A few letters came through email this week. And a few more showed up in my mailbox, which is progress! The letters that were mailed were delivered digitally about four weeks ago, so I'm guessing that all the letters before then won't be showing up in print version- hopefully the rest of the ones after that will. But it is progress, and that's good.
The first letter we received was our first letter from Hankel in Nicaragua!
When Hankel's letter arrived, we had him as a correspondent for less than 2 months. That's a pretty great turnaround. We learned that Hankel lives in a city, and he sleeps in a bed and gets water from a faucet. He gets his food from a store and his home is made of wood and cement. He lives with his mom, his sister, and cousins! In the rest of his letter, Hankel said that his house is very small but it makes him happy. He even has a little yard to play in! He is getting good marks in school and he has a cat named Princess. He asked about our pets and asked us to pray for him because he has been sick with a cough.
The next letter was from Erick in Ecuador!
Erick's letter was about his hobbies and pets. He said his favorite hobby is "playing a lot" and he likes to play with his brother. He also has a dog named Centavito, and he wanted us to know that he had a toothache but he is doing better now. He said thank you for writing to him and for being his godparents! :)
We got our first letter from Teresia in Tanzania!
Teresia said thank you for sending her letters, and that they were "good and lovely." She asked that we pray for her studies, and shared Proverbs 3:8 with us, which was an interesting choice. She wrote it out as "it will bring health to thy navel and marrow to thy bones." Teresia's letter was written on April 30, so she may not have received many letters from us by then- but her letter arrived about five weeks after she wrote it, which is awesome!!
Our next letter was from Milder in Peru!
It's great to finally be hearing from Milder after waiting many months for his first letter. It also seems like Peru is getting on track with the new system, as we are used to receiving letters from our PE kids every two months. Milder's last letter was almost exactly two months ago! And it was written on May 13, so it took less than a month to be processed. :) Milder's letter was pretty awesome, because it was a form letter about Peruvian culture. I learned a lot- even if I knew about the options Milder selected, I learned about some new stuff from the ones he didn't pick! Milder said in his region they eat ceviche, trout, and rice with chicken. They drink lemonade and fruit juices. For clothes, they wear tennis shoes, hats, trousers or skirts, and ponchos (Milder is wearing typical western wear in his new photo!) And the preferred music in his region is Andean music and "North Coast dance." In the free writing space, Milder's tutor Luz wrote quite a bit. He received eight letters from us, and thought they were lovely. He has never been to a zoo but hopes to visit one someday. He is doing well in school and enjoys eating bananas and tangerines. He also said he loves coffee! It's neat how so many of the kids have responded to a throw-away comment about what I like to eat for breakfast. :) He said he is praying for my dad, and that he lives with his brother Denis and his great grandma! And he said goodbye with a hug. He shared this cute little drawing!
Our next letter was from Christina in Tanzania!
Christina's letter was a form letter about the weather. She didn't say much, but I think she's still getting used to receiving letters from me rather than my mom. When she wrote her letter, Christina said the weather was rainy and cold, and in rainy weather she likes to visit her grandma. And she said thanks for our sponsorship.
Next was a letter from William in Bolivia!
William said that his family is doing very well, and he is enjoying his time at university. He is especially enjoying learning about drawing and design. And he said he reads his Bible "the most" to learn about his creator! William also replied to my coffee comment and said that he enjoys coffee, and his family also likes tea and mate (which I know is a favorite of Hannah's!) He said that he enjoys playing outside with his university friends, but he misses his friends from secondary school. He said thank you very much for the letters, saying he especially loved the photos, and said he hopes the Lord blesses us greatly. He asked that we pray that he won't have economic difficulties. And he wrote out Jeremiah 1:8!
We also heard from Motempa in Kenya!
Motempa's letter was pretty short, but it's nice that she took the time to write. She said she is doing well together with her family, and thanks to the rain, the crops and livestock are doing well and the land looks beautiful. She said thanks for writing to her and always praying for her, and that she is praying that God blesses us.
Finally, we got a letter from Merlyn in the Philippines!
Oh, my sweet Merlyn. I adore her. The same day we got a letter from her, she got a photo update (which you can see above!) I love the fact that Merlyn calls us big brother Brandon and big sister Jessi. :) She opened her letter saying "Hello! A happy day!" She said that her eyes are not bothering her anymore and she was grateful for our prayers. She also said that she loved receiving our photos and her mom said she was going to save her money to get them laminated. What a precious woman. She also asked what keeps Brandon busy, and if our cousin had her baby yet (she did this week, and I just got finished writing a letter sharing about the new baby!) She also shared that her mom is a fish vendor, and asked us to pray that she won't get sick.