Happy Mail Call Monday!
This week, we only received letters on one day- but NINE letters arrived that day! That's the most letters I've ever received in one day! First up, a letter from Marc in Haiti!
Marc said he lives in a community called Raymond and it doesn't rain very often in his country. He said they don't live near the ocean, but there's a lake and they catch lots of fish there. He also shared about the upcoming elections, and said that the president visited his area recently. He said in Haiti they don't have special traditions about new babies (which I already knew- the infant mortality rate is really high in Haiti) but they are excited and thankful when a new baby arrives. He said his favorite subject is biology and "of course I will go to college." :) He also said his grandmother passed away from a stroke (she had been ill and I asked what was wrong and how I could pray for her.) He asked that we pray for his family so that they can remain in God's grace, and said "May God bless your works!"
Next was a letter from Eduardo in Honduras, whom I am hoping to meet next year!!
Eduardo said he is doing well and he wanted to share about his dreams. He hopes that he can visit the USA and Brazil and lots of other places, and he wants to be a car mechanic. He also wants to meet me in person. He wants to know about my dreams and if I want to visit Honduras. He asked that we pray for his family and said goodbye with love and kindness, and he drew me lots of pretty flowers on some nice pink paper!
Then we had a letter from Celestine in Kenya!
Celestine's letter was written to her previous correspondent, whom I know. She shared that she and her friends have attended a conference recently about the message of salvation, and she's learning a lot about God and faith at the center. She also shared that they are planting lots of crops, but most of them are maize because that's a staple food in Kenya (mmm....ugali!) She also drew a goat.
Next was a letter from little Gloria in Kenya!
Gloria wrote about her school, saying she's in third grade and her teacher is named Teacher Ben. She walks to school because it's really close by, and her favorite thing about school are the maroon uniforms. :) She also likes helping her mom wash utensils after school, and she wants to be a lawyer when she grows up so she can speak English all the time. How precious is that!
Then we got our first letter from Mercy in Kenya!
Mercy said "Hello Jessi, it is a great moment for me to receive your letter that you explained your self into details that has made me know about you more. I am happy to be part of your distance family. It is a great opportunity that you have granted me, may God bless you and give you a child. I am a strong believer in Christ and I will pray for you to get a child soon." How precious. That letter maid me tear up! Mercy's letter was short but so sweet. I'm really looking forward to getting to know her better.
Then I got another letter from Rayza in Bolivia- the second one in a week!
Rayza's second letter was written especially for me! :) My prediction based on her letter to her financial sponsors was correct. Her letter was so sweet. She said she's turning 14 in December, she lives in Cochabamba, her dad's name is Ricardo and her mom is Miguelina. Her brother is Josue and she has two sisters named Camelia and Melani. "My family is fun and happy!" She said she really likes to color and play soccer. They don't have a library nearby, but they have internet access. She also said she knows about crocheting- her mom does it and she makes blankets, and she taught Rayza how to crochet! She sent her congratulations to Jess for having baby Lilly. She said in Bolivia they had a great Easter and their traditions involve eating 12 meals and they don't go to school, and they have beautiful worship songs. She asked that we pray for her studies, and said that she thought I was a pretty child! :) She also wrote that she's praying for specific family members, and talked about Bolivia's soccer team. She added "I am so happy because your friend Jess has a healthy and strong baby. The baby is beautiful. I will be praying for you and Brandon, so that you can have sweet children." She told me that her aunt has a baby named Benjamin, and she helps take care of him by feeding him and giving him baths, and she visits them every weekend. She also told me when Bolivia celebrates Mother's Day and Father's Day, and "I am grateful to God because my parents are very special." She said goodbye with many kisses and hugs, and she is waiting for my next letters!
Next there was another letter from Kenya- this time from Austin!
Austin said he hopes my grandfather is doing better and he is happy that we are praying for him and his family. He was glad to learn about what's going on in my neighborhood, and he is praying for Lilly and Jess to stay healthy. He said he helps new parents in his community by fetching water for them. He also said he is working hard in his mechanics course, and it's not raining so much in Kenya now, which is good because there had been some flooding. Austin also said that everyone in Kenya was excited that our president (whom he called Baraka Obama- and FYI, in Swahili, "Baraka" means "blessing"- it's a pretty common name!) would be visiting, and that they were doing lots of preparations to welcome him! He shared Psalm 37:5 and signed his letter "bye and God bless you, I love you, your child Austin." I thought that was sweet- he's not that much younger than I am!
Another letter from Kenya that arrived was written by precious Mary!
Mary greeted me as her sister and said she was so happy to read about Jess's new baby, and she liked seeing baby Lilly's pictures- she called her a baby angel! Mary said that she made average grades last term and she's finished a computer course as well. She also answered some of my previous letters, saying that her favorite animal is a cat, and that a good way to help new parents is to buy clothes for the baby. She also shared the following: "Thank you for your support for me and may God bless you abundantly. You are a great friend even though you are far but the letters make you feel as if you are near..... I would like to tell you that do not ever let anyone look down on you because you are young, but be an example to the believers in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. When you feel down, remember to look up in the sky and pray to God and He will open the doors for you. God has plans for you ahead to make you successful and you will never lack." I love her so much!
Finally, there was a letter from our sweet Victor, also in Kenya!
Victor's letter was so precious that I need to share it in its entirety! :)
Dear Jessi, how are you and your family? I hope that they are all doing well. Receive warm greetings from my family. How is Brandon doing? I am doing well in the Lord and I have seen his mercy throughout the years of my life. School is good and I am trying hard in my academic work. I am also very happy to have you guys as my best friends and am really praying for you and your family so that God may shower you with His blessings and protection. I also pray for your brother to get well soon in the name of Jesus Christ. My favorite animal is the lion. I really love lions very much, and that's good of you if you like walrus. To me I am scared of them, and they are very rare to find them here in Kenya. I will also be tall like Brandon when I grow like him and I am proud of myself, tell him I wish him a happy birthday and I would like to encourage him by a verse from Psalms 23. Actually the thing is, I really love music but I don't know how to play any musical instrument, I wish you would have been here to teach me a piano or a banjo and I would love to hear you playing it. Say hi to Gimli. I just request you to pray for me in my academic progress. Love, your son, Victor.
Last week's letters were such tremendous blessings! They arrived at the perfect time and were so full of love that I felt like the kids had each mailed me a hug. I can't wait to see what this week holds!