Saturday, November 29, 2014

Compassion Joys: November

We're almost at the end of the year! Since November is just about behind us, it's time for another post recounting our Compassion Joys!

 Compassion Family


This month we received several letters! We received a first letter from Julian in Colombia, and we got letters from Barry, Bonifas, Brenda, Erick, Mary, Victor, Carlos, and Kevenel!

New Kids!

We were matched with a new correspondent this month! Juan is 11 years old and he lives in Bolivia. He is our first Bolivian child!

Photo Updates! 

Barry in Burkina Faso and Anahi in Honduras both got their photos updated this month! Anahi looks so much older in her new picture than the older one! 


We celebrated 3 birthdays this month! Carlos turned 18 on the 11th, Mary turned 19 on the 25th, and Said turns 16 tomorrow, on the 30th! I hope all my teenagers had wonderful birthdays!! We also found out at the beginning of the month that Jayid's birthday was incorrectly recorded in Compassion's records- his birthday is actually November 9, not March 20! Since we thought his birthday was in March, we already sent him a financial gift this year, but I put together a birthday folder for him, along with another card and some small presents, explaining that all this time, we thought his birthday was in March! :) 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sweet Greetings from Mexico, Ecuador and Colombia

It's a snowy Mail Call Monday!

This week we received three letters, all from some of our tiniest kiddos! The first was from Brendita in Mexico.

Brendita sent us a letter about her school. She is in first grade, and her school is really close to her house, so she is able to get there by walking. Her uniform is blue and her teacher is named Esmerelda. Her favorite subject is the color guard, and her favorite thing about school is being with her teacher! She also told us that she behaves well (she has told us this several times!) and she asked that we pray for her aunts and cousins.

Next, we heard from tiny Erick in Ecuador!

Erick's letter was about the weather! He seems to really like warm weather, because that was his answer to pretty much every question. :) He also said that around his birthday, the weather "gets fresh." I don't know what that means, but it sounds fun! Erick said that he prays for my dad, my mom, my siblings, and me, and he said thank you for "always being kind with him." He also drew a picture of a church!

Finally, we got our first letter from Julian in Colombia!

Julian's letter arrived six months and two days after we got him as a correspondence kid. Julian's letter was about friends. Julian said that he only has one friend at the project, which makes me sad! But his best buddy is named Alirio- I think that it would be fun to connect with Alirio's sponsor! He said that they like playing, jumping, and coloring. I thought it was sweet that the form letter asked the kids to tell why Jesus is their friend, and Julian said that Jesus is his friend because "he never leaves me alone!" He also said that friendship means "sharing and enjoying." Julian said that he hopes we always have "beautiful moments", and said that he always prays for us at home, and the project prays for us, too!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sweet Greetings from Burkina Faso and Tanzania

Hooray for Mail Call Monday!

I have two letters to share this week. First, we heard from Barry in Burkina Faso!

Surprise! Someone got his picture updated! : )

I actually received Barry's letter on the day that I read that operations have returned to normal in Burkina Faso after some political unrest in Ouagadougou. For a little while, the field office was closed, as were some child development centers. Things got back to normal quickly, though!

Barry's letter was about holidays and vacations. In the form portion, he shared that he has a break from school for two and a half months, starting in July. He likes to travel to Kua to visit his uncle. Barry must love his uncle a lot, because he mentioned visiting him several times in this letter! In the question and answer section of the letter, Barry shared that his country's celebration of freedom is on December 11, and while he has never seen it, his parents told him that the army "does a walk" on that day! He asked which holidays we celebrate besides independence day, and said he was praying for Brandon's uncle Dennis and  asked that we pray for his mom's work.

After that, we heard from Bonifas!

Since he had a birthday back in the spring, Bonifas has not been sending form letters. He sends "big kid" letters which are transcribed by a project worker, and then he signs his name at the end (his signature is SO CUTE.) Bonifas said that he loves me so much! He said he's in standard grade 2 and said thanks for his letters. I have been trying to figure out all my kids' siblings names. I know from talking to him in Tanzania that Bonifas has four sisters, and the only one I remember is Karen (which is my mom's name!) So a few months ago I asked about the other sisters. He told me he has a sister named Prisca and that she goes to school with him! Bonifas also said that he was happy to see me in Tanzania, and that he welcomes me back there again. In closing, he shared Psalm 23:1!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Sweet Greetings from India, Uganda, Honduras, and Indonesia

Happy Mail Call Monday!

Well, last week, saying "I don't think I'm going to get any letters" worked out pretty well for me- I got three that evening! So I'm going to try it again, post this early, and hope that that nets me some more letters in my mailbox today. :)

This week we actually got four letters! The first was from our new correspondent Amisha in India!

Amisha is actually my mom's sponsor child- she chose to sponsor her because she has another girl named Amisha (who was actually her first financially sponsored child.) She offered to let me write to her because she might be a little overwhelmed adding another letter-writer to her crew. I'm so happy that I get to write to Amisha! And since I got signed up as her correspondent a few days after mom sponsored her, we got a letter right away. Amisha was newly registered to the program, and I'm really excited that her letter arrived so quickly.

Amisha's letter didn't say much about her- it was written by a project worker, and included her mom and dad's name, the fact that her favorite game is hide and seek, she likes fish curry, and her house is made of straw. She also shared her best friend's name but I'm not 100% sure I read it right. On the back of the letter, a project worker shared about Amisha's community. They live in a tribal settlement "in the middle of the forest!" It's a Hindu community, and most people who work either do agriculture or they cut bamboo. Amisha's dad cuts bamboo and her mom works as a housewife. The project worker shared that a large number of the young people in this community are addicted to drugs and alcohol, and they don't have enough medical care or education. They also said that most of the adults are illiterate. I picked up a vibe of hopelessness from the letter. I just get the intuitive feeling that there is not a lot of positivity in Amisha's community, and that the people are hardworking, but maybe there's not a lot of happy stuff going on there. I'm so thankful that Amisha gets to be a part of the project, along with other kids in her community- it will be interesting to see how the project impacts the outlook of the community members over the next several years!

In the next letter, we heard from Caleb in Uganda!

Caleb had a birthday in August, and his financial sponsor apparently ended up sending a gift after I sent a small one. All in all, with $25, Caleb was able to purchase a hen, bed  sheets, sugar, shoes, rice, some soda and candy! He was so cute- he wrote it all out in a "budget." So responsible. Caleb also shared a memory verse with us- John 14:6-7.

Then there was a letter from little Anahi in Honduras!

We keep going back and forth calling her Katherine and Anahi. : ) Since her mama writes her letters, I'm just gonna go by what she says in each previous letter. Anahi is so cute! She said that she hopes I am doing well "by the side of my husband" and that our family is doing well, too. She hopes that I can come visit her soon (I'd really like that, too!) Unfortunately, Anahi's grandfather passed away recently. Her mom said that she is so sad about it, because she liked to play with him and they shared a lot of things, and every time she sees his picture, she cries. But she also said that "God decided to send him to heaven," and that he was a leader in his church. Anahi listed several family members' names and asked that I pray for them because they don't go to church, and said that it's a blessing that so many of Brandon's family members go to church with us. I often tell my kids that sometimes we take up a whole row of seats, and Anahi described that as "all your family is in the way!" She added a thank you for a card and a coloring book, and said that "she likes to paint the eyes." She finished the letter with "May God bless you today, tomorrow, and always. With love!" and included this SUPER CUTE picture. This is the first time one of my kids has drawn me in their pictures. I love it!

Lastly, later in the week we heard from Prayer!

We hadn't gotten a letter from either of our Indonesian kids in over three months, so it was great to get a letter from Prayer. And I'm hoping that means there's a letter from Tasya on the way as well, since we haven't heard from her since June! Prayer said that he moved up in school and is now in 7th grade. He said they celebrated Thanksgiving in his town, and they had lots of guests, including families from other villages. They thanked the Lord for his blessings and for the farmers and their harvest. They all had dinner and talked and everyone was "satisfied and happy." Prayer said again that he has two brothers and he's the oldest (maybe someday he will share their names- I keep asking!) and that the curriculum at the project is a little different than what they teach at school.