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

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.


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.


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 right

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


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


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,

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."


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.


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!