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Friday, June 22, 2018

Five Letter Friday Volume 1

At the super high rate that I've been receiving letters (I received 6 letters TODAY) and the super low rate of me actually finding the time/effort to actually get those letters posted, I'm going to make myself a set schedule. Because I like alliteration, I will be titling these posts Five Letter Fridays and Three Letter Tuesdays. 

8 letters posted a week. I know that sounds like a lot, but I seriously have 45 letters backed up that I haven't posted on my blog and even more that I haven't sat down to respond to (that's my project for this week...and probably several more weekends...). 

I love writing to my kids and I'm typically so on top of these things, but with my new full time job this summer and my extra events (small group, trivia, piano lessons, seeing my family) my weekdays are pretty much booked. 

So, without further ado, let's begin our first Five Letter Friday! 

The first letter in this series comes from Ernest, who is 12 years old, and lives in Ghana. His letter is dated March 7th, 2018. 

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Dear Kayla, 

Ernest says he thanks God for bringing you into his life. He says he has learnt about Jonah at the project. He says he helps his parents with household chores. He asks you to pray for him to be brilliant in his studies. He says may God shower blessings on your life. He shares John 14:14, "If you ask anything in my name, I will do it." 

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Our next letter comes from my girl Ayling. I will be joining her project in prayer for the ability to build classrooms! 

Ayling is 11 years old and lives in Nicaragua. Her letter is dated March 22nd, 2018. 

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Hello Dear Sponsor Kayla, 

I hope that you are healthy with your family. I thank you for continually supporting me. God bless you. I want to tell you that I am close to finishing private school and will be in secondary school soon. I just finished Easter week vacation. I want to know what your favorite color is. Answering your question, I want to tell you have we have classes under some awnings and when it rains, we have classes in the church. We are praying for a donor to help us build some classrooms. Thank you for the picture that you sent me. I will be praying for God to help you to lose some weight (I asked her to pray for this. She's not being mean.) Also I want to tell you that I participate in an evangelistic campaign. We give pamphlets around the neighborhood and invite many kids to attend the campaign. I ask you to pray for the campaign. I say goodbye, sending you kisses and hugs. 

With Love, 
Ayling



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Up next is a sweet letter from sweet Nicol, who lives in the Dominican Republic. She is 9 years old and she wrote this letter on April 28th, 2018. 

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Dear Kayla, 

May God bless you! My family and I are very well, thank God! I am doing well in school. The school year is almost over and summer vacation is coming. In the center, I continue learning about God and his Word. I want to tell you that the Spring started on March 21st. This is a beautiful season of the year as the landscape changes and it becomes beautiful. Thank you for your love, prayers, letters, and family photos. Thank you for your nice stories about the three goats and Little Red Riding Hood with the nice pictures. Answering your questions; my favorite activity to do is homework. The names of my family members are Yosanna, Nicolas, Jesus, and Fernando. We have a private hospital where I live and they fixed the streets. It is much better. When is your birthday? I ask you to pray for my family. 

Love,
Nicol 

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This next letter is a form letter from my girl Marilyn. In this letter, she is answering questions about what things are like in her home. 

She also received a financial gift from her financial sponsor and I received a nice photo of what she was able to buy. 

Marilyn is 8 years old and is from El Salvador. Her letter is dated May 22nd, 2018. 

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1. I sleep in: A bed 

2. My house is built of: Adobe 

3. We get light from: Electricity/Lightbulbs 

4. We get water from: A tap at home 

5. We cook with: A fire/wood stove 

Marilyn greets you Kayla in our Lord Jesus' name. Marilyn hopes that you are very blessed by our almighty God. Marilyn says thank you for the gift you sent her and also her family thanks you because they were able to buy beans, rice, sugar, cooking oil, soap, shampoo, and a mattress. Marilyn asks you to pray that God keeps her safe. Marilyn says goodbye with love. 


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Last but not least, the last letter of this post is from Baraka, who is writing to me on the My School/Holiday Break template. I've shared this template from other of my kids from this country. It's a pretty great template, I think. 

Baraka is 9 years olds, from Kenya, and he wrote this letter on April 21st, 2018. 

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1. There are three school breaks/holiday each year. 

2. They are in the months of: April, August, and December 

3. My school break normally lasts for: 4 weeks 

4. During my holiday/school break I normally: Help my parents 

5. During my school break, I love to: Ride a bicycle 

6. My favorite activity during my school breaks is: Reading story books 

7. My favorite person to spend time with during school breaks is: My siblings 

8. One thing I wold like to do someday during my school break is: Visit my sponsor 

9. One person I would like to meet during my school break in the future is: My sponsor 

10. In the future I would like to visit The United States during my school break. 

Baraka greets you in Jesus' name. He thanks you for the letter you sent him. He appreciates your support and wishes you God's blessing in your endeavors. 

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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Large Round of Manna Letters!

It's that time again! The time to write a long post full of Manna letters! I heard from all ten of my boys and most of them even wrote two letters. I also got some great drawings and one of my boys sent me photos. :)

Manna rolled out some new template letters, as well, which are pretty great. The younger kids wrote about their favorite animals and the older kids wrote about their Easter breaks.

This post will be extremely long. But it is sure to be full of joy!

For old times sake, let's post these from youngest to oldest:

We start with 3 year old Antony, who I assume has dictated the animal template portion of the letter. Then there is also a letter written by his aunt, who is actually a teenager who is sponsored by another woman. One big happy family!

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1. My favorite animal is: Dog & Rabbit

2. I like this animal because: they are pretty and their fur is soft 

3. Other animals I like are: Fish

4. One animal I'd like to see in person is: Giraffe

5. I have these animals in my home: Hen, rooster, dog, chicks

With love, you are very special to me. I would like to meet you. 



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Hello! How are you? I hope you find yourself well. I write for my nephew because he can't write yet. Antony is very happy for your letters and photos that you sent. He loves to look at your photo with his mom. It is funny that your mom and sister both wore the same shirt. He also like the two drawings. He like to play with them. Antony had a lot of fun on Children's day. He got a lot of candy. We want to meet you in person. We wait for the day God give us a day to meet and for you to come to Honduras. We love you a lot. 

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Up next are letters from 6 year old Noel. He seems like such a chatty little guy. He sent me photos of him with some of his family members. Extra photos are such a treasure! 

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1. My favorite animal is: Dog & Wolf

2. I like this animal because: I play with a dog and I would like to see a wolf 

3. Other animals I like are: Chickens & Ducks

4. One animal I'd like to see in person is: Dog

5. I have these animals in my home: Some, but not a wolf (hahaha)

Dear Kayla,

I really like the backpack you sent. The clothes fit me well, as if you already knew me in person. Thanks for the books that you sent me. The top of the letter is my writing. I am learning a lot. You asked if I am in the same school as my brother. I want to tell you no. My dad can't put me there yet because there is no space in the school. I am not yet in 1st grade. I am in Kindergarten. 


Noel in his P.E uniform


Noel's father and little brother Jaziel 


Noel & Jaziel
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Hello Dear Kayla, 

We are very happy to write to you. We give thanks to God for keeping us full of life and health. We give thanks to God for you and your family and for all the details you send to my brother and me. I tell you that I am in Kindergarten. Thanks to God and the strength of my family, I am learning English. I celebrated my 6th year of life. My little brother can already walk. I want to tell you that my great-grandmother was 98 years old, but she died at the beginning of this year. We thank God for all the years she was here. 

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Moving on, I will share the letter from Levi, who is 7 years old. In his letter he mentions something about my climbing challenge. I have zero idea what he is talking about, as I was not involved in any kind of climbing challenge. I'm not even sure that I wrote about anything close that could have been mis-translated. Perhaps he got confused and is responding to a friend's letter from their sponsor?

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1. My favorite animal is: Cat

2. I like this animal because: They are so pretty when they are little

3. Other animals I like are: Parrots, birds, elephants, & lions

4. One animal I'd like to see in person is: Monkey

5. I have these animals in my home: Chickens, ducks, cats

Sponsor, 

I'm very happy for what you gave me. This time I thank you very much. May God give you rich and abundant blessings. May God bless you. May you do well in the climbing challenge. May God take care of your comings and goings. God bless you. 



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Onto a letter from 7 year old Angel who is just the sweetest little boy that ever was. :) There is just something so special about him, I just have this feeling. 

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1. My favorite animal is: Parakeet

2. I like this animal because: they are very caring

3. Other animals I like are: Dogs, cats, monkeys, giraffes, ducks

4. One animal I'd like to see in person is: Rat & giraffe

5. I have these animals in my home: Cat & Dog

I want to tell you that I like all animals. I want to tell you that my life is beautiful and school is going well. Thank you for the notes you sent. 



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Dear Kayla, 

God bless you! I thank God for your life and the lives of the missionaries. I give thanks because I was blessed by the backpack and the shoes. I can now go to school. The creator of the universe blessed me in a supernatural way. May God bless your life, your family, and your friends. May we have abundant life in 2018. Thanks for everything. 

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We keep moving on with more animals and some great family information from 8 year old Defer. His siblings are all quite a bit older than him! 

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1. My favorite animal is: Tiger

2. I like this animal because: it is fierce

3. Other animals I like are: Cat, parakeet, dog, tiger)

4. One animal I'd like to see in person is: Tiger

5. I have these animals in my home: Dog

I love you a lot. Happy Easter. I love you!

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Hello Dear Kayla, 

Hello my new friend. I am very happy to write you this letter. I thank God for giving me the opportunity to have you as my sponsor. I want to tell you about my family. My mom's name is Dominga and she is 46 years old. I have three brothers; Christian is 27 years old, Arin is 25 years old, and Selvin is 19 years old. I also have a sister. My sister is Melissa and she is 17 years old. My name is Defer and I am 8 years old. There are five of us who live in our house and I feel happy. I am happy to have you as my sponsor. I love you very much. I send you many kisses and hugs. I wait for your next letter. God loves you very much. 

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Now we'll hear from my other 8 year old cutie, Brayan. It's so special for me to hear about specific things that my boys liked from their backpacks. Makes me feel like I sent the right things to the right boys. 

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1. My favorite animal is: Puppies

2. I like this animal because: they are loving with their masters

3. Other animals I like are: Lions, sharks, ducks, cats

4. One animal I'd like to see in person is: Lion

5. I have these animals in my home: One cat, two dogs

Hello Kayla, 

I give you thanks for loving me. It is very good to have friends because they love you. Thanks for the many things. I like it all. It is good. Thanks.


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Hello Kayla, 

I am very happy to write this letter. I am grateful for the backpack and all the things. I like the little boat the best. I bring it to school. I like to show off my backpack. Thank you for always writing to me. May God bless you and your family. 

With Love,
Brayan

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This next letter is the last of the group that wrote about their favorite animals. So, I guess the last of my little guys. We'll wrap up this theme with a letter from 10 year old Yesbin. He appears to want to be just like his friends, which I think is great. However, I want to write him a letter to encourage him to choose good friends and to only follow their advice when it is a good decision. He's at the age where it is very easy to follow your friends into bad decisions. 

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1. My favorite animal is: Horse & Rabbit

2. I like this animal because: they are pretty and playful

3. Other animals I like are: Birds & Fish

4. One animal I'd like to see in person is: Monkey

5. I have these animals in my home: None

My Sponsor, 

I am well and my family is very well. I benefited in victory to receive the backpack. I am very happy because it encourages me to go to school. I am in 5th grade. I want to be like my friends and obey their advice. God bless you. I love you very much. 



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Now we switch gears into my "big guys". If you remember back to the beginning of this post (it's been quite awhile since then, ;)  these templates are about Easter Break. 

Let's start with 12 year old Jarlen. 

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1. Easter Week is important to me because: I enjoy vacation with others

2. During my vacation, my family likes to go to: The river

3. The typical food for Easter is: Eggs

4. Traditions in my country are: To make baleadas & tamales 

5. My favorite part of the party is: Swimming & and enjoying family

6. I dedicate this verse to you: Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." 

Dear Kayla, 

I tell you that I like remote control cars. I like to play games on the phone. I think you have one. I am grateful for the backpack, the clothes, and the soccer ball. It is beautiful. Thank you. I am very happy. I would like to tell you in person. I notice that I have errors in my handwriting. Kisses and hugs to you and your family.


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Hello Dear Kayla, 

I am happy to write to you and greet you and talk to you about my vacation days. My dad is home from work. I like Easter Week with my family. I am happy to receive your letter. I tell you that I went swimming in the river. I am happy and I am ready for another one of your letters. 


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This next letter is from 13 year old Carlos. He doesn't seem to be too chatty of a guy this time around, but looking at his picture makes me so happy. 

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1. Easter Week is important to me because: It is a week to be with family 

2. During my vacation, my family likes to go to: ____________

3. The typical food for Easter is: Tamales & baked meat

4. Traditions in my country are: People go out and have fun 

5. My favorite part of the party is: Traveling to other places 

6. I dedicate this verse to you: "Honor your father and your mother." 

Hello, 

I am Carlos and I'm 13 years old. I like Natural Science class because I like animals. I have a cute rabbit. 


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And finally, last but not least, the letters from 14 year old Ivan. He continues to write this letters in English and really is improving with each letter. I am so proud of him! 

Several months back, Ivan asked me to be friends with him on Facebook, which I declined of course. I wrote to him and explained that I couldn't be his Facebook friends while I was sponsoring him. His reaction to this explanation cracks me up!

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1. Easter Week is important to me because: Jesus died fro us and he came to life because he defeated death. 

2. During my vacation, my family likes to go to: Tela/La Ceiba. It is located in the North of Honduras. 

3. The typical food for Easter is: Fish & Plantain Chips

4. Traditions in my country are: We do a play about when Jesus was crucified  

5. My favorite part of the party is: Traveling to Tela and eating a lot of fish

6. I dedicate this verse to you: John 3:16 "God so loved the world that he gave his son." 

Kayla, 

Thank you for the letters you send me. My grades are great. I am in 9th grade. The classes that I am taking are P.E, language, geography, Spanish, Science, Math, and Computers. Ohhhhh, man, I thought you just didn't want to accept me on Facebook. I understand. It doesn't matter. I like learning animal facts. 


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Dear Kayla, 

God bless you. I am happy to write you a letter again. I am saying thank you to you for sponsoring me and my little brother. Thank you for the backpacks that you are giving us. It is a big blessing from God; these things that you are sending to me. How are you? Happy New Year. If you have a problem, you just need to pray about it. God is going to solve your problem. Just have faith in him. God bless you, your family, and your church. 

From,
Ivan

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Friday, June 15, 2018

From the Field Friday: RW-368

It's our last pastor letter for the year. We have reached the end. Though, I'm sure we'll meet this theme again next year. :)

Our last pastor letter comes from project RW-368, the project that my boy Jule attends. It sounds like Jule lives in an area with a lot of difficulties. I'm thankful to God that Compassion is available to help the children and their families.


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Dear Kayla, 

I am called Mugabe Laurent and I am the pastor of the church associated with the Cyegara Child Development Center where we minister to Jule. 

We thank you for your sponsorship and for supporting Jule. May God bless you. 

Our community is greatly touched by extreme poverty. Consequently, children constitute the most important part affected by poverty. The challenge our community faces is malnutrition in children and lack of means for going to school. Therefore, children need various things depending on their ages, but most need nutritious food and the ability and supplies to go to school. Both quality and quantity to help them acquire knowledge and skills. Our Center recognizes this and provides this. We develop the children holistically in the spiritual, physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional areas. 



The Center impacts more than just children, but all of the community. Some of the children and caregivers have been baptized after being received in the Center and being taught the Word of God. All the children have been given medical insurance and they get hygienic materials on a monthly basis. Caregivers have been taught to regroup themselves in cooperatives to start up income generating activities so that they can free themselves from poverty. Caregivers, children, and social workers visit each other. They are emphasized on training the care givers and children and various topics like how they can prevent themselves from being attacked by malaria and other poor sanitation diseases. 



The letters that the children receive from their sponsors are of great value. The relationship is greatly developed and the children feel so happy and loved to hear from their sponsors. The letters and words encourage them in their lives and help them to feel that they have hope and a purpose. The smiles on the faces of the children who receive letters and photos and Bible verses from their sponsors are like gold. They are delighted to write back with news about their lives and their progress. Please do provide this experience for Jule and write letters. 



We thank you and praise you for all that you do and sacrifice for Jule and our Center. 

We also keep you in our prayers so that God can bless you in all your activities. 



With a heart full of joy, may God bless you. 

Yours Sincerely, 
Pastor Mugabe Laurent

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Letter Love from Teens

Before I started my sponsorship journey, I never thought I'd make a connection with a teenager. God has given me the innate talent to take care of, relate to, and teach very young children. But I have never really considered myself good at understanding teenagers. Well, then when I started my sponsorship journey, God led me to sponsor boys, and then older boys, and then older girls. It's only just more recently that my family started to gain some younger kiddos. But, all of a sudden I was making these fabulous connections with kids that had the word "teen" in their age.

And I love it so much.

So today's post will include letters from several wonderful teenagers who send me loving letters from all over the world.


Let's start this post off with a letter from Jhojaira, who has always been great at responding to things I write to her. It really feels like a conversation when we write to each other.

Jhojaira is 14 years old and lives in Peru. Her letter is dated April 28th, 2018.

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Dear Sponsor Kayla, 

I greet you in the love of our Lord Jesus. I want to thank you for the beautiful letter you sent. I love reading the stories that you write to me. I also like to see the photos and analyze them. Goldilocks is also a popular story here in Peru. I heard it at different times in school when I was younger. We can learn from this story that we shouldn't take other people's things. Anyway, I like the story very much. Let me ask you, are you in good health these last few months? Before saying goodbye, I ask for you to pray for me and my family to draw closer to God's way. I send you many hugs. 

Jhojaira

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This next letter is from Jhonrex and it comes with good news! In his last letter, he asked me to pray that he would have enough time to join a cell-group (what we call a small group) at his church/project. It seems like that prayer was answered!

Jhonrex is 17 years old, lives in the Philippines, and he wrote this letter on April 21st, 2018.

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Dear Kayla, 

Hello. How are you? If you ask about me and my family, we are okay. Thank you for the letters you sent. You talked about last new year and Christmas and about how cold it is where you live. I also received the letter that had photos of bulldozers and the photo of you together with your family. I'm glad that you continue writing to me and praying for me. 

About our weather here, it is now hot because it is summer here, but in your place it is very cold, so please take care of yourself. I am now in a cell-group with only four other members. We study the Bible, learn about God, and pray for one another. About school, I am still pursuing ALC (Alternative Learning School) because I still desire to finish. I am also still assisting the teachers at the project, with the youngest children. 

Please pray that I will remain in good health always, along with my family. What activities do you have there in the winter? Do you enjoy it? 

I end this message now. Thanks for your unending support. God bless you. 

Respectfully Yours,
Jhonrex

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This next letter is more like a quick note from a young man. He must be a very busy guy, but it is still nice to get an update about him. I don't hear from him very often, so even these small updates are great. 

This letter is from Lemayian, who is 18 years old and lives in Kenya. He wrote this letter on May 4th, 2018. 

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Kayla, 

I greet you in Jesus's name. I am doing well and my family members are also fine. How is your family? I hope and pray that you are all doing well. I normally go to church every week and I am doing well in the project. I than God very much because last year was good, but this year is better because we got a lot of rain and everything is green all over. Thank you for the letters you have sent me. I am very happy to see them. May the Lord bless you. 

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Onto another letter, this time from Lina. This letter seems to focus on things about herself, which I love. It's nice to learn more about her interests and things I can pray for her about. 

Lina is 19 years old, is from Colombia, and wrote this letter on April 24th, 2018. 

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Dear Sponsor, 

I greet you. May God bless you. How are you? My family and I are fine, thank God. I want to tell you that for the past two months, I have been attending a new church with my mom and sister. We feel fine and hope everything will be well there. I tell you that my name means "the person who anoints." I am the oldest of my siblings. My hair is brown and my eyes are brown. One thing that I do well is comb and style my hair. I also like reading. How is your family? What activities do you do in your free time? Sponsor, I will answer your questions. I don't suffer from any disease but my period is hard and I have bad cramps. I have these symptoms for 1 week each month. I have a medical appointment soon, on April 27th,  and I will tell the doctor this. I like to listening to music and playing with my mom and sister. I spend time with other children from the CDC and we like to go to the mall, park, and ice cream shop. I tell you that on Christmas I was not doing well because a relative passed away. I felt sad, but I feel better now. Thank you for your support during this time. Please pray for me to start a professional career after university. I also would like a family someday. I give you a Bible verse to think about; Psalm 119:17. 

Hugs,
Lina

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The next letter from today is from Jule, who I haven't known long, but he has been a great writer since his very first letter. Unfortunately, it seems like he is struggling in school. I will keep praying for him and encouraging him through letters. 

Jule is 14 years old, from Rwanda, and wrote this letter on May 12th, 2018. 

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Dear Kayla, 

I, your child Jule, greet you in the name of Jesus. I thank you for the way you care for me and pray for me. I am trying at school. I got a 49% marks and was ranked in 33rd position. Please pray for me to at least be among the top ten students in position. I like reading English books and it please me because my family is also doing well. I thank you for the letter you sent to me, sharing with me your news. I and my family are doing well. It pleased me so much to know that you pray for me. I am glad that your people who were sick got well. Romans 10:9-10 blesses me so much. May God bless you. I conclude by thanking you and wishing you God's blessing. 

Your Child,
Jule

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The last letter for today's post is from Milkias. I am not sure where this letter has been, but is seems to have been lost in cyberspace somewhere, because it just made its way to me this month, after traveling around somewhere for 6 months.

Milkias is 13 years old and lives in Ethipia. His letter is dated January 16th, 2018.

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Dear Kayla, 

Greetings to you, my beloved supporter! How are you and your family doing? I and my family are very fine, thanks to God. Happy new year 2018! I received a letter you wrote to me, along with all the gifts. I had a dog, but now she has died and I was very sad. I received the gift you sent me for the Christmas holiday celebration. I am very grateful for it. Thank you for sending me a gift and God bless you. I am attending my education well and I am studying hard to have good results. Please pray for me. Goodbye until we meet in another letter. 

From Your Child,
Milkias

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Friday, June 8, 2018

From the Field Friday: NI-244

Just two more of these letters to share, this week and next week. It's been a long ride!

Today's letter is from NI-244, which is the project that my guy Gary attends. He will be graduating later this year and I'm glad to share this letter while I have the opportunity. I'm so happy knowing that Gary had such a wonderful project to grow up and learn in.



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Dear Kayla, 

My name is Juan Carlos Davila Garcia. I am pastor of the Church of God Pentecostal MI located in the San Jeronimo neighborhood of Nicaragua. We host the Hay Vida En Jesus Child Development Center attended by Gary. 

Thank you for your generous heart full of love to share and bless Gary. 

We are a community where many of our families work hard for a living. But unemployment is a reality in our society. There are many children in risk and abandoned by their parents so they walk on the streets doing drugs, drinking alcohol, and becoming thieves. In some places basic services such as drinking water and sewage systems are nonexistent and limit the children as they grow. 



It is a blessing from God to have this center to care for children at our church with Compassion International. Sponsors' economic and moral support has allowed us to generate hope in families with limitations. Now their children see the future with better opportunities to grow up in physical, emotional, and spiritual stability. We also develop their cognitive abilities which is a great help for their future. 



At the Center our children learn to interact so they grow up as stable and confident people. We also teach the principles of God's Word which we give through the Bible. We are sure God will make big changes in them in them so their generation will be powerful in society. 



The nicest experience we just had is the first visit of sponsors to one of our girls. They are a beautiful family from the United States who shared nice moments with their sponsored girl. Children value their relationships with sponsors. Usually this relationship is through letters. Children feel loved and valued when they receive letters. Please write to Gary as much as you can. 



Thank you again for sponsoring Gary. The seed you plant today will be the fruit you will harvest tomorrow. Your effort is not in vain. Please pray for our church, the Center, the children and the community. 



God Bless You,
Pastor Juana Carlos Davila Garcia

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Monday, June 4, 2018

First Sunday (Oops...Monday) Advocate

June snuck up on me a little bit. I honestly didn't even notice it was June until last night...when it was already June 3rd. Seriously. I even paid my rent last night. Thank goodness I have a nice five day grace period from my landlord for those rent checks. :)

But since I forgot that months change every 30 days or so, my typical first Sunday post is a Monday post this month.

Today, I have 12 kids to share with you and each of these beautiful little ones are waiting for a sponsor. All of these kids attend projects that some of my current kids attend. I chose preschoolers this time around because I am missing my preschoolers! I wish it was September already so that I can get back into the classroom. But until then, I'll share these cuties and see if I can help find them a sponsor.