I didn't have anything to share last week, but this week we did get some letters! The first is from Laura in the Dominican Republic!
This is our second letter from Laura since the new letter system went live, which is great. We hadn't been hearing much from her before that, and it seemed to take the letters a long time to get to us. She didn't say much, just that she is still enjoying attending her college classes and likes to come home to see her family. She also said that her country is too hot! She prefers to go outside when it's cloudy and overcast!
Next was a letter from Mercy in Kenya!
This was our first letter from Mercy. We got her around Christmas and had to do an inquiry about her first letter, but it showed up really quickly after that! She seems like such a sweet girl. She said thanks for always writing to her and talked about how she enjoyed learning about my life and my friends through my letters. She said her best friend's name is Jackline and they go to church and school together. She says that Jackline likes cooking and dancing, and her best dishes are chips and pilau! Mercy also shared Jeremiah 33:3 with us and signed her letter "lots of love."
The same day, we heard from Jeannette in Rwanda!
Jeannette's letter was short and just said that she is doing well, that she appreciates the letters we send and that she hopes we are praying for her. We've just had her for about a year, so I hope she continues to open up with time!
After that, we got a letter from Zalifina in Tanzania!
Zalifina said that she hopes we are doing well and that her country was experiencing the rainy season (this letter got held up and was written several months ago.) She said that her family was eating fresh maize and growing sunflowers! I saw lots of sunflowers in Tanzania- they're a great source of energy for families who process them into oil, and are able to sell some as well. It relieves a great financial burden for families and the projects who are able to grow their own sunflowers. She also said thanks for the birthday gift we sent and said that she celebrated with her mom, dad, and brother. She said that her family greets me "so much" and they wish I could come to Tanzania someday. I hope I can go back! :) This was probably the chattiest, most personal letter I've ever received from a child in Tanzania, so I thought that was neat!
Next up, our first letter from Sumeya in Ethiopia!
Sumeya's letter was a form letter about her spiritual learning. She said she learns the most about God from Sunday school, and the favorite thing she's learned about God is how much he loves us. She also likes reading the stories about Jesus from the Bible. And her favorite hymn is "Abetu Gulbete hoy", according to the translation of her letter. She asked that we pray for her class, family, and country, and said that her entire family drinks coffee (in response to a letter I wrote a while back, where I mentioned that I like to drink it for breakfast!) She also drew this cute picture.
A few days after that, we got a great letter from Pitchaya in Thailand!
Pitchaya seems like such a cool guy. I love reading his letters! And it was so neat to see that he just wrote it less than three weeks ago! Pitchaya started his letter listing all the letters and stuff that I have sent since the last time he wrote. He said it was almost time for final exams and some of his friends have been tutoring him! He also shared that in March, he attended a career training session in Chiangrai. He received training in how to organize and store inventory, and how to "set up" shipments. He also learned how to drive a forklift! He wrote about that in great detail. During his trip to the city, he stayed in a place that was right by the Khong river. He said it was so beautiful, and in the evenings there were lots of people out, and there were street vendors selling delicious food! He also responded to my question about coffee, saying he doesn't really like it because he can't sleep when he drinks it! He also shared that he likes playing soccer and guitar, and his favorite fruit is durian. He asked if I've tried it. I've never been able to find it around here, but if I did, I'd be hesitant to take it home, as it smells like death. It's supposed to taste really good, though! He asked that we pray for his studies and said he is praying for us.
Next was a letter from Austin in Kenya!
Austin opened his letter saying he was excited to write his letter. He told us that he has finished his mechanic training and he has been learning to drive! He also said he was happy to get our letters, and he shared that he lives with his step-sister and her children. He said they live near a small town and they do a little farming. Austin said he is praying for my back pain and said he was really interested to know how an MRI is performed, and asked me to send a letter about it! I will have to do a little research and send him that information soon.
Finally, we got a letter from beautiful Ruth in Honduras!
I was so happy to get another letter from Ruth. I really want to get to know her better before I come visit her in October! In her letter, Ruth described her average week. She said she gets up at 530 in the morning to take a shower, and in the afternoons she does her homework. Her favorite day of the week is Saturday because she gets a break! On Sundays she goes to church, and she goes to bed around 9 pm. She then asked me to tell her about my week, what time I go to bed, when I go to church, and lots of other questions! She said she wants us to pray for her family, that they won't lack anything. She said that she is praying for us, too! And she drew this beautiful picture!