Anyway, it's been a little while since an Outgoing Mail post, so I thought I'd write one up for this uneventful Monday.
Last week I sent out letters for all the boys. I was having a little trouble coming up with a topic, and happened to recall reading some news stories from my kids' countries recently. I thought it might be fun to give my kids a few updates on my own country, because I like following the news from theirs! I decided to focus on just a few topics in my letter. Here's a sample of what I sent:
How are you, and how is your family? I hope you are all doing well. I'm happy to say that my family is doing fine. The weather where I live is perfect, and all of our activities are going well. We also had a lovely weekend recently, which was filled with birthday celebrations. My mom, my dad, and my brother-in-law Jonathan all had birthdays last week, and it was good to spend time with family to celebrate these occasions!
I want you to know that I like to read about what is going on in your country! I like learning about your life, and the place where you live. I use the computer to read news stories about your country so I know some of what is going on there. I thought you might like to hear a report of some things that are going on in my country as well. For example, some areas of my country are experiencing severe drought. In the western part of my country (far from where I live) they have not had enough rain in over a year. Because of this, some rivers and lakes are drying up, and there is not enough rain for some of the crops. Aside from this, we have not had any severe weather or natural disasters. We continue to pray for rain in those areas that are not receiving enough, so the people can grow their crops which are sent to markets all over the country. We are also going to have some elections here soon. I am praying that our leaders will make good decisions and consider the needs of the people of my country. As for a cultural event, next month we are going to celebrate a holiday called Thanksgiving. This is a time when people in my country get together with their families and think about the blessings in their lives. Do you have any holidays coming up in your country? I would love to hear about them!
I hope to get a letter from you soon. I love hearing from you! I am praying for you and your family every day. Do you have any prayer requests for me? I would like to ask you to pray for my country.
Love and hugs,
This week I will be sending letters to all the girls. I have something pretty fun to write about this week. On Saturday, I went to a special event in my city called the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular. Some really amazing carved pumpkins were set up in one of Louisville's many parks, and once it got dark, ticket holders were allowed onto the trail to view the pumpkins. There were no lights aside from the ones inside the pumpkins. We were surrounded by them- on one side, there were traditional jack-o-lanterns with faces or simple animals. On the other side, intricately carved works of art. I think that it's possible to relay some aspects of Halloween to our kids without breaching into the uncomfortable areas of consumerism (begging for candy) and the occult (pretty much all of the rest of it. Pumpkins are grown in many Compassion countries, so our kids probably have a familiarity with this seasonal gourd. Here's how I'm going to explain Halloween to my kids when I write about it:
In America, we have a cultural celebration at the end of October. People celebrate it in different ways- though some families do not celebrate it at all. Little children sometimes dress up in costumes, and they may attend parties or special events at schools and churches. My church will have a party for the kids and will hand out candy and have fun games to play. One interesting thing that happens this time of year is that people decorate pumpkins. Have you seen a pumpkin before? They are a gourd which is usually orange (sometimes white) and they have a very thick skin. Sometimes people paint their pumpkins, but most pumpkins are decorated by carving. The top is cut off, and the insides are scooped out. Then, people can carve faces or other designs into the pumpkin, and place a little candle inside.
Recently, my city had a fun event. Artists carved thousands of pumpkins with beautiful and interesting designs. Some of the pumpkins looked like animals and dinosaurs, some showed scenes from history, and others were carved to look like people, such as my country's presidents. The pumpkins were placed along a trail in a park, surrounded by trees and woods. When the sun went down, we went to the trail and walked around, looking at the pumpkins. It took over an hour to see them all! They were really amazing, and fun to look at. I am attaching some pictures of pumpkins for you to see!
I hope the kids like the pictures I am sending. I'm going to post some of them here, because they were just too awesome not to share. : )