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!