Friday, July 31, 2015

Compassion Joys: July

Where oh where did this month go?? It went by so quickly! Here are our Compassion Joys for this month! :)

 Compassion Family


This month we heard from Erick in Ecuador; Bonifas in Tanzania; Angelina in Ghana; Anahi and Sandier in Honduras; Thanakan and Tinnakorn in Thailand; Estha in Togo; Carlos in Peru; Kevenel, Abdias  and Benji in Haiti; Yekersew in Ethiopia; Barry in Burkina Faso; Jayid in India; Laura and Carlos Daniel in the Dominican Republic; Merlyn in the Philippines; Brendita in Mexico; and Victor, Christine, Motempa, Nkoyio, and Rose in Kenya! Five of those were first letters, too!

Photo Updates! 

We got two new photos this month- it felt like it had been a long time since we'd seen an update!

Estha in Togo

Erick in Ecuador

New Kids!

A few more kids joined our far-away family this month! We welcomed little Kaue in Brazil- a long time ago I had requested a boy in Brazil, and it had been so many months that I figured the request had gotten lost! We also welcomed Julius, Yese, and Ester in Tanzania, who attend centers I visited during my trip there last year. And then there's precious little Zalifina. We are taking over correspondent responsibilities for sweet Kelly who is dealing with some time-consuming family issues right now. I'm happy to be a part of the group of sponsors who is helping her by writing to her kids!


We had several special sponsor-versaries this month! We celebrated one year of sponsoring Kajal, two years of writing to Prayer, four years of writing to Said, and FIVE years of sponsoring the girl who started it all, Tasya!


July held a lot of birthdays for our far-away family!! Rose in Kenya turned 12: Carlos Daniel in the Dominican Republic turned 16; Habimana in Rwanda turned 9; Julian in Colombia turned 8; Anahi in Honduras turned 7; Austin in Kenya turned 20; Tamirat in Ethiopia turned 19; Julius in Tanzania turned 17; and Merlyn in the Philippines turned 12!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Project Letter: ET-156

Here's another pastor's letter we received recently, this time from Melat's center in Ethiopia!

My name is Dessalegn Bosen and I am the coordinator of the children's ministry in the Agaro Kale Hiwot Church, which operates the child development center attended by Melat. It is located southwest of Addis Ababa in the town of Agaro, Ethiopia.

On behalf of the beneficiaries of this center, I want to thank you immensely for your support in finances and prayers for Melat. Praise God we are seeing results in the children!

The town has over 60,000 inhabitants that follow various religions such as Muslim, Orthodox, and Protestant. The town is surrounded by vast coffee-growing areas, which is the main crop for the country, and is considered as the trade center for coffee marketing. However, the development of this town is very slow. The main reason is that its inhabitants have a very low outlook on work and prefer to spend most of their time chewing chat (a local drug) and chatting. This has exposed its inhabitants to serious problems.

The children who joined our center were partakers of the community's problems before and were in a very bad level of destruction in their social, psychological, and spiritual endeavors. This whole mess has reached the new generation, affecting the individual person up to the family and country at large. But due to Compassion International's vision, this yoke is being broken. With the financial support, the prayers and loving ministry of sponsors like you, a tangible transformation is seen in these children's lives.

Children who had lost their hopes and were living without any purpose in their lives now have started planning for the future. Children who were cursed by many and lacked love and care are now getting this love and care and are developing balanced thinking. All their school material needs are provided to them. They benefit from the medical care they need, and many of them are accepting our Lord Jesus Christ as their personal savior.

Sponsors and their sponsored children are exchanging letters. The children tell their sponsors what their future dreams are, thank them for all that they have done for them and ask them to pray for them on various issues in their letters. The sponsors in return write to them on how much they love and pray for them and give them advices. This mode of communication has many advantages.

We need to tell about the impact of the auxiliary curriculum book Compassion published in order to have these children learn in the spiritual, physical, social and intellectual levels. There is no doubt that it will enable us to harvest yet many more.

Our church is fulfilling its Great Commission call properly by being a positive impact for our community and elevating at the church's welcoming position. It is also participating in the country's vision of reducing poverty. What is much better than reaching out to the children in most need by rendering a holistic ministry? Nothing!

Though this center is new yet, the fruits we are seeing have raised our hope to expect a lot of harvest. We thank you a lot for partnering in this work by supporting Melat. May God bless you!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Sweet Greetings from Kenya, Mexico, and Honduras

It's the last Mail Call Monday in July! 

Most of our letters last week came from Kenya! First we heard from precious Rose. 

Rose wrote to me about her school. Her best subject is Kiswahili, and she shared her teacher's name and her school's name. She also likes playing leg ball at school, and she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. She said "Thank you for the letters you send me. I felt very proud when I got them. Surely be blessed." Rose said she was excited about the impending arrival of my friend Jess's baby, and asked how the baby is doing now. She also said that there are lots of extra security measures where she lives now, since the attack on Garissa College, and there are soldiers in the street every night. Finally, she asked what I do at the library, and if I enjoy the work! 

Then there was a letter from Motempa. 

Motempa said she had a nice Easter with her family, and she had been praying for God to provide her school fees, and he did! And she said "something interesting that happens in my life is God usually remembers me in every situation." 

Then we got a letter from Nkoyio!

Nkoyio said she enjoyed reading about our 5th wedding anniversary, and said she is praying for Brandon because his back has been hurting. She asked that we pray for her education, because she has "many challenges", and said "I am very happy to have you as my new friend. I hope we shall continue with the help of God." Motempa and Nkoyio attend the same center, and are just a few months apart in age. Nkoyio wrote in her letter that she learned I also write to Motempa, and that they are good friends and spend a lot of time together! Finally, Nkoyio said that she got new school shoes with the small birthday gift we were able to send her. 

We also heard from Christine! 

Christine says her family is doing well and they are weeding and preparing to plant maize and other vegetables. She said "I am happy writing for you again and get to know each other." Christine said that in Kenya, babies are named after their grandparents, and they have a big party when babies are born. She also shared that she is doing well in school but she still hopes to improve, and she had fun celebrating Easter with her family- her parents made chicken and rice "and it was wow!" She also asked that we pray for her family and her country because of all the conflict in Kenya, and shared this verse: "Happy are the merciful, for they shall see God." 

Rounding out our Kenya letters was a much-anticipated letter from Victor! 

I was getting really worried because Victor's letters always arrive within a day of Mary's, and we heard from Mary over a month ago. I'm thinking that his letter just got a little lost in the shuffle, because it was dated in April, and usually they get here pretty quickly. :) Victor said that he has learned a lot from my letters, like how the snow affects the transportation of goods and people. :) He also said he is praying for Jess and her new baby, and he thanked us for always writing to him, and for the "advices." I love this boy so much! 

We also got a letter from Brendita in Mexico! 

Brendita wrote a form letter about her last check up at the doctor. She rode a bike and went with her mom and aunt, and she said, when asked how it made her feel, that it made her laugh because it was ticklish. :) She said she learned that she needs to drink a lot of milk because it will make her strong and keep her standing, and she said, in the thank you section, that she says thanks for the letters, the stickers, and everything. "You are the best!" :) Then she wrote out responses to the questions I have sent her. She has never seen snow, her grandmother's name is Carmen, she has a ton of cousins, her favorite movie is "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs", her best friend is Karlita, she does know what pumpkins are and she eats them sometimes, she is doing well in school, "yes yes yes! The Christmas party at the project is always great. We get gifts and candy and we break pinatas. We drink punch and other things." And she said that weddings in Mexico are celebrated in little parks, at home, or in the streets.

Finally, we heard from Sandier in Honduras! 

Sandier filled out a form letter about his dreams. He wants to come to the US to meet me, and he wants to see race cars. He also wants to rescue people when he grows up, and he wants to be like his mom. Iris filled out an extra half sheet of paper for Sandier, and he answered a bunch of my questions. He said he loves music and his favorite song is "Glory from on High" and he doesn't know how to play any instruments, but he'd like to learn to play the drums. He also said he's never met a missionary, but if he ever went on a mission trip, he'd want to go to Brazil. He has never seen an elephant, but he'd like to see one. Sandier also asked what my biggest dream is! And then Iris, his tutor, said "Sandier wants to thank you for all the letters, especially for the words that say that you love him and that you keep him in your heart." He also liked all the stickers, books, finger tattoos (a thumb war tattoo kit with superheroes) and cards and pictures. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Project Letter: BO-561

Here's another pastor's letter, this time from our Maite's project in Bolivia!

We greet you with the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ and hope that his endless grace fills you abundantly with blessings in the ministries you carry forward. 

My name is Severo Gomez and I am the Evangelical Baptist Nazareth Church pastor. Our child development center has been in existence for more than 25 years, and is attended by your sponsored child. The church and center are located in the southern area of the city of Cochabamba, in the Plurinational State of Bolivia.

On behalf of the church we want to thank you for sponsoring Maite, and pray God blesses you in great ways. 

Let me tell you that the southern area of our city is known for struggling against great social and economic issues since many families live in extreme poverty, live on a rent, have low incomes, and most of our children come from disintegrated families. There are many gangs in the community, high rates of delinquency and many places that sell alcohol and drugs. In the midst of this, the children living in this area need to be taken care of and require our holistic support in the cognitive, physical, social-emotional and spiritual areas.

When it comes to measure the impact our center has in the community, we must first help the poorest and neediest of families. Our center staff is continuously challenged to help the children in greatest need, and in this way contribute to their holistic development. The impact this center has in the lives of these children brings us great satisfaction since there are areas in their lives with great needs that are being met.

The church vision is to continue benefitting the children and we know they represent a hope for a brighter future for their families, in the church and society altogether. 

The events that took place this previous year were: graduations, military camps, field trips, sports, birthday celebrations, Children's Day celebrations and others. The sponsored children receive their sponsor's letters with great joy and emotion. The relationship between the sponsored child and their sponsor through written correspondence and prayer is utmost important in the child's development phase.

As a partner church we kindly request our sponsors to continue to support their sponsored children with their prayers: that our children may grow and be fulfilled in life and above all, reach Christ's Lordship in their lives. We pray they live fulfilled lives with high Christ-centered principles and values.

With this prayer request we say goodbye and once more express our infinite gratitude to the Lord for your sponsorship of Maite. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Project Letter: DR-381

Sorry it's been a while, but here's another pastor's letter- this time, from the Dominican Republic! 

May God bless you richly!

I am Ramon Del Carmon Alfonso, and by God's grace, I am a pastor in Iglesia Evangelica Misionera (Missionary Evangelical School) located in Dajabon City, Dominican Republic. We minister to Carlos Daniel at the Child Development Center.

In our church's name, and on behalf of the community, I want to express our gratitude for all of your support to Carlos and to our ministry.

Our church is located near the border of the Republic of Haiti. In this community, we have multiple needs, such as: education, lack of industries, low agricultural production, and low work sources, which causes our youth to immigrate to other towns, looking for improvements in their lives.

Our church is focused in accomplishing the commandment given by our Lord in the Great Commission. For around forty years, we have remained continuously working with Compassion International's programs to help the poorest children and teenagers of our community, with the goal of making them into responsible young people and role models.

We have had the great blessing of baptizing and making disciples of a great amount of our youth and some of their parents, who are serving actively in the different ministries of our church. We can quote the case of two sisters, who came to our church via the programs at the center and today serve as teachers in the center. Moreover, many of our youth are professional, responsible leaders and remain true to the principles they have learned while they serve in important positions at different public and private enterprises across the country.

As a pastor, I long for establishing God's Kingdom in the lives of the people who are under our covering. Through quality, systematic work, we want to guarantee their integral development. I believe firmly that this is possible with the support of the church, Compassion, and the Lord.

As a church, we have the challenge of continuing to spread our ministry and contributing to the development of these families. Our church has many ministries, such as home visits, evangelism programs, discipleship, teenager and youth's society, Sunday school, worship and praise, and dance. Through these activities, we want to see our community converted to a model city, which glorifies our God.

I want to ask you to join us in prayer so the Lord gives us the provision of work sources, such as agricultural industries, in this area. That would give stability and would keep our youths to being forced to immigrate to the city. We also ask you to help us pray for new sponsors, so we can widen the number of sponsored children.

I want to tell you that the active communication between sponsors and these children through letters is very significant, since they enjoy receiving news form the person who helps them and they feel informed. It is a great joy and satisfaction to know that someone, somewhere in the world is thinking of them, and every word of love and encouragement is cherished.

Finally, I want to express to you our gratitude for your contribution in favor of Carlos. Your support has been really meaningful in his development. We pray constantly for you and your family so that God keeps blessing you in everything.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sweet Greetings from India, the Philippines, and the Dominican Republic

Happy hot-as-heck Mail Call Monday!

A few more letters came in this week, including two first letters! The first one we received was from Jayid in India. 

Jayid's letter was so sweet. His letters are always written by a staff member, and they usually just share what he's been up to and a few prayer requests. This letter was full of "he loves you" and "he misses you and wants to see you." It was so cute! He responded to my letter about missionaries, saying that he has met one who came to the project, and he had the opportunity to go on a "spiritual retreat!" 

Next, we got our first letter from Laura in the Dominican Republic! 

Laura's letter was so cute! She seemed really excited to finally get some letters! She said "I am so glad to receive your letter. I look forward to continue writing to you. Whenever you want to write to me, please do it!"  Laura shared that she was finishing high school this spring, and she is heading to university! Wow! She responded to my letter about new baby traditions, and said that in her country, people also have baby showers for expectant mothers. She asked if we have recovered from the snow, and said that she loved the "American style" photo. I don't know what that means, but I'm glad she liked whatever it was! :) 

Then we got our first letter from Carlos Daniel, also in the Dominican Republic!

Carlos Daniel's letter was written for his financial sponsor, but it was interesting to see how friendly and kind he was in the letter, even though he never heard from this person. I think that's a sign that he's going to be a good correspondent. He asked questions about his financial sponsor's family, and said he was praying for her. He said he wasn't going to church right then (but would go in the summer) and even though he couldn't go to church, he was still reading his Bible at home. He also said "Thank you a thousand times for sponsoring me. Please pray for my family so that God will guide them in a good way. I send you my regards with much love."

Later in the week, we also heard from Merlyn in the Philippines! 

Merlyn's letters are so cute and sweet. She's very responsive and always sounds excited. She said "you're so generous in writing to me" and she was glad to learn about my grandparents. She also responded to my letter about names, saying that my full name is "long and had a beautiful meaning." Merlyn also said that she really enjoyed learning about Edwin, the head elephant keeper at the sanctuary in Kenya. She was happy to learn that he was a Compassion graduate, and said that she has never seen an elephant. She also asked if it was still cold where I live, and said it is really, really hot where she lives! She also asked about Brandon, checking in to see if his back is still hurting. She calls him Kuya Brandon, which means "big brother" (and she calls me "Ate", or big sister!) She also wrote some sweet prayers for us, and asked that we pray she and her mom don't get sick. 

Thanks to a heads up from some very kind Compassion staffers, I know I have a bunch more letters on the way, including more first letters! I'm excited to see what this week has in store! 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

"The air is full of spices."

I don't really hear God very often. I phrase it like that so no one will come along and admonish me because he's "speaking to me all the time," or whatever. He might be, but I don't hear him. I have a lot of problems with it, problems that have been growing over the past couple of years. It's immensely frustrating to feel that every prayer goes unanswered. I have big prayers- fix my health, make me a mom, make life better. I have small prayers- help me wake up in the morning, give me the energy to do some chores. My prayers cover a pretty broad spectrum, and I don't really get a return on them. I'm always praying that I'll know what God wants me to do, so I can try to do it and be where I'm supposed to be. But I very seldom feel really sure about anything in my life. So when I feel like I've been nudged in a certain direction by God, it's kind of a big deal. Because I don't feel that way very often, it kind of stands out.

I think about traveling a lot. I want to go see all of my kids. I want to go back to Tanzania. I want to go everywhere. But every time I think of traveling, it's like wishful thinking. Those thoughts are always framed like this: "oh, I really wish I could go to [country name] and see all the amazing things and visit the kids. But it will be a long time before that will happen, if it ever does. I don't have the money and it was too hard fundraising for Tanzania, and I can't put myself through that stress again while I've got all this other stuff going on." I know that I need to pay my bills and I want to knock out my debt and do all these things around the house and adopt a few kids, and I feel like it's an either/or choice: either I can keep traveling and stay in debt, or I can put all my resources toward those goals and stay home. The latter feels like the more responsible thing to do, even though I'm doing it and it's not been super successful, either. But I digress. I choose the latter because it seems smarter, like the right thing.

A couple of weeks ago, though, on the Sunday before Independence Day, I woke up with a thought in my head. Brandon was already up and playing video games, as he does every Sunday before church, and I was trying to stay in bed as long as possible, but I woke up a few minutes early, thinking very clearly that I should take the Sunday shift my friend Stephanie was trying to get rid of the following week, because I'd need the money for a trip next fall. There is no reason why I should wake up thinking that. I had no desire to take that Sunday from Stephanie. I love her dearly, but she had been drafted to work at the Main library on a holiday weekend, the day after we'd be getting back from the farm (so I'd be tired.) No one wants to work at the Main library except the people who already work there during the week. It's huge and busy and they have their own weird rules and security guards because sometimes scary stuff happens there. Steph was really stressing about it, because it would be hard to get rid of the shift (being a holiday weekend) and she *really* didn't want to work it. I love my friend, but I didn't want to work it, either. And yet, I woke up feeling- or knowing- that I should. Not only would I be paid for the weekend, but there was an offer of transportation and a bit of extra cash on the table, as well. And I needed that money, apparently. As I got out of bed and started my morning, I went through the regular script in my head. "Yes, it'd be wonderful to go on another Compassion trip, but that can't realistically happen. It costs too much. Fundraising is too hard. I'll never get the money together. I still owe some money from my Tanzania trip. It's too hard. I can't do it. Not now." But with each of those thoughts, I had an immediate answer at the ready. I don't know where they came from. I mean, I think I do, but that's not usually how this script goes, so it surprised me. "It would be wonderful. The cost is doable. You've learned a lot about fundraising and new ways to do it. The trip's a long time from now, plenty of time to raise the money. There's so much time, you could get the money together to pay off the Tanzania debt, too. You can do it. You've done it before. And you have time." It was a weird feeling.

All these things were running through my head as I was getting ready for church. It came to be ten minutes before time to leave, I decided to turn on the laptop and see where Compassion was headed late 2016. I felt like this trip, should it exist, would be next fall. Compassion keeps a list of their trips for the next year on the side of the tour page- the months are listed, and the countries, but details are to be announced later. So I scrolled to the bottom of the screen, and there it was: India, November 2016.

I don't know that I'm going yet. I think I'm supposed to. And truthfully, I think my mom is supposed to go, too. But I don't want my own excitement about the possibility of travel to cloud my judgment or lead me in a direction I'm not really supposed to go. I didn't have as many doubts last time, but I think my fear of not being able to raise the money is affecting how I approach this. Fundraising is really hard. International travel is expensive. I do not make a lot of money, so all of the money for this trip (or any trip) would have to be procured with fundraising and working Sunday shifts for the library. The rest of my income is dedicated to my family's financial responsibilities. Brandon is supportive of my wanting to travel with Compassion, but in a weird way. He says I can go wherever, whenever, as long as I can raise the money for it. So it's nice that he supports my desire to travel with Compassion and see our kids!

So here I am, asking for your prayers. I was going to keep this a secret a little while longer- mom suggested that we take 30 days to pray about it and see where God leads. But I don't think my prayers are enough. Like I said, I don't hear from God very often. I want to hear him loud and clear on this. I want to know exactly what I'm supposed to do. Especially since every time I get a letter from one of my kids, I feel tugged in their direction, too. "Oh, Anahi's letter is so sweet, maybe I should go to Honduras and see her instead. It would be cheaper, too." This isn't about doing what is cheapest. This is about doing what is right and what I'm supposed to do. I know that there are people that don't get that, and that's ok. But I am a firm believer that if you're not where God wants you to be- or where he would prefer you to be- then the path may not be as smooth, I guess. Not to say that people who are doing the right thing aren't going to have problems from time to time, but I think they have peace about it. I like peace. It's a good goal to have. But I digress. I'd appreciate your prayers while I try to figure out if I'm supposed to go somewhere. And confirmation that I have the right place would be great, too. It's a big world out there, and I've got kids all over. But if you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that I have a big love for India and we are even interested in adopting from there someday. So going to India would just be....incredible. Amazing. And it would be really neat if it all works out.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Sweet Greetings from Honduras, Thailand, Togo, Ecuador, Tanzania, and Ghana

Happy Mail Call Monday!

I'm very thankful that we received six letters this week. The first was from little Anahi in Honduras.

Anahi filled out a form letter about her dreams. When she is older, she wants to be a doctor. She wants to help her family by giving them money, and she said she wants to meet me because I am very nice with her. :) And when asked what she wants to do, she said "a cake." That sounds good to me! In the open part of the letter, Anahi's mom shared that Anahi gives thanks to God that God chose me as her sponsor!! I'm thankful God chose me, too! :) Sadly, her family also had bad news to share- Anahi's grandfather passed away in April. She shared the names of all her grandparents and asked that we pray for two of them because they don't go to church and she wants them to know Jesus.

Next, we heard from Thanakan in Thailand!

This was our second letter from Thanakan, and she wrote a lot! I had forgotten how much fun it is to correspond with a kid in Thailand. Thanakan filled out her form letter (or a helper did, rather) and another sheet of notebook paper! She sent a form letter about her favorites, which include grilled chicken, the color pink, "chair ball," rabbits, and "Kitty," her favorite cartoon character. In my reply letter I asked her if that meant Hello Kitty, and sent a picture to confirm. We have a lot in common! Thanakan also replied to several of the letters I have sent her. In response to my letter about names, she said that she doesn't know what her name means because where she lives, people just pick names and don't care about the meanings. In response to a letter about new babies, she said that in her village, people will bring a new mother chicken, clothes, and money, but they don't have any traditions for expectant mothers (like baby showers.) She also said that her family has been busy planting corn. In response to a letter about a Compassion graduate who works at an elephant sanctuary in Kenya, she said that her village has an elephant show every year, so she has seen the animals in person- but she doesn't get too close because they are big and could be dangeroous. Thanakan shared her family members with me, and I had to ask if they are all living in the same place: she has her mom, dad, brother, sister-in-law, sister, brother-in-law, and some cousins. Thanakan also said that she really loved the little "diary" we sent her (a softcover journal from Michaels) and that she's praying for us!

Then there was a letter from Estha in Togo!

This was our second letter from Estha, as well. Her letter was only written a month ago, so it got here very quickly! Estha wrote a form letter about her hobbies, and says she enjoys choreography with her friend Nathalie. She also said that she doesn't have any pets, because "they are dangerous." Estha said that she was enjoying our letters and the journal we sent to her, and asked that we pray for the "evolution of children" at her center.

We  also heard from Erick in Ecuador again!

Erick's letter said that when he grows up, he wants to be a singer, and to keep studying. He also hopes he can come visit America, and he wants to meet me and talk to me in person!

Then we got another letter from Bonifas!

Bonifas said in his letter that he would really like to be a preacher (I told him in another letter I thought he'd be a great preacher) and that he doesn't just want to be a preacher in Tanzania, but he wants to go all around the world- maybe even come to America and preach here! He also said he wants to be a tour guide in his home country.

And finally, we got a letter from Angelina in Ghana!

Angelina wrote that her favorite animal is the ostrich, and her project has a "cadet" and she is part of it, and she really enjoys it. In my response letter, I asked her what that is, because I have no idea. Maybe something like a color guard? Safety patrol? I don't know. Angelina also asked me to tell her more about the library where I work, and said that she was praying for baby Lilly (my friend Jess's new baby) to have good health. She is also praying for my brother, that God will "comfort him always." She closed her letter by asking that we pray for her to understand God's will.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Sweet Greetings from Peru, Ecuador, Rwanda and Tanzania

Happy Mail Call Monday- the first of July!

Our mailman is acting fishy again- we got five letters on the first day of the week, and then the mail was messed up the rest of the week! Like, the Tuesday coupons came on Friday, and there was no main in between. Maybe that means I'll get a bunch of letters this week. :) 

The first letter we received was from Carlos in Peru. 

It was a little unusual to hear from Carlos, since we just got a letter from him last month, but it was still nice to hear from him! Carlos shared that he was accepted to a school (I think that it's a community college, rather than a vocational school) and he's studying mechanics! I'm so proud of him! He also said that his brother Marcos had a birthday, and his whole family got to go to the zoo to celebrate. 

Next up, there was another letter from Erick in Ecuador!

After not hearing from Erick for over six months, this was our second letter from him in just a couple of weeks! Several other sponsors have mentioned similar situations, so we are thinking maybe there was just a back-up of letters in Ecuador. Anyway. Erick wrote a letter about school holidays, and says he likes to play ball and spend time with the other kids when he's out of school. He also shared "I also want to say that I feel very joyful and grateful for having a sponsor." 

Then we heard from Habimana in Rwanda! 

Habimana wrote a form letter about his family. He said that he has two siblings, and his aunt lives with them. His favorite family activities are gathering firewood and collecting water. When asked about his family's health or special needs, Habimana said that they need to be able to take his dad to the doctor for treatment, because he's very sick. Plenty of my kids have mentioned having sick relatives before, but none of them have said that they weren't even able to take them to the doctor. We are doing an inquiry into his family situation, to see if there's a way we can help. Habimana also said he "doesn't know pizza," which I had written about in another letter, and he really enjoyed reading about the Compassion graduate stories, like Sherinah's and the story of the head elephant keeper at the Sheldrick sanctuary in Kenya. 

Next up, we got a letter from Bonifas in Tanzania. 

Bonifas said that he and his family are doing really well, and he wants to know how he can pray for us. He also said he remembers my visit to Tanzania, and he wants me to come back so I can visit his house! Bonifas also responded to my letter about weddings by saying that he has been to the wedding of one of his neighbors, and his tutor wrote "he loves you because you care for him."

Lastly, we got a letter from Elifagason in Tanzania. 

Elifagason said he was "so happy to greet (us) once again." He shared that his family is doing well and at the project, they memorized Psalm 14:1. In a response to my letter about how new babies are celebrated in my country, Elifagason said that when a woman has a baby, she should "stay home for about two weeks." :) Elifagason also said "we thank God for the miracles that he has done for us" and that he's thankful for the rainy season and the dry season, and closed the letter with "now let me say goodbye until another day. May God be with you. Amen."