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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Four Compassion Letters

Over the last few days, I've received a handful of letters from my kiddos. Four of those letters were from some of my Compassion kids. This is the first real chance I've had to sit down long enough, with enough focus, to type up the letters. Enjoy!

First up, a letter from Taye. This young man has definitely been a hard shell to crack. He only writes every 5-6 months and only a few sentences each time. I'm guessing he's a wonderful guy in person, but he really seems to dislike writing. Of course, I'll keep writing to him. Maybe he'll open up one of these days.

Taye is 17 years old and lives in Ethiopia. His letter is dated September 17th, 2014.

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Dear Sponsor, 

How are you? My family and I are fine. Thanks be to God. I have got your support such as school fees and I am promoted to the next grade. I am learning Sunday school in church. God bless you abundantly. Bye. 

Taye

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Next, a letter from Nikko. He's chatty, as always. Recently, when his information updated, I learned that Nikko is no longer attending school because he can't afford it. It breaks my heart to hear this and I'm praying that his family will be able to pay for it again soon. 

Nikko is 16 years old and lives in the Philippines. This letter was written August 16th, 2014. He wrote this letter completely in English, so nothing is lost in translation. 

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Dear Ms. Kayla,

Hello! How are you again? I am happy and enjoyed reading your letters. 

My family earns money by selling bananas. You asked me if we had a fun camp. Yes, we had it this May in our project and it was really fun. I'm glad to hear that there are many children attending your church. About us, we are, I think, 129 children at our project. I know them already because we grew up together and have known each other for a long time at the center. I'm happy and would like to thank you for all the pictures you've sent and letters, for sharing your life with me. Thank you also for the stickers. My siblings like them so much. And thank you also for the verses you've shared. It's all inspiring. I wish also to send some pictures of my family, if I had some. We are always doing well. Thank you for the advanced birthday greetings. I'm also excited and don't know how we will celebrate. How about you? How did you celebrate your birthday? 

I hope you are always doing great. I hope you won't forget me in your prayers. Thank you so much and God bless. 

Nikko

Ephesians 4:26 - "In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry."

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I also received a letter from Solomon. He wrote on the What I Like Best template. He filled in the blanks and wrote a nice message, with the help of his tutor. He also drew me a little picture of a house with a tree. 

Solomon is 8 years old and lives in India. His wrote this letter on July 19th, 2014. It took quite awhile to get to me. 

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What I Like Best

1. What I like best to do with my friends is: Get together with my friends

2. The type of dress I like best to wear is: Suit and Coat

3. What I like best about my project is: Arts and Crafts

4. The mode of travel I like best is: Train

5. The place I like best to visit is: Waterfalls

Dear Sponsor Kayla, 

Greetings to you in Jesus name. I am Mrs. Umakumar, project staff, writing this letter on behalf of Solomon. I hope you are doing well. Here, Solomon and his family are doing good by God's grace. He received your loving letter. He is very glad to hear that you are reading the bible. You sent some amazing miracles about our savior Jesus Christ. He hears these stories in Sunday school class. His favorite bible story is Jonah, who was swallowed by a big fish and came out after three days. He disobeyed God and God showed Jonah the right way to go. Our God is awesome and powerful. Thank you very much for encouraging Solomon. I explained the bible story which you gave in your letter and he felt very happy. He is going to school and evenings he is coming to the project. He enjoys the activities and the delicious food in the project. Please pray for him. He also prays for you. 

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Lastly, I received a first letter from Manuel. A typical first letter, fill in the blank, template. 

Manuel is 9 years old and lives in Ecuador. The letter isn't dated, but I know that it was written before I sponsored him, so it would be ready to send out when he was sponsored. 

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My Name: Manuel Romero
Age: 9
I am (physical description): Short, black hair, and a little chubby. 

My Favorite Food is: Fried Fish
My Favorite Color is: Yellow
My Favorite Subject is: Language
My Favorite Hobby is: Playing
My Favorite Sport is: Ball 

The city where I live is in this region: Coastal Region
Describe the place where you live: I live near the project, about 3 blocks away, going by a field. 

 I ask you to please pray for: My Family
I also want to thank you for: Sending me letters
I also want to say: I really want to continue at the project. 

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

More About Jhon

I always enjoy hearing from Jhon. His letters to me really feel open and are always newsy. It's like truly having a pen pal, which, I think, is a rare thing when it comes to writing to sponsored children.

Jhon is 15 years old and lives in Bolivia. His letter is dated August 21st, 2014.

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Hello Dear Sponsor Kayla, 

Greetings in the peace of the Lord. Thank you very much for the letters, the greeting cards, and the pictures that you sent to me. Your cousin is very nice. My family and I are fine. I'm better now that I live in Beni. I'm doing well in school and my favorite subjects are History and Literature. I like all kinds of ice cream. I've not visited my relatives yet, but I know that I will do that someday. I spend nice times with my classmates and friends. My favorite sport is soccer, but I also like to play checkers. One Saturday morning, we went to the river Pirai, with my family. I swam with my siblings and we had a lot of fun. We made a barbecue for lunch and then we went to the park. That day I had a great time with my family. I'm doing well at the student center and we have a lot of activities to do there. I say goodbye in the holy peace of the Lord. God bless you and your family. I'll be praying for you. Please pray for me and for my family. 

Love, 
John

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Honesty is the Best Policy

I know that I am making a bold move by posting this. I know that I will meet people with both positive and negative remarks. So be it. I felt that it was important to share this because I know that most of the people reading this blog will be understanding, supportive, and helpful.

I need to stat with a little bit of a background.

When I was 17, at the end of my junior year, I was diagnosed with Adult ADHD. It's considered "adult" if you're diagnosed after 12 years of age. My doctor told me that it's something I had probably had my entire life, but it had just gone unnoticed. Anyway, I was diagnosed at a moderate-severe level and my mother decided that I should go on medication. Like any medication, side effects can occur with the positive fixes. The medication made me hyper-focused, to the point that I could not multi-task anymore. Plus, it made me almost constantly hungry, which is more of just a nuisance. Anyway, when I turned 18, I decided to put my adult foot down and stop taking my medication. Since then, I have been able to more or less maintain the symptoms. Though, I truly know this just maintaining/surviving has had it's downsides, as well.

Anyway, back to the present, my ADHD symptoms have come back with a vengeance. Recent financial, workplace, and family stresses have, more or less, caused me to spiral out of control. I find myself not able to concentrate at work, losing interest in other things, unable to get anything done, and really struggling to sleep at night. Actually, it's been taking me about 1-2 hours each night to fall asleep and then waking up several times in the night, in a panic about something or other. As you can imagine, a lack of sleep only makes ADHD worse.

I don't want to make it sound like I am whining or making things up. I know that maybe people don't think ADHD is a real thing, but from what I live, it is very real. With that being said, I have decided that it is time to start seeing a doctor again to discuss these symptoms and most likely, go back on medication. Sadly, because I work as a nanny, I have private insurance, which does not cover things in the "mental health" department. I will be paying for appointments and medicine out of my own pocket. I have put this off because I simply do not have the money.

Looking over my budget, the only place I have not scrimped on over this last year is my sponsorships. I have avoided having to take this step, but avoiding it is no longer an option. I have to cut back my sponsorships. I need to basically cut them in half. I need to go from 10 sponsorships to 5. Amazingly, one of my boys has already found a new sponsor, so I will not list him. These are the other four boys that I would love to find a new sponsor for. I don't want to outright just cancel these sponsorships and I'm hoping to be able to find them all new sponsors within the next month.

I have extra pictures of all of these boys that I will share with you if you decide to sponsor


Enoc is 4 years old and live in Honduras. He lives with his parents and has one brother. His father works as a sawyer and his mother is a tutor at the Compassion project. Enoc is ALL boy and enjoys rolling around in the dirt and getting absolutely filthy.  


Manuel is my newest sponsorship and I am sad that I will be giving him up so soon, but he's at a new project and I think he will adapt fine with a new sponsor. He is 9 years old and lives in Ecuador. He isn't listed as special needs, but he does have dwarfism, which will cause him to be of short-stature his whole life. He lives with both of his parents. His father is a laborer. Manuel has above average performance in school and is a really smart boy!



Sandesh will be turning 11 in November. He is a very sweet boy and seems to have a calm demeanor. Everyone in his family is Christian and love the Lord with all their hearts. He lives with both of his parents who work as laborers. Sandesh has an older brother and a younger sister. Sandesh enjoys playing group games like soccer and cricket. He is in 5th grade and is doing well in school. 



Lastly, is my sweet Domenik. Domenik is sponsored through World Vision. If you currently sponsor with WV or have been thinking of sponsoring with WV, this sweet boy would be a great addition to your family. Domenik is from Albania. As you probably know from my blog, communication from Albania is amazing. Domenik is 7 years old. He lives with his parents and his little sister. His family owns their own small store, which is father runs. His mother stays home with his sister, as she is too young for school. Domenik is in 1st grade and is doing very well. He most enjoys playing soccer. 



Like I said, I have extra pictures of all of these boys, so if you decide to sponsor one of them, I will share all of those pictures with you. I will also share any information with you that I know and answer any questions you may have. 

For those of you who may be thinking it, I know that these are real children and that they aren't here for me to cancel sponsorships on a whim. As you've (hopefully) taken from this post, this is not a whim I am feeling. It is time for me to make my health and wellness and priority before things get even worse. 

If you are interested in sponsoring one of these boys, please email me at Groth.Kayla@mail.ic.edu. We can discuss about how to transfer them onto your account. 








Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Give a Gift That Matters!

Today, I received the Compassion Christmas Gift Catalog in the mail. I always enjoy looking through the catalog and seeing all of the different things that can be given to children and families in need. Each year, I like to share some of the items with friends and family to see if they are interested in giving one of these important, often life-saving gifts. I want to share a few of these gifts with you to show you a few ways that you can make a difference in someone's life. 

I know what you may be thinking; money is short, times are tough, I can barely pay the bills. Trust me, I can completely understand. But, do you have a couple extra dollars on hand? If so, for only $4, you can cure a child of intestinal parasites that can make them ill and cause stunted growth. Just $4. The cost of a coffee drink from Starbucks. 




Maybe your limit is $20. For a couple dollars less than that, $18, you can provide a mosquito net for a child that needs one. When children sleep under a mosquito net, the chances that they will catch diseases like Malaria drop dramatically. 




Giving just a little bit more, a gift of $34 will provide a newborn care package for a new mother and her baby. This kit includes necessary items like diapers, blankets, soap, bottles, and toys. 




If you're able to provide a bigger gift, that's great! $100 will buy a bicycle for a child that needs one. Having a bicycle gives a child a quicker, safer way to travel to and from school. In many places, a child's journey to school can take hours, through dangerous areas. A bicycle shortens the trip and decreases the chance of danger. 




Lastly (and this is a big one!), you can provide a life changing operation for a child that needs one. In the past, there have been inspirational stories of children getting surgeries that they desperately needed. Without the help of Compassion and generous donors, these children would have died at a young age. To provide one of these operations, it takes a donation of $5,000. I think this would be a great project to take on with a large group of people. Maybe your workplace, your church, or even your community. $5,000 can be raised really quickly when you gets hundreds of people involved. 



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Elias's Gift Photo & Letter

Elias's financial sponsor sent Elias a financial gift. Elias's sponsor often sends him money and I am so grateful to this person. I am always grateful to the financial sponsors of my correspondent children. They send the financial support that I am not able to provide and I get to develop a relationship with these great kids. I wish that I could know the identity of these great sponsors so I can share updates and photos with them. Like always, it's always great to receive a new photo of my kiddos.

This letter is dated July 15th, 2014. It took a long time to get to me!

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Dear Kayla, 

How are you? I am very fine, praise God. I am in a good level in my education and study. I learn the word of God in the Sunday School. With your support, I get an exercise book, pen, uniform, clothes, shoes, soap, and oil. I am benefited a lot. I have received your birthday gift and family gift. Thank you. I celebrated my birthday with joy. I bought clothes, shoes, and necessary things with your gift. I am happy. Money, clothes, and food materials were bought for my family and they are very thankful. I am so happy. Your picture is very beautiful. Thank you. You are so cute. Please pray for my country and family. What do you enjoy to do? Fair well. 

Elias



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Friday, October 10, 2014

Five Letters in One Day!

As the title says, I received five letters today! Each from one of my boys, which really isn't that unusual since I have so many boys. :) I'm not feeling up for a lot of small talk today, so I'll just post the letters. Enjoy! Prepare for a lot of reading!

First up, a letter from Sagar. I just love hearing from this little man. In just a few weeks, his projects' probationary period will be up. I really hope that this project stays open.

Sagar is 11 years old and lives in India. This letter is dated August 18th, 2014

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Dear Kayla, 

I am sending joyful and loving greetings to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am glad to write to you! How is your family? How are you? Thank you for your letters. 

I know that Jesus is a healer and doing miracles and delivering. 

I would like to tell you about my project center. Our teacher named Miss Manisha teaches curriculum activities and how to make garlands. She teaches us and daily we are singing Jesus worship songs. 

At our project center on August 8th, we celebrated Friendship Day. I realize that Jesus Christ is our best friend in this world and he is also with us. On August 15th, Independence Day, we celebrated at the project center. We received sweets. There were so many family games arranged. I enjoyed the spiritual activities. I received toothpaste, toothbrush, and talcum powder. I attended VBS at the project center. I have learned 10 verses about Jesus Chrst. We drew and painted pictures. 

I am completing my letter, okay? Bye! Thankful to you for praying constantly. 

Your Loving Son,
Sagar

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Next up, a letter from Fongwin. I'm sad to hear that weather and natural disasters has been such a difficulty there lately. 

Fongwin is 11 years old and is from Thailand. This letter was written July 9th, 2014. 

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Dear Kayla, 

Hello, sponsor. I am very glad to write a letter to you again. Thank you very much for loving me and having mercy on me and my family. Thank you very much for the family gift and the birthday gift you sent to me. I used it to buy some personal items and family items. (Real descriptive...) My family and I are doing well. How are you and your family doing? 

It is turning to rainy season in my country. Unfortunately, it has been raining very slightly this year while farmers are waiting for the rain so that they will be able to grow rice. There was another disaster in my place last days. It was an earthquake. It was the first time I felt an earthquake. It was about 6.3 on the Richter Scale. The center of the earthquake was near my village but my village was damaged only a little bit. 

About my final exam, I got a good score and it went well. This new semester, I have many new friends. I will work hard on studying. Is it school time for the children in your country? Please pray for my studies. Finally, may God bless you and your family for always. 

Love in Christ, 
Thawatchai

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I also heard from Derrick. This kiddo is really growing on me. Sometimes, it surprises me how much I can really love so many children. I feel like I love each one of them with my whole heart. I wonder how many hearts I have. :) 

Derrick is 11 years old and from Uganda. He wrote this letter on August 26th, 2014. 

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Dear Kayla, 

Greetings from your Uganda family. I am doing well and at home all are okay. Thank for the letters. I loved the photos from your visit to Indiana and enjoyed the Sunday School letter. I know you and your family had a good time seeing your uncle, aunt, and cousins. 

I am off from school and will be going back for term three on September 8th. That means that it will be our last term in Primary 5 class, so I have to read hard and get good results to be promoted to Primary 6. But, I have some subjects that are a bit difficult for me; that is English and Science. Pray that I will get to understand them better. 

Our project held a sports gala last Friday and our senior football team won the game and we took the trophy. I thank God because I was among the players. My number on the field was number 8. 

Kayla, Got is good all the time. Isn't that great? Have a good day!

Derrick

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Lastly, I received first letters from my two Colombian boys. These boys both attend the same project and they were assigned to me on the same day. For the last few months, I have been referring to them as Jonatan and Juan. It turns out that they both go by their middle names; Caleb and Daniel. I will definitely need update all of my blog settings, as well as in my brain. Haha. 

First up, Caleb's letter. It is a fill in the blank letter about his project. A tutor helped him write the words. 

Caleb is 6 years old. This letter is dated August 1st, 2014

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Dear Kayla, 

I greet you specially, tutor of the boy Caleb. The boy still doesn't know how to write clearly, but through me, he writes everything he wants to tell about his life. He also greets you greatly with a hug and feels very happy hearing from you. 

My Project is Called: CO-384 Pearls from Heaven

I go to the project on: Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays

My tutor's name is: Paola Andrea

He/She teaches us about:  The boy says that he likes when we teach him about respect towards his classmates and his parents, and when he remembers, he puts it into practice. 

What I like most about the project is: When there are a lot of children. He loves to play and be in a fun environment. Also, when they prepare delicious food. 

My favorite activity in the project is: He says that he likes it when we go out and play a soccer game, when we have group work, and when we paint with tempura paints. He thinks it is fun. 

At the project, I usually eat: He likes it when they have french fries, he loves them. Also, rice with chicken, vegetables or sweet salad. He says it is delicious because it has fruit. 

The boy feels very happy and grateful because you wrote and he says that of course he knows Juan Daniel. He is a boy that attends the same project. He wants to tell you that he has a sister and her name is Viviana and he has a brother and his name is Samuel. They live with both their parents. His parents make delicious oatmeal and then they sell it. Also, he wants to share this verse: Psalm 119:1. He says that he likes playing soccer with his friends the most. 

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Lastly, a letter from Daniel. He sent me a wallet sized copy of his school photo. I was so touched by the gesture. I posted it before his letter, below. 

Daniel is 9 years old. This letter is dated August 1st, 2014. 

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Dear Kayla, 

Hello sponsor Kayla. I greet you. I am very happy that you wrote a letter where you are with your sister. I want to tell you about my family. I live with my parents in a beautiful house. I have two brothers and one sister. The oldest is called Ingrit and she is 12 years old, then my brother Abiyan is 11 years old. My little brother is 7 years old. I am in 3rd grade and I am a very good student. My entire family is Christian Evangelical. My mother works cleaning a school and my father works as a painter in homes. I am going to tell you some of my favorite things. My favorite color is yellow. The food I like most is rice with meat and sweet plantains. The CDC is called CO-384 Pearls of Heaven. I attend on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and my tutor's name is Paola. I like it when we go out, all of the children at the CDC, and play soccer games. It is a lot of fun. In August, I like going out to fly kites. What I like most is to watch TV. My parents and siblings send regards. I thank you for the your birthday wishes for me. I want to share this verse: Joshua 1:9. May God bless you. 

Daniel

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Did you make it all the way to end? Good job! Man, I love my kids. 


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Bits & Pieces & New Pictures!

Alright, first up, I will share about my new correspondent child. A fellow correspondent sponsor had been struggling to write to her large amount of children and posted several of them on a Facebook page. I mentioned that I would be interested in writing to one of her boys. She said that she would contact me if she decided for sure. Several weeks went by and I didn't hear anything, so I assumed she had decided to continue writing. But, she contacted me last week and asked if I was still interested in writing to her boy. I said, "Of course!"

I introduce to you, Ernest!



Ernest is 8 years old and lives in Ghana with his parents. He's currently in 1st grade. I am very excited to get to know him. I think he's so cute. 


Yesterday, Nikko had his photo update. As usual, here is a collage showing him growing up: 



Last up, a fellow sponsor and somebody who shares a similar passion for the Miraj community in India, the place where IN-860 is located. This sponsor, Kim, along with her husband, traveled to India, to this very community and met with the pastor, the children, and their families She met with each of the sponsored children (with their sponsors permission) and shared pictures. Here are the pictures of my precious boy. He has the most beautiful smile. I told Kim to tell Sagar that he had to smile in a photo for me, since he's been so serious in his official Compassion photos. Looks like it paid off! 


My Sweet Guy


Sagar and his beautiful mama