I am still resting at home and would LOVE to have some of your prayers. Things are pretty rough right now. I'm getting better, but it's taking a long time, some days are harder than others, and it's all making me very anxious. Thankfully I've had plenty of letters to keep me company this week! Our first was from Amisha in India.
We've had Amisha for a year and a half, but I've had such a hard time connecting with her. Her letters have been written by a staff member and didn't offer much info. I was ecstatic to see that Amisha wrote this letter herself! The form side, which was about her family, was written by a staff member. We learned that in her home, it's her mom, dad, and grandma. She lives in a tribal area, and she helps her mom clean the house and take care of the chickens! On the back was Amisha's sweet little-kid writing. She called us aunty and uncle, which made me so happy! She said she's received all our letters, cards, stickers, and things, and she read them happily. She said her favorite animal is a cat, and her family is building a new house, and asked us to pray for them. She also drew a little flower in a pot!
Also from India, we got a letter from Vandana!!
There was much rejoicing over this letter! We've had to do a couple of inquiries for Vandana, because we didn't hear from her for a long time, and we received two "first letters" which didn't tell us anything- and were written by someone else. At 15, she should be writing her own letters! We hit the jackpot this week, though- Vandana filled up her letter to us, and it was fun to see that she wrote in English. She started "Greetings to you in the marvelous name of our loving Lord and savior Jesus Christ!" She said she's hoping that we are doing well, and she is SO HAPPY about our letters, stickers, photos, and cards! She called herself very lucky for having us as sponsors- we are lucky to have her! She shared about her favorite verse and asked about ours, and said our pictures are so cute and our city is beautiful. "I like all of the things!" They celebrated Children's Day at the project by having a camp. They had wall climbing, net climbing, and "motor driving." She said her studies are hard and asked that we pray for them. She also shared that there was some snow on their crops, and that it was beautiful! Neat! She sent hugs and kisses, and said "I miss you and love you!" Oh, she's precious!
The same day, we heard from Thanakan in Thailand!
Thanakan's letter was about her typical week. She said she goes to bed at 9 and wakes up at 7:30. Sounds like she gets lots of rest! She goes to the project on Saturdays, and her favorite day is Sunday because of worship! In the afternoon, she does her homework, and on the weekends she plays with friends. Thanakan said that her dad can't walk properly and asked that we pray for him (he had an injury.) At Christmastime, she worshipped with friends at church. They played local sports "funnily" and had special food. She really liked the food! She said they had spicy vermicelli salad, pork leg meat soup with mushrooms, and other delicious things. She also said that her family does not know Jesus and she is learning about Jesus at the project (it's good to know that I can pray for her family in this way!) Thanakan also said she has a little niece, and she likes to play with her! The baby's name is Laksika. We also learned that Thanakan is hardworking, according to her helper at the project, and is obedient, lovely, and helpful. She also goes to two schools- Thai school during the day, and Chinese school in the evenings! Her family sends their thanks for all the letters and goodies we have sent, adn she wished us a hapy Christmas and New Year!
We also got a letter from Carlos in Peru!
This is our fourth letter from Carlos this year! Carlos shared about his birthday, which he said was "an incredible time!" They went to the beach, then came back to the project and had cake, and everyone sang happy birthday to him. Later that night, he went to the movies with his friends! I'm so glad that he had a good birthday! Carlos told me that he goes to the highlands sometimes to visit his grandma, and he sees alpacas and llamas there (I had written to the kids about seeing some baby alpacas at a fair!) He agreed with me that their fur is very nice! He also thanked us for all the letters and cards we've sent.
Then we heard from Erick in Ecuador!
Erick's letter was about festivals and holidays. His family loves Christmas, because it reminds them of the birth of Jesus, and they celebrate by eating rice and chicken! He likes visiting grandmother in the Andean highlands during this time! He asked that we pray for his grandma, whose name is Maria, because her feet hurt. He also said he likes to play drums!
There were also two letters from Estha in Togo this week!
I'm not sure why we got two letters, but it was pretty cool! One was about her medical check-up, which she had last summer. She had it at the project, and her mom went with her. They told her that she's healthy! She asked how we celebrated Christmas, said "thanks for your particular attention" and "May this year 2016 be the year of grace!" How sweet! On that letter, she drew an electric guitar! Her other letter was a generic "about me" letter. She's the third child in her family, and her name (Estha Yawa- the Yawa part) means that she was born on a Thursday! How cool! She said she's really good at math and she wants to be a teacher. She asked what my plan is for the coming year, and said she's praying for God to protect my house. On this letter, she drew a school block!
We were also very happy to get a first letter from our tiny Nejat in Ethiopia!
Her face is so serious that I always think she's a bit older- but she's only 3! We got an intro letter from her, which was a bit hard to read- her translator has handwriting that looks a lot like her native language! I did learn that she lives with her mom and dad, and I can kind of understand their names. She likes running, rice, the color green, and New Year's is her favorite holiday. Her favorite animal is sheep, and her favorite song is "The Love of the Lord." She asked us to send letters and photos (this was written right after she was sponsored; we have sent her some now!) and said her family is praying for us! There was also a dot to dot picture of an ibex on the letter, and she scribbled all over it in blue and green. :)
Lastly, we heard from Patricia in Brazil!
We hadn't heard from Patricia in four or five months, so it was very nice to hear from her! She said she's doing well in school and she's enjoying the project. She was very excited about Christmas, and she was going to celebrate with her family! She said that next term, she's going to be in 9th grade. She said the weather is very hot and told me that she likes cats the best. She asked that we pray for her health, and she said she liked seeing the pictures of my friends and their children! And as usual, she signed with kisses!