It's time for another mail call post!
We got another lovely letter from Thanakan in Thailand this week! Thanakan said I must know a lot about animals since she learns many new facts about them from my letters! :) She liked the letter about raccoons I sent in September, and said she would color her coloring page beautifully! She also really enjoyed the letter I sent about our city's multicultural celebration, WorldFest. She said she was sure the city was filled with smiles and laughter! Thanakan said in November her town would have a festival celebrating the rice harvest, and she will get some time off from school. She reminded me to take care of myself, and asked that we pray for her family's farm! And here is her drawing.
I feel like it had been forever since we got a letter from Fatuma in Kenya! It was great to hear from her. Fatuma said her baby brother John is doing very well, and she also enjoyed the letter about the raccoons. I wonder if some of the kids missed the notes I made about their size, because first Bonifas, and now Fatuma, have told me "we have those, too, but we call them mice." :) I will have to send them a photo of someone holding an adult raccoon so they know how big they are! Fatuma told me all about the mice and rats in her neighborhood- she does not think very highly of rats at all. Uh oh. I guess it's good that I don't have pet rats anymore- she would be a little disturbed by them! She specifically asked me to tell her more about the birds of our country, and shared about her country's Independence Day celebrations! Here is her drawing.
This week we got our first letter from Desire in Burkina Faso! Desire's letter arrived about seven months after we got him as a correspondent, so it was wonderful to hear from him. And it was worth the wait! He was so sweet, repeating over and over how much he loves us and he's excited to hear from us! I don't think he had ever gotten a letter before we became his correspondents. He liked the letter I sent about peace, saying "thank you for teaching me many things about peace. I can share peace with others by loving them without insulting them." He also said that he was on school holiday and he got to attend a Bible camp! He learned many things about Jesus there, including "Jesus is a great friend to the children." And here is his drawing.
It was a good week for first letters, as we also heard from Isabela in Colombia for the first time! Isabela is tiny, so she sent a form letter about her project learning. She's learning to respect others, to be a good friend, and the importance of not littering in her neighborhood! Her favorite part about visiting the project is hearing Bible stories! Her tutor said that Isabela is very happy that we can write each other letters, and hopes we can continue doing it! She also made a drawing for us.
We also got a very exciting letter from Maribel this week- a gift thank you letter! Back in the summer, I did a bag exchange with Katrina, a sponsor in Canada who would be attending a Compassion sponsor tour. Katrina and I agreed to carry gifts for each other on our respective trips this year! So I took a little backpack to Honduras for Katrina's kiddo, and she took a little backpack to Maribel for me! We got a letter about that gift this week, and I was so happy! She said she loved everything we sent, and listed the items out (a toothbrush and toothpaste; hair clips; a bracelet; a necklace; a little pin; some fun pens and pencils; a sparkly shirt and glittery leggings; a warm hat with a rhinestone bow; and a Bible!) I think the Bible was her favorite, as she said she was going to read it twice a day, every day, from Genesis to Revelation. I'm so thankful we were able to send a gift to her! We also got this lovely photo of her with her presents! Thanks again, Katrina!
Lastly, we got a new letter from Enal in Indonesia! Enal is one of our newer correspondents, and he doesn't have much time left in the program. We had to do an inquiry to get his first letter (he is just really busy with school!) but I hope we hear from him a few more times before graduation! He had a lot to say and filled up the whole page that was sent to us. Enal said he's never been to a zoo, but there are so many wild animals near his home that he doesn't think he ever has to go to one! I will have to ask about what kind of animals live near him in my next letter. He did enjoy reading about the animals near our home, and he loved reading about the snow we experienced last winter. He said it never snows in Indonesia, but he hopes to travel somewhere snowy someday. He said his favorite activities are running and swimming, and he really enjoys fruits and vegetables. He likes to eat bananas and rambutan. I remember Tasya telling me about rambutan a few years ago, but I finally got to try some when I was in Honduras! Its texture was like a peeled grape, but it was mild and sweet like a pear. It was pretty good! He shared a verse from Galatians five, and asked that we pray for his family to stay healthy- and he also offered to pray for us! He closed with a promise to write again soon, saying he was sorry it took him this long to send a letter (no apology needed!) but that he read everything we sent and he loved all of it!