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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Letters from East India

Since the new letter system started earlier this year, a few country offices really started to lag behind in letter delivery. One of those offices was the East India office. When I received these two letters this week, it was the first time I had heard from my kids in 7-8 months.

This first letter, from Indresh, is actually the very first letter I have received from him, since I was first assigned to correspond with him in January. While I may complain about having to wait for letters sometimes, the letters always end up being worth the wait. This is a pretty impressive first letter, as far as first letters go. He answered most of the questions that I've asked him my first letters to him. I have a feeling Indresh and I are going to build up a great relationship.

Indresh is 10 years old. His letter is dated April 28th, 2016.

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Dear Kayla, 

Greetings to you in Christ. I got your letter. I am feeling good. I am happy. I have seen your photo, which is so beautiful. I am fine here and all of my family members are also fine. I have seen the child's photo. Me and my friends will pray for that child. I am living with my parents. My house is made of mud. Electricity is available in my house. I am sleeping on a bed. A hand pump is available for water near my home. In my community, most of the people have jobs in the factory. We are getting clothes, oil, soap, bags, and books through our center. In my place, people travel by bicycle. I like to go on picnics with our center. In my place, very good food is available: vegetables, pulses, rice, mutton, fish, etc. In our place, there are very good places to see a visit, like the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Tower of Chittor, and Keviyoor Temple. Praise the Lord. 

Indresh

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I also received a letter from Nandini. It's not the most chatty letter, but she is responding to the letter that I wrote to all of my kids about following rules. She also included a beautiful mandala-type drawing. 

Nandini is 11 years old. Her letter is dated April 6th, 2016. 

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Dear Kayla, 

Greetings to you in the sweet name of Lord Jesus. I am fine here. Thank you very much for your love, prayer, and support. Thank you very much for teaching me so many prayer points. I obey all the rules an regulations at school and other places. I give respect to my teachers and elders. I obey my parents. Thank you for the letters. Please pray for my studies and bright future. Thank you for sharing with me about the Ten Commandments. 

Your Loving Child,
Nandini


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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Rodrigo's Updated Photo 2016

As if Rodrigo's 4 year old photo wasn't cute enough, look at his new one. That smile! Those thumbs! Goodness, I love him.




Monday, September 26, 2016

Project Director Letter: HA-733

Another Monday, another project letter. I know these aren't the most exciting posts that I do, but I love having them written down in a place where I can't lose them. Single pieces of paper quickly get lost in the shuffle around here (and ultimately get thrown in the trash). Anything I want to keep, long-term, gets upload to the internet. Plus, I love getting a glimpse into my children's lives with these letters.

Today, we hear from HA-733, which is the project that my little one, Veronika attends. All of these letters are great, but I really like this one. Her project sounds like a wonderful place for the kids to spend time!

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Dear Kayla, 

My name is Jean Renuce Modesty. I am the leader of the Church of God in Nippes, Haiti. We are the Carrefour Honore Child Development Center that ministers to Veronika, your sponsored child. 


Actual Photo from Nippes, Haiti


I am so delighted and honored to greet you in the precious name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. I congratulate you for your financial supports and prayers. The staff, the center board, the church, and the parents greet you, and we will continue to pray for you. 

Although our financial situation is getting more and more difficult, God does not stop blessing us richly. We have a water shortage, we need a vocational school, and at church, we need certain infrastructures and rehabilitation. I trust that the almighty God will continue to do great things in our ministry. May His name be exalted! 



The church staff thanks you for your support and your financial help in the community. I am delighted to share the impact of the program in the children's lives through the local church and in the community. The children can go to school and learn a vocation. The children love God and they like to read the Bible. Many of them accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord. Thanks to your support, they can get healthcare, their school fees are covered, and they get the privilege of taking part in the spiritual retreats, camps, evangelism, and other activities organized by the center staff. They learn how to live in brotherhood and they share their knowledge. 



I want you to know that the letters and photos mean a lot in the sponsor-child relationship. This correspondence permits them to share information about their families , their country, and their culture. Also, the letters allow the sponsors to be informed about the children's progress at school, church, club, and within their families. Sponsor visits are a wonderful face to face meeting after several years of correspondence. They are so joyful to see each other in person. 



The children are trained in how to take care of themselves from the infectious and contagious diseases. Your support chip in to change their lives, because it reduces the rate of juvenile delinquency. The children of the program are so different from the others in the community. We continue to help the children become accomplished and cheerful Christian adults. I like working with the children and I trust that through this program, the children can become accomplished, self-sufficient, and encouraged in church. 



I pray that Compassion and the sponsors will keep up this partnership for the well-being and future of the children. Thanks to your support, we were able to offer instruction to the children in the areas of music, filming, sewing, electricity, and tiling. We have club meetings with musical liveliness every Saturday. We also have choir rehearsal at the center. Also, many parents get to learn how to protect a child and the children learn to protect themselves from abuse of all kinds. 



I say goodbye while feeling really thankful because we can count on your sponsorship to Veronika, and because I know you love our children. 

The church, the center staff, and the parents wish you success in everything you are undertaking in life. 



God bless you, 
Jean Renuce Modesty

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Saturday, September 24, 2016

One Weekend Letter

I got a letter from little Solomon! Now, I realize that, at nearly 11 years old, Solomon is no longer little. But, it's something that I called him when I first started writing to him almost four years ago. He was much littler then. I fear it's a name that is stuck. He'll be 18 years old and he'll still be Little Solomon to me. Do you have any kids with nicknames like that, nicknames they have outgrown or will outgrow?

With that being said, let's move onto the letter. Solomon is 10 years old and lives in India. He wrote his letter on July 3rd, 2016. In his letter, he is mentioning the sticker activity page that I sent some of my youngest kids that Christmas. I sure hope he got it before July. My guess is he's just mentioning it now, but received it earlier.

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Dear Aunty, 

Greetings to you. How are you? Here, I and my family members are fine. Aunty, I got your letter with beautiful stickers and the bible activity page with the small house, like a manger. Thank you for your well wishes, also. Aunty, I am promoted from 4th grade to 5th grade. I am attending school, project, and church regularly. I am praying for you. Thank you for my last letters. 

Yours Lovingly,
Solomon

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Answered Questions and Long-Awaited Letter

Every morning, I take a shower, get some coffee, and settle down to my computer. The first thing I check is my Compassion account, looking for green bars. Lately, I've been seeing those green bars a lot. I woke up to two letters today, which I will share with you today.

And since I always like to post my letters in age order, I will share Celeste's letter first. Celeste, like many of my other children answers my questions about why sponsorship is important and why writing letters is important. I have loved receiving these answers! Celeste also writes other great things in this letter.

Celeste is 14 years old and lives in Honduras. Her letter was written on July 5th, 2016.

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Dear Sponsor Kayla, 

I wish you and your beautiful family are all doing well. Yes, I saw the Minion's movie. It was very beautiful - and funny! I have complete confidence that I will become a great teacher in the future. I am working very hard in order to get good grades in school. In the gardens at school we are growing lettuce, cabbages, and radishes. When these vegetables grow we will share them, as classmates. It is a very beautiful experience to share and eat what we plant. I am very happy that you are encouraging other people to sponsor kids from other countries. I will answer your questions. Compassion is a great support to me and my family. Compassion always takes care of me and always asks me what happened when I miss class. Sponsors are special friends that we have - even when they are far from us. They greatly help us. I thank you for being so beautiful and special for me. To a new sponsor, I would say; I am glad that you are considering to sponsor kids. This is a great support to every kid. Letters are important because that is how we know that you remember us and love us. That way, in letters, we are also able to know if you are enjoying good health. I do like to read your letters - they are very interesting. I am glad to know that you always pray for my family. I thank you for telling me what you do everyday in your work and with your family. I now say goodbye. God bless you and your family! I love you very much! I wish we were able to see each other soon. 

Kindly,
Celeste


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The other letter that I got is from Jhon. Hallelujah! I am so happy to hear from Jhon! Since the switch-over to the new letter system, the one country that seems to have struggled the most is Bolivia. I, and most other people that I know with kids in Bolivia, heard from their kids in February or March and then haven't heard from them since. Before today, my last letter from Jhon was received in February. It's been a long wait, but this letter is so worth it. Just to hear from him again! 

Jhon is 17 years old and lives in Bolivia. He did not write the date on this letter, so I have no idea when it was written, though I think it is around February or so, as mentions his winter school break. Jhon has always written every two months on the dot, so it makes sense that this letter would be written in February. I imagine that he has been writing every two months and those letters will start to make their way through to me soon. 

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Hi Dear Sponsor Kayla, 

I greet you with the peace of the Lord. I thank you for the letter you sent to me. About my day; I wake up late and then I get ready for the day. I play soccer in the morning with my friends. After school, I got for a walk in the afternoon. Sometimes, I go eat ice cream with my friends. I tell you that I am doing fine with my family. Thank you for praying for me. I tell you that we have already finished the winter school break and they gave us our report cards for the second semester. I will graduate from high school soon. I say goodbye to you, wishing you successes in everything that you do. I ask you to pray for my family. 

With Affection,
Jhon

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Carlos's New Baby Sister!

I woke up today to a green bar on my account, a new letter! This letter was from Carlos Alexander and in this letter, there was some exciting news! A new sibling! Two years ago, I got a similar letter about his new brother. Just like in this letter, there is no sign of the new baby's name, but after some prodding, I did get the name of his brother. Typical teenage boy, leaving out baby details, right? Haha. Anyway, I bet the family is excited, because after three sons, a little girl arrives.

Carlos is 15 years old and lives in Honduras. His letter is dated July 5th, 2016.

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Hello Dear Kayla, 

I wish when you receive this letter, you are in good health. My family and I are well, thank God. I tell you that I have a little sister that was born 15 days ago. I like to follow rules. I know that a rule from school is to do homework and obey the teacher. In the CDC, I receive lessons from 8-12. In my house, I also have rules, which are sweep the floor and wash the dishes. I like to follow the rules in my house, since disobedience is not tolerated. I live in a neighborhood that is somewhat safe. I'm happy to have a little sister and I am doing well in school. 

Carlos Alexander




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Monday, September 19, 2016

Project Director Letter: EC-558

Hello everyone! I thought last week was going to be my last project director/pastor letter to share, but recently, I was sent more letters for some of my new kids. I was pleasantly surprised and have a couple more to share with you. As I write this post, I have enough letters to finish out the month, so if you happen to see another letter in October, I received even more of them. :)

The letter I share with you today is from EC-558, which is the project that my young man Edison attends. He will be graduating in December, so it's a short relationship, but I am still grateful to learn about the community where he is from.

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Dear Kayla,

My name is Erwin Reyes Samaniego and I'm the pastor of the Alliance Church Nueva Vida located in Guayas province in the Coastal Region of Ecuador. We work along with the Child Development Center that is attended by your sponsored child. Thank you for choosing the sponsorship of Edison. 

The place where the center works is in a poor neighborhood. Recently, several urbanizing improvements took place. The families face hard situations such as: dysfunctional households, delinquency, drug selling and consumption. Some of the children that attend our center come from a place that used to be a dump. In this place there are no basic services, poor education in adults, and there is a lot of illnesses and poverty. 





Our challenge in this community is to share the Gospel, through loving and merciful acts towards the families. We want to see strong and healthy families, who live with dignity and eradicate delinquency. The Compassion Center is attended by many children in our community, which allows us to be in contact with many families and start new friendship. Several homes have opened their homes for the church and attend regularly to the church meetings. The children receive several benefits, such as support in their studies, medical assistance, and spiritual guidance for their lives. Several youth made their faith decision last year and now they are serving in the youth ministry. 



A month ago, we organized a summer camp that lasted 15 days. We had the attendance of more than 500 children and teenagers. It was a huge celebration and at the end of the camp, every child received a Bible. Recently, we started with the men ministry called Hardworking, Brave Men Who Love God and our Families. All the men showed interest and committed to attend meetings. Some of them even offered their homes for having the meetings, so they can take friends and family there. 





Something that really encourages our children is to receive a letter from their sponsors. It is a big joy for them to know sponsors are taking the time to write to them. For most of them, it is the only letter the receive, no one else has written a letter for them before. This fact makes them feel loved and valued because some of our children lack a father or a mother and in some cases, both. On the other hand, we have seen the sad faces of the children that don't receive letters from their sponsors. When they see their classmates with letters and their hands are empty, they try to pretend nothing happens, but sadness is evident in their lives. 



Sponsor letters help the children to improve their self-esteem. They know they have a friend who loves them, sometimes even more than their own parents. It is so nice to witness when a child receives a letter or a gift from their sponsor, and we know that it is a big impact in their lives. When children answer a letter, they express all their love and thankfulness through them. A special and unforgettable moment is when a sponsor meets their sponsored child. I understand it is not possible for every sponsor, but let me tell you, it is a wonderful moment full of hugs, and even tears, and it is a hard moment, even for us. Their relationship with their sponsor is so important for their personal development, self-esteem, and so encouraging in life. 

Let's pray together for our children and teenagers, for them to learn more about God's word and may their lives be transformed and become more powerful testimony our of almighty God in our community. 



I deeply thank you for your sponsorship and your commitment to give every month to Edison. May God pour many blessings upon you and your family. 

In Christ, 
Erwin Reyes Samaniego

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