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Friday, September 26, 2014

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells...

...jingle all the way?

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Haha, you must think I'm nuts.

However, Christmas is only 88 days away. It's time to get those Christmas letters and cards off to your sponsored children!

If you want your child to receive something by Christmas, Compassion suggests that you get it in the mail by October 31st. Given time for translation, and the fact that letter volume tends to increase around the holidays, your items will need about two months to get to your children in time.

It took me a few weeks to come up with a topic to write about. I didn't just want to repeat the Christmas story because all of the kids will learn this story and about the true meaning of Christmas at their projects, though the use of readings, stories, music, skits, etc.

This year, I am writing to my kids about the story of the wise men that came to visit Jesus awhile after he was born. I shared how they heard of a great king that was born and followed a bright star to the home where Jesus was living with his parents. I wrote in my letters about how the wise men brought Jesus gifts, the most valuable gifts they possessed, to worship and adore him. I ended the letter asking each child what gift they would give to Jesus, if they had the chance? I reminded them that a gift doesn't have to be valuable as long as it is full of love. Jesus loves anything that we bring to him.

I'm choosing to hand write these letters, so I have to write 37 of them. I have two done so far, haha, so I have a long way to go. Good thing I have another month! I am writing the letter on beautiful decorative Christmas paper and pairing each letter with a small coloring page depicting the wise men that came to visit Jesus.



What are you going to write about or send to your sponsored children for Christmas? 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Manuel: My New Sponsored Child

Do you guys remember back when my sponsorship of Debora ended and I said I wasn't going to replace her sponsorship because I wanted to save money? Do you also remember that whenever I make a plan, God always has a different plan?

You think I would learn, wouldn't you?

Anyway, I was scanning the website and praying for kiddos (I do this quite often) and I started noticing a pattern of kids that all had the same background in their pictures. I searched this center, EC-535, specifically and saw over 30 kids waiting for sponsors. It turns out that this project had just opened up in July. I'm not sure what drew me to this center (except, now I know it was Manuel). I started looking through each child individually and when I neared the end, I saw a boy with just the cutest little face and smile I think I've ever seen. Here's the face I saw:




Well, naturally I had to click on his page to learn more about him. His name is Manuel, he's from Ecuador, he's 9 years old, he lives with his parents and four siblings. he likes to play soccer, he likes to sing, and he has above average performance at school. I just fell in love with him. 

Manuel also has a form of dwarfism. I recognized it immediately as achondroplasia. It's characterized by short stature, a large head, and disproportionately short limbs. A lot of people with this form of dwarfism tend to have problems with their legs, because their body is typically too heavy for their legs. They often require surgery over time. A good friend of mine in elementary school had this form of dwarfism and had about 6 surgeries before he entered Jr. high. Manuel is not listed as a special needs child, so he could be one of the lucky ones that has no physical problems. That's great! Or, it could have been a mislabel. 

Either way, I'm seriously in love with this little boy. I am so excited to get to know him. Here is his full picture: 



Friday, September 19, 2014

Info About Alexander's Community

Of all of the letters that I write to my kids, the letter I write all my new kiddos, asking about their communities and project is the most popular letter for my children to answer. This is a list of 10 or so questions on a piece of paper. I don't say anything else besides those 10 or so questions. A good majority of my kids have answered these questions. It's such a great way to learn about the kids and where they live! 

This time, Alexander answered my questions. He also told me about his medical checkup, which is one of the themes Compassion kids write about (all ages). 

Alexander is 13 years old and lives in Honduras. This letter was written on August 20th, 2014. 

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Hello Sponsor Kayla, 

I hope you and your family are enjoying good health. I would like to tell you about my medical checkup at the project. Let me tell you that I walked to my medical checkup and I was accompanied by my mother. The results of my medical checkup were that I am weighing 36 kg and I am 144 cm tall (Seriously, he's tiny!). Let me tell you that I am physically healthy and I am happy. At my medical checkup I received vitamins and dewormers. One way my project is helping people is praying for them. Let me tell you that my project there are 250 children. The typical foods we eat in my community are tortillas and mondongo soup (A soup made from tripe and assorted vegetables). My house is made of cement blocks and I live with my father and mother. I have a bed where I sleep. I drink clean water. The usual jobs in my community are cleaning the streets, urban transportation, and selling tortillas. I would like to thank you for your letter and for wanting to know more about me. I would like you to always pray for me and my family. Kiss and hugs. 

Carlos Alexander

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Five Prayer Children

Today I want to share five children that I have been praying for lately. These children are all waiting for the love and support of a sponsor. All five children attend Compassion projects that I have a child in. I can absolutely vouch for these projects and the great work that they do. I would love to see each of these children find a sponsor as soon as possible.


Galia has been sponsored!



Kenji found a sponsor! 



Selvin has been sponsored!



Henry has been sponsored! 



This young lady's name is Jenninah. She lives in a rural village in Uganda. She is 18 years old and her birthday is January 13th. She lives with her parents and five siblings. At home, it is her job to carry water, gather firewood, and working the garden. She likes to sing, tell stories, and do art. She is very involved in activities like youth group and choir. She is currently in high school. 








Monday, September 15, 2014

What a Monday!

Today was quite a day for me. After a week off of work, I was back with the kiddos that I nanny for. It was a great day until about 3:00 p.m, which the little guy started throwing up. Poor guy.

But, we all survived through that and when I got home, I had three letters waiting for me!

First up, a letter from Kwizera. A few of my children, in the past, have talked about me not having a husband or asking why I don't have one. While I may be considered "young" in the United States, I have to remember that in some of these developing countries, a 25 year old, unmarried woman can be considered an old-maid. I shared with these kids that I do hope to get married someday, God just hasn't shown me the right man to marry yet. Kwizera addressed that in this letter and I just love him all the much more.

Kwizera is 9 years old and lives in Rwanda. This letter was written July 29th, 2014.

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Dear Kayla, 

Beloved, I greet you in the name of Jesus Christ. Thank you so much for the letter you sent to me. It pleased me and my family. You told me that you keep me in your prayers. May God bless you. I also keep you in my prayers. May God bless you with a born-again husband. I also request you to invite me to your wedding ceremony. I got a 78% last term and I am on vacation before 2nd term. May God bless you. Thank you so much. 

Kwizera

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Next up, a letter from Maria. I feel like Maria is a child who is just so full of life. I know that she lives in a dangerous area and probably has more complications in her life than I can imagine, but she always seems so cheerful in her letters. I can see that she has a family who loves her very much. 

Maria is 10 years old and lives in Brazil. This letter was written August 8th, 2014. 

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Dear Sponsor Kayla, 

I enjoyed very much your letter. I am okay, how are you? I enjoyed your question, if I have siblings. Yes, I have a brother called Junior who is 19. He already finished his studies and is taking some courses in college and he has a girlfriend called Gisele. I love my brother. I play with him and I watch cartoons and go out with him. On my birthday, I went to the cinema with him. I like when you send me pictures of you and your family. Be with God. Kisses. I wish you health and may God alays with you, my friend. 

Maria

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Lastly, I received a letter from Sandesh. I have to admit that I'm not as happy with this letters, lately. When I first sponsored Sandesh, he was writing his own letters and was very expressive. Now, the last three letters I've received have all been written by a project worker. I still think that Sandesh is there with the writer, because there are personal details in the letters, but I think anytime you dictate something to someone, things get lost. I wonder if they are trying to save time by not having Sandesh write his own letters. I know, it's not really that big of a deal, but I always like seeing my kids' handwriting and knowing that all of the thoughts are their own. 

Sandesh is 10 years old and lives in India. This letter is dated August 4th, 2014. 

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Dear Kayla, 

Greetings to you in the name of Jesus. I am Priyanka, a child development facilitator writing this letter on behalf of Sandesh. How are you? And your family? Sandesh is always asking about you. He misses you a lot. He is excited about you and your letters. He likes your letters very much. In this letter, he learned very good thoughts. Jesus is an amazing God and does miracles of God and it is an important thing to pray. Prayer is a powerful thing. 

Sandesh regularly comes to our project. Because of this project, he has learned Jesus action songs and new biblical verses. He likes to learn many new biblical verses. His school is very near to his home. He likes to play cricket. He really enjoys all of the activities at the project. He has many friends, but Ritesh is his best friend in our project, nowadays. 

He asks how are you? He loves you very much and misses you. Thank you so much for your prayer and support. God bless you. 

On Behalf of Sandesh

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

My Beautiful Celeste Writes Great Letters

I was beginning to think that I would never get to write in this blog again. ;)

But, there hasn't been much action around here, on the sponsorship front, since the beginning of the week. But today, I received a letter from Celeste. She has a lot to say, as always. Ever since I met her in person, I can really picture her sitting and writing letters to me. I can picture her smile and her personality. I know trips to visit our sponsored children are expensive, but I only have good things to say about my trip. I hope to take more trips like it in the future. I encourage all other sponsors to visit their sponsored children, as well.

But, I digress. Onto the letter! Celeste is 12 years old and she lives in Honduras. She wrote this letter on August 13th, 2014.

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Hello my dearest and beautiful sponsor Kayla, 

I send you greetings, hugs, and kisses for you and your family. I hope you are well in health. Thank you for the stickers and the coloring pages. The ponies are so cute. I had a lovely day on my birthday. I went to eat at the CDC. I really like for you to send me lots of letters, because they are so beautiful. I like when you talk about your family and yourself. I received your gift. The Hello Kitty purse is where I keep all of my ornaments (the word she used can also translate as adornments. My guess is she keeps her hair items or earrings in the purse.) I like the story of Jesus and Peter's mother-in-law. Jesus is very powerful to heal the sick and to perform miracles. I am really well, thank you for asking. I am happy that the letter I sent you arrived on your birthday. I am sorry about your cat. What was his name? I have two cats and one dog, which had puppies. I say goodbye with lots of hugs and kisses and blessings. 

Celeste

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Chatty and Artsy, Respectively

Yesterday, I received two letters, one from Nikko and one from Sagitaria.

Nikko always has so much to say. I know that I've said it before, but I love communicating with my older boys. They are always the most chatty and most open, so I find. He writes in English now so nothing gets lost in translation.

Nikko is 15 years old and lives in the Philippines. This letter was written on July 18th, 2014.

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Dear Ms. Kayla,

Hi! How are you, again? I hope you're always doing well. What keeps you busy, aside from your work? 

I was happy when I received your letters last month of June. I have read that you visited your uncle's place and you enjoyed it a lot. I also have so many things to share with you, in our activities here. I will start with my studies. I enrolled in June and it's my 2nd year in high school. I'm happy meeting new friends, though I had a hard time because my family can hardly provide my daily needs in school, but still I thank God. He provided everything and I hope I can promote to the next level next year. 

In our center last May we had our camp together with my classmates. We enjoyed a lot and learned about the words of God and I was baptized and I thank God for that. (Hooray!) We also had our recognition day here in the mall and we call it "eat all you can day". (Now that is funny. Typical teenage boy) We enjoy the foods. We had our flu vaccinations and dental and medical checkups. We are able to enjoy these things because of your support. Thank you so much Ms. Kayla. Also I was able to buy school materials and it's a big help for me because I bought shoes, uniforms, and other materials. Thank you so much again. 

Ms. Kayla, I will always pray to God for you to bless more and to have good health. Continue to pray for me also in my studies and my family's provision and good health. Until the next letter, "Salamat" (Thank You) and God bless. 

Love, 
Nikko

Pslam 27:5 "For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in his dwelling. He will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock."

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Sagitaria is typically not the most chatty girl. I generally hear about her family and her school. It's still good to hear from her. However, every letter from her comes with a beautiful drawing. I always look forward to looking on the back page to see what she drew. She is truly a great artist. I can see a future in art for her. 

Sagitaria is 10 years old and lives in Indonesia. This letter was written July 31st, 2014. 

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Dear Kayla,

Hello, mommy. How are you there? I hope you are fine. I also am fine with my family, too. Here mommy, I am now in 6th grade and I get good enough grades. Right now, I am having a vacation. We went to the flower garden with my parents. Mommy, thank you for the drawing. I am very happy I can receive the drawing. Mommy, I pray so that your family and my family are healthy. Thank you, I received your letters. Lord Jesus bless you. 

Shalom,
Sagitaria


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