Friday, March 16, 2018

From the Field Friday: NI-207

Let's travel to a new county today: Nicaragua! We visit the project that my girl Ayling attends.


Dear Kayla,

My name is Santiago Medrano. I am the pastor of the Peniel Church and I also oversee the "Hogar Ismaelito" Child Development Center where we minister to over 350 children, including Ayling. 

I am very grateful for the support you provide to Ayling. 

Let me tell you that the neighborhood where we are working is economically disadvantaged. The community faces a high rate of unemployment, there is much violence and delinquency and the children suffer from lack of guidance and opportunity. The challenge we have is to transform to this new generation with the message of Jesus Christ and sow values in them. 

The vision that I have as a pastor is to have a mature and trained church and performing the evangelistic ministry throughout our community and to be a model center where children and young people give their lives to Christ and to be economically self-sustaining. The impact we have made in the lives of children who are served is significant because the context of our community is that children at an early age are involved in gangs, alcohol, and drugs. Now, our children have become aware and many of them have decided to give their lives to Jesus and make appropriate use of their bodies and minds. 

In our center, we have many children who come from dysfunctional families and needs lots of support. We serve them in the areas of spiritual, cognitive, socio-emotional, and physical growth. This gives them a holistic and well-balanced development, in accordance with the Compassion International curriculum. 

For our children, the communication with their sponsors has a very large value. Through the letters the children feel encouraged and loved. They feel special knowing that someone far away cares for them and loves them. They are excited and happy to receive the letters and just the same in writing the sponsors back. The children that do not receive letters feel very sad and discouraged. Thus, we thank you and ask that you write to Ayling and keep a very good communication. 

I ask your prayers for God to help us and we can reach our goal. We trust in God that with His help and with the sponsorship program, soon we will be serving more children and more people of the community. 

Thank you for loving Ayling and our ministry. 

Best Regards,
Pastor Santiago Medrano Carballo 


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Four New Faces

Over the years, it has always seemed that kids join my Compassion family in 3's. Usually about 3 per month. That pattern continued in February, with my receiving three new kids!

I've received one new child this month as well. Guess that means that there will be two more showing up before the end of the month? I sure hope so! That would be great.

My newest kiddos:

7 Year Old Naji from Bangladesh

5 Year Old Hassan from Tanzania

4 Year Old Jacque from Togo

12 Year Old Yeidys from Colombia

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Pi Day Letter Share

Any day can be a holiday, right? And any holiday can be an excuse to blog letters, right?


Let's start off with a form letter from Airin. I just received a photo update of her, so you get a sneak peak of her headshot before I share her full photo in a future blog entry. This letter from Airin is written on the My Project template.

Airin is 8 years old and lives in Indonesia. Her letter is dated February 14th, 2018.


1. My Project's Name Is: Mutiara Bangsa

2. The number of children in my project is: 305 

3. I go to my project: 4 days a week 

4. I get to my project by: Walking 

5. My favorite activity to do at my project is: Listening to stories, reading, drawing, and singing. 

Shalom, my sponsor Kayla! I hope you are well like I am. My family and I are well. We pray all the time and go to church regularly. In my country we celebrate Christmas each year and decorate the Christmas tree beautifully. I hope you also celebrate Christmas like we do in our country. May you be blessed in everything. God bless! 



Onto a letter from Ronaldo. In less than a year he will graduate from his Compassion project. It appears we are both feeling pretty emotional about it. I hope to write several encouraging letters to him before he graduates and I hope that I'll be able to stay in contact with him in the future. 

Ronaldo is 21 years old and lives in Colombia. His letter is dated February 14th, 2018. 


Beloved Kayla, 

How are you? I'm glad to know that you don't lose hope on visiting my country someday. If I visit yours, I would like to visit the White House and I would love for you to send me some pictures. How have you been there? I also tell you that the house I live in is made of bricks, it has a cement floor, and two bedrooms. My parents sleep in one and Hector and I sleep in another. We have separate beds. My house's roof is made of tiles. Thanks to God, we have drinkable water and electricity which improve the tasks in the house, in college, and in communications. Electricity and water are necessary, don't you think? Kayla, with tears in my eyes, I tell you that I will graduate in early 2019. I will miss your letters so much but I know you will keep me in your prayers. I love you so much, Kayla! I will never forget you and I ask that we pray together that life will let us meet someday. I almost forgot! With the gift you sent me, I bought jumpers and short pants. May God reward you for the things you do for me. I say goodbye, giving you a Bible verse, Philippians 1:9, "And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in all knowledge and discernment." 



Up next, a letter from Jhonrex, that came with a lovely drawing. Drawings from teenage boys always have an extra level of sweetness, I think. They don't come very often. 

Jhonrex is 17 years old and lives in the Philippines. He wrote this letter on February 18th, 2018. 


Dear Kayla, 

A pleasant day to you! How are you doing now? I hope that by God's mercy, you are in good condition. About me here, I have to continue work because I'm planning to continue schooling this coming June. I also attend classes regularly in the student center. 

Thank you very much for the letters I have received. I appreciate all of your messages and I meditate in the beauty of your messages. Here in the student center, I assist the teacher in handling the little children. I just enjoy listening to the little children, as they talk a lot. As of this moment, we are having a dental check-up here. We are also having a Bible ceremony and many children are receiving Bibles. 

Please pray for me as I'm desiring to attend "Cell Group" every Friday. I just love the sharing of testimonies time. When is your summer vacation/break? I really do hope that we'll be able to meet in person someday. I pray it happens soon. 

Respectfully Yours, 


I'll end this post with another template letter from one of my sweet little boys. This time, it's Tern, who is writing to me about his friends on the My Friends template. 

Tern is 5 years old and lives in Thailand. His letter is dated January 18th, 2018. 


1. My best friend is a: Boy

2. We are best friends because: We go to school together

3. My best friend goes to the project with me: Sometimes 

4. My favorite activity to do with my friend is: Bicycling because I can exercise

5. Activities I do with my friends are: Playing games 

Dear Kayla,

Hello, I am Miss Chunchchom, Tern's aunt. Tern is his nickname. I write this letter for him because he is too young to write it by himself. Thank you for writing to him. This year, he is in Kindergarten. He is practicing to write his name, but he still cannot write it well. He keeps practicing to write it well. Do you like to go cycling? Please pray for his studies. May God bless you with happiness forever. 


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Super Letter from Jhojaira!

My girl Jhojaira wrote me a super long letter and included several extra pictures! It's amazing!

Jhojaira is 14 years old and lives in Peru. Her letter is dated February 17th, 2018.


Dear Sponsor Kayla, 

I am very happy to write to you again. Thanks for the letters, pictures, and images you sent to me. I want to tell you about a special day here in Peru and I think it's the same around the world. It's Valentine's Day! It's the day of love and friendship. How did you spend it? I spent it very well with my loved ones. I also spent it with a special person for me, which is my best friend. We went to the cinema and then we went to dinner at night. I send you a picture of us. We have known each other since we were little. It's been 9 years of friendship and we are inseparable. Do you have a best friend? A best friend is a like a sister from another mother. It is someone you trust; someone who is with you through thick and thin. That's why I chose her. She is always by my side when I need it and vice versa. Thanks for the letters. 

In response to your questions; I spent Christmas with all my family. I traveled too. I have my school break, which lasts for two months. I usually travel during that time to spend more time with my family. I also send a picture of my brother and me when we traveled to Tarapoto, which is known as the city of palm trees. Lastly, I go for a run in the afternoons. However, when I don't do that, I help my sister to take care of my niece named Itzel Sophia who is a year and three months old. I send you a picture of her from the day I took her to the park. I am holding her. 

Let me tell you that I went to a children's camp. The principal of the student center took me to help her and the group I led won. I send a picture of her, my friend, and me. 

I send a picture of me when I was on a bus traveling to Pucallpa. When I got there I learned about a pink flower called hydrangea. Pucallpa is a hot city and the people are very friendly. I hope you like all the pictures. 

I say goodbye with a strong hug and a big kiss. 

Your Friend,

Jhojaira with her best friend

Jhojaira with her brother

Jhojaira with her niece

Jhojaira working at the children's camp

Jhojaira traveling on a bus


Monday, March 12, 2018

Letters of Love from Kenya

Today I share two lovely letters from my girl Faith and then a letter from oldest Kenya teen, Lemayian.

Let's start with the two letters from Faith. She is 12 years old. Her first letter is dated January 6th, 2018.


Hello my dear Kayla, 

How are you? I hope and trust that you are fine. On my side, I thank our Almighty Father for his care and protection. I thank him for letting me see the new year 2018. I pray that it will be a year of blessings. I celebrated Christmas well and Jesus was born in my heart. I hope you also celebrated well. In my education this year, I was promoted to grade 6. I request you to remember me in your prayers. Otherwise, I received your letters and all your support. I appreciate you for all and I pray that God will be with you and his mercies will be upon you. I also thank God because my sister-in-law was blessed with a baby boy and I love him. I love you very much and I wish you all the best this year. Bye. 


This second letter from Faith is dated January 27th, 2018. 


Hello Kayla!

How are you? It is my hope and trust that you are fine in the Lord. Oh my side, I am doing well and I am very grateful to my Lord. We managed to open the school well, but I was not promoted to grade 7. My teachers ordered me to repeat grade 6 since my performance was not good last year. But this time around, I am working very hard to do my best for my exams and my future. Lastly, I appreciate you for the the letter you sent to me. I was pleased to read it. May the Lord our God bless you and remember you always. I would like to encourage you with a verse from Philippians 4:4, "Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice." I love you and miss you. 



And now the letter from Lemayian. He is 17 years old. His letter was written on February 24th, 2018.


Dear Kayla, 

First and foremost, I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am good with my family members. I am also doing well at home and I'm working hard at school and I'm doing well in the project. I hope and trust that you are doing well. I am very happy to see your photos on your letter. My family is happy to have you as a friend of our family. We are four in our family and I thank God for our family. We live in a rural setup and not in town. May God bless you and your family. Thank you for supporting me and my family. Let's pray for one another, that God will continue blessing us with his great blessings. 


Friday, March 9, 2018

From the Field Friday: ME-929

The next letter in this series comes from project #929 in Mexico. After reading this letter and how difficult life is there, it's amazing how well my young man, Joel, is doing. He has such big plans for his future. I am so proud of him!


Dear Kayla, 

I am Victor Manuel Ortiz Cruz, pastor of the First Church of the Nazarene and "Benjamin Child Development Center" where we minister to Joel. 

I send you a cordial greeting. Thank you for being the sponsor of Joel. Thanks to your support, and that of the other sponsors, the children at our center receive a better alimentation, a better education, a place where they can spend time with other children, and agreeable moments with people that know our Lord Jesus. This is a great blessing. 

The community we serve has many difficulties and it is a place with many problems where the children stop studying to start working at an early age. This is really sad. In certain zones, there are problems with drug addiction, vandalism, and prostitution. One of the greatest challenges that we hve as a church is to go and look for the children with the most need in the most marginalized zones of the community, and give them a good education, and above all, ensure that they know the love of Christ. Our job is to transform their lives in Jesus's name. 

Our vision as the church and center is to transform generations and transform lives, through the message of salvation of the Lord Jesus and through a good education with the insertion of excellence principles like love, friendship, and good habits. This is so that in the future they are happy people and a blessing to society. 

Progress is seen in the children from the center in that they are more obedient with their parents. Many have improved their grades, some have moved away from gangs, and above all, we are sowing the seeds of the message of salvation in their hearts. This is all because of the holistic development curriculum of Compassion that works on the children in the spiritual, cognitive, socio-emotional, and physical domains. We feeding the children and providing materially, but spiritually they are also very blessed and with a purpose in life. 

The relationship between you as a sponsor and Joel is extremely important and best fostered through the exchange of letters and photos. It is very important because children admire the people who support them. They want to share their stories and progress with their sponsors, who make them feel proud. When the children receive letters they feel loved and cherished and encouraged at the center, at church, and in their lives. 

Finally, I ask you to pray for this center, so that we start to transform the lives of the majority of the children that attend and that God brings the right people to serve in this ministry. Please pray that all that we do is with the fear of God, that He blesses us greatly and that we can be the one of the child development centers of Compassion in Mexico. 

Thank you for allowing God to use you to support Joel. 

Pastor Victor Manuel Ortiz Cruz


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Just Some Enjoyable Letters

It's been a lovely week with several lovely letters. Let's read them today.

Let's start with a letter from Sevenson. It's been awhile since I heard from him. Even with his letters few and far between, I love reading his letters.

Sevenson is 16 years old and lives in Haiti. His letter is dated December 16th, 2017.


Dear Kayla, 

It is a great pleasure for me to write this letter to you. How are you and your activities and your family? My family and I are well by God's grace. I always succeed at school. My church is going well. What is the weather like in your country. Here it is cold now. When do you celebrate Christmas in your country? I celebrate Christmas every December 24th in my country. I thank you for the letter. Pray that I will succeed in everything that I undertake. 



Next, a letter from Sunrei. Such a wonderful writer for such a young child. Love every detail in every letter. 

Sunrei is 10 years old and lives in Peru. Her letter was written on February 20th, 2018. 


Dear Godmother Kayla, 

I greet you with the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for the beautiful letter that you sent me. I want to tell you that I am enjoying summer. I went to the beach with my family, my tutor, and my friends from church. At Christmas, I had a good time with my family, set off firecrackers with my cousins, and had a turkey dinner with Russian salad, hot cocoa, and Christmas fruit cake. My uncle gave me a gift of a cosmetic set and my mom gave me perfume. How good is God?! Also, I took a boat ride with my family at the beach. I want you to read John 16:27, "No, the father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God." Also read 2 Peter 3:1-8. We should look for God more. What is the name of your congregation? I ask you to pray for my mom and my sisters. I say goodbye to you with love. 



Onto a letter from Brian. It sounds like he's really starting to think about his future, which I love. I hope he achieves all of his dreams. 

Brian is 16 years old, from Kenya. His letter is dated February 10th, 2018. 


Dear Kayla, 

I greet you in the name of Jesus Christ, hoping that you are doing well together with your family. My family and I are doing well and God has been our protector. Also my family sends you greetings. I have another opportunity to send a letter to you again. Thank you for the letters you wrote for me. I was very happy while reading them. They are very interesting and it is interesting learning more about your country. I am working hard so that I can go to university and study civil engineering. I love the ideas the engineers use to make roads and wish one day that I can be like them. Before I wind up, I have a memory verse to share with you from Psalm 125:1, which says, "Those who trust in the Lord are like Mt. Zion, which can never be shaken or destroyed." My Christmas was good and I celebrated at home with my relatives. It was enjoyable and there was all kinds of food. Thank you for your support and may God bless you. Good bye. 



And I will end this post with a letter from Marilyn, which she wrote on the My Dreams template. It so fun to hear about the dreams of our littlest kiddos, isn't it? I hope I get to write to Marilyn for a long time to see how her dreams grow and develop. 

Marilyn is 8 years old and lives in El Salvador. Her letter is dated January 30th, 2018. 


1. When I grow up, I want to be: A teacher 

2. I would like to see: Snow

3. Someday I would like to: Travel on a Boat

4. Someday I would like to meet my sponsor because: To thank her for the benefits of being sponsored 

5. Someday I would like to meet: Jesus and the president of my country

Marilyn greets you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. She hopes you are blessed well and she hopes that in this new year, God gives you many blessings. She thanks you for your wish of finishing the last year well. She requests that you pray for her so that God always helps her. She says goodbye for you. Because this child cannot write yet, this letter is written by a third person. 


Monday, March 5, 2018

Letters with Beautiful Artwork

My kids have been drawing me great pictures lately. I'm so happy to share their letters and artwork with all of you today. Warning: This will be a long post. Only five days into March and I've already received several letters. My kids are amazing!

Let begin with a letter from Ayling, my sweet girl who lives in Nicaragua. She tells me about how she celebrated Christmas and she also shares that things at home are going well. I didn't know things maybe weren't going so well, but I am honored that she felt like she can be open with me.

Ayling is 11 years old. Her letter is dated January 12th, 2018.


Hi Esteemed Sponsor Kayla, 

I am so happy for writing to you. I hope that you and your family are fine. Thanks for your sponsorship and your letter. Thanks for always remembering me. I love you so much. My family and I are fine, thanks to God. I want to tell you that I was in the project's Christmas choir. We sang on December 23rd in a service. We sang Christmas songs. I was very happy. We also had a Christmas dinner. I say thanks because my family is now searching for God. My home is better. What is your favorite Christmas song? How are you in this 2018? I ask you to pray for my family, for God to always guide us. We are praying for you to be fine. I say goodbye with kisses and hugs. I look forward to your letter and photos. 



Now a letter from Kamaldine, which is written on the My Community template. Each of these little template letters really gives great information about what our children's lives are like. 

Kamaldine is 6 years old and lives in Burkina Faso. Her letter was written on November 18th, 2017. A bit of a slow traveler, yes? 


1. My community is called: Monsin

2. It is located in: Ouahigouya

3. The dominant ethnic group in my community is: Mossi

4. The most spoken language in my community is: Moore

5. The most common type of transportation in my community is: Bicycle 

6. One fun thing we do in my community is: Have a traditional New Year celebration 

Dear Kayla, 

Hello! I am very happy to write to you! I have received your letter and my family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers. All is well here. On Thursday I was at school with my friends. We have resumed classes. Now I am in grade 2. Soon we will sit for an exam before the Christmas holidays. I wish a Merry Christmas to you and your family. Bye!


The letter in the middle of this post will be from my sweet little one Nicol. In this letter, she is telling me more information about the house she lives in. It has really helped me picture what her home looks like. 

Nicol is 5 years old and is from Colombia. She wrote this letter on January 31st, 2018. 


1. My house is made of: Wood 

2. My house has a Cement floor. 

3. My house has a roof of: Tile 

4. A get water from: A well 

5. Do I have electricity in my house?: Yes 

6. In my house, I sleep in: A bed 

May God pours lots of blessings on you dear Kayla. Nicol and her family are so grateful for you caring for her. She says she likes it when her mom reads your letters to her, especially the verses and the drawings. As she has already started school, she wants to learn to read and write. Her family will pray for you and the children. She sends you this verse: 1 John 4:10. Nicol says her brother is 8 years old and is doing well. Yes, he attends the CDC with her as well. He also has a sponsor. They both attend the center and love learning what we teach them. 


This post will end with two letters from Colombia, from the two boys I still can't help referring to my CO-384 boys, even though only one boy still attends that project and the other moved. But still, old habits die hard. 

Let's start with the child who actually attends project CO-384, Jonatan. Things seem to be going very well for me and he drew me a lovely picture! He's turning into quite a budding artist. 

Jonatan is 10 years old. His letter is dated February 3rd, 2018. 


Dear Kayla, 

I greet you in the name of the Lord. I'm happy that you and your family are fine. I also send greetings to Gage and Chloe. May God bless you. I want you to know that I am training very hard in soccer. We won one championship, but we also lost one. I will move on with God's help. I want to thank God for having such a wonderful person like you. I love you. I want to thank God for me being such a fortunate kid and for being able to greet you. I want to thank you for your letters and for the images to color. They are beautiful and I am going to color them nicely. May God bless you even more and give you wisdom in your daily work. I give you this promise; Ezekiel 34:30. 


The last letter of this post is from Daniel, also from Colombia, as I said. He's such an intelligent boy and always has been. This letter is telling me details about his home, as well as just general info about his life. His letters are a joy to read. 

Daniel is 12 years old. His letter is dated January 24th, 2018. 


Hello Dear Sponsor, 

How have you been? I'm very happy to write to you once again. I'm really thankful for your sponsorship, which has been a great blessing for me. I want to tell you that my house is made of bricks and it has a cement floor. The roof is made of zinc, we get water through the aqueduct, and the house also gets electrical power. I sleep in a big bed. We also have a big patio where we grow yucca plants, Quito oranges, tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro. I want to ask you some questions: Where do you live? What is your house like? When I turn 20, I want to come visit you and spend some time there with you and your family. My family and I are very well, thanks to God. About your questions; my family and I moved to another place that is closer to another project. I am adapting very well to the new project and I know some people. They are very happy. I will keep praying for you and your prayer requests. I love you very much and I want to meet you. Can you come here so I can hug you and play with you? I say goodbye to you with a big hug and much love to you. I give you a biblical promise with Isaiah 41:10. May God bless you dear sponsor. 


Sunday, March 4, 2018

First Sunday Advocate: Glasses Edition

After having a nice discussion with some people on Facebook about children living in poverty having eye problems, and how Compassion is helping those children by making sure they have glasses, I decided to do an entire advocate post about children wearing glasses. 

Just as an aside, this post took a ridiculous amount of time to prepare as I searched through literally over 100 pages to find kids with glasses. 

Through my research, I also learned that children in Central/South America are a ton more likely to be wearing glasses than those children in Asia or Africa. I'm not sure why that is the case, but I don't have any kids from Asia or Africa to share with you in this post. Maybe glasses are harder to access in those areas. Or maybe there just weren't any on the website at the time I checked. Either way, here are the ten glasses wearing kiddos that I am hoping find a sponsor this month.

The information listed under each photo is a link to that child's page, where you can learn more about them and where they live. You can choose to sponsor them from that page.