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Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in Review

Lately, it seems that I have been jumping on my blog bandwagons. But I like it. Like everyone else, I will now review my year. This has been a year of SO MANY changes. I can't even believe how much God has done in my life.

- I went on a wonderful trip to New Orleans with my friends. I did many new things like eat frog legs and friend alligator, listen to and fall in love with zydeco music, went on an historical tour of the city, and I played music in an amazing cathedral!

- I started, endured, and finished my student teaching process. Those three months were some of my greatest months of the year. I fell in love with teaching PreK. Those 20 kids with rough families, family members in jail, behavior problems, speaking words I never thought a four year old would know, were some of the greatest kids I've ever met. The teachers I worked with gave me hope for the educational future.

- I graduated college! Four years of college seemed to just fly by.

- I got my first teaching job! While it isn't my ideal job, I have fallen in love with it. It's a preschool program in a daycare, so I don't get any holidays (no summer break, no winter break, no spring break) and I work until 5:30 everyday, but at least I am teaching preschoolers and we seem to be learning a lot.

- I moved out of my parents house. I have my own apartment. I am loving living by myself. Nobody to answer to, nobody to get in the way of what I want to do.

- I totaled my completely paid off, low milage car. It was a devestating thing for me because I didn't have to worry about that expense. I absolutely had to buy another car. It's a car that is worse than the one I previously owned, but it's the only thing I could afford.

- I went from sponsoring one child with WV to sponsoring two children through WV, and corresponding with three CI children. I am just so happy. God is amazing. My kiddos are amazing. I can't wait until the letter drought ends and I start to hear from them on a more regular basis. I have for sure sent them a lot of letters already. I just so in love with these five children.


There you have it. My year.

Six Word Saturday




"Babysitting a wonderful and talkative toddler"

Friday, December 30, 2011

Kalpesh!

I just requested a third correspondence child on Monday, they replied on Wednesday, and today, I received another wonderful child. Here he is:



Name: Kalpesh
Age: 9
Birthday: April 24th
U.S Grade Equivalent: 3
Family Duties: Running Errands & Cleaning
Hobbies & Sports: Group Games, Hide and Seek, Running, Reading
Guardians: Mother & Father (Agricultural Laborer)


I am so excited to get to know this little man. Tonight was the scheduled night to email my kiddos anyway, so I can't wait to write him a couple letters. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

One Word for the New Year

Lately I've been debating whether or not to set New Year's resolutions. I know that every goal I make for myself is hopeful, but doubtful that I will actually complete it. To me, it's kind of like when somebody demands you to do something, and that teenager in me arises and refuses to do it just because somebody else is telling me to do it, even if I know it's good for me.

As I've been reading blogs lately, I've come across a new concept that I had never heard of, or even thought of before. The idea is to choose one word that you want to live by for the year. Just one word. One word seems much more manageable than a list of resolutions to lose weight, eat better, clean more, etc.

As I was reading a book, I started to think/pray (to me, thinking and praying are the same thing. God hears both). Before I could even finish thinking the question, "Hmm...I wonder what my one word should be?" God had already thrown the word at me.



I struggle with patience. I struggle with waiting for God to tell me what to do next. I struggle with patience (at times) when it comes to teaching. More than anything else, I struggle with patience when it comes to receiving letters/information about my sponsored children. Every day I go to the mailbox and I find zero letters (which is pretty much everyday) from my sponsored children, my heart drops. I even tell myself  "don't be upset if there is no letter there." I always feel a little down anyway.


I haven't received a letter since November 14th


So, I'm going to try my very best to not be like this:



And I'm going to try to be more like this:




2012 should be good. Pray for me!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Freily Update

Today I called Compassion about why Freily had disappeared from my account last week. As much as I was hoping that it was just a computer glitch, I knew in my heart that wasn't the case.

As I was on hold waiting to talk to a Compassion representitive, I was praying for two things. I was praying that Freily had not left the program completely. I also prayed that his financial sponsor hadn't dropped him, because if they asked me to pick up the financial sponsorship for him, I would have to say no, and he would be left sponsorless again.

After praying for these two things, I was overjoyed to find out that Freily was still in the program and he still had the same financial sponsor. His current sponsor called Compassion and asked for Freily's correspondent relationship be transferred to one of the members of her family.

As happy as I am though, there is still a hint of sadness. Even though I never received any letters from him, I'm sad when I think of Freily. He probably received a letter or two from me in these last two months. All of a sudden, he is going to be getting letters from somebody else. I don't want him to think that I don't like him and left him. I wish there was a way that I could write him one last letter to tell him what happened and how much I enjoyed writing to him.

Goodbye, dear Freily. I hope life treats you wonderfully and God blesses every area of your life. You are so loved.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Day After Christmas

I meant to post this yesterday and I just never got around to it.

This Christmas has been a good one. In my family, we do not give each other money or gift cards because we think it's more thoughtful to pick things out for each person.

Believe me, if I could have, I would have asked for money to spend on my sponsored children.

But, I got the next best thing! I got almost 40 large envelopes to mail things to my kiddos. I also got two bags full of 3D stickers to send to them, and to use in my classroom.

My grandma did send me money and I fully intend on using it to buy clothes for my two WV boys. I'm going to head to Walmart/Target to see what kinds of clearance clothing they have.

I love spending money on my kiddos!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Shoes For Kids

Lately, I've become extremely inspired and eager to help this company out: Shoes For Kids

This company is completely run by (with a little help from her family) by an 11 year old girl.

The main goal of her company is to collect shoes for those children that do not have even one pair of shoes to their name. These shoes go to children all over the world, to the U.S and many other countries.

I want to start up my own shoe drive through the use of the internet. Every pair of shoes that I receive in the mail will go directly to this company. I will also pair each pair of shoes up with a pair of socks and I will box them up and send them to this company.

If you are interested in donating a pair of shoes or multiple pairs of shoes, leave me a comment and I will give you my email/home address so you can get to mailing!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Six Word Saturday




"Family, Cookies, Frosting, Pizza, Presents, Fun"

Christmas Eve Excitement and Prayers

Christmas Eve has always been an important day in my family. Since my very first Christmas, this is the night that everything is celebrated in my family. We watch Christmas movies, bake and decorate cookies, eat pizza (that is our traditional Christmas Eve dinner) and open presents.

I can't lie to my readers. I understand the true meaning of Christmas. I am endlessly thankful that God sent his only son to the world, to be born as an innocent and helpless baby to save all of us from death. I love God so much for that.

However, I am just as excited about the material parts of Christmas. I feel as excited as a five year old when it comes to crawling around under the tree to get presents to pass out to my family. I love watching my pile of presents growing bigger and bigger. I love watching my family open up the gifts that I put so much thought into buying for them. I love receiving things that I truly need and have been wanting for awhile.

While I will never dislike the part of Christmas that invovles opening presents, I have become more aware from year to year about what I ask for. This year is no different. My Christmas list included: Various sizes of envelopes to send things to my sponsored children, stickers (for the same reason), art supplies (for my class and for my sponsored children). I can't stop thinking of these beautiful children this season.

I'm thinking of Abu-Bakarr, my handsome young man from Sierra Leone. I'm hoping that he got the gift I sent him back in October. I wish I could have seen his face when he opened up that box with the soccer ball, the tennis shoes, and his new shirt. I pray that he knows how much God, and I, love him.

I'm thinking of Xhuliano, my newest kiddo, from Albania. I started sponsorsing him at the beginning of November. By now, I'm sure that he knows I'm his sponsor. Because he's older, at 11 years old, I'm sure he's had a sponsor, or multiple sponsors, before me. I don't know how much damage there is in his heart from people leaving him like that. I pray that he knows that I am never going to leave him. I am his sponsor until he ages out of the program. I've sent him many packages and letters in the last month and a half. I hope he receives some of them soon.

I'm thinking of Meena, my beautiful young woman from India. I know that her family is Hindu, but she told me that she knows the Lord. I pray that she knows the true meaning of this season, and that she doesn't let any local and cultural festivities bring her mind away from Jesus's birth. I can't wait to begin receving more letters from her.

I'm thinking of Eric, a wonderful man, from Uganda. I just started sponsoring him on December 13th, so there is a good chance that he doesn't even know I exist yet. I'm praying that God is washing love over him for the both of us, so that Eric feels safety, peace, and love this season.

I'm also thinking of Freily, that gorgeous and serious boy from Domincan Republic. I was only his correspondene sponsor for two months and I never received a single letter from him. I can't help but pray for him and whatever situation is occuring with him. Why did he disappear from my account? Is he sponsorless now? Is he scared of his future? I pray that God is with him.


So, there you have it, both of the views that I'm feeling this Christmas.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My First Lost Child

Today I logged onto my Compassion account to look at my correspondent children.

My handsome young man, Freily Mateo is no longer there.

The Compassion office is closed until Tuesday for Christmas so I will not be able to call them about him until then. However, I know that this means that I am no longer his correspondent sponsor. This could mean two things. 1. His financial sponsor decided to write him again or 2. He has left the program.

I am praying with all of my heart that it's the first option. I have only been his correspondent sponsor a little over a month, but I have never received a letter from him. I did write him about four letters and I hope that maybe he'll still get those. I even sent him one tonight, before I checked my account.

Even though I haven't received anything about him except for his picture, it still hurts a little bit.

I'm not going to take his picture off of my account until somebody from Compassion tells me that he is officially not in my life anymore.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christ is Coming

This year, for whatever reason, I've had a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit.

Maybe it's because my first ever apartment is hardly decorated.

Maybe it's because it's my first year teaching and in order to teach about Christmas, we also have to teach Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, which I had to research to learn more about.

Maybe it's because I don't have an advent calendar of any kind.

Maybe it's because I'm feeling distant from my family now that I live on my own...even though my family only lives a 15 minute drive away.

Maybe it's because I don't have a lot of money to buy gifts to show my love to my family this year.

Maybe it's because I just haven't embraced Christmas like I usually do.

Last year, I felt so much love, so much excitement counting down until the birth of Christ, I prayed for the coming of Christ, I thought about life from the point of view of Mary, of Joseph, of the angel Gabriel, of the wisemen. I made cookies, I wrapped presents, I spent a month at home with my family listening to Christmas music.

I don't know what I'm trying to say.

I want to find the Christmas spirit again!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Call From World Vision

I've heard it from enough people to know that a child sponsorship organization doesn't call you to say "Hi" and "I hope everything is going well."

They call you to tell you something sad or discouraging. It's a sad truth, but that's how it is.

I got a call this morning and later got a voicemail from World Vision about my sponsored child Abu-Bakarr.

In October, I talked to World Vision about how I had not received Abu's progress report yet and it had been well over a year. They told me to wait another month and then let them know again. So, on November 1st, I called them again saying that I still hadn't received anything. They told me that they would pass the message along to the office in Sierra Leone and that I would get an replacement copy sent to me.

Today they called me and told me that they still hadn't received any response from the office in Sierra Leone. No whatsoever. Not even a confirmation that they had received the message. This worries me. Is something wrong? Did something happen to Abu and they just don't want to tell me? It scares me a little bit.

I'm hoping they are just busy with the Christmas season and getting ready for the ADP to close for Christmas break and just haven't had time to answer the message yet.

I'm hoping.

I'm praying.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

December Letters

I have never before posted what I send to the children that I sponsor, but I think it may be a new thing that I do. I usually write/send packages to my children 1-2 times a month and I send them emails 1-2 times a month. I like the idea of posting them to give others inspiration of things to send, as well as so I can remember things I've sent in the past. So without further ado:


I am sending Abu-Bakarr a paddle ball, a little wooden tic-tac-toe game, two bowls (I got four for a dollar at Walmart), and some sport ball stickers. In his letter I'm going to ask him how his Christmas went and how he celebrated it with his family.


Xhuliano is getting the same two bowls as Abu-Bakarr, a comb, and a whistle and some sport ball stickers. I know Xhuliano loves soccer and I thought it might be fun to have an official with a whistle while he plays soccer with his friends. In his letter I'm going to ask him all about soccer and who is favorite team/player is. Then maybe I can hopefully find some soccer merch to send him.


I'm sending beautiful Meena a letter about the stars and the moon and about how God created space in all of it's awe and majesty. I found this amazing adult coloring page to send too, as well as some butterfly stickers, simply because they are shiny and pretty.


To my CI boys, Freily and Eric, I'm sending them a letter/coloring pages that tell about different kinds of airplanes. I think all boys like learning more about different kinds of transportation and aren't all humans fascinated in flying and how it's possible?


I'm pumped to start writing these letters to my kiddos! It's 8 p.m now. I bet you I do this for the rest of the night.

Six Word Saturday



Praying For Johnathan's Future Adoptive Family





An Update on Sweet Johnathan

I posted about this young man two days ago. Remember this face:



Well, a family has stepped up to adopt him! However, there are many obstacles standing in the way of this beautiful boy joining this family.

Time, paperwork, and lack of money are three very steep mountains standing between Johnathan and his future family.

To learn more about this update go to this blog: A Different Drum

Please continue to pray your hearts out for this young man. I firmly believe that through prayer and through God's holy work, anything is possible. Even with the busy holiday season, I am praying that all of the pieces fall into place.

Please join me in praying.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

This Boy Needs A Family!

This post will have nothing to do with child sponsorship, but I feel as if I absolutely must post this on my blog.

There is a 15 year old in Eastern Europe, named Johnathan who is an orphan and desperatly needs to find a home.

He is turning 16 years old in one week and will age out of the system. He will be sent out into the world to fend for himself with no money and hardly any belongings. If he doesn't find a family in only one week, that will be it for him.



Does this young man belong in your family?

There are a few catches though: You must be a married couple, and you must have adopted before. I have neither of those things going for me, so all I can do is post this, spread the news, and pray like crazy.

To find out more information about Johnathan and this process, read this blog entry: A Different Drum   .

If you can't adopt him, please spread the news or post a blog entry of your own. Let's find this boy a family in time for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Eric From Uganda!

Today I logged onto my Compassion account and I have been blessed with my 3rd and final correspondence child!

Meet Eric:






Name: Eric
Location: Uganada
Age: 16
Birthday: August 8th
U.S School Equivalent: 3rd Grade
Family Duties: Washing Clothes, Animal Care, Carries Water, Kitchen Help
Hobbies and Sports: Soccer, Bicycling, Walking, Reading, Art/Drawing, Singing, Storytelling
Guardian: Mother (No Father)
Guardian Job: Peasant Farmer

Child Development Center

Your sponsored child lives on the plains of Muganza Community, home to approximately 7,300 residents. Typical houses are constructed of dirt floors, mud walls and corrugated iron roofs. The primary ethnic group is Bafumbira and the most commonly spoken language is Rufumbira.

The regional diet consists of beans, irish potatoes and maize. Common health problems in this area include malaria, malnutrition, jiggers and lack of clean water. Most adults in Muganza Community work as subsistence farmers and earn the equivalent of $9 per month. This community needs water, vocational schools, literacy programs, qualified teachers, improved farming methods and income-generating activities.




I can't imagine having a child who is 16 years old and in 3rd grade. All of my other sponsored children are at grade level (that I know of). When I write letters to him do I write letters as if he were 16 years old or as if he is a 3rd grader?

Monday, December 12, 2011

I Won!

If you remember, about a week ago, Hopeful Hez was having a giveaway for a correspondence kit.

Well, I won! I have been wanting to get one of these correspondence kits from someone ever since I knew that they existed. They are just so cool and you never know what kinds of goodies your are going to receive when you get one.

I just love writing to my sponsored kids and I will definitely put this correspondence kit to good use. I will let you all know when I get it.

Thanks again, Heather!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

My Wonderful Friend Rosie

I think I mentioned her in passing, but I feel like I need to post a whole entry about my dear friend Rosie.

When I was unsure that I could afford to sponsor another child, she is the one that stepped up and agreed to put $15 a month towards my newest kiddo, Xhuliano. That act changed everything! I could afford an extra $20 a month! $20 is like nothing! Less than a tank of gas, a few McDonalds trips, two movies at the theater.

With her help, I am able to do this. Xhuliano and I are now connected and we will never be disconnected.

God is working through my friend Rosie and I can't even put into words how much I appreciate both of them.

This month, she is actually sending me $30 to cover her share of the sponsorship, as well as extra goodies to send to my sponsored kiddos.

She is an angel.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

See Your Impact Results: December 2011

If you all remember, a week ago (exactly 7 days ago) I donated to the website See Your Impact . Using this website, you can donate to a specific cause and you are sent a picture of the exact, specific person that you helped. To me, it makes the world feel much smaller and much more together in love.

I am planning on donating to this website at the beginning of each month.

This month, I donated $10 to buy a child in Sierra Leone at mosquito net for his/her bed. I have a deep love for Sierra Leone. I've learned about their long civil war and my first sponsored child, lovely Abu-Bakarr is from there.

Today, I got my email telling me that my donation has gotten to the child and they sent me this a picture and a story.



Mohamed is 13 years old. He and his two sisters and two brothers live with their parents in a two bedroom apartment with electricity, but no running water. Mohamed's father is the main provider of the home with a monthly income of $60, which is not enough to cover their basic needs. Mohamed's mother is a petty trader that helps her husband in providing for the home. Mohamed attends high school and wants to be a computer engineer when he grows up.

Mohamed and his family extend their thanks to you, Kayla, for the provision of this bed net, as it will help ensure that Mohamed remains healthy as he grows older so he can pursue his dreams.


I think provision must be a favorite word in Sierra Leone, becasue I see it a lot in the letters that I receive from my sponsored child.

I am just so happy. For only $10, I changed the life of a teenage boy halfway around the world. How wonderful.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Touching Tuesday #5

I completely forgot to post my weekly Touching Tuesday this morning.

This week, God has led me to three boys that need sponsors. I believe that their sponsors are waiting someone out there is cyber space. Is one of them you?


Name: Alom
Age: 7
Birthday: Sept. 13th, 2004
Country: Bangladesh

I saw his picture and immediately fell in love with those too-big-for-his-head ears. Do you love him?


Name: Erick
Age: 10
Birthday: July 8th, 2001
Country: Honduras

Those sad eyes drill right into my heart. Who wants to make those eyes happy again?


Name: Fousseyni
Age: 4
Birthday: October 10th, 2007
Country: Mali

This little one does not look like he's in good shape at all. He's dirty, sick, and he looks so sad. Who wants to save his life?

All three of these boys are looking for someone to love them.

Monday, December 5, 2011

New Record!

In the last day, I have had a record number of views on my blog.

60 views in one day!

I also gained some followers, so that's awesome.

It's a good day to be a blogger.

Another Amazing Give Away!

My lovely friend over at Hopeful Hez is having an amazing give away!

She's made an amazing correspondence kit for you to send mail and other fun goodies to send to the kids you sponsor.

You should all head over there and enter to win!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Praise






Today I am praising God for these four wonderful children. I am not sure where my life would be if I didn't have these children to love and encourage. Today, I wanted to tell you a little bit more about them.

Abu-Bakarr- Abu-Bakarr is 9 years old and he lives in Sierra Leone. He is my first ever sponsored child. I began sponsoring him February of 2008. I was a freshmen in college. I had absolutely no job, except for in the summer. Whatever money I made in the summer was what I had for the entire school year. But, God told me that this is what I supposed to do and he lead me a beautiful 6 year old boy with very sad eyes and his bottom lip sticking out. I am going on four years of sponsorship of him and he's about to turn 10 years old. I am so glad that I get to spend his "double digit" years with him.


Meena- This year, I found out about Compassion's correspondence program. I was immediately drawn to this program because I was not in place (or so I thought) to financially sponsor another child. I sent Compassion an email and was paired up with beautiful Meena  on October 6th, 2011. She is 16 years old and lives in Southern India. I have already received a letter from her. She writes beautifully in English and she wants to be an archeologist! She is so smart. I hope she fulfills all of her dreams.

Freily- After only have been paired up with Meena for two weeks, I sent Compassion an email telling them that I wanted another child to correspond with. On November 1st, 2011, I was paired with handsome Freily. He is 9 years old and he's from Domincan Republic. I have not received a letter from him yet so I don't know much about him yet, so I will keep you posted!

Xhuliano- If you follow my blog posts at all, you'll know how big of a struggle it was for me to "decide" to sponsor another child. God was telling me I could and the world was telling me that I could not. However, like always, God won the war and I sponsored precious Xhuliano from Albania. Xhuliano is almost 11 years old and he lives with both of his parents and his two sisters. That's about all I know about him for now. I can't wait to receive my first letter from him!


Now there you have it. My four sponsored children. Tell me about yours!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Jealousy

I try very hard to not be jealous of others, and most of the time that hard work pays off. I understand that I have what God wants me to have. I am very grateful for everything that God has given me.

I am never jealous of others' homes, cars, clothing, or other such material possessions.

I don't know what the most popular brands are in the fashion world.

I don't need the newest iPhone update or version. In fact, I don't even own a smart phone.

I don't care about keeping up with the Joneses.

But, I still struggle with jealousy in one area of my life...

Letters from my sponsored children.

I follow many blogs that do a weekly Mail Call Monday. On this day, they share the letters they have received from their sponsored children in the last week. Most people have more than one letter each week, many coming with new pictures, drawings, and fountains of new information.

I received one letter in November.

I received one letter in October.

I haven't received a new progress report from my first World Vision child in a year and a half. World Vision told me that they are working on getting another one sent to me, but it will take several months.

I know it is horribly wrong to be jealous of others, but is it really that wrong to want more than one letter a month from the children I sponsor, espeically since I write them 2-3 a month?

I know these kind of negative thoughts aren't what God wants me to feel, but I'm only human. I'm flawed.

Six Word Saturday




Mailing Sponsored Child Packages is Expensive




Friday, December 2, 2011

Xhuliano's Packet

I received my sponsorship packet about Xhuliano today. I love reading information about my sponsored children and I especially enjoy learning more about the countries that they live in. This is going to be a long post that most people probably aren't interested in. I just like to type up information like this so I have a back up if anything ever happens to the paper copies I have.

Get To Know Your Sponsored Child

Name: Xhuliano
Birthday: December 27th
Country: Albania

Xhuliano lives with his parents and two sisters. His parents strggule to provide for the family. His father is a construction worker and his mother is an animal farmer. Despite their efforts, it is difficult to meet the family's needs.

Xhuliano is growing up in the mountainous country of Albania. The village is very rural and poor. Their single floor homes are constructed of stone and sometimes logs or sticks, with mud for mortar. Farmers grow citrus fruit and vegetables. Bread and dairy products are also staple foods. This is a beautiful country with forests, mountains, and lakes. Summers are hot and dry but the winters are cold and wet.

Xhuliano is in primary school and he enjoys history. He helps at home by doing housework. He likes to play soccer. He is in satisfactory health.

Albania and it's People

Located in southeast Europe, the small country of Albania is bordered by Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, and the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. Natrual resources include petroleum, natural gas, coal, copper, iron ore, nickel, salt, timber, and hydropower.

Mountains fill Albania's eastern region and constal plains cover the western region, which is home to most of the population. The Strait of Otranto separates Albania from Italy by 45 miles.

The Albanian ethnic group makes up most of the population; Greeks, Roma, Vlachs, Serbians, and Bulgarians make up the remainder of the population. Albania is the official language, but the people also speak Greek.

Most people work in agriculture, growing products such as wheat, corn, potatoes, sugar beets, and grapes. Albania's other industries include food processing, textiles, lumber, oil, mining, chemicals, cement, and hydropower.

Albanians cherish close family ties, as well as their ethnic hertiage. Ethnic Albanians call themselves Shqipetars, which means "sons of the eagle."

Challenges in Albania

Despite the economy's recent growth, Albania still remains one of the poorest countires in Europe.

The agriculture sector, which employs over of Albania's workforce, has struggled in recent years. About 12 percent of Albanians are unemployed and a quarter of people live below the poverty line.

In education, school dropout rates are a growing concern for children. Most children enroll in primary school, but only about half actually attend and finish. This problem is especially common among the Roma, who are also known as gypsies.

Country Comparisons

Population: Albania - 3,155,000. United States - 311,666,000
Land Mass: Albania - 11,099 sq. miles. United States: 3,794,100 sq. miles.
Life Expectancy: Albania - 77 Years. United States: 79 Years.
Infant Mortality Rate: Albania - 15. United States - 8
Literacy Rate: Albania - 99%. United States - 99%
Primary School Enrollment: Albania: 91%. United States - 92%.
Access to Safe Water: Albania - 97%. United States - 99%
Average Annual Income: Albania: $3,950. United States: $47,580


I can't wait to learn more about this boy. We're going to have a great adventure together!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

See Your Impact

I have found a new cause!

Go to this website: See Your Impact . This place is amazing!

For a small amount of money you can directly impact the life of one person. You can choose to sort out different causes by age group, region, and categories (education, disease, water, jobs, disabilities, etc). You are presented with some causes that you can choose from. You donate your amount of money and the amazing happens!

In only two short week, you receive a picture a story of the exact person that you helped!

Today, I sent $10 to Sierra Leone to buy a child a mosquito net. I can't wait to get the picture of the child I helped in my email.

I'm going to make this a new thing I do. On the 1st of every month, I'm going to support one of these causes. I'm happy because they have a wide range of prices for things because I never know how each month is going to look financially.

Check back in two weeks for the picture and story of the lovely child I helped.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Luke 1: 5-25

This section in the bible is one of my new favorites.

I should start out saying that if I am every lucky enough to get married and have my own children, my first son will be named Gabriel. I have always loved this name because of the great things that Gabriel did in the bible. He was the angel that was chosen to announce the birth of our messiah, Jesus. He was the one that is both feared and respected because of the good news he always has to announce.

However, until this past Sunday I didn't realize that Gabriel showed up in another place in the bible. His only memorable moment isn't just when he told Mary that she was going to give birth to the son of God. Gabriel also foretold the birth of John the Baptist.

But, I digress. I'm not here today to talk about Gabriel. I am here to talk about Zecariah. Zecariah was an old priest in his time. He was well respected and, from what I can guess, pretty popular among the people since he was given the honor of lighting the incesne in the temple. While there, Gabriel appeared to him and told him that his long standing prayer of wanting to be a father would finally be acknowledged. Like many humans, Zecariah could not believe it, especially since he and his wife were so old, by present standards, I'm thinking they were 70+ years old. This is usually way too old for a woman to get pregnant. For his doubt, Zecariah was to be sentenced to be unable to talk until his son was born.

On Sunday, my pastor told us that he wasn't only silenced as a punishment. He was silenced because this news was so great that God wanted to keep it just between himself, Zecariah, and Zecariah's wife, Elizabeth. Even Elizabeth went into hiding when her pregnant belly started to show.

God has an amazing way of connecting things to our lives when we most need them. After hearing this point of view from my pastor, I thought about it. That's what God is doing in my life right now with my sponsorship of Xhuliano. As my readers may know, I sponsored another child against the wishes of my mother (I'm 22 years old, I don't technically have to listen to her), but still. I decided that I just wouldn't tell her. In this decision, God showed me that it can be like Elizabeth's pregnancy. The news of me sponsoring Xhuliano is so great that I need to tell many people. It's enough that God and I are on the same page on this decision that it doesn't matter if others approve or disapprove. I'm just going to let myself revel in my happiness for awhile. It probably won't be for nine months like Zecariah, but for awhile.

Sometimes waiting is an excellent thing.

Success (?) #4!

Yesterday, I posted two young men on my blog in hope of finding them some sponsors.

I checked on the website this morning and both boys are off the website. I have a sinking feeling that they may have been taken off the website because of their age.

But, a large part of me is choosing to believe that they have found wonderful sponsors to love them and write to them.

If you are one of the people who chose to sponsor one of these boys, I would love to hear from you. It's always wonderful to talk to other sponsors.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Touching Tuesday #4

I love Tuesdays! I love sharing children that need sponsors with you all.

In the last week I have learned about how children involved in World Vision only have until they turn 14 to find a sponsor. After age 14, they are dropped from the program and are out of chances of receiving a sponsor at all. They still get some benefit from living in the community, but most will probably be back to not being able to afford school and everything they need without a financial sponsor. I just can't handle my feelings about a 14 year old just being on their own in the world. Could you have survived on your own at age 14? I would have never made it.

I'm also not surprised that both of these young people are boys. People go for the sweet little girls first, then probably even to the teen girls next. Then the boys begin to get sponsored. What is it our 1st world logic where we decide that girls deserve to be released from poverty more than boys? God has given me a heart for the boys of the world and I would really love to see these young men get a sponsor this week. Can we do it blog world?!

*Edit* A friend mentioned that girls in these areas of the world are generally treated horribly, being forced to work instead of going to school, as well as being treated as if they are lower than the animals in the community. I do know the truths of girls in 3rd world countries, but I chose not to think about that when I was talking about how girls are sponsored first. It now makes complete sense about why that is the case. I apoligize to anybody that I offended through my comment. Sometimes I don't think before I speak...er...type.

They both turned 14 last month. I'm not sure how much longer they will be given a chance.


Name: Naveen
Age: 14
Birthday: November 5th
Location: India
* Look at the pain in his eyes. He knows that his time is limited. Wouldn't it be great to see some light in those eyes?



Name: Gregorio
Age: 14
Birthday: November 2nd
Location: Mexico
* Before you judge him based on the face he is giving the camera, think about this. He is 14 years old. Who knows how long he's been waiting for a sponsor. I'd give the camera a dirty look too. He's probbaly feeling pretty hopeless and masking it with attitude.


Please sponsor these boys! Spread the news about them to all of your friends! If you choose to sponsor one of them after seeing them on my blog, please leave me a comment. I would love to hear from you!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Praise

God is definitely on the move!

All of these sponsorship thoughts, prayers, and struggles have really been for nothing.

I really worried that I would not be able to sponsor another child. I have a preschool teachers' salary, rent, a car payment, student loan payments, and on occasion, I like to eat. Haha. I just didn't think I could do it.

But, like all of us thinking about sponsorship, we do it anyway and pray that God will take over and provide for us in any way he can.

In less than a day, God has answered that prayer for me. My dear friend Rosie told me that she would like co-sponsor him with me. She is able to put some money down every month to help offset the costs for me. I can't wait to share the precious life of Xhuliano with Rosie. She will get every update about him. Won't it be great to have so many people loving this little boy?

God just wanted me to take the leap of faith and He took care of the rest of it.




*Edit*

Another praise! It seems that our good friend Goodness, the young man I posted on Friday, has found a sponsor. What a wonderful day! God is so good. I'm just speechless.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

God Wins

My decision has come to an end.

My mom told me not to sponsor another child until January. God had other plans.

After a few weeks of thinking, God showed me how I am truly meant to sponsor this boy that I've been thinking of.

Today, I went to look up his picture again and he was nowhere to be found. I was instantly heartbroken. I regretted not sponsoring him in time and mourned the loss of a boy I had fallen in love with already.

Five minutes later, his picture was back. Somebody must have just come across his picture while searching for a child.

At that instant, I knew that my reaction to his picture being gone was a sign. I was meant to sponsor him and I may as well do it now.

So I did.

I've been attempting to fundraise lately to sponsor him. Today, my dad gave me $35 to cover the first month. I have two friends, Jeremy and Rosie who are sending me money in the mail this week. God is already providing for me and this adorable boy.

Without further ado, I would like to welcome 10 year old (11 next month) Xhuliano from Albania to my sponsor family! I hope we can be great friends!

I'm not sure how to tell my mom. I may just not tell her until January. What's two months? She can just think I started sponsoring him then.

Touching...Friday?

I know it's not Tuesday, but my heart has been tugged on by another child.

Recently, I heard that with World Vision, when a child turns 14 years old he/she ages of the program. They no longer receive services such as a free education and health care and the such. They still receive some services that are provided for the community, but that's it. To me, being out on your own at 14 sounds terrifying. I remember being 14. Being on my own to pay for school, doctor appointments, clothing, food, etc would have been horrible. I probably wouldn't have made it.

To a child waiting for a sponsor, this is even worse. Imagine how long this child has been waiting to be chosen to be sponsored. Always hoping that somebody will love them and give them a chance at a better future. These older children are probably dreading their 14th birthday so they don't have to be on their own. Won't somebody love these older children? There a TON of them on the website.

I want to share one of those children with you now...

Name: Goodness (How can you not fall in love with a name like that?!)
Location: Ghana
Age: 13
Birthday: September, 8th, 1998


Please choose this boy! He deserves love just as much as a younger child.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Help Me Help A Child

I've said it many times before. I want to sponsor another child. Right now, I don't have the money that I need to do so.

I am reaching out to anyone and everyone for help on this. Sponsorship costs $35 a month.

If you are willing to help me out with a donation, please comment and let me know. I will glady give my mailing address to anybody wishing to help make a difference in a child's life.

God Vs. The World

There is a battle waging in my heart. It's been going on for a few weeks now.

God is telling me (urging and pushing me) to sponsor another child. He's told me the location that I should sponsor from. He has even led me to the perfect child. I can't stop looking at this little boy's picture. He lives in Albania and my heart feels like it's going to explode whenever I see him. God has convinced me that he will provide for me if I should take on this sponsorship.

It sounds pefect, doesn't it? I should just sponsor him!

Well, my mom is on the other side of this battle. I love my mom more than I could ever express. I have always been a generally obedient daughter. If I did disobey my mother, it would take me less a week to feel guilty and let her know what I had done. This time, my mom doesn't want me to sponsor another child. She is not against it, by any means. She just wants me to wait.

My mom is a very logical person, something I have not been blessed with. I am very emotional. I see a child in need, I get an idea in my head, and I just can't let it go.

My mom has good advice. She wants to make sure that I am financially able to sponsor another child without worrying about being able to pay rent, buy food, and pay off my student loans. My first college loan payment will go through on January 15th. My told me that if that first loan payment, I feel confident that I can handle another sponsored child, then she won't try to stop me. She's my mother, obviously she just wants to know that I'm safe and secure and able to pay for the things I need.

Clearly, I don't completely disagree. What's the point of helping a child escape hunger and poverty if I'm going to just sacrifice myself having a place to live and food to eat? That's not going to help anybody. I would eventually end of dropping the sponsorship anyway and nobody wants that.

At what point do I go with what God is calling me to do and disobey my mother? At what point do I ignore God and do what my mother wants me to do? I don't want to hurt either of them. However, I know that both people have unconditional love and will not dislike me for making either choice.

I think I should just wait until January 15th. I should continue to pray and to cry over this decision for the next month and a half.

Any advice?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

It Feels Like My First Thanksgiving

This is not my first Thanksgiving.

In fact, I have celebrated 22 Thanksgivings in my life.

My first, let's say, 10 Thanksgivings meant that I got to go to my Aunt's house and play with a GIANT barbie doll house with my cousins. It meant that my uncle would give me piggyback rides. It meant that I got to sit at the kids table and be curious about what the grown-ups were talking about. It meant that I got to try to sneak dessert early while my parents weren't looking. It meant that after dinner, all the grownups would fall asleep or drink wine and my cousins and I would go play outside.

My next 6 Thanksgiving carried different meaning. They meant that I would either be traveling to Wisconsin with my dad to see my extended family or I would stay home with my mom and have a quiet day with only a few relatives. This was all depended on "who got that holiday this year." It meant that I would worry about when I was going to get to see my family in Wisconsin next. It made me worry that I was missing out on something important in the location that I wasn't in. It made me feel disconnected and unhappy that I couldn't see all of the people that I loved at the same time.

The 5 Thanksgivings after that carried an even different meaning. It meant that no matter what location I chose to go to for that year, we would talk about the same basic things. What did I want to to do with my life (As if there is only one thing I want to do), how was school, why I didn't have a boyfriend yet ("don't you want to be married?") what my friends and I have been up to. It meant that I got to have even deeper connections with my uncle, while we both talked about how we were going to school to become teachers and how hard it really is. It meant great food, football, and wine (kind of like it meant at the beginning.

If I've added correctly, that totals 21 years. That takes us up to this year, my 22nd Thanksgiving.

This year, for the first time ever, I feel nothing more than extreme thankfulness for all that I have. I think I've finally grasped the concept. I am thankful for thankful for the great family God has blessed me with, even if I don't talk to most of them often. I am thankful that I have a teaching job, I have my own home (with electricity, heat, water, food, and a warm bed), I have a car (even though car payments aren't fun), I have gotten a wonderful education, I am acheiving my dreams in life. I am eternally grateful that God has provided me with a way to meet all of my needs, as well as the needs of some children of this world. I am thankful for Abu-Bakarr, Meena, and Freily Mateo. Child sponsorship has changed my outlook on life.

I am Thankful.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fantastic Give Away!

I came across this wonderful blog, which I am now following, about Compassion Internationl. The author is having a give away of an amazing book.

You should check out her blog entry about it now. Give Away!

How awesome would it be to win this book?!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Success #3

I am praising God from the depths of my soul for a 3rd week in a row!

I posted a picture of a sweet boy this morning in the hopes of finding him a sponsor.

Just like last week, it has only been around five hours and when I came home from work on my break, I checked WV's sponsor a child page again for this kiddo. He is nowhere to be found!

I checked multiple times with multiple ways of searching and he is just not there.

I'm guessing that means he has found a sponsor! Praise God! I hope he found somebody to love him for many years to come.

Touching Tuesday #3

It's my favorite day of the week! The day where I prayerfully choose a child from World Vision's website that is awaiting a sponsor. I post his/her picture and some information about them so you are able to find them on the website. I do this in the hopes of finding a loving sponsor for as many children as possible.

This week, the child I want to talk about is...

Name: Ba
Age: 8
Birthday: September 22nd, 2003
Location: Niger



If you choose sponsor this beautiful boy, please love him and write him often. Your letters mean the world to your sponsored children and they await them with excitement as much as you do.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mondays are Hard Sometimes

For those of you who don't know, I'm a preschool teacher.

Mondays are hard.

I think Mondays are hard for any teacher. Your students have had two days at home. Two days where they have (most likely) ran around doing errands with their family, played wildly, and not gotten enough sleep.

I think as a preschool teacher, Mondays can get even more difficult. Older children can adapt more easily to the non-structure of home over the weekends and then changed over to the structure of school again. 3, 4, and 5 years olds cannot do this as well. My Monday mornings are usually chaotic and difficult, full of misbehavior and constant reminder of the rules we have in place to keep each other safe. The mornings are full of many owies, hurt feelings, and temper tantrums.

On the upside, the kiddos are usually so tired from the weekend and from being crazy all morning, that falling asleep at naptime is usually quick and painless and lasts the full two hours.

I came home on my break hoping for some mail from the children I sponsor but found an empty mailbox. It's been a week of no letters. I can't help but be disappointed.

Mondays are hard sometimes.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It's a God Thing

I've talked about this before in my blog, but I'm going to say it again. God is pulling on my heart to sponsor another child. I have a feeling that He wants me to do it now...like right now...today.

But, like I've also said before, I promised my mom that I would not sponsor another child until mid January, after I pay my first student loan payment, to make sure that I'll have enough money next each month. Legitimate promise, right?

I just got thrown another loop into the plan too. I work for a company that has many locations throughout the state of Illinois. One of the locations filed a grievance because all of the locations are not being paid the same salary. Some of us in smaller towns in Illinois are not making as much as the locations in places in bigger cities, which to me...makes sense, since the cost of living in a bigger city is much more expensive. However, the company has decided to create a career ladder to ensure that everybody with similar levels of education and experience are making the same thing. Since I have both a B.A in early childhood education AND a teaching license, unlike many people I work with, I think I'm going to be somewhere near the middle/top of this ladder. This could mean a significant raise.

Before I sound super greedy and money hungry, this is not the case. I have never been one to worry too much about money. I don't own a credit card. I don't debt from anything besides college loans, which I'm cofindent I will be able to pay off in my own time. I truly believe that God will provide for me. He is not going to let me be homeless or starving. I will not living an extremely comfortable or material life (do any preschool teachers live like that?) but I know that life is not supposed ot be comfortable.

If I do get a significant raise, I will be sponsoring at least one more child, depending on the money situation. If God wants to put more money into my life, I want to use it to help his children and to further his kingdom.

I have been praying about this decision for months and I have reached my decision. In January, if I am able to sponsor a child, I want to choose a little boy from Albania. Through a group I'm involved in on Facebook, I found a wonderful woman who has offered to help me find the perfect child for me.

Also, as if I needed even more tugging from God, it turns out that sponsors through WV are taking a trip to Albania in March. If I sponsor a child from there in January, they will be able to take some gifts, talk to, and take pictures of my newest sponsored child for me. Having only sponsored him for two months at that point, this little boy may have not even received a letter from me yet.

I feel like all the pieces are falling into place already. God has a way of getting things done.

I'm already in love with this little Albanian boy and I haven't even seen his picture yet.

Six Word Saturday

Today is the day where I choose to sum up my day in only six words, leaving me more time to spend doing other activities on my lovely Saturday.




"I went on a cold walk"

Friday, November 18, 2011

Freedom

Lately, I can't stop thinking, praying about, and looking at the blogs about child slavery that a fellow blog writer is posting about.

Today, she shared beautiful pictures of one of the boys who has been rescued from slavery in Ghana. He went from being a very scared, unsure, unhappy boy to a typical little boy, laughing and playing around like all little boys should get the right to do everywhere in the world.

All little children should have a smile like this on their face...



If you haven't gotten a chance to read this blog about the child slavery in Ghana, please do so. It'll change your heart forever. Compassion Can Blog

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Unspeakable

No matter how much we want to deny it, the unspeakable is happening in our world. Children are being exploited to be many things: Soldiers in a war that isn't theirs, Sex toys for men they have never met, and slaves for harsh and cruel masters, being forced to work countless hours in the hot sun for no pay and mistreatment.

Someone I know of went and saw a horrible example of child slavery in Ghana. Please take some time to read her blog post about it. Face to Face With Slavery . I can't explain it as well as she does. I can't imagine seeing these things up close and personal. The photos alone break my heart.


This boy feels nothing but sadness and fear every day of his life




What can we do to change this world? 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I'm Just...In Awe

God continues to amaze me everyday. I am seeing more and more each day how much he truly loves not only me, but how much he loves all the little children of the world. (The song was right!)

The kiddo, Francisco, that I posted about in my last blog entry, just six hours ago, has been sponsored. I don't know if me posting him was actually the reason he got sponsored, but me having posted that picture only earlier today seems too much of a coiencidence for someone to not have seen the blog post that I posted on World Vision's page.

God is really super great at connecting two people, like a needy child and a loving sponsor, together, isn't he? I am happy to be doing God's work.

It's as easy as posting a picture on a blog.

God, use me in any way you need.

Touching Tuesday

It's Tuesday again! This is the day I look most forward to (that at Mail Call Monday) on my blog. This is the day that I choose a child from the World Vision website that has caught my eye and post him/her on my blog, in the hopes of finding them a loving sponsor.

This week, I was browing the pictures and I came across this little boy from Nicaragua. He is half smiling, but his eyes look so sad. He deserves to have a loving sponsor and to have some happiness in those eyes of his.

Here's his picture and information...


Name: Francisco
Age: 7
Birthday: September 23rd, 2004
Location: Nicaragua

I would absolutely love it if he could find a sponsor!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mail Call Monday!

This is my first official Mail Call Monday. I am beyond excited to be writing one of these, and I hope that I get to write one every Monday from now on.

Just today, I got my very first letter from my correspondence child, Meena from India. It was the intro letter, but it means just means so much to me.






Name: Meena
Mother's Name: Jamuna
Father's Name: Ramakrishna
Brother's Name: Prasanth
Favorite Color: Red (we have the same favorite color!)
Favorite Game: Chess
Favorite Food: Chicken Biryani
Best Friend: Sharmila Devi
My House is Made Of : Bricks


Respected Kayla,

Loving greetings to you from your loving Meena. I am much pleased to meet you through this letter. Firstly, I extend my heartiest thanks for selecting me to sponsor. Now I am studying in 11th grade. My date of birth is 7-16-95. I desire to be an archeoloigst (!!!). Though I belong to Hindu religion, I learnt the love of Christ after I enrolled in Compassion. Since my father earns meager income, I was enrolled in Compassion. My younger brother is in 8th grade. Pray for our studies. We desire to know more about you, how to address you, etc. Please do reply once again. We all convey our heartiest thanks for selecting me to sponsor.

Yours Lovingly,
Meena




I feel like my heart is going to explode today. I am just so happy.

This truly is the best part about child sponsorship.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

No Children?

On Tuesday, I emailed Compassion, asking them for my third and final correspondent child.

Today, I got an email from Compassion telling me this message: "We are happy that you enjoy writing to Meena and Freily. However, at this time there are no children available to correspond with. Please try again in a few months."

Crazy!

I'm stuck between two emotions.

Disappointment (selfishness) that I don't get another child to write to and bond with and make a difference for.

Happiness that there are no children, currently sponsored, that don't have people writing to them. There are serious super sponsors out there! It's hard, and wonderful, to imagine that all of the children sponsored through Compassion are being written to.

It just gives me this overwhelming feeling of the world being connected in so many ways.

Child sponsorship amazes me everyday.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

God Is On The Move

God has spoken to me in a fantastic way!

In the last 24 hours I have experienced so many emotions. I felt love as I came across Kabiru's picture on World Vision's website. I felt grief (paired with many tears) when I remembered that I was not able to afford to sponsor him. I felt greed when I let my thoughts take over that if I couldn't sponsor him then I didn't want anybody else to. I felt shame for feelings like this. This little boy deserves happiness and love and to have his basic needs met.

Then I prayed and prayed and prayed. I prayed that God would take away my selfishness, and change my heart to that of love and helpfullness. This praying led me to posting Kabiru's picture on facebook's World Vision page and on my blog.

This afternoon, I came home from work and saw that a lovely angel named Jessica on the World Vision page told me that she had chosen to sponsor him. I went on World Vision's website to double check and little Kabiru is indeed gone from the site. He has been sponsored!

All of the feelings that I have been experiencing turned into a giant tidal wave of JOY! I, fueled by God, actually found a sponsor for a child! I feel like a brand new person.

I wish I could put it into words better.

Praise God! (That about sums it up)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Touching Tuesday

I've decided to start a new thing, which I'm going to call Touching Tuesday.

Here's what that means. Basically, I can't keep myself away from looking at the pictures of kids that need sponsors on the World Vision website. I fall in love with children every week. There is always a child that touches my heart. I've decided that instead of me just falling in love with these children and then leaving the website, I will choose a child every Tuesday and put them on my blog, in hopes that I will find a sponsor for them.

The child this week is...


Name: Kabiru
Age: 6
Location: Ghana
Birthdate: March 14th, 2005



Here's the thing about this kiddo, I have absolutely fallen in love with him. I'm selfishly to the point that I don't want anybody else to sponsor him, I want him for my own. I can't get past the beauty of his smile and God that I see in his eyes.


But, here's another thing. I have college loan payments beginning in January, I'm paying off a bass clarinet, I'm paying off a car, blah blah blah, money money money. The real reason is that my mom is worried about me having enough money. She made me promise her that I would not sponsor another child until after my first loan payment in January, that way I can truly see how my budget is going to work out.

I felt like it was a legitmate promise.

So, as much as I wish this child would not get a sponsor until I can sponsor him, I can't be that selfish. I want him to find a loving sponsor as soon as possible so he can feel as much love in his life as I currently feel in my heart for him. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Six Word Saturday

I'm copying this from Elephant Grace's blog. The point is to sum up your Saturday in only six words. I love a challenge like this! I'm hoping I'll be able to keep it up every week.



So, without further ado, my six words are...




Shipping, Shopping, and a Musical Performance

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Freily Mateo!

Today, I logged onto my Compassion International account and I saw that I had been assigned another correspondence child! My heart nearly leaped out of my chest when I saw him, I was so excited. Without further ado, here he is!



About Freily

Birthdate: 2/17/2002
Age: 9
U.S School Grade Equivlalent: 3
School Performance: Average
Family Duties: Running Errands, Cleaning, Carries Water
Hobbies and Sports: Group Games, Cars, Ball Games
Guardians: Mother and Stepfather (Parents are divorced, but birth father is still supporting the family)
Guardian Employment: Stepfather is a baker & mother is unemployed

About Child Development Center

Name: Divino Maestro Student Center
Opened: 10/28/1997
Last Update Date: 3/27/2002
School Year Begins: September

Your child lives on the plains of San Felipe, Villa Mella, home to about 10,000 people. Typical houses are constructed of cement floors, wood walls, and corrugated tin roofs. The most commonly language spoken is Spanish.

The regional diet consists of chicken, bread, plantains, and rice. Common health problems in this area include parasites and dental decay. Most adults are unemployed but some work as day laborers and earn the equivilant of $117 a month. This community needs law enforcement, potable water, and drug and alcohol abuse rehabiliation programs.

Community

Warmest Month: August
Average warmest temperature: 93 degrees F
Coldest Month: January
Average coldest temperature: 66 degrees F
Climate: Humid
Terrain: Plains/Flat Land
Planting Months: March/April
Rainy Months: May/June
Harvest Months: September/October
Illness Months: January/June/December



It's amazing how I can see a picture of a child for less than a minute and already be completely in love with him. I love being a child sponsor!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mondays

I'm waiting for the day that I sponsor enough children to be able to have Mail Call Monday posts.

At this point in my sponsorship journey, I'm just hoping to get mail every month.

I selfishly want more letters.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Gift Giving

I have been challenged to write a blog about giving extra gifts to the sponsored children of the world.

Honestly, I have been ignoring this challenge, because I know next to nothing about giving extra gifts through the both the World Vision and Compassion International websites. I understand how to give an extra gift straight to the child I sponsor's family, but that's about it.

But then, as I was exploring other blogs, I found this little chart to help me find out how much money I should give this season. Here we go...

Reasons to give Amounts are in U.S. dollars and cents
$11. You are blessed if you own a Bible. One-third of the world does not even have access to one. Give $1 for each Bible in your home.
$22. Almost half the world’s population — three billion people — live on less than $2 a day. Are you by God’s grace part of the other half? If so, give your $2 with a thankful heart.
3. The first Sunday in December is compassionate ministries Sunday. Pray for the work and staff of Nazarene Compassionate Ministries.
$0.254. If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead, and a comfortable place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of the world. Give 25¢ for every bed in your home.
$15. Over 30% of the world’s population, two billion people, cannot read. Give $1 for the blessing of reading.
$16. As of the year 2000, nine million children in Africa had been orphaned because of AIDS. Give 50¢ for each of your parents who are still alive.
$57. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish some place, you are among the top eight percent of the world’s wealthy. Give your spare change so others can live.
$18. Jesus said “I am the light.” Give 5¢ for every lightbulb in your home.
$19. 24,000 people die every day from hunger-related causes. Give $1 if you ate today.
$1.5010. Recently, hundreds of thousands of people lost their homes in the floods in Mozambique. Give 10¢ for every year you have safely lived in your home.
$0.5011. Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Almost 75% of the population of Haiti has no access to safe water. Give 25¢ for each faucet in your home. [ e-book on Haiti ]
$112. More than 418 million people have died of hunger and poor sanitation in the past 50 years. This is nearly three times the number of people who have died in all the wars of the past 100 years. Give $1 for the gift of life.
13. Pray for Nazarene Compassionate Ministry regional and field personnel around our world.
$0.2514. Imagine what it would be life if there were no facilities in your home. Give 25¢ for every bathroom in your home.
$115. One-third of the developing world’s population lives on less than $1 per day. Give $1 if you have a job.
$1.5016. 130 million children alive today will not receive an elementary education. Give 25¢ for each high school graduate and 50¢ for each college graduate in your family.
$117. Did you attend church this week without threat of persecution, torture, or death? Thank God, and give $1 so that others might have the same privilege.
18. Pray that God will help His people to develop compassion as a lifestyle.
$119. Recently, over 50,000 people lost everything in mud slides in Venezuela. Give $1 if you have never had to experience losing everything you own.
$0.5020. For many in the developing world, walking is their only form of transportation. Give 10¢ for each person coming to visit this Christmas season.
$1.0021. Throughout Asia, an estimated 525 million undernourished people struggle to meet basic daily nutritional needs. Give 50¢ for every trip you’ve made to the grocery store this past week.
$0.5022. For some people in Russia it takes six months to save enough money for a coat. Give 25¢ for every coat in your house.
$123. Most people in the developing world have to work every day just to survive. Give 50¢ for every day you have off from work for this holiday season.
$324. Give 10¢ for every gift under the tree, and 25¢ if it has your name on it. (estimating here)
25. We each have so many blessings. Praise God with a thankful heart for the best gift of all, His Son.
$126. 880 million people lack access to adequate health care services. Give 25¢ for each container of medicine in your medicine cabinet.
$0.5027. Every day in the developing world 30, 500 children die from preventable diseases. Give 25¢ for every healthy child in your family. (I don’t have children but, praise God, both of my Compassion Children are healthy, so I’m donating on their behalf)
$0.2028. Warm, soft carpets are so nice on a winter day! Many have only a dirt floor. Give 10¢ for each carpeted room in your home.
$0.5029. In Honduras, a country of six million, less than 3% of the people have their own telephone. Give 50¢ for each phone in your home.
$1.5030. Many people must go barefoot. Give 10¢ for every pair of shoes you own.
31. Pray that God will reveal to you how you can show compassion to your friends, neighbors, and world in the coming year.




Total: $29.70

God Vs. Money

I really want to sponsor another child. It's a thought that pops into my head several times a day.

During the summer, my plan was to move out on my own, and financially sponsor another child. Then, on August 1st, I was in a car accident and totaled my car. Not buying another car was not an option. I bought a used car that week. So, in the span of one week, I went from having a fully paid off car with less than 50,000 miles, and a brand new $400 power window replacement, to a pile of broken metal and glass and a monthly car payment.

I cried for several days. My thought out plan was ruined. I thought I had it all figured out. I planned out a budget for living on my own and one mistake shattered the whole thing.

So is life, huh?

God, however, did have it all figured it out. Right now, I am not able to sponsor another child financially. College loans payments are starting in just two short months and money will be tight. I know God will provide me and that I never have to worry about money. It's just one of those things that I, as a 22 year old woman who is trying to figure out how to survive in the adult world, am going to worry about.

But then, God showed me a new thing. He led me to the Child Sponsorship Communication page on Facebook. There, I feel like I have (FINALLY) found a group of women who think about the world in the exact same way that I do. I feel like accepted there like I haven't felt anywhere else when it comes to child sponsorship. Through this group, I have learned of the correspondence sponsorship program through Compassion International. Through this program, I will be able to sponsor three more children in a way that doesn't involve a monthly payment from me.

I'm just in constant awe of what God has planned for my life. God is bigger than money problems anyday.