Monday, October 31, 2011


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.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I've Got the Bug

I have officially caught the sponsorship bug. Between three facebook groups (Child Sponsorship Communication, WorldVision USA, and Compassion International) that I check daily and talk to some wonderful people, I have become addicted to child sponsorship.

I've heard countless stories of how sponsorship has changed lives, both in the lives of the sponsored children and in the families that sponsor these children. I have heard of countless, super cute, ideas of things to send to these children, whether small toys, clothing, shoes, etc through World Vision, or a whole bunch of amazing paper only ideas to send through Compassion.

After only having had my first correspondence child for one week, I emailed Compassion and asked them for more correspondence children. I want them to assign me as many children as possible, which I think is only three per person, but still. I can't wait to see where God is taking me through correspondence sponsorship.

A New Leaf

I have decided to take my separate child blogs and combine them into one. I'm hoping to add even more children to my sponsorship family and it just seems silly to have so many separate blogs.

I have recently added a new child to my sponsorship family. Compassion International has a correspondence sponosrship program. What this means is, there are many children out there who have financial sponsorships, but these sponsors have never written to their sponsored children. Because writing and receiving letters is such an important part of sponsorship as it makes the children realize that they do matter and that they are loved by someone so far away from them, they assign these children to people like me. My job is then to write to this child and get to know her. I'm planning on writing to her just like my other child, twice a month.

I received her info packet last week and I just want to post the details that I found there, for those that are interested...

Get to Know Meena
Meena is 16 years old. Her birthday is July 16th. Meena lives with her mother and her father. She is responsible for gathering firewood, buying or selling in the market, cleaning the house, and gardening. Her father is sometimes employed as a van driver and her mother is sometimes employed as a tailor.

Singing, art, playing ball, and running are amongst Meena's favorite activities. She attends school daily and is in 10th grade (U.S equivilent.) Her school performance is average.She also regularly attends church activities, bible class, and vacation bible school.

About Her Program Center

Center Name: Avadi Child Development Center
Location: West of Chennai

Her Local Church
Compassion has partnered with the local church in Meena's community to carry out our holistic development program. The pastor, staff, and volunteers are able to provide a safe haven for her and the other children attending the center. The church is a cornerstone in the community and understands the needs these children face on a daily basis.

About Her Community

Meena lives on the plains of Avadi, home to approximately 33,200 residents. Typical houses are constructed of dirt floor, brick walls, and thatched roofs. The primary ethnic group is Dravidians and the most commonly spoken language is Tamil.

The regional diet consists of bananas, vegetables, and rice. Common health problems in this area include malaria, typhoid, amoebic diseases, tuberculosis, dysentery, and diabetes. Most adults in Avadi work as day laborers and earn the equivilent of $80 per month. This community has electricity but needs clean drinking water, proper sanitation, and English language courses.

Sponsorship allows the staff of Avadi Child Development Center to provide Meena with bible teaching, medical checkups, hygiene education, water purifying kits, talent competitions, career guidance, embroidery classes, school bags, and English course. The center staff will also provide meetings, family fellowship, and health checkups for the parents of Meena.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Proudly Waving It

I received a letter today from Abu! It was regarding a letter and a package that I sent him in July. It's only been four months and I've both sent and received a letter. That's a faster turn around rate than usual. Letter day is always exciting! Here's what the letter said.

Dear Kayla,

Abu received your letter and appreciates you so much. In the parcel was a toy sample of the U.S.A flag, stickers, and a letter. He is proud of the flag because he is the only one who has it in his community. He shows it to anyone he comes across, proudly waving it. He says schools are still closed because of the heavy rains so right now, Abu is not in school. His friends join him to play with toys and the harmonica you sent him. Once more, Abu says thank you and your family and he prays that God continues to bless you and make provisions for you.

Love, Abu

I love that I can picture a young kiddo sitting around in a group with some friends playing a harmonica while they stay home from school. I also love trying to picture him running around showing off his U.S.A flag to all of the people he walks by. Makes me smile.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Christmas Gift

On Monday, I will be headed to the post office to send Abu-Bakarr his Christmas gift.

I bought him a traditional black and white soccer ball. I also sent him an air pump so he can continue to use the ball for a long time.

I'm also going to send him a pair of tennis shoes and a long sleeved polo type shirt. I'm a little worried because I can't help thinking both the shoes and the shirt are going to be big on him. I haven't gotten a height/weight update from him since August 2010. I'm assuming that he's grown some since then but there is no way to know how much he's grown.

I'd rather the shoes and shirt be too big than too small. Either way, I told him in the letter that if they don't fit him, to give them to somebody they will fit. Then he can tell me his sizes and I can resend him shoes and some clothing.

I want to give the world to this little boy.

In other news, I signed up with Compassion International's correspondence sponsor program. Basically, in just a few short days, I will receive the information of a child that is already being sponsored in their program. However, the sponsors this child does have, does not write letters or send small gifts to them at all. It'll be my job to get to know this child, learn about them, make them feel loved. It won't cost much money to me, but I know it'll change my life. I can't wait to create a new blog for this new child.