Estha's letter was about the weather. Her country has two seasons. Apparently they do rainy, dry, rainy, dry! She says it's cold right now, but that's her favorite. She asked about my favorite meal, and requested we pray for her family's "evolution.":)
We hadn't heard from Barry in FOREVER! So it was awesome to get a letter from him! He said that he and his family are doing well and that they pray for us. He said "I am happy to know that God is doing wonderful things in your life," and he said he hopes that God continues giving us peace and joy. And he drew all these lovely things!
We got two letters from Amisha this week! It was SO exciting and a big relief to learn that she received the gifts Shelley carried for us back in February. She said "aunty I got some gifts you send me, 1 set clip, girls toys, Minnie Mouse, 'shaper' and purse. I like it all!" I think they were working through the backlog of letters because at the same time, she got our Valentines and Thanksgiving cards. :) I'm so glad she liked everything and that it arrived safely at her project. She also learned about the manners and hygiene lessons that Kajal has covered recently ("daily bath, brushing my teeth twice daily, wearing dress neatly and clip the nails once a week.") She also said they were having cold rain, but they did have sunlight, and she enjoys learning about all the things I share in my letters, like "gorilla lifestyle," horse races, and the fruits of the spirit. She shared she was worried about the baby gorilla at our zoo, named Kindi, and that she is very pretty! She also shared that her closest city had a flower festival this summer, and she didn't see it but she read about it in the newspaper. She made a nice drawing of her project!
Merlyn said she always enjoys my stories, and that she is glad we always pray for her and her mom. She asked that we pray for her mom to have strength to go to work. She shared her ideas about peace ("you should love other people and not fight with them") and said that she recently received some gifts at the project. She got new school supplies, a uniform, and an umbrella for school, and with her birthday gift she got rice, a pair of shoes, lemon squares, Millo bars, and milk! I told her it's always nice to get both practical and fun things for your birthday. :)
We sure are hearing from our Philippine kids more frequently! Edmundo said he's happy he gets so many letters now, and he likes seeing pictures of my friends. He really enjoyed Hannah's lesson about God in the trees. He also said recently he had to go to the hospital for a high fever! He was there for a few days but he is better now. He asked that we pray for his mom and dad.
It was almost time for an inquiry for Yekersew, so it was great to hear from him! He said "I am fine, except for missing you!" How sweet! He said he recently moved up to 2nd grade, and he asked if we have rivers and plants in our country. :) He asked if I want to visit Ethiopia someday, too.
We are now getting the letters that Patricia wrote this summer! She is such a sweetheart. She said she's loving her summer vacation and they are doing a lot of fun activities. She said she liked the photo that I sent of a blanket I made recently, and "making blankets is a good idea." She asked for more photos of baby Kindi and said she is praying for her to grow up strong!
Brenda didn't have a lot to say in her letter, just that she is enjoying going to the project, she likes to go to church, and she likes to eat candy. :) The form portion of her letter said she likes the parables of Jesus and she learns the most about God from her teachers.
I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Doris' first letter. We heard that some were on the way after inquiring at six months after receiving her as a correspondent. And we received two in the same day! She is very friendly and inquisitive. She said she loves reading all our letters, she liked reading the story of Fanny Crosby and especially enjoyed the song (I sent a screenshot of the sheet music for Blessed Assurance!) She was preparing to start studying records management She said that soon they would have a youth seminar, and she asked a lot of questions about gorillas. She repeated some of my facts about them, and asked things like how long they live, what else they like to eat, if mountain gorillas eat differently than lowland gorillas, and how long gorillas are pregnant!
Zalifina said they've had events like birthdays, weddings, and christenings in her family, but she didn't share who had what and when! :) She said she was thankful we sponsored her family (which makes me think that her enrollment in the program is having a really big impact on the family as a whole) and she begged- literally- for us to pray for her, and asked if we want her to pray for us, too. She said she shares peace by encouraging others and making them brave by telling them that God loves them.
Christine answered the questions that I wrote about sponsorship! Inspired by a discussion online this summer, I asked the kids why sponsors should write letters, and what they should know about sponsoring a child. Christine is the only one who as responded thus far. She said "my friend, it is very important to have a sponsor. Most children who are sponsored come from poor families. Some do not go to school, do not have clothes, and even food to eat. But through sponsorship, we are able to get all the above. Some do not have parents, so when you get a sponsor, he or she becomes like our parents and a friend. Lastly, it's through letters that I come to know how you are doing, so it is very important for a sponsor to write to a child. Since we are far away, it's through this and pictures that we communicate." She closed with this lovely drawing of a flower!
Kaue's letter was about holidays. His favorite is Easter, but he likes New Years too. And on holidays, he likes to "hang out." :) He drew a picture of a party at his project!
Steph and I hadn't heard from Maribel since February, so it was wonderful to log on and find a letter from her on our joint account! I found it two days after it was processed, since apparently I wasn't set up to receive emails on that joint account. Not too bad! She was apparently aware of the slowdown the Bolivia office was experiencing because she said she was sorry that we weren't getting her letters (but it's getting better!) And she assured us that she was receiving our letters! She said she attends the student center every day and she doesn't skip it, and she asked about our weather. She also said "you're very special to me and I want you to know that I love you very much." She made this adorable drawing for us!