This week has been AMAZING! I mean, for letters. There have been lots of letters. The week was actually pretty terrible, which made receiving the letters a real gift. Hopefully there are more letters waiting for me at home at the end of the day!
The first letter we received last week came from Brenda in Mexico.
Brenda's letter was a form letter about the weather. She said that during her birthday and Christmas, the weather is cold. I looked up a map of average temperatures for her area, and it looks like a cold day for her would be a pretty warm winter day for us- warm enough to make a trip to the zoo! She said that when it rains, she likes to play in the rain, and when it is sunny out she likes to play with her cousins. Then Brenda had some sad news to share. She said that her aunt passed away, and asked us to pray for her cousins and her grandma, who is very sad about this. Her aunt's name was Carolina. I have written back to her and have asked for her cousins' names as well. I know she has mentioned them in other letters, so I feel like their family is probably close knit. I'm so sad for Brenda and her family. In my response letter, I shared a comforting Bible verse and explained that even though I have never lost an aunt, I have lost friends and family, and I know that it is very sad. But even though I am sad they're no longer here with me, I am happy that they are in heaven with Jesus and I will get to see them again someday!
I really want to know what's going on here! If I ever meet Brenda, I'm going to show her a photo of this drawing and get her to explain it to me. The lady on the right is either part butterfly or an angel...I wonder if it is supposed to be her aunt Carolina?
At the end of last week, six letters arrived on the same day! The first one was from Sandier in Honduras- our first letter from him!
Sandier's letter was about his hobbies and pets. He likes soccer and enjoys playing it with his siblings. He also shared that he has a cat named Picho. Sandier's letter was written by his tutor, whose name is Ana. Right off the bat, she said "He is a restless boy, but a good boy at the same time." Hmm....restless. He must really like to play! He also asked if I like to play soccer, and he said "bye sending all his love and blessings." He also drew a colorful picture- including Picho the cat! I'm glad we got our first letter from Sandier- we are waiting on several first letters, including two from Sharifa and Eduardo, who joined our family before Sandier did! Also, Kim was able to take baggies to Honduras for Sandier and Eduardo back in May. I am looking forward to hearing what they thought of their surprise presents!
Can you spot Picho the cat?
The next letter was from Bonifas in Tanzania!
At first I thought I had received a repeat letter from Bonifas, but then I realized that I had just received the same form letter from Elisha a few weeks prior! The letter was about school. Bonifas also lives within walking distance of his school, and his uniform is purple. His teacher is named Miram, and his favorite things about school are reading and playing. Bonifas wants to be a teacher when he grows up, so it made me happy to learn that he likes to read! In my response letter I told him that reading will make him so smart- he is very smart already, and just imagine how much more he can learn between now and when he is grown! At the end of the letter, Bonifas' helper wrote "He says that he was so happy when (at the time) you came to visit him. You are most welcome to Tanzania once." I was very happy to hear that! Bonifas is the only one of the boys so far who has said anything about our visit together! Then he drew a very busy scene that includes a soccer match and what appears to be either Robocop or Judge Dredd.
It's hard to see here, but there is a goalie drawn behind that soccer ball that has been partially erased. When Bonifas draws people, he gives them slightly triangular heads. And Bonifas' head is shaped the same way in real life. It's adorable.
The next letters were all from Peru! We received two letters from Carlos, and two from Mishel! First, for Mishel's letters.
In one letter, she wrote responses to many of my letters throughout the past 8 or 9 months! She said that they have turkeys in Peru and that she is thankful for her family and the center, which would be in response to the Thanksgiving letter I sent. She said "I have read that Bible verse many times", which might be in response to the Valentines memory verse bookmark I made for the kids. She told me she wants to be a hairstylist, and she asked that we pray for her mom's health. The second letter was a thank you note for the gift that we were able to send her when another sponsor visited Peru back in May! She listed out the items in the pencil bag I packed for her- which included glitter pencils, gel pens, sparkly nail polish, shiny headbands, a pretty notebook, sugar cookie flavored lip balm, and Hello Kitty strawberry soap! We also sent a photo album in the bag, and I am thinking that perhaps the labels on the photos did not get translated, as she asked questions like "what's your rabbits name" and "who were the youth people in the photos." Hopefully she can get some translation help! I can tell her Gimli's name, but I'm not really sure I can remember all the other pictures I put in there- and certainly not the order! : ) Mishel's letter came with an extra treat- a photo of her with the gifts! It was printed on copy paper. She looks so beautiful and grown up!
My beautiful teenager! Mishel is 13!
Mishel's pretty drawing. She usually draws mountains, but this artwork had the boldest colors so far!
And now for Carlos' letters!
Carlos, like Mishel, wrote a regular letter and a thank you letter. In his first letter, he said that he likes animals, and his family has a dog named Black, and two playful cats. He also said thank you for the "letters, pictures, and book markers" which I suppose means he received the bookmark I made for him! He asked what my favorite dish is, and said that it was very cold where he lives (again, I checked a weather website- not so cold) but the good thing was that they don't have snow. He closed his letter with a big hug! In the second letter, Carlos also listed the items that were in his pencil bag. I packed him some notebooks, a Bible, a pocket knife multi-tool, a leather cord necklace with a Bible verse pendant on it, some pens, gum, and maybe a few other things. He said that he was especially thankful for the Bible, and that it was "very pretty!" He also really liked the photos and said that Gimli, our pet rabbit, is "very beautiful" but he doesn't look like the rabbits they have in Peru. Carlos said that "very soon" he is going to send me pictures of his family and pets so that I can know more about him! And he also sent a picture- this one was actually a developed photo, but it was smaller than 4x6- it looks like the little photos in my grandma's old photo albums! Carlos is wearing the necklace we sent in the picture. : )
Look at that handsome young man!
"Jesus guide my way"