We got a quick letter from Mary Amoah in Ghana. We've had Mary for a little over six months, and only recently got her first letter. This one was written at the beginning of September. Mary shared a bit about what she's learning at the project, including information about flowers, and the definitions of privilege and responsibility! She prayed that we would be blessed by God and asked that we pray for her and her parents to have a long life.
I was really surprised to get another letter from Caleb, since we heard from him pretty recently! And Caleb also got a surprise photo update at the end of the month, too. Caleb had a LOT to say in his letter. His last two letters shared a lot more than he has in the past few years. I learned that Caleb's dad is a pastor and a mechanic, and that his mom is "just a peasant." Caleb said that a few years ago, his dad traveled to Asia to learn more about the Bible, and on that trip he visited the zoo and saw lots of animals and birds he'd never even heard of before. Most recently he traveled to Kampala. He also said that they had a party at the project in July, and it was a lot of fun. He said he enjoyed getting photos with my letters, and that they "caused him to become very interested" in my mom's dog, whom he apparently really likes. He also said that he received the book about famous horses that I sent to him before the letter writing changes earlier this year, and he really liked the stories, which helped him with his English! And even though he's just 15, he asked us to pray that he will get into university. :)
It was so nice to receive a letter from Kajal this week. It had been so long since we heard from any of our Indian kids. Her letter was a form letter about what they're doing at the project, which revolves around manners and hygiene right now. Her helper said that she's learned about treating everyone with dignity and respect, and learned how to trim and clean her nails. In the main part of the letter, her helper said she is really happy and loves getting our letters. She's been playing a local game (which they said is called khorkho, but I can't find anything about it online- guess I need to do more research!) She received our Valentine card and thought it was pretty, and her family doesn't drink coffee- they drink tea with breakfast. And she said that she took her annual exams and asked that we pray for her to do better next time.
What a treat to get another letter from our dear Mary! One came on the first day of the month, and one on the last. :) At the end of August, she was preparing for exams. She said she reads my letters every day and that she is glad we have a close relationship even though we are far apart. And she asked that we pray for her family!
Rose shared that she really enjoys getting all our letters and that she learns a lot from them. She also wrote a bit about her house. Her house is made of mud, and it has a thatched roof. She usually gets her water from a borehole and washes her clothes in a basin. They do not have electricity. Rose said her house has two rooms and she sleeps with three of her grandparents and her aunt. Her parents do not live with her. I think they have a lot of kids and this is one of those situations where some of the older ones have to go live with relatives. She also shared that they had a lovely Easter holiday, and that her aunt goes to church with her.
We also heard from Bijay in India this week, and it had been a while since he had written, too. Bijay is so sweet. He said that he and his parents are doing really well and that they pray for us. Bijay's letter was written back in the spring, and I think it was probably just missed in the backlog of letters. He wrote about Easter and some informational days that his project had, such as Water Day and TB Day. He wanted to know if we have a TB day and how we celebrate Easter. And it was great to know that lots of parents came to these informational days at the project! He also shared about India's heat wave this summer and said that a lot of people were having trouble with heatstroke and other medical issues. And he asked that we pray for his studies.
We had to wait a long time for it (her last letter was written in October 2015!) but this was the longest letter we've ever received from Patricia! She filled up the whole page. She said she's doing great and the project had a camp this summer. She loved the stickers we sent and she really liked seeing a photo of my friend Jess's baby. At the time of her writing, the teachers in Patricia's city were on strike, but she is starting high school next year, and that's great! She also said that she likes to draw in her free time ("that's the talent that God gave me") and she likes playing volleyball and "browsing social networks" with her friends. It's good to know that Patricia has some internet access. She also wanted to tell us happy belated anniversary, and to tell Brandon she said hi. Her family drinks coffee every day, and she thinks that our little cousins are really cute and lovely. :) And she requested that I write a letter about giraffes. She also said that she was baptized when she was 12! And she made this adorable drawing.
Celestine said she and her family are doing very well and that they are praising the Lord at the project. She said they celebrated the Day of the African Child at the project, and the kids enjoy learning how the projects work to "eliminate harmful cultural practices." And she said that she prays every day for God to give me a long life.
We got a crazy long letter from Bonifas this week- and it was written about a week before it arrived in our email!! Bonifas lives on the outskirts of the city where the field office is located, so I hope that in the future, the changes to the letter writing system mean that we will get letters from him really quickly. :) Bonifas said that he loved the letter about raccoons I sent (very recently) and that he thinks raccoons sound a lot like mice, only mice are smaller "with fat legs." He said that they don't get along with people because they destroy property and crops, and they are hard to get rid of. He also shared that his dog recently had three puppies, and they don't have names yet. In my response, I told him that I thought it would be funny if they named one of the puppies after Brandon, since I would like to have a puppy myself, and have been trying to convince him that this would be a good idea! It was fun reading about Bonifas caring for the puppies. He said "I have built a house for them and I feed them soft foods." So cute!! I wish I could see pictures!
We got our first letter from Emmanuel T in Rwanda. He is really friendly and sweet. He said that they are in a sunny period and they enjoy the weather, and he wants to know all about the weather in our country, among other things. He said he wants us to send more photos of our family. He likes playing football and "singing God's songs" and wants to know what we like doing. He really asked a lot of questions and seems very curious about our lives!