stories, learn memory verses, action songs and learn how to pray. 
Jayid and the other children were weak when they enrolled in the project because of malnutrition but now they are good in health. Children are learning good manners, habits, and godly values at the project. 
Seeing the changes in their children, parents are happy to. They have become aware about the importance of education. Children's study taking interest. 
The project has come as a blessing for the children and the community. People have become aware of many things through the project, so they send their children regularly to center and school. 
The project staffs have learned many things through the curriculum. They also get training from time to time through the workshops they attend. This helps them to teach the children, take care of their needs and minister to them in a better way than before. Their spiritual life has also improved.
Our vision for Jayid and the other beneficiaries is that they may get an opportunity to break free from poverty and be change agents in the community, because children are the future of our nation. Approximately 46 letters were received for children within the last year. Sponsor child relationship established through letters and prayers is important because it helps to bring the child and sponsor closer to each other. 
Jayid will be edified trough this bonding and your letters will help him to know that there is someone who loves and cares for him, and is concerned about his life. 
Our children are very glad and they are filled with joy when they get a letter from their sponsor. 
Please pray for our children, that they may come to the knowledge of God one day. Many children are not good in studies so please pray that they can improve in their studies. 
We are very thankful to God for your support and how Compassion has come forward to help us minister to the needs of these children. We are grateful to you for your support and concern for our children and community. 
May God bless you, 
Mrs. M. 

It sounds like many children in Jayid's community are forced to work to help support their families, and it's unfortunate that cigarettes play a big part in that. Maybe I will try to find some coloring pages for Jayid about taking care of our bodies and explaining that smoking is not healthy (but with a message that's delivered with grace and love!)

I love getting these letters because it helps me better understand every day life for my kids, and how I can better pray for them. Have you received any pastor letters lately?

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoy these pastor's letters. We recently received one for our little guy in Ethiopia. I find the pastor's letters so insightful and informative--you can learn so much about the specific challenges in the community. It really does help guide prayers for the kids!!


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