I can't believe it's already November. This year has really flown by! It won't be too long before we will have to get used to writing "2017!!" Geez. Here are the letters we've received this week!
We haven't heard much out of Angelina this year, which is unsettling. I am thankful that these letters are coming through now, even though they don't say much. Angelina shared that she can now cook well at home, and she is learning how to play keyboard at the project. That's exciting! She asked that we pray that God will give her wisdom and understanding, and shared John 3:16 with us. She also made this awesome drawing of the fruits of the spirit!
India letters are starting to travel even faster! This letter from Amisha was dated from the end of September! Amisha greeted us as aunty and uncle, and she said she's been getting a lot of letters from us. She shared that her grandmother's name is Mary Joseph, and she recently had an operation to have a pacemaker put in! I'm glad her grandma was able to get the medical help she needed. Amisha said her chickens lay lots of eggs for their family, and she also has a pet cat named Chakky. She is also apparently getting a new house, as she described the foundation being poured. That's really awesome. She also greeted my friends, saying "please tell my hai to Stephanie aunty and Mel aunty," which I thought was adorable. She said she is praying for my grandparents and my back, and asked about the baby gorilla at the zoo, named Kindi. Kindi is really popular among the kids! Amisha also said that her project had an "onam" celebration and said she thought she told us about it last year, but she did not. So I looked it up, and it's a Hindu harvest festival! Obviously the Hindu aspect would not be celebrated at the project, but maybe it's like how churches here have "trunk or treat" as a way to get around the negative thoughts some people have about Halloween. :) She said they had a lot of fun and described "the hat and ball collecting, the glass, etc." Sounds confusing to me, but I'm glad she enjoyed it!
I always look forward to Pitchaya's letters because I know I'm going to learn something new about his city! I was not disappointed! Pitchaya also always fills all the available space on his stationery, which is really cool. Since the last time he wrote, Pitchaya said he received three letters, nine photos, and coloring pages. I like that he always lists out what he's gotten from us! It gives me an idea of how often letters are delivered to his project. When he wrote this letter at the beginning of September, he was having exams at the university. He said they were really difficult, but he studies with his friends and that helps. He also talked about his province, which is Kanchanaburi. He's lived there all his life, and his house is near a church. They also have a soccer field. His dad plays soccer and is apparently quite good- Pitchaya really looks up to him!! Sometimes they play together, and they have a lot of fun. He also said that there is an old paper factory in his town, which was established "in the world war period." Then he told me about the Hedklon festival they have each year, which centers around a rare and expensive mushroom that is grown in his province! Wow! He says it's "quite tasty" and asked if I've ever tried it, and if I like mushrooms. Finally, he asked that we pray for his studies and his health!
I'm so happy that Bolivia letters seem to be on the move again! Maribel sent her letter with a kiss and a hug, and listed all the different things she's received from us this year- I know that it encompassed the whole year because she described some Valentines and Easter gifts we sent, before the letter writing rules changed! I'm glad she received everything! Maribel said her dad twisted his back and missed some work, but he is on the mend. We will definitely be praying for him. She also really liked the letter we sent about Fanny Crosby (which came from Hannah) and the sheet music for "Blessed Assurance!" She also included this sweet drawing.
More Bolivia letters! We got two letters from Herlan this week! They were both dated in August. Herlan shared that he was going to a national math competition in La Paz with six of his classmates! That's really amazing! His school or project was also having an art competition and they were painting a mural about senior citizens, apparently. Herlan also shared that his winter break was interesting because the temperature dropped dramatically! They had three weeks off from school, and it was too cold to do anything. He asked about the baby gorilla at the zoo, as well. He then said that at school the marching band was preparing for a parade to celebrate "the creation of Bolivia." That sounds pretty awesome! Herlan is on facebook and sometimes I check out his profile to see his photos- maybe I'll go have a look to see if he has any pictures of these exciting things going on this summer (or winter, for him!) He also sent us a drawing.
Earlier this year, we took over Sandier's financial sponsorship. This letter was from that, I guess. However, we don't know what it says because the translation was left off! Sandier wrote a paragraph himself, and then his mom sent two pages!! I can't wait to find out what it says. I have a feeling that the last page of translation just wasn't uploaded correctly with the letter. :) Sandier's mom has never written any of his letters before, so it will be interesting to see what she has to say. I would really like to get to know her better. Things were so busy on our fun day that I didn't get to talk to her much!! But I'm still thankful that I got to meet her!! :)
We have been anxiously awaiting hearing from Benji! There was a long gap in the Haiti letters this summer, and in that time a friend ended up taking over Benji's financial sponsorship after he was dropped. I'm glad I get to continue writing to him. However, since Benji technically got a new sponsor, I got an introductory form letter from him! I learned that his favorite color is pink, and he wants to be an agronomist when he finishes school. I hope we hear from him again soon! It has now been a month since hurricane Matthew hit Haiti, and I think it will be a while until we hear from all the kids there, as they are trying to put life back together the best they can.
We also got a highly anticipated letter from Tamirat in Ethiopia! We honestly had not heard from Tamirat since last year. Back in February an old letter of his came through the system, but it was basically a copy of one we already had, so I just kept the last letter date in my files- which was August 2015! I'm thankful that Tamirat (who is a busy young man of 21) is still in Compassion's program, and hopefully his lack of letters are just an indication of his many adult responsibilities, and not an issue at the project.
The first thing his letter said was "we are living on different continents, but we are sharing love with our letters." How sweet! He shared that he got new trousers and a shirt with his birthday gift, and he really loves when we send photos to him, because they make him feel like he's here with us!