We didn't receive any letters until Saturday this week, and I was so thankful that some finally showed up!! The first one was our last letter from Sharifa in Bangladesh.
I say this was our last letter because about a week ago, we found out that Sharifa and her family had moved away to a new city which did not have a Compassion center. I'm sad to lose this sweet girl, even though we hadn't had the chance to get to know her very well. We've had Sharifa for almost two years, but for the past year haven't heard from her because of some program issues in the country. Now that everything is back on track and the children are returning to activities at the project, it stings a little to lose Sharifa after not hearing from her for so long! Sharifa did tell us that her family is well and that she got all the letters, stickers, and cards that we sent while the projects in Bangladesh were closed. She said "Because of your support I am doing my study nicely." She said that she is always praying for us.
Next was a letter from Jayid in India!
I am looking forward to the day when Jayid starts writing his own letters again, as he did before some letter-writing changes took place a few years ago. As things are now, his project workers feel compelled to write his letters for him because of his age, and because of that, we kind of hear the same thing from him in each letter! He's studying well, he's a good child, and he's learned new action songs and Bible verses at the project. :) I am glad to learn that he and his family are well. His dad struggles with TB and since there was no mention of that in his letter (they usually tell me when he is sick and unable to work) I assume he is doing ok with it right now!
We also got a surprise non-Compassion letter from our Manna 4 Lempira child, Zoila!
Zoila's letter was a short form letter. She lives with her mom and dad and has one brother, and she said that she is happy we sponsored her and she loves us very much! She also drew some pretty flowers! I can't wait to see what her next letter has to say! :)
Finally, we got a super awesome letter from Tasya in Indonesia!
I say Tasya's letter was super awesome because it was enormous, and she included a lovely papercraft!! Tasya said that she got nine letters from me at once, dated May through August (she wrote the letter in November) and she reads them over and over again. She said "thanks, mom- among your busy days you always find time to write to me!" She also asked Brandon if it was ok if she calls him Dad, even though she has been doing this for several years now. :) She's so cute. Tasya shared that it is finally raining where she lives, which is good because when there is drought, nutmeg doesn't grow (it's apparently a primary source of income for people in her area) and there aren't many coconuts, either. She also said at night, when the ocean is calm, her family goes to catch fish to eat. She shared a lot about the income-generating activities of people in her neighborhood! Tasya said she really liked reading about our trips to the farm this summer, and she is sure she'd have fun if she could see it. She asked about our cousins and wondered if there are any cousins her age that she could play with. Tasya said there isn't a public library near her, but she borrows books from the school library and project library all the time- she loves to read! She also wrote quite a bit about a fun experience she had recently- the kids from her project had a camping trip over a weekend. They set up tents right after school, and got up at 4 am the next morning (she didn't get much sleep.) There were lots of fun activities on the camping trip, and on the last night they had a lovely devotional and prayer session. She wrote "In the evening we followed the worship where we were lead to put our plan, dream, and everything in God's hands. We sat around the campfire. One tutor was standing in the middle directing the activities and the other tutors were standing behind us and kept praying for us. We were relieved when we finished the worship. No more things burdened our minds and hearts." She also said that the preacher at the campout was very funny and they laughed a lot when he spoke. Near the end, she said "I'll always pray for you, and dad Brandon. I hope you get a baby soon so I'll have a little brother or sister." She is so precious to us and I love her so much!!