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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Letters from some Little Guys

By little guys, I mean my "10 year olds and younger". For some reason, in my head, 10 years old is the threshold into big-kid-hood.

Anyway, here are the three letters I want to share today:

First up, I received a very first letter from Dagim. He didn't have too much to say, but that sometimes happens with a first letter. I'm hoping to see a much more open boy in the next letter.

Dagim is 8 years old and lives in Ethiopia:

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Dear Kayla,

I learn the most about God from my brother. When I pray to God, I pray about my class. Please pray that I'll be a clever student. I want to be a doctor. I love drawing, playing soccer, and reading. Thank you for all your support and your letter. May God give me the best of health. 

Dagim

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Up next, a letter from Solomon. He is 10 years old and lives in India. His letter is dated May 14th, 2016. 

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Dear Aunty, 

Greetings to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. How are you? I am fine by God's grace. I am happy to receive all your letters. Thank you so much for sharing about the Ten Commandments and prayers. Please share my regards to G and C. They are very cute and lovely. I am glad and excited to say that I have passed my 4th grade exam and I am stepping in 5th grade. Thank you for your prayers. In our project, we had VBS and learned many things about Jesus. He gives us hope, courage, and wonderful things. I enjoyed the arts and crafts in VBS. Please pray for my studies, family, and friends. I am praying for you and your family. 

Thanking You,
Your Child,
Solomon

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Last up, a letter from Ernest. There have been many hiccups in the new letter system, but I have heard from Ernest every two months like clockwork, since the new system started in April. That's definitely saying something, right? Ernest still does not write his own letters, but I'm sure he will in the near future. 

Ernest is 10 years old and lives in Ghana. His letter was written on July 5th, 2016. 

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Dear Kayla, 

Ernest says he thanks you for your wonderful support. His says his father sows maize during the rainy season on their farm. He says pray for him and his father always. He says pray for his father to have a good harvest from his farm. He says he will pray for God to bless you and grant you a long life. 

Ernest

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Last Letter (Potentially) From Chintada

A little explanation on the title of this blog entry:

My lovely young man, Chintada, is 20 years old. He is set to graduate from his Compassion project in January. Between the slowdown in letters and the fact that things have been so unstable in India, I have no idea if I will hear from again. I am trying to remain hopeful that I do, but only time will tell. Maybe I'll even end up with a whole pile of letters from him that all arrive at once...or something like that.

Anyway, this letter that I got from him was written on March 29th, 2016. It took quite a long time to get to me, but it's totally worth it.

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Dear Kayla,

Loving greetings to you in the name of Jesus Christ. I am keeping fine with my family. I hope you are also keeping fine there. 

I am very glad to have received your letter and I came to know more about you. I saw the photo of your children (my nanny kiddos) and I am very happy to see the photos and they are very nice. 

I have done many new programs, such has "How to Face Interviews", "Safe Drinking Water", and "Vocational Skill Visit". I have learnt many new programs through the project. It is helping my future. It is the summer season going on and we are feeling very hot here. We are getting some fruits, such as mango, jack fruit, and cashews, etc, in our area. 

Please pray for my future and my family. Especially keep on praying for me learning tailoring, for me to complete and have success in tailoring. I am also praying for your family everyday. My family is very happy with what I have been doing for my future. My favorite game is volleyball. Do you like volleyball? 

Thanks,
Chintada




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Monday, August 22, 2016

Project Director Letter: IN-804

Another Monday, another project director letter. Are you ready, kids? Aye, aye, captain!

Anyway, onto the letter, from IN-804, which is the project my Kalpesh attends.

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Dear Kayla,

Greetings to you! 

I am Pastor P., Project Director of the Compassion International Child Development Center attended by your sponsored child. Thank you so much for sponsoring Kalpesh. This center is located in Kothada, in the Northern region of India. We are thankful for your valuable sponsorship. 

The church and center are serving in this area for many years. We have a proper church building in the community. The church is catering to the nearby villages too. The center is a wonderful strategy to get connected with the local community. 




The community which we are ministering to are tribal people and most of the inhabitants are living in small huts. There are many challenges in the community here. They do not have constant employment and sickle cell anemia is found among children and parents. Addiction, illiteracy, malnutrition, and unhygienic living conditions are also prevalent. The often migrate to some nearby towns for employment. 




The biggest problem we face here is child marriage; boys at the age of 15-16 and girls as they reach 14-15 get married. Children are also often neglected. It is challenging to mold the community, but working with the children has given us an opportunity to impact a new generation. 




We want our children to get a quality education and have better futures. We see children improving in their academics. Our regular parent meetings and awareness programs are constantly challenging parents on the issue of child marriage and alcoholism. Parents started cooperating with the church now and are taking interest in the education of their children. 




We are also training and helping the parents to provide livelihood options such as cow rearing. We see behavioral changes in some parts of their lives. We are constantly working with them. Sponsored children are learning vocational skills, especially music, computer, and sports and they are excelling. 




Sponsor letters are a blessing for our children. They feel valued to have letters. They are eagerly waiting for the letters. It amazes them to think about how a person who has never seen them or met them sends letters, gifts, and assistance to them. We urge all sponsors to write letters, as they can mean so much. 




We are requesting you to pray for the sponsored children and families with sickle cell anemia, for more sustainable livelihood opportunities, that the addicted parents would be released from alcoholism. Please also pray for the center staff who are working hard, and pray for the eleven children who are appearing in the tenth grade board exam this year. 

We are once again grateful for your kind help. Thank you again for your support of Kalpesh. We praise and thank God for you. We are constantly praying for you, along with our center children. 




With Prayers, 
Pastor P. 

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Letters to My Kids: July 2016

Hey! It's only a little over halfway through August and I'm posting about my July letters. Not too bad of a timeline at all, compared to how bad I've been at this in the past, haha.

Last month, I only had time to write one letter, as opposed to my usual two or three. The woman who basically runs the show at my part-time job is about to have a baby and for the 8 weeks that she is on maternity leave, I'll be taking over a semi-large chunk of her job, while I am there on the weekends. In July (and still now), I've been taking extra time at work to be trained in some of these new procedures. Talk about busy! But, I think I can do it! If not, thankfully there will be other people there to direct my questions to.

Anyway, due to the fact that I basically just at work in July, I sent my kids another one of my famous lists of questions. I send these lists a couple time a year because my kids love them. They are always so responsive to these lists and most of the kids answer all of the questions that I send. I just make up a list of questions that I want to know the answer to or questions that I think are fun. In this letter, I also answered all of the questions myself, so they can get to know this information about me, as well. I'm hoping for some great answers in return.




Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A New Kiddo to Love

Ever since last year, when I lost several of my correspondent children, due to a company having to stop sponsoring a large number of kids, I have been trying to get my number of children back up to the number I love writing to. It's been quite a challenge. I've lost several more kids this year and it seems like every time I get a new child, I lose another one. Such is life of a correspondent sponsor, right?

Anyway, this week, I lost one of my kiddos, Fetehalew, due to his sponsor wanting to write to him again. It's always sad to see a correspondent child go, but I think that's one of the best reasons to lose a child. In a perfect world, all financial sponsors would write to their kids frequently.

Yesterday, I received a new kiddo to write to. I am so excited to get to know him! He is just so cute. He was just enrolled into his Compassion project in May and was sponsored for the first time just two days ago. His sponsor requested a correspondent sponsor right away, so this kiddo is brand new to Compassion. He's about to find himself in a whirlwind of letters.

Meet 7 year old Bryan from Nicaragua:



Monday, August 15, 2016

Project Director Letter: DR-484

Today we read another another project letter!

Today's letter comes to us from DR-484, which is the project my little guy Enmanuel attends. This letter is actually from the pastor at his church, but I am still going to include it in this series because...why not?

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Dear Kayla, 

My name is Martha Yesenia Tejeda. I am the pastor of the Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal in Sabana Grande de Boya in the Dominican Republic. I am ministering to Enmanuel in the Camiando con Jesus (Walking with Jesus) Child Development Center. Here, we are happy to work in favor of our community's children who are in need. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to express our thanks to your for your support of Enmanuel. 



Actual Photo of Enmanuel's Community


We minister to a very poor community but we are well aware that, with God, nothing is impossible. One of the major difficulties and challenges we are facing in our community is the lack of employment opportunities. As a result of that, many children are left alone or live with other relatives while their parents go to work in other communities, in order to support their family. Another major challenge is the delinquency that afflicts our community. 




Our vision is to ensure that all the children participating in the center, as well as their parents will become Christians and that, in the future, they can enjoy a good state of spiritual, physical, emotional, and cognitive health. From our experience in doing this work, we can testify that many children who start coming to the center are malnourished and with a depressing look at first. After a short time, thanks to the intervention of our doctor and the entire staff, we have children in stable conditions. 




Working with the children and their families in the spiritual area is what really makes the difference between the children attending the center and those who are not. We are implementing programs including evangelism campaigns and follow up discipleship of new believers. With the help of the Lord we will release the children from poverty. 




I would like to share the story of two children who lives were changed by the center and sponsorship. The first one is a special needs child with psycho-motor impairment; he is the boy of a family in great need. We have been able to impact the family in a lovely and extraordinary way by rebuilding their home. The second story is about a newly sponsored girl. Her father has a job with a salary well below the minimum wage, but now we are able to build them a house of wood and zinc.




One of the greatest satisfaction is seeing the joy on the children's faces when they receive a letter from their sponsors. The joy of receiving news from their sponsors is something that motivates the children to continue staying in the program. So please continue to write letters if you can. 

We are very grateful for your support in favor of Enmanuel. We are working tirelessly to ensure that our children have a healthy life and are being prepared to be self-sustainable in the future. I say goodbye wishing, in the name of the Walking with Jesus center, that the Lord will bless you and will fill you with joy and happiness. 




In Chris,
Pastor Martha Yesnia Tejeda

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Dagim's Updated Photo: 2016

I was surprised to receive this photo update because it was still a few months away from the 2 year mark. Early photo updates are always so great!

Dagim will turn 9 years old in October.