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Friday, November 17, 2017

Template Letters for Miles!

In the past, I never used to write entire posts dedicated to template letters. I think it's probably because I've never had as many little kiddos as I do now. My ranks of kids under 8 sure have grown! Making whole posts for just template form letters seems to be a great way to stay organized. I have quite a few of them to share with you today, so here goes nothing!

Let's begin with a letter from Tern, who is from Thailand. His letter is written on the About Me template. The letter is dated September 30th, 2017. Tern is 5 years old.

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1. I am the only child in my family. 
2. My name was given to me by my: Grandparents
3. I am 107 cm tall. 
4. I weigh 16.6 kg
5. I am: Right-handed 
6. One thing I do really well is: Playing Sports 

Hello, 

I am Ms. Sabaiporn, a project staff member. I am writing to you on behalf of Tern. Tern would like to thank you for your letter. I'm now at his house. He most likes to wear an army outfit. He ate rice and grilled chicken today. His house is a two story house, in which the first floor is made of cement and the second floor is wood. In his spare time, he likes to go to the rice field and pretend to go fishing with his friend Tonkla. The project he's been attending is a church in which the second floor is used as a worship place and the bottom floor is used as classrooms for the children. Tern says he's never seen a solar eclipse before, but there have been eclipses in Thailand. The last party Tern went to was his distant cousin Bonus' birthday party. His grandmother would like to ask you to please pray for him as he often plays out in the rain. It's been raining here every day. Tern would like to ask what you do for a living. He also thanks you for supporting him. 

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Next is a letter from my little guy Dedilhomme (who I totally wish went by his middle name Antoine, for the sake of easy pronunciation), who lives in Haiti. This letter is all about his Typical Week.

Dedilhomme is 5 years old and he wrote this letter on September 25th, 2017.

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1. I typically get up at: 6:00 a.m
2. After waking up, the first thing I do is: Brush my teeth 
3. My favorite day of the week is: Saturday because I go to the project. 
4. In the afternoon, I typically: Study 
5. The days I go to the project are: Friday & Saturday
6. On Sunday, I typically: Go to church 
7. I typically go to sleep at: 7:00 p.m

Dedilhomme is glad to greet you in the name of the Living God. He is doing well and he hopes that you are too. He says he most likes to wear black clothes. He ate some rice today. The house where he lives has the shape of a triangle and it has three rooms. His project is under construction. They are building some new classrooms. It has an office too. There are now 5 classrooms. Dedilhomme says he likes to read in his spare time. He laughs with joy when he gets a new pair of shoes. The last time he attended a party was in June. His best friend's name is Makendy. The advice he gives to younger children is to not be unruly. May God bless you! Dedilhomme lives with his father and mother. He attends school Monday-Friday. His teacher is good because she is patient and tolerant. 

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Up next, a letter from Daniel, who is 7 years old and lives in Ecuador. He wrote about his Project Learning. His letter was written on September 9th, 2017.

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1. In my project, I'm learning about: The life of Jesus, his father God, and want he wants of me. 
2. On how to take care of my body, I've learned: Take a bath, brush my teeth, and not deal with strangers. 
3. I also want to say: Classes started and I trust in God. 
4. My tutor's name is: Rocio 
5. And she always teaches us: To pray, sing praises, and Bible verses 
6. My favorite activity that I've learned in the project is: To Paint
7. I ask you to pray for: My studies
8. I thank you for: Your letter and school supplies 

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Onto a letter from Tamire, who lives in Ethiopia. In her letter, she is telling me about her Hopes for the Future. Her letter is dated October 1st, 2017. 

On another note, I just do not understand the Ethiopian calendar. Somebody tried to explain to me why Ethiopia is six years behind the rest of the world, but I have no idea. 

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1. In the future, I hope to learn about: Teaching
2. In the future, I want to support: My family 
3. In the future, I hope to visit: A zoo/park 
4. When I grow up, I want to be: A teacher 
5. In the future, I hope to meet: My grandparent 
6. A skill I want to learn is: Knitting 

She asks for you to pray for her health and school. She is grateful for all your support. She is happy that the Ethiopian year 2010 has started. 

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This next letter is from Tumbu and is written on the My School template. I've received these letters from most of my Kenyan boys now and I just love the information that is included in it.

Tumbu is 6 years old and the letter is dated November 8th, 2017.

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Dear Kayla, 

1. I am in: Nursery school
2. My school is 3 km away from my home. 
3. The name of my school is: Muimi Primary School
4. I go to school by: Foot
5. The color of my uniform is: Sky blue shirt and blue shorts
6. My class teacher's name is: Mrs. Katheka 
7. My best friend is: Mbali 
8. The games we play in school are: Soccer & Singing Games 
9. The other activities this term are: Hide and Seek 
10. What I like the best about the school is: The building 
11. My favorite school subject is: Math 
12. After school I like to: Play with my friends 

Hello my dear friend Kayla. Tumbu salutes you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is very proud to write to you again. He informs you that he is doing well. He tells you that schools have closed for November/December holiday. His favorite clothes is a tracksuit. He loves you and prays for you and wishes you God's blessing. 

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Now we get to learn about Kamaldine's favorite things! Whoo hoo! She then answered a lot of my questions! 

Kamaldine is 5 years old and lives in Burkina Faso. Her letter is dated August 31st, 2017. 

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1. My favorite food is: Rice with sauce 
2. My favorite color is: Red
3. My favorite game/activity is: Jump Rope 
4. My best friend is: Alima
5. My favorite Bible hero is: David 

Dear Kayla, 

Hello. This letter is given to you to have my news. By the grace of your prayers, I have an average of 80, to pass in school. I'm in great joy to thank you for sending me a birthday gift. I bought a box of spaghetti, a box of oil, some milk, plus I opened a savings account. I ask the God Almighty to widen your limits. I'm going to answer your questions: 

1. I enjoy wearing t-shirts and skirts.
2. Today I have eaten some rice with sauce. Have you too? 
3. My house is made of cement. It has one bedroom and a living room. 
4. We plan to have a house with three bedrooms, a living room, plus a shower inside. 
5. At free time, I like to play with friends. 
6. I laugh when I watch cartoons. 
7. During my break this time, I traveled. On the bus, I saw nature so green because it is the rainy season. I saw merchants push around the bus when it stopped for a police check. There was so much noise. When I arrived, I met new friends and played. My maternal grandmother gave me gifts and cherished me. 
8. I took part in a celebration of marriage at home. My had joyful faces. 
9. My best friend is Alima. 
10. I will say to a younger child to not quarrel and to not insult siblings and to respect old people. 

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And lastly, a letter from Veronika, who is telling me about her Typical Week, just like Dedilhomme, which makes sense, since they are both from the same country, Haiti. 

Veronika is 7 years old and she wrote this letter on September 22nd, 2017. 

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1. I typically get up at: 6:00 a.m
2. After waking up, the first thing I do is: Pray to the Lord
3. My favorite day of the week is: Friday, because I go to school and to the project
4. In the afternoon, I typically: Study and do homework
5. The days I go to the project are: Friday & Saturday
6. On Sunday, I typically: Go to church 
7. I typically go to sleep at: 9:00 p.m

Dear Kayla, 

Veronika is very happy to write you this letter in the name of our Savior. How are you doing with your activities? She is doing very well with her activities. She thanks you for your support and prayers for her to be successful in everything that she does. She is praying for God to bless you. She wants to share this Bible verse with you: Genesis 1:1. It is very cold because we are in winter. She hopes God will bless you. 

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From the Field Friday: Togo

We have reached our last country director letter. Now we can all start thinking about Christmas. ;)

Today, let's hear the letter from man running the Compassion program in Togo.

I have one sweet boy in Togo; Djimitri.



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Dear Kayla, 

I am Komlavi Peter Ataty, country director of Compassion Togo since 2009. Compassion started in February 2008 with 10 child development centers, and today it has grown to more than 160 church partners serving more than 40,000 children. 


Komlavi Peter Ataty


I sincerely thank you for the great love and hope you are giving Djimitri. Your contribution is precious. 

In Togo, more than 30 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. Poverty, health issues, lack of education, abuse, forced labor, and early marriage are some of the challenges children and their families are facing. More than 20 percent of school-age children do not have access to education. Although the situation has improved recently, as free education became available, some children and youth from impoverished rural families cannot access education just because of the cost of books, transportation, meals, etc. School buildings are often substandard and in deplorable conditions. Primary classes may have 80 students squeezed into dilapidated, cramped rooms. HIV/AIDS is prevalent in Togo, and we have insufficient health personnel and a lack of appropriate health care infrastructure. 


An Impoverished Home in Rural Togo


An Outdoor School in Togo



Child development centers help children develop their talents and grow holistically - physically, cognitively, socio-emotionally, and spiritually - through quality child-development activities. The goal of this approach is life transformation for all the children, helping them fulfill God's plan for their lives and making a constructive impact on their homes, communities, countries, and the whole world. Church partners are also involved in evangelism and health education for communities, treatment of some diseases, and initiatives to provide clean water, vocational training, etc. 


Children Receive Healthy Food and Clean Water at Their Project


A mother whose child is in the program testified: "When my husband died, I thought we would die too, because nobody from either his family or mine will think about us. Since 2013, none of them has asked me how the children are doing. But thank God, Compassion is there. I was so comforted by the words in the letters my son received from his sponsor. Even though I am a single mother, I know I have some people caring for me and my children. These letters are a powerful source of encouragement to us." 


A Boy Learning at His Project 


When sponsors write letters to their children and tell them they are members of the family, that they are loved and prayed for, and that their future is bright, it has a tremendous impact on the child and even on the family. Nothing can take the place of this sponsor-child relationship through letters. I encourage you to write to your child often. It is so valuable. 


We continuously pray for you. Please pray for for our work here, the children and workers, and for continuous peace and stability in our country. 


Happy Compassion Kids! 


Kindly receive my heartfelt gratitude  for choosing to sponsor Djimitri. I strong pray that the Lord will continue blessing you and keeping you under His everlasting grace and favor from generation to generation. 

In Jesus, 
Komlavi Peter Ataty

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

2+2=4

Double the love from Rwanda. Then double the love from Colombia.

Four letters with a ridiculous amount of love.

Man, I love my kids.

Let's start with a letter from Kwizera, who just turned 13 year old today. This letter is not dated, but no doubt written when he was still 12 years old. ;)

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Dear Kayla, 

I foremost greet you in Jesus's name. I and my family are fine and we thank God. How are you and your family doing? At school, I am studying well and we are now preparing for the end of the year exams. Pray for me to succeed. To respond to your questions: I most like to wear long trousers and t-shirts. Our house has three rooms and it is built with burnt bricks. I thank you for sending me a letter. My family and I loved it. To my friend Erick, I advise him to respect his elders. To close, I wish you the peace of God. May God bless you. 

Kwizera 

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My other 13 year old from Rwanda is Jule. A sweet boy that I am still getting to know. I love this letter that shares some more things about him. This letter is dated October 14th, 2017. 

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Dear Kayla, 

I first greet you in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. My family and I are doing well. No problems. I'm doing well at school. I like the lessons in math, physics, and chemistry. It is raining here and we are growing crops. I like playing soccer with my fellow kids and I hope to be a great player in the future. I'm learning baptism classes at church. I like to pray. I thank you for the letter you sent to me, sharing with me your updates. I saw a solar eclipse once and it was beautiful, but also scary. I like Isaiah 40:26. Please pray for my studies. We pray blessings over you. Conclusively, may God bless you. 

Jule

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Now we move onto some big "kids" from Colombia. I just love these young adults so much. They have such great things to say and great outlooks for the future. I thank God for Compassion helping to instill this confidence in these wonderful young people! 

Let's start with a letter from Lina, who is 18 years old. Her letter was written on June 22nd, 2017 (no idea what took so long to arrive!). 

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Dear Kayla,

I greet you in the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. I want to tell you that my school vacation is in the month of June. My vacation lasts 21 days. During my vacation, I often come to the CDC and stay home with my family. What I enjoy doing most on my vacation is reading, listening to music, and going on trips with my friends. On my vacation I like to eat a lot and my favorite food is fried fish. My favorite people to spend my vacation with are my mom and my sister. On my next vacation, I would like to travel to another country. I would like to visit Panama and France some day. Those are two of my favorite countries. I would like to go around and learn more about their people and culture. What city in the world would you like to visit? I want to thank you for looking after me by doing your monthly contribution to the CDC, for your letters, and for the presents. I want to tell you that I am now studying in nursing school and I'm doing very well. In the future, I'd like to do something I'd really like, which is to be a pediatrician. I like children very much and would really like to work with them. I say goodbye with a big hug and wishing that God blesses you. I ask you to keep praying for me and for my family. I want to give you this Bible verse: Malachi 3:16. 

Lina

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And to end, a letter from Ronaldo. It's been such a blessing getting to know this young man. He seems like such a kind, sensitive, and smart guy. 

He is 20 years old and wrote this letter on July 20th, 2017. 

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Dear Kayla,

My very remembered Kayla, how are you? Right now I have the letter you sent me in my hands. Gage and Chloe are beautiful. Tell them I say hello. Thank you for sharing their photo with me. I tell you that right now in my country, we are on a school break. We have two months of break, June and July. I use this time to visit relatives and practice soccer with my cousins in the evening. I like to eat seasoned rice with chicken. I love it! My parents and brother are almost always with me. I confess something; one day I would like to visit your country to see the most popular places and to take photos of me with some people there. Kayla, I am very thankful to you for being so special to me. I keep you present in my prayers. I ask you something: Have you ever thought about coming to my country? I ask you to keep my family in your prayers. 

Ronaldo

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Friday, November 10, 2017

From the Field Friday: Thailand

I have been excited to share this letter with you. There are a few countries in the world that have my heart; India, Honduras, and Thailand. I just love the work that Compassion is doing in Thailand, especially among the people in the Karen tribe, a tribe of people who are often illegal immigrants from Burma and who have no legal status. These people are often considered untouchable or low-class. Even the Karen people who have legal status are often discriminated against and have very few basic rights, such as good jobs and quality education. Compassion is intervening in the lives of these children and family and getting them the most basic necessities.

Of course, Compassion is doing great work in the lives of all Thai children, not just the Karen people. I really admire the work the staff members are doing here. Today we read the letter of the man who runs it all!

I have three children in Thailand: Rujikorn, Mor-Mi-Say, and Tern.




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Dear Kayla, 

My name is Sanya Ladaphongpattana. I have been the country director of Compassion Thailand for 13 years. I grew up in a Christian family as an MK (Missionary's Kid). My parents came from China in 1962. Throughout those years, God prepared me to carry on the assignment to serve Thai people and help local churches fulfill His purpose. Compassion has worked in Thailand for more than 45 years and has partnered with almost 200 local churches. We currently serve more than 40,000 children. 


Sanya Ladaphongpattana


I would like to thank you for your heart, commitment and sponsorship to Chokchai, Tern, Rujikorn, and Mor-Mi-Say. 

More than 96 percent of Thailand's population is Buddhist. Children here face many challenges in their lives such as poverty, peer pressure, cultural norms and traditions, expectations from parents and relatives, etc. Many children we serve are so-called stateless children - those who do not have legal identities, which means they have fewer opportunities in education, employment, and healthcare access. With all of these challenges, our local church partners reach out and bless all our registered children. 


A Village in Northern Thailand



Children Singing and Worshiping at Their Project 


Sponsorship is not only a financial support for schooling and improved living conditions, but it is a process of holistic discipleship that helps children become fulfilled adults who love God. Through sponsorship, children have a safe place to go. At the centers, they feel nurtured, learn about the love of God, acquire vocational skills, develop character through mentoring relationships, and so much more. It is our vision to see each one of them become a leading force, a champion in holistic transformation of this nation. 


Children Learning to Create Handicrafts


Girls Learning Hairdressing 



Recently, one of our church partners was very successful in an anti-corruption movement in their local community that escalated to district and provincial level. The movement started from a youth group, then expanded to peers, classmates, schools, and community. They have been recognized and awarded by Thailand's National Anti-Corruption Commission as a community that builds up a new generation with character that will drive and reform the nation. If we change one child at a time through prayers, letters, encouragement, and generous giving, then we'll see a national transformation taking place. 


Children Receive Bikes at Their Project


Letters from sponsors are a great encouragement to the children. Through letters, they know that someone loves and cares for them, and they are inspired to do their best. Letters are the driving force behind the sponsor-child relationship. I encourage you to write your children as frequently as possible. 


A Girl Writing a Letter to Her Sponsor 


Once again, I would like to thank you for your sponsorship to Chokchai, Tern, Rujikorn, and Mor-Mi-Say, which means more than you can understand for your children. I pray that God will continue to bless and guide you and allow you to bless others who are in need. 

Respectfully in Christ,
Sanya Ladaphongpattana 

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Updated Manna Photos: October 2017

That latest round of folders & letters were delivered to the Manna kids and that means new photos! Due to a mistake, photos were not taking at the Betania location, so I did not receive a new photo of my Brayan this time around. And apparently, on the day the folders were delivered in the Tablon community, it was a super rainy day and many kids were absent. 

With all that information, it boils down to I received new photos of 5 of my 7 Manna boys. Not bad, I say! Angel and Carlos are not holding a folder from me, because they are newly sponsored. They will receive a folder from me for the next mailing. However, all children who didn't receive something with this latest mailing, either unsponsored kids or those kids whose sponsor's didn't write this time, received a coloring page, so they could all have something to hold for their photo. I am thankful for that. 

Here are the photos! 




14 Year Old Ivan


12 Year Old Carlos


7 Year Old Angel


5 Year Old Noel



3 Year Old Antony 



Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Another Handful of Form Letters

I don't know why I always start these posts so late at night. I'm always tired and should go to bed, but think about blogging at the last minute. I don't know how long I will write, but I am shooting for posting three letters. Maybe I'll even get more? Only time will tell! It's like a mystery post.

This first letter is the surprise letter I received from my newest boy, Lenin. This letter helped me learn that Lenin was even on my account!

Lenin is 6 years old and lives in Peru. His letter is dated October 18th, 2017.

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1. I want to tell you that I live with: My mom Fiorella, my grandparents Doris & Gregorio, my sisters Kiara & Xiomara, and my aunt Ingrid. 

2. My favorite dishes are: Rice with chicken, ceviche, potato with huancaina sauce. 

3. My house is located in the: Coast

4. My house is near: (He marked nothing. Maybe it's near nothing?)

Dear Sponsor Kayla, 

Lenin greets you with love. He is very happy and thankful. He is a playful and happy boy. He likes to go to Kindergarten to learn how to draw and others things his teacher tells him. He also plays with his friends. He would like to know, are you married? Do you have any children? He would like you to pray for his grandma to be able to buy a bed for him. He says goodbye with hugs. 

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Now, a letter from Airin. She wrote to me to tell me about her family. 

Airin is 7 years old and lives in Indonesia. She wrote this letter on September 23rd, 2017. 

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1. My favorite thing to do with my family is: Have meals together 

2. In my family, I spend the most time with: My mother 

3. My food is prepared by: My mother 

4. My favorite way to help my family is: Washing Dishes 

5. My family's faith background is: Christian 

My Dear Sponsor Mama Kayla, 

I am glad to be able to write a letter to you. Thank you for your letter. I often go together with my friends to the river for swimming. I love to play with my friends. My goal is to become a teacher and I have a dream to be a good person and make my parents proud of me. My grandma's house isn't far from our house. I have two siblings. How are you? May God always bless us. 

Shalom,
Airin

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Up next, a letter from sweet Nicol. Her letter is written on the My Favorite template and she wrote a nice long message at the end. 

Nicol is 4 years old and lives in Colombia. Her letter is dated September 27th, 2017. 

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1. My favorite friend is: Jorge

2. My favorite activity is: Riding a Bike 

3. My favorite character is: Peppa Pig 

4. My favorite food is: Meat

5. My favorite color is: Red 

6. My favorite play is: Pretending to cook 


Hello Dear and Remembered Kayla, 

Nicol tells you that she and her family are doing fine. She has a brother whose name is Michael Stiven and his is eight years old. She goes to the park and to the river with him. She says she likes to ride bikes and have fun with her brother. She thanks you for your letters. She sends many kisses and a Bible verse with you. It is 1 Peter 4:8, "Above all, love each other deeply." Regarding your questions; She says Independence Day is July 20th. The colors of the flag from her country are yellow, red, and blue. She says her country has 32 provinces and the capital city is Bogota. She says it is a pretty city and the weather is cold. Her province is called Meta and the municipality is called Grenada. The national emblem of her country is the coat of arms and the flag. The national flower is the orchid. The national bird is the condor. The national tree is the wax palm. She says that something she likes to use is a bicycle. The food she ate today is cereal. She says that her home is humble, but pleasant. She says she is going to ask her mother to pray for you. 

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This last letter is from little Djimitri. He is telling me all about his last dental check-up. I love that Compassion provides our kids with medical and dental care!

Djimitri is 6 years old and lives in Togo. His letter is dated October 17th, 2017. 

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1. My last dental checkup was on: October 27th, 2016 

2. For my dental checkup, I went to: A clinic 

3. I was accompanied by: Abla, a project worker 

4. One thing I did during my dental checkup was: Check my teeth 

5. During my dental checkup, I learned: To brush my teeth 2-3 times a day. 

Thanks for what you have been doing for me and my family. Please pray for my project, my country, and my studies. I like to eat mango. 

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Friday, November 3, 2017

From the Field Friday: Tanzania

Today's letter was a bit more of a challenge for me, research wise. As I'm sure you've noticed, I like to post official Compassion photos with the letter. I also like to search online for a photo of the specific person that runs the program in each country. Well, I could not find a photo of today's guy at all! It turns out that he goes by a different name online than he does in the letter he wrote. Mystery solved!

So, today we hear a letter from Agnes/Stanley Hotay, from Tanzania.

I have three kids in Tanzania; Emanuel, Agness, and Acram.


 

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Dear Kayla, 

I am Agnes Hotay. I have been the Tanzania country director for two years, but I joined Compassion 14 years ago. Compassion has worked in Tanzania for 17 years. We have almost 340 child development centers serving more than 80,000 youth and children. 


Pastor Agnes Hotay


Thank you for your partnership. Your kind support, love, and care for Emanuel, Agness, and Acram have made a big difference. 

Because of sponsors' ministry, children attend school with necessary schooling materials and support. In addition, they get the chance to learn at least one livelihood skill so they can support themselves in the future. They receive health care. Children also build healthy peer relationships at the center and they enjoy social activities. Children feel cared for and loved. They have a safe place to go and people who listen to and protect them. They learn about the love of God and how to share it with others. 


Children Learning Computer Skills 


Our children and families face many obstacles. Public schools often have poor infrastructure and not enough teachers. Some public health centers are ill-equipped. Unhealthy cultural practices such as early marriage and albino killings mount critical challenges to child welfare. The government is making efforts to address these issues, but it takes time to deal with such culturally rooted practices. 


Children Play in a Safe Play Yard at Their Project


My vision for the ministry in the coming year is to see that we support our churches to have stronger programs on discipleship, livelihood skills, and youth engagement. The teenagers in our program face different challenges that need special attention and greater innovation. 

In a recent youth graduation, one of the graduates moved people to tears. The girl's parents chose to enter her instead of her young brother into sponsorship because she had a serious illness and they couldn't afford treatment. Her friends carried her to the center in her early years because she could not walk. She went through six surgeries and now she can walk. She is pursuing studies in medicine and plans to become a sponsor herself. 


Children Receiving Medical Checkups


Churches have great opportunity to reach their surrounding communities with the gospel as they visit the children and families. Churches have initiated different outreach programs, social services such as nursery schools, disaster relief, and special programs for HIV/AIDS affected people, widows, and orphans. 

Children glow with excitement when they get letters from their sponsors. They feel valued and love; but some don't get letters. One child walked to the center office and asked if she had done something wrong, because she never received a letter from her sponsor. Another child almost dropped out of school so he wouldn't disappoint his sponsor. Children and their families often keep sponsor letters as special treasures. In a small mud house, they will keep the letters in a plastic bag so they are not spoiled. Please write to your sponsored child whenever possible, even just a few sentences. Some children come from dysfunctional families, broken homes, or hostile environments. No one tells them they are beautiful or smart, or no one has ever told them they are loved. A letter with such words makes a lasting impact. 


A Boy Writing a Rough Draft Letter to His Sponsor


Please help me pray for our nation to have better quality education and health services, and that our partner churches will continue to be innovative and create more youth-friendly programs. 


Sweet Tanzanian Children! 


Your support for Emanuel, Agness, and Acram comes as a gift from God to us, from a sacrificial heart. Thank you for joining hands to fulfill the Great Commission. I pray that God will meet all your needs, grant your heart's desires, and fulfill your plans. 

God bless you richly, 
Agnes Hotay

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