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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Please Sponsor Panyin Oko!

I am always looking at the Compassion website at the children waiting for sponsors. I usually choose children that have captured my heart and I post them on my blog each Thursday to find them a sponsor.

This week, I just cannot wait. I went on the website today and was shocked at what I saw.

There is a little 4 year old boy in Ghana named Panyin and/or Oko. He is a beautiful brown skinned boy.

He has bright orange hair.

In people with dark skin, the hair starts to get an orange tinge if they are malnurished. In Oko's case, all of his hair is completely orange. That means that right now he is so malnurished that his body can't even keep his hair it's natural color. Without a sponsor to help him, he probably won't live many more years at this rate.

Please find it in your heart to sponsor this little boy. I just want to see him get some food in his stomach.


Panyin Oko has found a sponsor! If fact, he had three people "fighting" for him. God is so good! That's four children I've listed on my blog that have found sponsors in the last week!

18 Months

Tomorrow, February 1st, will make the 18 month point since my dear Kalpesh last had his picture and information updated.

I know that new pictures usually come somwhere between 18-24 months.

The wait begins.

I can't wait to see what the most adorable boy in my sponsorship family looks like at age 10.

I have a feeling I will be checking my Compassion account every day.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mail Call!



This weekend, I received my very first letter from my correspondence child Eric. He's 16 and he's from Uganda. I love learning new things about my kiddos in their intro letters.

Family Members: Lydia is his mother and Moses is his 6 year old brother.

Best Friend: Martin

Favorite School Subject: English

Favorite Food: Irish Potatoes

Favorite Color: Black

Favorite Game: Football (Soccer)

Favorite Bible Story: The parable of the ten virgins

Favorite Song: Praise be to God

If he could visit anywhere in the world he would come to America to "see what is there".


I got two messages, one written by Eric and one from a volunteer. Even though Eric is 16, he is only in Grade 4.

Eric's message was a mess of sentences with words that were simply mixed up letters and every once in a while I would recognize a word. The words I understood were: "School, You, My, Hen, Dog, Water, Name." My theory is that he was wanting to show me that he is learning English. I am going to encourage him to keep working!

Message:

Dear Kayla ,


Greetings from your sponsored son Eric in the name of our Lord and commander Jesus. He says his family to send their greetings. Eric and his family are grateful to God for having you to choose him as your sponsored child, he says. Eric says he is currently in primary school four and he was 47th out of 94 in his class. He says he wishes you a happy new year. God bless you.


All from your friend,
Eric.


What a sweetheart. I'm going to write him a response letter right now. I can't wait to get to know this young man.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Touching Thursday

This week, God has really put the Bolivian children on my heart. Almost all of the these children having been waiting more than six months for a sponsor. This whole country must be feeling pretty hopeless. Compassion came in and these people thought things would be looking up. Now, these children are being forced to wait and wait for sponsors. Please find it in your heart to sponsor one of these three beautiful children.

Pamela has been sponsored!! God is so good!

William is sponsored! The last of the three to find a sponsor!


Roger has found a sponsor!!! Praise God!



God is so good, isn't he?! All three of these children found sponsors in less than a week. The way God moves just blows my mind. God is reaching Bolivia. 
 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Looking for a Sponsor

My friend over at Hopeful Hez is looking for a sponsor for a wonderfully beautiful teenage girl. Her name is Irah and she's from the Phillipines. Here she is:



If you are interested in sponsoring her, go to this blog and comment that you are interested. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Safe Space

There is a new cause out there that I am holding close to my heart. It's been put into place to help LGBT teens have a place to go when they are being bullied or they need to talk.

Too many children out there that are struggling with their sexuality feel that nobody understands them. They feel like they can't talk to anyone, that nobody loves them, and many (many!) of them are bullied and beat up just because of who they are. Lately, there are been so many suicides of these young children because of feelings that should never have existed in the first place.

I truly believe that God loves everyone, regardless of sexuality, and everyone deserves to feel loved in this world.

For only $20 you can send a Safe Space Kit to a junior high or high school. This safe space is put in a school office and it gives a child a place to go if they are feeling hopeless, bullied, or left out. It gives a child a place to go when they need to talk.

On this website, you can type in your zip code and find the schools around you that do not yet have a safe space and you can donate one for $20.

If you are interested, please click here and check it out.

Let's end the useless bullying, violence, depression, and suicide.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lesson Learned the Hard Way

In August, I moved out on my own. I jumped onto the bandwagon of finding the typical services: cable, internet, electricity, you know the deal.

Well, for internet, I found this cool thing called an internet hotspot. Basically, it allows me to get internet anywhere in the country by finding a wireless signal. It's pretty cool. And for $35 a month, who can turn that down?

I forgot to read the fine print. It is $35 a month, as long as you stay below the excepted amount of use. I have not been able to do that even one month since then. My typical bill a month as been around $100. RIDICULOUS.

This month, I started paying off my college loans and I realized that I can no longer afford to pay that super high bill every month. Today, I decided to get internet from Comcast, the same people my cable comes from. It will be significantly cheaper each month, and the internet will be unlimited.

However, for my hotspot, I had to break contract and pay a fee to do so. Turns out though, the cost of breaking the contract is about the same as I would pay for a month or two of using their internet. So, it's going to be expensive this month, but afterwards, I will begin to spend a lot less money a month. Amazing.

I have now learned to read the fine print.

Lesson Learned. The Hard Way.

Six Word Saturday


"Waiting on the Mailman to Arrive"

Friday, January 20, 2012

Touching...Friday?

I totally forgot to post this yesterday, but I have three more children to show you this week. Every week I choose three children that have been touching my heart and pulling on my heartstrings to help them find sponsors.

Last week I posted three children. It seems that the oldest child Vija that I posted as found a sponsor! Somebody out there has a heart for older boys. Love it!

This week, I'm posting the same two young ones that I posted last week. Will anyone sponsor them?


Constance is 6 years old. She is from Ghana. She has a horribly distended belly and could really use some good nutrition. Also, she is visually impaired. If you are interested in sponsoring her, please click here.

Next, there is handsome Kavin. He is 7 years olds and lives in India. Seriously, he is just too cute. If you want to sponsor him, you may do so here.


Lastly, I want to share Giovani with you. He is 6 years old and he is from Bolivia. He has been waiting over 6 months for a sponsor. He just looks so sad. So many of the Bolivian children (almost all of them) have been waiting for over 6 months for a sponsor. Will you please sponsor little Giovani? If so, click here.


Thos are my picks for the week. God keeps leading me to these children. If you're feeling like God is leading you to one, I would be happy to pray for you and your new sponsorship. 
 
 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Excitement > Jealousy

God is certainly improving my patience.

You know how I can tell?

I am part of an amazing group of women on facebook where all we do all day, everyday is talk about sponsoring children. We all know each other's children by names and where they are from, we pray for each other's children when needed, we share letter writing ideas, we share letter writing materials when we have extras, we encourage each other, and we talk about letters that we receive from our children.

Today, two women posted that they had amazing letter days. One woman received five letters today and another received two first letters.

Instead of being jealous of them and brooding in the fact that I didn't get any letters and haven't gotten any for a long time, I am absolutely thrilled for them. I'm sharing in their excitement and let me tell you, it feels so much better than being jealous.

I am excited to share in the joy and letters.

God is good. All the time. All the time. God is good.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Snow Letters



I know a lot of people don't like generic letters for their sponsored children. I, though, love picking and going along with themes. Especially since I only know information about one of my sponsored children, as the other four are new sponsorships. I think letters like this mean just as much as any other letter, especially better than me sending a letter that says the same thing every month. 

I do speak differently to each of my children and I throw in things that apply only to them to personalize each letter in some way. 

This time, I did a snow/snowflake themed letter. Here is what each set looked like. Each child received this. 


Each child got a letter from me. In the letter I talked about the snow that we've gotten and how much we have. I talked mostly about snowflakes. I told them about how each snowflake is different and unique than all of the other snowflakes. I talked about how God created each snowflake different, just like people. I told each child that they are unique to God and they each have a plan from God that only they can carry out. 

Each child also got three pictures of the snow we got a few weeks ago, snowflake stickers, a snowflake maze, and a card that I made that says "You are unique like a beautiful snowflake" on the inside. 

I hope all of the kids enjoy getting these cards in the mail. (Once I actually go to the post office and mail them)

Measuring Up

My goal for this year is to learn patience. I'm not expecting to become the most patient person in the world, I'm just hoping for God to teach me how to rely solely on him and his plan.

Sometimes, I sit around and start to think about where I am in life and where others my age are. I know that it's not a good thing to compare myself to others and God has a separte plan for everyone. But, sometimes it's just hard not to.

I look at people in my age bracket and see people that are dating a steady partner, are engaged, are planning weddings, are already married, and some even have babies.

Then there is me. I have never had a boyfriend, at all. This is all something that I really want. I do want to get married and have children. I know that it's a long process and I'm almost 23 years old and haven't even started the process yet.

I know that I don't measure up to the expectations of my family. My grandma tells me that she would like great grandchildren. My mom keeps saying things like "Soon, when I have grandchildren in the house" or "I hope by then you're married." I don't even think of these things as a big deal until somebody else brings it up that I'm "not even dating".

I can't help but feel like I'm falling farther and farther behind in what is supposed to be a natural progression of life. People become adults, meet someone, get married, and have babies. That's just the way it's supposed to be.

I know that if it's meant to happen, then God will make it happen. I also know from the bible that if it is something I desire in my heart, then God will make it happen. (Psalm 37:4). I know that I just need to keep praying and to wait on the Lord and follow his plan for my life.

I heard this song on the radio today: Forgiven by Sanctus Real. It's mostly about being forgiven by God for everything. But there was one line that really reached me and I've been singing it all day.

"When I don't measure up to much in this life, I am a treasure in the arms of Christ."


I am a treasure that God will pair up with a wonderful man when the time is right.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Touching Thursday

I'm switching up my themes a little bit. I used to post World Vision children on Tuesdays in the hopes of finding them sponsors. As much as I enjoyed doing that, I stopped because there was no sure way of finding out whether or not they had actually found sponsors or if they had just been taken off the website temporarily for some reason.

For that, I am changing to posting Compassion Kids that God leads me to. I will be able to see if they are sponsored by clicking on the links I post. If it doesn't go to that child's page, that means they were sponsored.

This week, God lead me to three children that I would love to find sponsors for. Here they are...


Constance is an adorable 6 year old girl from Ghana. She especially needs a loving sponsor because she is visually impaired. I always love to hear children with special needs finding a loving sponsor so they can get the medical help they need. Click here to sponsor her.



After being assigned two correspondence children from India, I have fallen in love with the country. And from talking to someone from Compassion, India has the highest number of children needing sponsors, more than any other country. Handsome Kavin is a 7 year old boy. If you want to sponsor Kavin, please click here.


Last but not least is Vijayakumar. Vija is 18 years old. He has most likely had at least one sponsor before in his life. His information says that he lives part of the year in his child development center away from his mother and siblings. Is there somebody out there with a heart for older boys? If so, click here to sponsor Vija.


As time goes on, I will keep you posted on the progress of these three children. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Old Pictures!!!!

I went on my email today and immediately starting squealing, jumping up and down, and feeling as if my heart was going to leap out of my chest. Compassion sent me past photos for each of my thee correspondence children. I am beyond excited! Here they are:


                                                                         Kalpesh Age 6

                                                                      Kalpesh Age 8


                                                                     Meena Age 14


                                                                       Meena Age 16

Eric Age 14

Eric Age 16



I'm absolutely amazed about how much children mature between the ages of 14 and 16. And seriously, how cute is Kalpesh. I'm so glad that he has been able to gain some weight and some shoes through child sponsorship.


I'm just in love. 


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

See Your Impact: January 2012

For my See Your Impact donation this month, I chose to spend my money to donate a book to a library in Guatamala. Through my donation, the lovely Amanda was able to go to her new library and get a book to read.



Dear Kayla,
Amanda lives in a small village that has recently opened a small community library.  She loves to read, and this book you sent, Miren quienes est├ín leyendo, is very precious to her since it teaches how to love and respect parents.  Thank you so much, Kayla, for enriching this library in rural Guatemala.


When I see these emails and the beautiful picture that comes along with them, I don't miss the money I spent at all.

If you would like to choose a cause and see proof of where your gift is going, go to their website at See Your Impact  and choose a gift of your own. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

If You Think You Have It All Figured Out...You Don't

Those words were said by my pastor during the sermon today. Of all the words said in my pastor's sermon today, these stuck with me more than anything else.

Today was my pastor's last day in our church. After 4 1/2 years of service at our church, he has answered a call to be the Director of Theology and Worship for the Presbyterian USA Headquarters. That is quite a title and it is sure to be a fantastic adventure for him.  As I am sad that such a great, helpful, faithful, prayful, youthful, excited, believing, man is leaving our church, I am very excited to see what he can do for the denomination and for the body of Christian believers in our country.

He these words when he was talking about answering his new call. He talked about how he thought his life's purpose was to be the pastor at Second Presbyterian Church in the downtown area of this city in Illinois. But, like always, God has other, better plans for us. As much as we try to resist these calls (if we do) God always wins. His plans for us are much better than whatever life we are currently living.

If you think you have it all figured out...you don't.

If you think you finally have your budget sorted out for the new year, God will put it on your heart to sponsor another child, or he'll lead you to change careers, or he'll raise your rent.

If you think your family is perfect the way it is, God will bless you with a pregnancy, or he will take a loved one back to heaven, or he will put it on your heart to adopt.

If you think you are exactly where you should be in life, God will call you to do something else, to move away from your church family, away from everything that is comfortable, and give you a new purpose in life.

Everything that God does is for a greater purpose. A purpose that will further his kingdom. A purpose that only you can do.

While I am a little nervous about the new life my church is entering into, the challenge of being pastorless while many committees work on praying, reading resumes, interviewing, and trusting God in order to find a new pastor, this process is estimated to take more than six months, I am excited to see what God has in store.

You don't have it all figured out. You won't ever have it all figured out. And until we get to spend eternity in heaven, we will have to be satisfied with not knowing everything. Even when it's hard.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Correspondence Kit Giveaway!

Check out this amazing chance to win a correspondence kit from Compassion Family. Simply go here to enter into the contest.

If you win you'll get amazing paper and other goodies to send to your sponsored children. Because I can only send paper products to my Compassion kids, I'm always looking for new and interesting things to send them. I bet you are too.

Don't pass up this great opportunity to win!

Six Word Saturday



Today is the day that I sum up my Saturday in only six words. Here we go:


I'm Missing My Friend In Nicaragua

My best friend Kristin joined the Peace Corps in August and has been in Nicaragua for awhile. Today I am really missing her. I wrote her a letter that I'm going to mail on Monday. It's going to be a long 20 more months until she comes home.  

Friday, January 6, 2012

I've Always Been a Worrywort

To fill in some new followers, I've been waiting for this month to happen. This is the month that I thought I would be getting a raise. My job started a new career ladder so teachers can rise through the ranks as their experience, education, and committment improve.

I thought, mistakingly, that I would be getting that raise this month. It turns out that the career ladder process is starting this month and I won't be getting a raise until June.

Student loan payments start in about a week.

I just took on another sponsorship committment.

I'm worried about paying my bills and buying food.

I'm praying with hope and believing that God knows what he is doing and that he will provide.

I'm still scared.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Big Thank You

I don't have anything to give to you, but I wanted to say thank you to you all.

In the last month or two I have gained 11 followers to this blog. I'm also averaging about 40 page views a day. A DAY! That is so exciting to me. Sometimes I'm amazed that people are interested in what I have to say.

Thank you so much to every single one of you for making me feel so loved.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Patience Failure...Already

I knew going into this "one word for the new year" thing that it wasn't going to be easy.

When God gave me the word Patience to work on for this year, I knew that this journey was going to be extremely difficult. In my mind, it was going to be impossible. But, I knew that I wanted to try as hard as I could to measure up to what God wanted me to do.

Yesterday, I needed to call Compassion about something about one of my correspondence kids. When I was done talking...I just couldn't help it...I asked them if I had any letters coming my way. They told me no.

It's like God took a book to my head. WHAM! God asked me to be patient and I couldn't do it. Now I am accepting the consequences of knowing that I don't even have mail on the horizon.

I guess that's one way to get me to be patient. It's pretty effective, I think.

Day 4 of the new year...I am starting over. I will learn patience.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Future Letters

For those of you who don't me well...which I suppose is everyone who reads this blog, I am an avid lis maker. I love to plan ahead and to make large lists while doing so. Tonight, while sitting on my couch trying to find something to do, I came up with a bunch of ideas of letters to write to my sponsored children. I took into account leaving enough time for holidays and other celebrations. I took all of these ideas and put them in a list. I decided to post this list on my blog for two reasons. 1. To help me remember these ideas and 2. To give others out there in the child sponsorship blogosphere ideas of things to write to their sponsored children.

Ready for this?! (I also included dates for myself so I know when to have them sent by)

January 13th: I took some fun pictures of the first snow we got here in Illinois. I printed out multiple copies of them. I'm going to send these pictures, some snowflake stickers, a message about how each snowflake it differnet and unique just like my them.

February 3rd: Easter letters. This year, Easter is on April 8th. I like to send big letters like this three months in advance. I'd rather the kids get them early then late. I'm planning to send stickers that have both the religious meaning and the easter bunny/candy meaning to them. I think every kid deserves to know both of the fun celebrations. I'll write a letter explaining these.

February 17th: I recently went on a trip to Chicago. I took many fun pictures of the skyline, the bean, and pictures of Lego Land, Abu loves legos and I think showing him pictures a giant sculptures made out of legos will make his day.

Also on this day, I will send out a special letter and activities for Kalpesh's 10th birthday.

February 24th: Mother's Day letters. I will explain to my kiddos about what Mother's Day is and what we do to celebrate it. I will include a card for each of them to write their own mothers a special message. I will also include stickers of flowers to decorate the cards with.

Also on this day, I will send out a birthday package for Abu's 10th birthday. I don't know what I'm going to send him for sure yet, but I'm thinking about a backpack full of school/art supplies. I love sponsoring a country with no package size limits. I can't send him big things that often, but I love it when I can.

March 2nd: I'm going to tell my kiddos about my family's tradition of making sugar cookies. I took pictures of each step of the process including rolling out the dough, using cookie cutters, baking them, and decorating them with colored frosting and sprinkles. I'm excited to share this part of my family with my sponsored children.

March 16th:  Name Meanings/Birth Verses. Using google I looked up what each of my sponsored children's names mean. I also looked up their birth bible verse (there are several websites that do this) based on their birth dates. I want to make each of my sponsored children a little "plaque" with their name, their name meaning, and their birth verse on it. I think this will make them feel really special.

March 23rd: Father's Day letters. Same as the mother's day cards, but with something besides flower stickers.

So there you have it. My next threee months planned out, when it comes to letters at least.

Feel free to use any of these ideas for your own sponsored children. Adapt them to your needs/family traditions/recent trips. Writing letters to your sponsored children should be fun for you and fun for them to read. You don't have to write the same things over and over again!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I realized today it is already the 2nd day of January. I should have sent Valentine's Day letters to my sponsored child before Christmas, but I just didn't think about it. They will definitely get to my kiddos after Valentine's Day but they will still mean just as much.


My World Vision kiddos, Abu and Xhuliano will get this packet of things. A card that has a fun puzzle on the front (these took me FOREVER to put together) on the front and a message on the inside that says "You complete my heart. Happy Valentine's Day". I thought these were super cute. They will also get heart stickers and a pencil with hearts on it. Abu will also get the Love Letter From God. I couldn't find it in his language, so I'm hoping if I send it in English, somebody will be able to translate it for him.


My Compassion kiddos will receive this packet of things. Along with a letter they will receive a Valentine's Day card from me to them, a sheet of heart stickers, and a card that they can write and give to one of their friends with a Valentine's Day message in it. I'm also giving each of them the Love Letter From God. Meena and Kalpesh will get one in Tamil and Eric will get one in English.

I am so excited for them to get the Love Letter from God. I think everyone is going to love them. I wish I could send one to Xhuliano, but with him living in a sensitive area, that just can't be done. Maybe as our relationship gets better, I can find out if he is a Muslim or a Christian and then I can send him the letter. I just wouldn't want to ruin anything with our sponsorship.

Now I am off to write five letters to five wonderful children. I hope I can express how much I love them and how much they are loved by God in these letters. I want to have these things mailed off tomorrow so they have a good chance of at least getting there around Valentine's Day.

What are you sending your sponsored children for Valentine's Day?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

First Letters of 2012

Last night, I spent my New Year's Eve writing my five children emails.

I introduced them all to the concept of making resolutions for the new year. I explained to them that the word resolution means a goal that you want yourself to accomplish in the coming year. I told them about how it is becoming popular (at least in my circle of friends in the blogging world) to choose just one word that represents what you want to accomplish.

I told them about how I am going to work on being more patient when it comes to how God works in my life. I asked them to pray for me when it comes to patience.

I encouraged each of them to choose their own word of something that they want to work on. I asked them to tell me about what word they chose so I can pray for them and their goal.

I can't wait to get letters in response to these emails!