Thursday, December 31, 2015

Compassion Joys: December

It's time to count our blessings for the month!

 Compassion Family


This month we received letters from Bijay, Brenda, Caleb, Christine, Erick, Juan, Maribel, Mary, Sandier, and Sukumar! There are many more letters on the way, but the mail has been a bit slow due to the holidays. Hopefully they will show up soon! :)


We just had four birthdays this month, but last year we only had one, so that's a pretty big increase! This month, Motempa in Kenya turned 18, Festus in Kenya turned 16, Sandier in Honduras turned 7, and Rachelle in Togo turned 13! I hope they all had lovely birthdays!!

Photo Updates! 

We had one photo update this month. Our lovely Mary P in Ecuador had a photo update! I kind of like the fact that she looks like she's about to growl in her picture. :) In the first photo we had of her (the one in the middle) sometimes our friends and family thought she was a boy, because of her strong features (which I think are gorgeous) and shorter hair. I think the bun and the pink top will help them out now!

New Kids! 

This month we lost our Mercy in Kenya to early graduation, but a few days before that happened, we got another Mercy in Kenya!! Some of my mom's kiddos were also transferred to my account (I wrote about that last month- it was finalized at the beginning of this month.) So I am now writing to Christina in Tanzania, Eyo in Burkina Faso, Frainelyn in the Dominican Republic, Jaki in Togo, and Jessika in Ecuador. AND we started sponsoring a girl from Honduras through another organization that a friend helped start, Manna 4 Lempira. While our lovely Zoila may not be a Compassion kiddo, Kim is a Compassion advocate, and I think that her involvement in both these organizations makes everything nice and interconnected!


In December, we celebrated three years of writing to Mary, two years of writing to Patricia, and one year of writing to Motempa, Nkoyio, Christine, Gloria, and Rose!


We found out that we will be able to send some gifts to our girlies in India!! While they will technically be mailed to the sponsor that is visiting that country next month, they are all packed up and ready to go now. :) My mom and I have three teen girls there, and they will each be getting a pencil bag with a toothbrush, some holiday soap, knee socks, a pretty necklace, some brightly colored chalk, a pack of hair ties, some lip balm, a little bit of candy, and a small Bible! We also have three little girls there, and they are each getting a little doll, a princess tote bag, and a stuffed animal. I can't wait to hear what they think of everything!!

Trip Updates! 

The first week of the month, I hosted an online fundraiser to raise money for my trip. Friends and family donated several new or handmade items, and in the end, I made a few hundred dollars for my trip! I'm really thankful for the generosity of everyone who donated and bid on items, and hopefully my fundraising efforts will continue to go well!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Sweet Greetings from India

Happy Mail Call Monday- the last of 2015!!!

This week we just got one letter, but it was a first letter, so that was nice! We heard from Bijay in India! 

Bijay seems to really appreciate our letters- I know that he went a long, long time without them before he was assigned as our correspondent. I'm so glad that we get to write to him! He says that his aunty sends his greetings and he wants to say hello to everyone in our family. He has never been to a zoo, and he was glad to read that I work at a library. Bijay asked that we pray for his brother's family, that they will come to know Jesus. He also said that he is thankful that he is able to go to the center! Bijay drew a beautiful picture of his center for us- little yellow and pink buildings, and some birds in the sky. :) He did a great job! 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Sweet Greetings from Kenya, Uganda, India, Ecuador, and Honduras

Happy Mail Call Monday! And Merry Christmas!

We got a few more letters this week! The first was our first letter from Sukumar in India!

Sukumar's letter was written in English! It's so exciting to know that this young man speaks and writes English- now I know more of what I can send him in the way of little paper presents! I'm very excited. Sukumar wrote that he and his family are fine, and he is studying well in school. His family does agricultural work and he enjoys reading my letters and greeting cards! He said he is praying for me in his devotion time and personal prayer- this sounds like he has a relationship with Jesus, which is such an encouragement! And he said that he is very happy because I am encouraging him and writing to him. What a sweetheart!

We also heard from Sandier in Honduras!

Sandier's letter was about his house. It's orange and pretty and has a sheet metal roof. We also learned a little more about his family situation in this letter- Sandier's grandmother lives with them, because she has health problems, and takes care of the kids. She has a bed of her own, and the other bed is shared by Sandier's mom, Sandier, and his sister Haki. This week I took some money out of my special savings account for my Honduras trip and sent it to Sandier's family so they can buy another bed. I can't wait to see pictures of him (and hopefully the rest of his family!) and I have faith that God will "reimburse" these funds in time.

And another lovely letter from Mary in Kenya came this week!

Mary's letters are always so special- this time she wrote two pages!! She responded directly to many of my stories and prayer requests, including saying that she loved the story of Fanny Crosby and found the lyrics to her hymn to be very inspirational! She always encourages me so much, and I love having her as a member of my family. Mary also shared that recently she was able to take a "police training course" but she is still planning on pursuing her dream of being a party planner and singer. She also shared that her grandfather was able to go to the doctor and they learned that he has fluid surrounding his heart, so we are definitely praying for his medical care and his doctors.

We also got a letter from Caleb in Uganda!

Caleb is so sweet. His family must be farmers because he always writes about what they're planting or harvesting. He said he personally planted cassava and maize this time around, and his family is also planting soybeans. After finishing his school exams, they are now on holiday for three months (the letter was written in November, so I guess he will go back in January or so.) During his break, he helps his parents with domestic work and he plays football with his friends! He wished us a happy Christmas and a good new year.

We heard from Christine in Kenya this week, too!

Christine is so cute! I hadn't heard from her in several months, so it was good to get her letter. Christine said "I feel loved by you when I receive a letter. Thank you for loving me like your child. May God of Heaven always pay back in goodness all that you do for me. My family also thanks and prays for you all the time." She said she was glad that my stomach is feeling better and is very happy that I got a new job! :)

Lastly, we got a special letter from Erick in Ecuador!

Erick's letter didn't say much, other than he received the gift we were able to send him back in April! :) We got a super cute picture of Erick holding some of his gifts! I was especially excited to see that he was wearing the scarf that I made for him!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Sweet Greetings from Bolivia

Happy Mail Call Monday, a day late!

Our power was out before I went to work yesterday, so I didn't get to post on time! We just had two letters last week, after a week with no letters. Both the letters we received came from Bolivia! The first was from Maribel, the sponsor child I share with my friend Stephanie. 

This was only our second letter from Maribel, but she had soooo much to say! She did say in her first letter that she likes to talk! :) Maribel responded to many of my little comments about family members She asked for our parents' names and asked how all my brothers are doing, by name- even my brothers in law! She also said to send greetings to Hannah because she helped us find Maribel! How precious. She also said that she is lucky to "belong" to our family, and shared a little about school- she said she is struggling a little in language arts and "plastic arts" but she is working hard!" She dedicated Psalm 121 to us, and drew little hearts and flowers around the corners of her letter. 

We also heard from Juan in Bolivia! 

Juan said he really enjoyed the cards and letters we've been sending! He said he is going to visit La Paz for Christmas and New Years, and asked how we would celebrate the holiday. He also said that he is receiving a bond soon (I'm not sure why, but I think it has something to do with a government holiday) and he wants to save his money to buy a computer!! He also struggled with some subjects in school this year, and it made his mom sad, but he is hoping to bring his grades up for the end of the year. He said he hoped that I wrote again soon, and he wants us to pray for his family! 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Compassion Joys: November

I can't believe that another month has passed by! It's time once again for us to count our Compassion blessings for the month! :)

 Compassion Family


What a blessing to receive so many letters this month! We heard from Amelia, Barry, Eduardo, Estha, Julian, Kevenel, Marc, Michel, Mjay, Rachelle, Reine, Rubby, Ruth, Said, Tasya, Thanakan, and Yekersew! And the letters from Amelia, Rachelle, Rubby, and Ruth were all first letters! How nice to hear from these lovely ladies at last!


It's pretty crazy that 7 birthdays in one month is considered "moderate" for us now! This month, Jayid in India turned 10; Carlos in Peru turned 19; Vandana in India turned 15; Laura in the Dominican Republic turned 19; Kaue in Brazil turned 7; Mary in Kenya turned 20; and Said in Tanzania turned 17! My kiddos are getting so old! :)


We had several sponsor-versaries this month! We celebrated three years of writing to Victor in Kenya, three years since taking over Jayid's sponsorship, two years of sponsoring Bonifas, and one year of writing to Juan in Bolivia!! I love all these boys so much!!

New Kids!

Four new kids joined our family this month! The last two boy "replacement" kids showed up on our account. Francisco is in Bolivia, and Milder is in Peru! I am also taking over letter writing responsibilities for several of my mom's kids, and many of them are still in the process of being moved over. However, two have already been moved- beautiful Amitie in Haiti, and handsome Herlan in Bolivia! They are both really sweet and I am glad that I can do this for my mom! I think the kids will like writing to someone they already sort of know through my mom's letters, and she will still be able to keep in touch with them through me!

Photo Updates! 

Our Tamirat in Ethiopia had a photo update this month! He was just a little overdue for one. We just got Tamirat this year, but had his "current" (two year old) photo, and his previous one! He's so handsome and looks so grown up! 


This month, a very lovely lady from my church traveled to Uganda to help facilitate an adoption, and when I heard she was going back, I asked her if she'd be willing to take gifts for my Caleb and Amelia. She very graciously said yes, and the gifts were dropped off at the field office there last week! This is especially neat since it means Caleb and Amelia will probably receive the presents right around Christmas!!! What a tremendous blessing!!

Sweet Greetings from Haiti and Indonesia

Happy Mail Call Monday- the last in November! Wow!

Only two letters came this week- my mailman has been slacking a bit, but I also know not many have been processed for me in Colorado! 

On Saturday, we got a letter from Marc in Haiti! 

We hadn't heard from Marc in a few months, so it was really nice to hear from him! Marc opened his letter with "I greet you with great joy in my heart." He also liked my letter in which I explained "all the nice programs" (that might have been about summer reading at the library) and said that he is praying for my food allergies! He also said that it was very hot in Haiti and asked me if I liked hot or cold weather better. He closed by thanking me for my letters and pictures, and told me he is proud of me. :) 

The other letter we received was from Tasya in Indonesia! 

It had also been about three months since we heard from Tasya, so it was lovely to hear from her as well! She asked about our family's health and told me about celebrating Passover at the project. One neat thing about Tasya's village is that they have a "torch parade" around Easter, which she has told me about before. She wrote about it again this year, and said that they searched for Easter eggs and had a party in the street! She and her little sister Celia (who is now in 1st grade) participated because it was "so lively," says Tasya. She also said that she and her friends went to the beach on Valentine's Day! What fun! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Mother of Exiles

Recently, it's come to my attention that there seems to be a bit of hypocrisy floating around certain political circles. I think that just about all of us are aware that there is a major refugee crisis happening right now, and much of it is centered around Syrian refugees. I'm not here to argue whether or not we should admit Syrian refugees to the United States (refugees, I might add, that have been clearing out of their own war-torn country for about four years now; this isn't some recent trend.) If you have read the Constitution and the Bible, then you will know my position on this issue. Rather, I'm here to talk about the difference in the way we are talking about Syrians and the way we talk about other people who try to come into the United States.

Several friends and acquaintances are upset at the moment because they feel that the United States government is showing favoritism to refugees of the Muslim faith over Christians. They point out the fact that Muslim Syrians being accepted as refugees in the US greatly outnumber Christians from the same country. They have apparently not stopped to think that this is mostly because the number of Muslim Syrians is much, much greater than the number of Christian Syrians. That's just math. It's like being mad that the US isn't welcoming enough white people from Africa. Sure, they're there, but they're definitely in the minority. So after they move past this article, they start talking about the Christian "refugees" who are facing deportation from the United States, as if President Obama personally selected them for deportation to make room for more Muslims. They are angry because the President is apparently not doing enough to protect these refugees. It must be because they are Christian, right? And he likes Muslims better? False. These Christians are facing deportation because they didn't follow the rules. The group that has been in the "news" (i.e. angry blogs) the most often recently is comprised of 27 Iraqi Christians who illegally entered the United States through our border with Mexico. They are, by definition, illegal immigrants. Perhaps they chose to enter the United States in this manner because the process for being legally declared a refugee and allowed into the US is long, tedious, and complicated; it takes about 18 months of proof and paperwork. It's tough. Ironically, many of the same people who are crying foul over this incident are part of the same group who are under the impression (the false impression, I might add) that it is a very easy task to become legally declared a refugee. They've been saying that the process is too easy for over a week now.

I was thinking about this today, and how it was interesting that many of the same friends and family who believe that these Iraqi immigrants should *not* be deported have expressed the exact opposite about immigrants from Central and South America this past year. Early in the year, there was another large influx of refugees, this time from Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua (among a few other places) and they were met with hostility and hatred. Hatred that was shrouded with legalese and rhetoric about following the rules. If they just followed the rules, they could stay! But that's obviously not the case, because we're willing to make exceptions for the Iraqis who sought the same path of dubious legality in order to enter the country. Could it be a religious issue? I know there are a lot of people who would prefer to have a religious test for immigrants (again, if you read the Constitution and the Bible, you will know my stance on this issue.) So perhaps these individuals would allow the Iraqis to stay because they are Christian? But statistically speaking, all of the immigrants from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and other neighboring countries should be Christian. Catholic or Protestant, these are Christian nations. You'd be extremely hard pressed to find an individual among them who has not been baptized into their faith.

So maybe we are thinking about the situations these people are facing in their home countries. Considering their backgrounds and circumstances when deciding if they should be allowed to stay. Iraqi Christians are threatened with persecution for their religious preferences. There is a threat of violence against them. But why are people coming over from Central and South American countries? Here are some recent headlines that might give you a clue:

A Woman Is Murdered Every Sixteen Hours In Honduras

Murder in Honduras (this one's about ethnic cleansing)

Behind the Fight to Stem Violence and Protect Women In Honduras 
("In 2009, a coup brought down the elected president of Honduras. For the past six years, instability, poverty, and gang-and drug-related crime have plagued this Central American nation of eight million people. In 2012, Honduras had the most murders per capita of any country in the world – 90 homicides for every 100 thousand people.")

Guatemala Vigil Honors Victims of Gender Violence and Femicide

Guatemalan Groups Condemn Deteriorization of Women's Rights
("Between January and October this year, 588 women were killed, according to the Grupo Guatemalteco de Mujeres.")

Guatemala's Dead Baby Shame
("Corpses exhumed and thrown away 'like rubbish' as dirt-poor parents can't afford the $24 rent.")

Murder Rate in El Salvador Increases Sharply

Maryknoll Sisters to Honor 4 Missionaries Killed in El Salvador

Death Squads in El Salvador Kill, Face No Investigation 

"Why Such Violent Treatment of These Women in El Salvador?"

In Mexico, Fear as Victims Vanish At Hands of Police

Mexico's Bloodbath That Won't Stop

And with that, I can't read anymore. I have to limit the amount of time I spend reading the news these days because it makes me upset. I don't want to close my eyes to what's going on in the world; I shouldn't- it's not right.

But I don't understand why some lives are worth more than others.

I don't understand why everyone posted the French flag when Paris was attacked, but only a handful of us posted the Kenyan flag back in April.

I don't understand why Christian Iraqis are given the benefit of the doubt and Christian Mexicans aren't.

I don't understand why I am the only person I know crying about Guatemalan babies being thrown in the trash. But maybe I'm the only one who knows. And I don't know why that is, either.

I know that I'm not going to change anyone's mind on immigration policy or current events. But can I make a plea for your sense of humanity? If we can take a moment to think about what Christians in Iraq are going through and why they might want to come here, can we take a moment and think about why Mexicans or Guatemalans might want to come here? And can we stop calling people "illegals?" Because yes, they broke a law, but maybe they had a reason for doing so. Jean Valjean stole bread because he was starving, but it's not right to just think of him as a thief; he was so much more than that. He was a caring, loving human being, redeemed and forgiven, seeking a second chance at life. He was fair and just and a loving father. Maybe some of the people crossing over the border into the United States can identify with those labels, too, and not just the one that calls out the bad thing their circumstances led them to decide to do. Every human life has value and worth, is sacred and precious to God. He sees so much more than the one thing (or lots of things) that we've done wrong. Can't we take a moment to try to do that for others, too?

Monday, November 23, 2015

Waiting Kids: Honduran Girls edition

It's been a while since I've done a post of kids waiting for sponsors! As I sit in bed this morning, procrastinating, I decided to take a look at the waiting kids and see if anyone stood out. There are so many cuties waiting for a sponsor right now!! So here are a selection of lovely ladies who need a sponsor. What a wonderful early Christmas gift it would be to learn that they have been sponsored!!

Marisol is 3 years old! She lives in Honduras. She likes singing, art, and playing dolls! If you sponsor Maribel through this blog, I would be happy to take a small gift to her when I travel to Honduras next year!!!

Melissa has such a cute smile! She lives in Honduras and she is 5 years old. Melissa likes playing house and playing with dolls! If you sponsor Melissa through this blog, I would be happy to take her a small gift on my trip next year!!! 

Anyi's hair is so pretty! What a precious girl. She lives in Honduras with her mom and four siblings! She likes singing and playing dolls, and she is 5 years old. If you sponsor Anyi through this blog, I would be happy to take a small gift to her on my trip next year!!! 

Francis is so adorable!! She lives in Honduras with her grandparents. She is 5 years old and she likes bicycling and playing ball games! If you sponsor Francis through this blog, I would be happy to take a small gift to her on my trip next year! 

Viviana is just precious! She lives in Honduras with her dad and stepmom. She is 6 years old and her performance in school is above average! She likes playing with dolls and bicycling! If you sponsor Viviana through this blog, I would be happy to take a small gift for her on my trip next year!!!

Sweet Greetings from Honduras, Ghana, and Burkina Faso

Happy Mail Call Monday!

First, we got a letter from Eduardo in Honduras!

Eduardo's letter was short, but it is always nice to hear from him! He said that his family is doing well and reminded me that he likes his brother Victor. :) He asked about my siblings and my work at the library!

We also got our first letter from Rubby in Ghana!

Rubby's letter was very sweet! She expressed gratitude to be receiving letters (Rubby's financial sponsor never wrote to her, for years and years) and shared that she is now able to watch her little sister while her mom is busy. She asked what I like to do in my leisure time, When prompted to share her prayer for me, she said she is praying to God that I will always be there for her. I take this to mean that she really appreciates the letters that she has been receiving from us, and I am so glad that we were matched together! Rubby also shared a Bible verse with me that was very meaningful, about not arguing with people who are not really where they claim to be in their relationship with God. She has no idea, but that verse arrived at such a pertinent time! Social media has been a minefield lately with aggravating posts about current events, and it has been a real struggle for me, knowing when I should open my mouth and when I should just let things go. I shared a very abstract explanation of that with Rubby and thanked her for sharing such timely wisdom from the Bible!

At the end of the week, we got a letter from Barry in Burkina Faso!

Barry's letter was written by a project worker on big kid stationery- he usually sends us form letters. Barry's family and neighborhood was apparently affected by the recent political upheaval in Burkina Faso, and he said that school was delayed but peace has returned to the area. He shared that his father is not a Christian and would like us to pray that he comes to know Jesus. He did tell me that he and his mom go to church together every Sunday! He asked that we pray for his studies so he can move up to the next grade, and shared that he would like to be head of the class all year long!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Sweet Greetings from Uganda, Ethiopia, Togo, Colombia, Haiti, the Philippines and Tanzania!

Happy Mail Call Monday from this sickie! :)

I'm very happy to say that we got our first letter from Ruth, our very special new sponsored child!

Ruth's letter was written before we sponsored her, but I was so very happy to see it nonetheless! Seeing her handwriting and her little drawing made me feel so good when I have been feeling so nasty the last week! Ruth wrote that she lives with her mom, dad, and three siblings (her profile says there are five children in the home, so maybe they have a new baby or an older sibling moved out recently?) She likes soccer, eating chicken, and Spanish class, and she said what she most likes about herself is her eyes! She drew a big rainbow flower on the front, too. Oh, I just love her so much! 

We also got a first letter from lovely Amelia in Uganda!

Amelia says she's so happy to write to us and she's thankful for our love and support! She said they've started a new school term and she'd like us to pray for her to perform well so she can be promoted to grade four. Amelia shared that her school break at the project was "so interesting", and they learned how to bake cakes called doddies! She said that people sell them and earn lots of extra income, and she'd like to start making them to help her family! She also says that they have been learning about personal hygiene and sexual purity at the project, which is really great. Amelia also asked if we have hills in our country like they have in Uganda. :) 

The same day, we got a letter from little Yekersew in Ethiopia! 

Yekersew's letter was a form letter about his hobbies! He says he likes to play soccer with his sisters, and he also wants to play with his teachers someday! He said he has a cat as a pet, and it doesn't have a name. Yekersew asked us to pray for his dad, who is sick, and in the "news for my sponsor" section, he said that the new road is full of vehicles. How cute! :) 

We also heard from Estha in Togo!

Estha wrote a form letter about her favorites! She likes jumping rope with her friends, and she enjoys "speed running!" Estha shared that her favorite part about attending the project is the prayer, and that her favorite teacher is Mr Adjitowou because he is a good teacher! Estha said her prayer for us is that our dreams will be realized at the end of this year, and she asked about my favorite Bible story! Estha said she was glad to receive our photos, and said she will send me a family photo! I hope she's able to do that someday soon! 

That same day, we got our first letter from Rachelle (formerly known as Mawoussi) in Togo!

Rachelle wrote a "big kid" letter and her first line was "I am very happy about you and I want to write you through this letter!" What a sweetie! She asked about the weather, my work, and my family. Rachelle said her family is doing well, and that it's monsoon season so they are having cool, rainy weather, and a break from school. She shared a passage from Numbers and asked that we pray for her studies. She drew a mango tree, a bike, and a backpack! 

There was also a bonus letter from Julian in Colombia!

Julian's letter was about his future! He wants to learn about the police, and he would like to visit Medellin. He says he wants to help old people and learn English someday! Julian asked how we are doing and thanked me for my letters and "pretty words!" How sweet! Julian said that he likes playing soccer and he and his family recently moved to a different house, which is beautiful! :) I'm glad that he likes his new home! 

And then a letter from Michel in Colombia showed up, too!

Michel wrote that in the future, she would like to learn about children and how they are educated! I guess she wants to be a teacher! She also wants to visit the United States and help her parents, and she'd like to learn English! Michel said her letter was sent with lots of affection, and she enjoyed Independence Day in Colombia with fireworks! She also said that fireworks are one of her favorite things, and that's her favorite way to celebrate Christmas! She asked that we pray for her grandmother to know Jesus, and drew a little pink house with purple clouds! 

We also heard from Kevenel in Haiti!

I'm so glad that even though Kevenel is young, he has a lot to say to me- so his helpers at the center take dictation on big kid stationery for him!! Kevenel says that his family is very well and he is excited about Jess's baby Lilly, and that she is "a nice gift from God to your friend." He is praying for Lilly to grow under God's grace and in good health! Kevenel answered an old letter I wrote about new babies, asking about how they are welcomed in his culture and how he could help someone who has a new baby. He said that where he lives, there are "people that make pregnant women deliver" (sounds bossy!) and that he would help his parents with a new baby by washing dishes, fetching water, "and so on." He would also watch the baby while his parents did their chores! Kevenel asked that we pray for the close of his school year, and he drew a house with two sets of stairs inside- on purple, and one green and yellow! 

We were also happy to hear from Mjay in the Philippines!

Apparently Mjay has had a visit from someone who knows his financial sponsor in the past, because he said after his greetings that he always remembers the time that John visited. I'm so glad that he's had a visit from someone who cares about him! Mjay asked if it is cold in our town now, and said that there have been heavy rains where he lives recently. He asked that we pray for his family, that they will stay healthy, and he said that he was very excited about the upcoming Christmas party at the center! This letter was written September 26, so he must be a planner like me. :)

Lastly, there were two letters from my dear Said in Tanzania!

Said's letters were a surprise since we had heard from him pretty recently! He didn't have much to say, other than he is continuing on with his studies, and that when he grows up he is going to work in "industry." He did share something very adorable about my friend's baby, Lilly. He said "I love Lilly. I consider her as my young sister and I wish her to grow well and I pray to God so that she will continue to grow mentally and physically." I was very happy to take a picture of that text and send it to my friend Jess! 

I'm very excited to see what letters we get this week- I know that we have a few first letters on the way! :) 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Sweet Greetings from Burkina Faso, Colombia, and Thailand

Happy Mail Call Monday!!

We got a few more letters this week- what a blessing!

Our first letter of the week was from Reine in Burkina Faso!

Reine wrote a short letter about what's going on where she lives. She says she's doing well and her country has been getting a lot of rain, so the crops are doing really well! She also says that Burkina Faso celebrates their independence day on December 11. Reine responded to my letter about libraries by saying that there is a library in a nearby Cultural French Center, which I think might be in a college. And she also said that there are hippos in her country! She asked how much rain we get, and asked us to pray for her family.

Next we got a letter from Michel in Colombia!

Michel's letter arrived a week or two later than Julian's, which was a bit unusual. I'm glad we heard from her! She wrote a form letter about her last doctor's visit, but she said she doesn't remember when it was. Michel said that at the center, she likes jumping rope, running, playing potato sack races and freeze tag! She has also learned to brush her teeth thoroughly and take a shower every day. :) Michel said she was happy to write to us and asked "has your hamster ever felt ill?" Which is funny because I don't have any hamsters! She asked that we pray for her father, who had an accident recently and was injured. I will be asking her what happened in my next letter!

Lastly, we heard from Thanakan in Thailand!

Thanakan's letter was about her friends. Her best friend is a girl named Nanchatapa, and they are best friends because they go to school together! Her friend also goes to the same project! She said she likes to play "bungee string" with her because it's fun! One of the volunteers from Thanakan's project helped her write the letter, and said that she loves getting my letters and she thanks God for letting her join the project! Thanakan drew a gorgeous picture of multicolored trees- they look like they're from a Dr Seuss book. The project volunteer said Thanakan wanted to know if I liked her drawing! She asked that we pray for her studies and said she is praying for Brandon's grandmother.