Saturday, March 31, 2012

Six Word Saturday

Wondering why the mail is late...

* * *

Junk mail is so super lame 

Friday, March 30, 2012

I Did Research For This Entry (So You Better Read It) (Just Kidding) (Please Still Read It)

On March 23rd, I sponsored a beautiful, blue-eyed, 12 year old boy, a boy who has been waiting literally years for a sponsor. My heart felt that tug that I've only felt two other times in my life, that so very familiar tug though, that I only feel when I'm meant to sponsor a child. And just like the previous two times, trying to fight that feeling was difficult, actually painful. I don't know why I try to ignore that tug. I know it's literally God pulling on my heart, telling me that this is something I am meant to do.

On March 24th, the doubt kicked in. I've been feeling like I just can't do what God is calling me to do. I've been doubting that God will actually provide for this boy. Doesn't God know that I have $400 worth of student loans to pay each month? Doesn't God know that I have $500 of rent to pay each month? Doesn't God know that that I have $150 car payment each month? Doesn't God know that gas prices are over $4 a gallon? Doesn't God know that I like to eat food on occasion? Doesn't God know that I already sponsor two children, the 2nd one I didn't think was going to be possible? Doesn't God know that I am just not that strong of a person? Doesn't God know how scared I am? Does God even care?

I've been struggling, guys.

I've been doubting myself and God so much actually that yesterday I wrote a blog entry about doubt, and then I deleted it because I was doubting it.

Whew! I've been a mess, ya'll (in honor of my Texas friends)

Anyway, tonight I've been praying and reading the bible and LISTENING and God told me that, "Yes, I do understand that you have all of these things to pay each month. And yes, I do care, and I love you, and I will provide for you. I don't want you to be scared. I won't lead you astray."

God has been leading me back to one of my favorite bible verses: Pslam 37:4. I took this bible verse and looked it up in a couple translations to see what I could find. Here we go:

NIV - "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."

The Message - "Get insurance with God and do a good deed. Settle down and stick to your last."

Amplified Bible - "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart"

Easy-To-Read Version (I didn't even know this existed) - "Enjoy serving the Lord, and he will give you whatever you ask for."

My heart desires a lot, you guys, it really does. I was telling my friend yesterday that on any given day I probably have at least 5-10 dreams floating around in there. What I've gathered from this research and praying is that whatever my heart is truly desiring comes directly from God. God puts dreams and wishes and desires in my heart so that I will follow him to accomplish these dreams. When I saw Florenc's picture on the World Vision website, I felt that feeling that I've felt twice before. I'm going to try to put it into words. My heart literally beats faster than I've ever felt it beat before. It feels like it drops into my stomach and jumps into my throat at the same time. It feels like it's swelling with love and may just burst right out of my chest. Then, all of these things hit me and I just start crying.

That's happened three times in my life. And I survived it.

How can a feeling like that not be from God? How can I not trust that?

Okay, now that we've got the trust part covered, in walks the money issue. Yes, my heart really does desire to sponsor hundreds of children. While this will probably not happen, I want my heart to be open to whatever God wants me to do. God then lead me to this verse: Pslam 37:16.

NIV - "Better the little the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked"

The Message - "Less is more and more is less. One righteous will outclass fifty wicked. For the wicked are moral weaklings, but the righteous are God-strong."

Amplified Bible - "Better is the little that the uncomprimisingly righteous have than the abundance of possessions of many who are wrong and wicked."

So, in conclusion, I will not have very many material things. Which really isn't the truth. I have an apartment, a bed, a comfy couch, running water, electricity, air conditioning, heat, cable, and really fast internet.

I will not own the latest technology. I will not cook five star, three course meals for myself everyday. I will not see movies every weekend. I will not have new clothes. I will not own a new car.

And that's okay.

Because I will have grace, love, hope, mercy, compassion, provision, forgiveness, assurance, and confidence. I will also have three wonderful boys that love me and and write to me who I can love back with my whole heart.

I'm excited for what God is going to show me next. I wish I could say I won't doubt again, but it'll just be another opportunity for me to seek God.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

First Glance into Florenc's World

I got Florenc's packet in the mail today. These packets don't really have too much information about your sponsored children, but anything is better than nothing before that first letter.

Name: Florenc
Age: 12
Birthday: July 6th, 1999
Guardians: Mother and Father
Siblings: 1 Brother
Grade in School: 7th Grade
Favorite Subject: National Language/Albanian
Favorite Activity: Soccer
Job at Home: Doing Housework

Recent Accomplishments in his Community:

- Educated mothers in children's nutritional requirements and meal planning, enabling them to better care for their children.

- Held a memorial for victims of HIV and AIDS to raise awareness of the disease and raise stigma.

- Strengthed the quality of education by training teachers in child-centered, inclusive approaches

- Trained teachers in positive discipline  techniques, improving their ability to handle challenging situations in the classroom.

- Helped children plan and organize educational activities and outings.

- Advocated for the children's rights to an education regardless of gender, ability, or social status. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Touching Thursday: The 5 Year Old Edition

This week, it just turned out that all three of the kiddos that I'm praying for are five years old. Kind of odd, I think.

Last week's Touching Thursday didn't go too well, so if you don't feel your heart being tugged on for one of the kids below, click here and maybe one of those lovely children are meant to be yours.

Yamini has found a sponsor! I hope they enjoy her. I bet she is a wonderful princess.

4-21-12. Jorge has a sponsor! I've been praying for this kiddo for a long time. It's nice to see him sponsored.

Ahhhh! Apollinaire has a sponsor! This is the best reaction to my blog I've ever gotten. Mary Faith over there on this blog sponsored him. We talked about it tonight and we prayed "together" and God has made it possible. I'm so happy for her!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Love Xhuliano

Oh my goodness. I was absolutely shocked today when I saw a letter from Xhuliano in my mailbox. It's only been two weeks since I last heard from him.

I started sponsoring Xhuliano at the end of November. His birthday was shortly after that in December. At the end of December, I sent him some packages of some things as a late birthday present. It seems that he got them! Here's his letter:

Dear my friend Kayla,

I was very happy when I received your gifts. Not only me, but my family too. Stelina is 9 years old and Marsela will be 2 years old soon (April 5th). I want to say thank you to your friend Rosie for always thinking about me. I want to know when your birthday is, so I can send my wishes to you. I like playing football. My best friend is Klevi. I always receive your letters and your presents in time. I liked even the pictures you had sent, especially the one that was made near the sea. It looks exactly like our seaside. I also liked the notebook, the football, the pump, the gloves, the comb, the stickers, the whistle, and the pictures you sent to me. Here, football is the favorite sport and my favorite team is Flamurtari. I am in the fifth grade. I hope you and your family are good. Thank you so much, my friend.


I told him that my friend Rosie is helping me to support him. What a loving boy!
I've only been sponsoring Xhuliano for four months and I've already received five letters from him. I love sponsoring in a recipricol letter country!

Oh my goodness, sometimes my heart just cannot handle all of this love and adorableness.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Mail Update

Again, these posts are more for my benefit than anyone elses. It's just to remind me the last time I received a letter from each of my sponsored children so I can basically tell myself to be more patient in waiting for the next to arrive.

Abu-Bakarr - I received three lovely letters from him on March 12th. I know that means I will probably not be seeing another round of letters from him until mid summer.

Eric - I received his intro letter on January 29th. I would love to get something else from him soon!

Kalpesh - I received his intro letter on February 8th. I would also like to get a response letter of some sort from him soon.

Meena - I received a letter from her on March 10th. Her letters seem to be coming every two months or so. May seems really far away.

Xhuliano - I received two letters from him on March 12th. I know Albanian letters are reciprocel and are set in bulk mailings. Maybe I'll hear something from him in Apirl. That would be great.

Florenc - My newest kiddo. I can't wait to receive his first letter. I know that it took about three months to receive Xhuliano's first letter, so I'm hoping to receive this letter sometime around May or June.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Praise

I realize that I don't do Sunday Praise posts very often. Basically, it's because they all come out looking so similar, because there are things in my life I'm just so freaking thankful for that I don't even have words to describe them. So, in conclusion, today will be be a bunch of pictures.

Friday, March 23, 2012

I Sponsored Another Child!

The other day I was looking through the World Vision page at the Albania boys, just praying over them. I came across this beautiful blue eyed boy. Florenc, a 12 year old.

These last few days I've been praying about him. I couldn't help but feel like he was meant to be mine, even though I hardly thought it was possible to sponsor him.

To go back a little bit, I never did mention this you guys. I was praying a week or so ago, and God pretty much told me that this was not the right time of my life to be going on my church's mission trip to the Philippines. I was absolutely disappointed. But, God put it on my heart that my time, money, and energy were going to be used elsewhere in my life. I accepted it and I figured I would be waiting awhile to find out what God had planned.

Nope. It took a week. He put this boy on my heart and took off with the idea.

Just now, during my lunch break, God put it on my heart to write out my budget on a piece of paper. I did. I turns out that I would be able to sponsor another child. There won't be much money leftover each month, but hey, you can't take it with you when you die, right?

So without further ado: here is my beautiful new child:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fathers: Heavenly and Otherwise

I've been trying to write this blog since Monday night. I've been trying to sort out the words in my heart and my mind. I still don't know if I have it figured it, but it's something I feel the need to share.

This blog entry will be extremely uncomfortable for me. I'm going to try my very hardest to not delete it after I've written it out of fear that people will get to know details into my "real life." But, I have to post it so people will realize just how amazing God truly is and just how perfectly he can combine all of the details in life.

Last week, I began working on Father's Day themed letters to mail to my sponsored children. I'm hoping to have these completed and sent out by April. I started them so early because I knew that these letters would be hard for me to write. Two of my sponsored children don't their fathers in their lives. I started to write a letter to these two boys about how important it is to have a father figure in their lives. I was telling them that God is their father in every way they could ever need. However, I wanted to stress to them the idea of how important it is to have a male role model in their lives that they can talk to about life, go to when they have problems, and to learn how be responsible and compassionate fathers in the future.

My letter writing came to a dead stop. I was finding it nearly impossible to write these things down simply because I have not had that positive male role model in my life for a very, very long time. Without shoveling out every detail of my past to you, I do want to share some things with you all. Basically, since age 11, I've lived through abusive situations with both my father and my stepdad. Emotionally, verbally, and physically. From age 11 to age age 15, when girls are looking to their fathers to help them through boy issues, dating, and peer pressure, I had nothing. At age 15, I stopped seeing my father and my stepdad went to prison. So, while I'd like to say that things were better then, my troubles were just beginning. I still had no father figures and the damage got worse in my heart.

I dropped the pen and paper and I just prayed. I was praying for what God wanted me to say to these two young men. I must have been praying for the wrong thing because God said (I could have swore somebody in my apartment said it aloud) "Ask Chris to be your father figure!". So, Chris is one of my favorite people's (Rosie's) husband. I had just spent a wonderful weekend with them and their two children.

This idea that God was throwing at me seemed so crazy! Sharing my past, my pain, my hurts, and then asking something like this of a man seemed crazy! Men are kind of scary! So, being the weak and untrusting human that I am, I didn't do it. On Sunday night, I sent a facebook message to my friend Rosie, asking her what Chris would think of me if I did this. She answered me on Monday morining that she thought it was a great idea and that they both already loved me.

My mood went from nervous to downright terrified and panicky. I didn't want to do it.

But, on Monday night, I sent Chris a message and filled him on what I was thinking, how I was feeling, and what I thought God was calling me to do. I was planning on going to bed and having a horrible night sleep while I pondered his answer. Satan was doing a wonderful job convincing me that Chris would think I was psycho, shoot down the whole plan, and then vow to never let me near his family again. (I know it's crazy, but this is seriously what was going through my head.)

Not even 10 minutes after I had sent the message, Chris had responded. I hope he doesn't mind me sharing his entire message in the blogosphere. I'm mainly quoting it exactly because I never want to lose what was said to me. He said:

"Absolutely and without any reservations I am honored to be that and you have blessed me with your words. Thank you! I will consider it a privilege to be there for you in any capacity that you want, need, or God leads us to. I felt very comfortable with you and we had such a great time having you with us. So the answer is absolutely...YES! I am honored and will feel it as God's blessing to be there for you. God wants us to love and to care for each other as Christ modeled this for us. The only thing you need to know is that I am very imperfect but I try to be more Christ-like everyday. I am here for you anytime. God's blessing and peace to you always!!!! PS- not weird at all I am just both humbled and honored by this message. Thank you!"

Short and to the point. (Especially after I had sent him almost two Microsoft Word pages of rambling semi-conscious thought. Poor guy, he actually read it all!

My world instantly turned upside down. It actually felt like the piece of my heart that had been aching for so many years was now full of something else. I'm still not exactly sure what it is. Hope? Love? Peace? All of the above?

That night, I wrote two perfect (in my opinion) letters to my boys without fathers.

God is good. All the time. Even when life seems to suck.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Touching Thursday: The Early Edition

It's only 9:00 p.m on Wednesday night, but I just didn't want to wait even three more hours to post this. These kids have been on my mind so much lately that I really wanted to post now. Here we go!

Carlos is no longer waiting for a sponsor! Praise God!

After waiting 182 days for a sponsor, sweet Christian's wait has come to an end. I'm so happy! I wish him well in his new life.

Praise God! I've been praying for this girl since I posted this entry. It is now April 2nd, and Karina has been sponsored! Yay!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Letters to the Kiddos

This round of letters was fun for me. As a teacher, I enjoy anytime I can teach something to a child. Something that they don't have too much prior knowledge of especially. I love seeing how children react to seeing something for the first time.

A few months back, my friend Deborah created this awesome sea turtle cards with each of my kiddos' names on the front. There is a great coloring sheet on the back. The inside was blank.

On the inside, I wrote six different facts about sea turtles: what they eat, how long they live, how much they weigh on average, and I talked about how mother sea turtles lays her eggs on the beach and then swims away. I talked about how God has given the mother sea turtle an exact clock, so she knows exactly when to return to get her newly hatched babies.

I also included three pictures of sea turtles and some fun sea stickers.

I have fun with this one!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Volunteering With Compassion

This afternoon, I had the amazing opportunity volunteer at the Compassion Table at the Hearts for Home conference in my hometown. This conference is for mothers of all ages. It gives them a place to go to get advice, tips, ideas, and lesson plans for homeschool families. There were about 5,000 woman there from all over the country.

From 12:30-6:30, I worked with two other woman and one amazing Compassion employee named Eli. He was great at explaning the process of helping sponsors choose a child and sign up to be a sponsor. More than that though, he was a great guy. He kept coming up to me and asking, "What do you need? What can I do for you? I know it's hot in here, would you like more water?" Also, hearing him speak to potential sponsors was inspiring. He has definitely found the right place to work.

The Compassion booth was right next to the table where Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar were signing autographs and taking pictures. It took everything I had in me to not run over there and hug them both. I just love their family. However, while I was working with a person to start sponsoring a child, Joy-Anna Duggar smiled at me. Made me feel great.

Anwyay, back to the table. Here is where I spent my six hours...

The very large room that we were in was hot and sticky, extremely loud, and very crowded. At times, the introvert in me just wanted to quit and go home. Talking to people makes me very tired and sometimes it makes me get a little grouchy and teary. I'm always amazed that God gives me the strength to do things like this, even though he knows what kind of personality He blessed me with.

As a volunteer, my job was to approach each person that came to the table, asking them if they had any questions, and then answering those questions. I could feel God talking directly through me. He gave me the right words to say to each person to convince their hearts and minds of what they were about to do.

One woman knew she wanted to sponsor. She just had to find the right child. She walked to the end of the table and broke into tears. She had found the right child. She was the same age as her daughter and she stated that "It looks like she could be in my daughter's class." I told her that I knew exactly how she felt. Both of the times I have chosen a sponsored child, I too have broken into tears. When God puts a certain child on your heart, the emotions are hard to control. This woman and I shared a moment, we hugged, and then she took her child packet and was gone.

Another woman fell in love with a little African boy. She realized that she did not have her debit card or checkbook with her. She decided to write the child's number and country down so she could call Compassion on Monday to sponsor him. She was so happy. The very minute that she walked away, another woman came along, picked up that same little boy's packet, and sponsored him without a thought. I am still struggling with whether I'm happy that little boy now has a sponsor or I'm absolutely heartbroken for the woman who will call Compassion on Monday and find that the boy she fell in love with is gone.

I'm also heartbroken that as the day went on, the girls left to sponsor were dwindling and the boys were still laying on the table, their eyes telling their life stories. We literally set up a table for just boys from Asia (India and Thailand) hoping that they would be sponsored. None, absolutely not one, was sponsored. I desperately wanted to fill out one of those forms. I do know that God is not calling me to sponsor another child right now, and most of the day the thought of sponsoring again didn't even cross my mind (Thanks for that God). But, when I saw those little Asian boys with nobody even glancing at them, my heart broke into about a million pieces.

However, my heart was mended, yet again, back into one when God made it possible that at the end of the day 187 children were sponsored. 187. That is an amazing number! I just keep telling me that I am amazed at the way that God is working through me and around me. He has been pretty much everywhere lately and I really hope it stays that way.

Also today, every woman that sponsored a child also received a paper bead, handmade necklace, made by the women in Uganda. I'd been eyeing these necklaces the whole time. When we were done for the day, Eli told us each to grab as many necklaces as we wanted as thanks for volunteering that day. I grabbed one for me and two for my best friend Rosie and her daughter. I can't wait to wear my necklace to church tomorrow.

I feel so blessed

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Touching Thursday: The Sunil Edition

I have been keeping my eye and my heart on the Ebenezer Child Development Centre in India. Over time, I have watched the number of children go from 22 to only 5 remaining children.

In this center, there are three boys that are just touching my heart. All three of them have the same name. Sunil. I am hoping to find them sponsors this week. Without further ado, here they are:

7 year old Sunil has found a sponsor! He's the first one of the three to be sponsored. I hope the other two can be blessed this week too!

Sunil numbered two has been sponsored! I am so happy for his new sponsor. I think you have a wonderful boy on your hands! God bless you!

Finally! Sunil has a sponsor! I was beginning to worry about this little guy. I've been praying and praying for him. I knew that I wasn't meant to sponsor him, but I couldn't help but think about doing just that if he wouldn't have found a sponsor soon. He waited over 200 days for a sponsor. God is good!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Grace, Awe, and Answered Prayers

For the last two hours, I have been pretty near speechless, thoughts flying all around my brain. There have been times of jumping for joy, times of shouting from the rooftops, and times of tears all in the last two hours alone. I've comtemplated this blog entry that whole time.

I am ready.

As you all know, I sponsor a wonderful 9 year old boy named Abu-Bakarr. He lives exactly 5,085.16 miles away from the state of Illinois. However, he also lives in my heart, and that is very close. He is constantly on my mind and in my prayers. I imagine his face (even though I haven't gotten an updated photo of him in almost two years) and all I can do is smile. I feel nothing but love for this child whom I have never met, this child who has told me such amazing things in his letters, this little boy who lives with his grandparents who are so loving and encourage me and pray for me all the time.

I've been wanting to do more for this family.

I found out awhile ago that sponsors with World Vision are able to send a monetary gift to their sponsored child for their family to buy anything they could want or need. It's called a Family Gift. However, the only hitch is that you can't send less than $75, which is really too much money to budget to spend right now for. All I've been to do is pray for Abu and his family.

Prayer is an amazing thing.

Two hours ago, at 9ish p.m, I got a facebook message from this wonderful woman named Ali that I've met through a child sponsorship group on facebook. She asked if I had a minute to chat. Absolutely. Of course. Always. She then told me that best news I have heard in a long time.

"So..I'm pretty straight forward and God has put this on my heart to ask you...I am waiting on some student loan money to come in and when it does I would like to send you money to give Abu..the $75 it takes through WV...can't explain it would you feel about that?

The only thing I could respond with for awhile was "Wow". (Even reading this now is just amazing me again).

The last time I had a prayer answered like this was in November. When I sponsored Xhuliano, I prayed to God and I pretty much said, "God, you led me to do this. You better provide for him." The next day, he brought my friend Rosie to send me money each month to help cover the costs.

If you've been following my blog for awhile, you'll remember this post. This is the post where I chose  my one word for the year: Patience. I have really been praying to God for him to help me be more patient and I think I have made leaps and bounds in that area.

My friend Rosie told me that God is washing is grace over me for obeying his commands, trusting in him, praying faithfully, and being patient for God to do his work through me and with me.

I agree and I think it's amazing. The rewards that God gives us from heaven are just amazing.

I am beyond thrilled to send this money in the next month and to receive that wonderful picture of Abu with the things that he purchases.

I am just in awe. I want to constantly praise God, which I've been doing for awhile now. I want to shout it from the rooftops, go tell it on the mountain, thank God over and over again, fly to Sierra Leone and hand Abu the money personally. I want to do it all.


A Wonderfully Texan Weekend

A while back, one of my favorite families moved to Texas and I spend a lot of my time missing them terribly, thinking about them, and praying about them. This past weekend I got the chance to go visit them and it made my whole month. I hope to do it more often, when I have the time off work and the money to do so.

On Friday morning, I had to be the shuttle bus from my town to Chicago O'Hare airport at 7:05 a.m. It was so early! However, I got a lot of sleep on the bus on the way to the airport so that was great.

 The bus got me to the airport at 9:40 a.m...four hours before my flight...haha. The next shuttle to leave my town would have gotten me there late. So, I spent a lot of time walking around the airport, eating lunch at Chilis, watching a basketball game I cared nothing about, and reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown, one of my favorite authors. My flight was delayed and didn't end up leaving Chicago until around 2:15 p.m. I arrived in Dallas at 4:30 and was greeted by the very beautiful Rosie. She took me to a wonderful restaurant called Buttons, which is "Food and Music for the Soul." We got traditional, down south, chicken and waffles and it was just fantastic.

We may have each had a bit to drink and we got a little goofy and a little loud, which seemed to be fine. We talked about anything and everything. I am really thankful for those three hours where we got to sit together and talk just the two of us. After dinner, we started the drive to her town and we arrived around 9:30 p.m. Her kids were already asleep, and by the time we got there, we all just wanted to go to bed early, which we did.

On Saturday I woke up in the guest suite, it was awesome I got my own room and bathroom. Yay for house additions! I took a shower and went to find the family. The whole family was sitting in my friend Rosie and Chris's bed watching TV, so I joined them for a great hour of Spongebob. We decided on a whim that we really wanted to eat ice cream for breakfast/lunch, so at 11:00, as soon as Coldstone opened, we were there. Coffee ice cream with chocolate chips in it is one of my favorite ice cream combinations.

 After we got back from Coldstone, we all proceeded to spend literally the next 4-5 hours sitting in the living room, listening to pretty music and reading books and then ultimately watching movies. It was relaxing and lazy and wonderful. We ate "Texas Food" (according to her son) for dinner which included brisket, potatoes, okra, rolls, and green beans. It was delicious! I could eat like that everyday and be (600 lbs) very happy. After watching The Help, the two kids got sleepy and headed off to bed. Chris was next to fall asleep. Rosie and I sat around for awhile and watched bull riding on TV and then we also headed to bed.

On Sunday morning, I was greeted by Rosie singing a Good Morning song to me, which I just loved. We headed to church at 10:30. I fell in love with this church. It's the type of church that have people yelling Amen! and Hallelujah! throughout the service. A little different than what I'm used to in Illinois, but I think worship should be very vocal. This church also has a full orchestra that plays every Sunday. It made the music and hymns sound so full and fabulous. If I went to this church, I would definitely be breaking out my bass clarinet every week to play along. I decided that the next time I visit, I'm bringing my instrument and hopefully the orchestra will let me play along. The sermon this morning was also pretty great. It was all about the storms of life and I could really relate to it. The pastor was very well-spoken and I enjoyed everything about it.

Shortly after church, at 1:30 p.m, the travel adventure began. We started the trek to the airport. At 4:30, I was dropped off at the airport. My flight left on time, at 6:00. I landed back in Chicago at 8:20. I sat in the bus shuttle terminal for two hours. My bus left at 10:15. I arrived back in my town at 12:40 a.m. My mom picked me up and I was home around 1 a.m.

Whew! I love traveling but it sure is busy. I can't wait to do it again! I decided that if I don't get to go to the Philippines in July, I'm going to make another trip to visit this family, hopefully a longer one next time.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Albanian Mail Call!

Today I received two letters from the lovely Xhuliano. I can't believe I've gotten six letters over the last four days. I just can't believe it. Both of his letters were sent on February 28th. Super fast mail! Here are the two letters he wrote:

Letter #1

Dear Kayla ,

I am happy for receiving your letter, not just me but my sisters Stelina and Marcela who is two years old. In Albania, we have a tradition on the first of January if somebody comes in our house on the first, this means that the year that means that they year will be great. I took your letter that day. We gather with our relatives and celebrate together. We cook delicious food, desserts, fruit. When the time is 12 at midnight we put fireworks in our hands and it's very nice. I believe in God too. I prayed for my sister Marcela not to get sick anymore and it came true. Also, I prayed to be healthy and do well at school for the year. Since we became friends I pray for you too and your dreams come true. I think about you and your health. Here it's cold and raining, snowy too, but it melts with the sun that wakes me up in the morning. I do all my homework because my teacher, like you, says that it is important. Thank you once more and I'll pray for you too.

Hugs from Xhuliano (Hugs!)

I am overwhelmingly touched that he received my letter on January 1st and that he sees that as a good luck charm for him and his family throughout the year. I have so much love for this kiddo.

I love that he believes in God and he already understands the power of prayer at such a young age. What a wonderful boy I have here.

The teacher in me has to encourage him to do his homework. It just wouldn't be right if I didn't. He doesn't sound all that thrilled about it, haha.

Letter #2

Dear Kayla,

You are a wonderful friend of mine. We are happy for the gifts you sent us. Not just me, but my family too, especially Marcela. I hope you are fine and I am happy having the opportunity to have a friend like you. I count the days and look forward to write you soon. It's very cold these days. It rains and snows. How about you? Are you passing nice these cold winter days? I cover myself with the blanket you sent and I feel the warmness as in the moment I get letters from you. We celebrate the Independence Day in our class by keeping flags in the hand, etc. God bless you and thank you for everything.


I know how wonderful it is to get letters from Xhuliano. If he's feeling even half of the warmth that I feel when I get a letter from him, that blanket is doing great things! Haha.

I. Love. Sponsoring. Children

Three Letters!

Also this weekend, I received three letters from my lovely Abu-Bakarr in Sierra Leone. Three letters! I wish these letters were dated, I would love to know when they're from.

Letter #1

Dear Kayla,

Abu received the letter and the toy paddle ball game you sent him. He says that he has never seen a game like this before and he can't part with it. This game has brought more friends to Abu than before.

In school, Abu's teachers teach their class subjects like math, English, bible stories, poems, song, history, etc, like any primary school.

Any letter you write to Abu is put in a special place by his grandmother (a bag) and it hangs on the wall so nobody touches them.

Very soon, Abu and his friends will be going for practice for their sports day at the end of the term. Last year, their house entered house sports for two days in the last week of April.

Abu and grandparents wish you good luck in all of your undertakings.

Letter #2

Dear Kayla,

With much eagerness and appreciation Abu and parents say thank you for the wonderful gifts and letter you sent to change Abu's life in a better way. Any time they pray they remember you in their prayers.

Because of God's love for man, he has brought two families together in spirit though they are far away from each other. May God bless you all.

Again, the blanket you sent to Abu with lovely colors has given thoughts to some parents to register their children in the World Vision program (wow, I'm speechless) or look for other organizations. Even now, the temperatures get cold at night. "What a wonderful sponsor Abu has" says his grandmother.

Kadiatu (my friend Debbie's sponsored child. I asked him if he knew her) lives two kilometers from where Abu is and sometimes World Vision brings them together to play games.

Once more, Abu says many thanks to you and your family.

Letter #3

Dear Kayla,

It is with pleasure that Abu received your letter and the gifts in the parcel. He appreciates your kindness and prays everyday that God blesses you and your family.

In the parcel were two pairs of socks, stickers, and a letter that made him more and more happy. He says that you keep reminding him of himself everytime he sees the picture copy from his annual report.

The picture of you, your dad, and your sister are put on a small picture mat and are hanging by the table where his grandmother sleeps (Aww!). The other picture of you and your friend Sarah is so lovely that it is always with Abu and he shows it off to his friends at school (AWWWWW!). He is proud of you always. The picture of your classroom looks nice with many toys.

Abu is back at school like the other children and is working hard in school.

His favorite food is rice.

Everlasting Forever

I received a beautiful letter from Meena this weekend! It didn't say much that I didn't already know from her intro letter, but I'm just in love with the personal comments she added in. I love this young woman with my whole heart. She writes:

Dear Aunty,

Praise the Lord. Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Here everybody is fine by God's grace. How about you? How is your pre-school? I hope that you are enjoying well with the children. My school is going well. I have a younger brother named Prasanth. He is studying in 8th grade. I am in my 11th grade. My favorite subject is history. Thank you very much for your compliments. I am very much loved and pleased by your words. I hope you would spend a lot of happy days with all those kids. In 11th grade, I chose History group as History is very interesting. I like it very much. My ambition is to be an archaologist. I hope it would happen very soon. I want to know more about you and my heart is eagerly waiting for it. I wish that God will give us a good relationship and it would be everlasting forever. I wish you all success and happiness in the future. Meet you again in next letter.

Yours Lovingly,


*Heart melts*

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Touching Thursday

Yay! It's Thursday again! Here are the three beautiful children I'm hoping find sponsors this week...

Thalitiane is 5 years old and is from Brazil. She lives with her mother and father and she is one of 6 CHILDREN. I think her family needs all the help they can get. I'm guessing the building behind her is her home. I'm not sure how the get 8 people in there. Wow. For fun, Thalitiane likes rolling a hoop, playing house, and playing with dolls. If you would like to sponsor her, click here.

Rehema has found a sponsor!

Alexis was sponsored! Yay!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

See Your Impact Results: March 2012

This month, I decided to send another mosquito net. I know how important these are in helping decrease malaria rates in places throughout the world. This time, I chose to send one to Uganda.

Kakaire and His Grandchildren Send a Big Thanks!

Dear Kayla,

Kakaire Ausi is a 62 year old grandfather of 6 children from the Butongole Village of Uganda, where UVP has been working for the past three years. Kakaire is a retired teacher who took on farming later in life.
When asked why he bought a net, he says, "I have bought a net because this area has very many mosquitoes. My grandchildren have told me about malaria and I want to prevent myself from getting it. I am very grateful to UVP for providing me with a subsidized net. Thank you."

Kakaire asked us to pass on a big 'thank you' to you Kayla!

Then, the next day, I was browsing the See Your Impact website. I came across something that I just could pass up, the preschool teacher part of me just couldn't say no. I could give a preschooler in Colombia a new backpack full of notebooks, pencils, watercolors, brushes, crayons, and a toothbrush. I just had to do it!

Carolina received a new back to school kit! (how beautiful is she?)

Dear Kayla,

Carolina was born on November 4, 2008. She lives in La Cruz, MedellĂ­n in Colombia with her mother that is an independent worker. She earns $75USD per month. Carolina loves to play with her dolls and working with clay.

Thank you for your donation, Kayla! You are helping Camila to build her dreams!

Seriously, I just love this website. I spent only $25 this month and I changed the lives of two people. Amazing.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012

Philippines Update

Last night, my friend Molly had a prayer meeting at her house. She lives in another state than I am, so I facebook messaged her and requested that she pray for God to open doors at my work so I will be able to go on this mission trip.

Today, I go to work and I see a post-it note in my mailbox. Post-it notes are some of the easiest ways to communicate information during the day. Usually the post-it notes say break times, planning times, children that won't be there that day, etc.

Today, the post-it note said this:

"Kayla, I would put your time off request for your trip in now. It's not un-doable, but several dates are already blocked in the summer."

Monday morning, I will be putting in the time off request.

I'm going to be awfully disappointed if I go through all of this, having them tell me to ask off for the time, and then not being approved.

I will keep praying and praying and praying. I have never done anything like this trip before. I want it more than anything else right now.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Touching Thursday

Another week! Let's see if we can get three more kiddos sponsored through this blog!

Beautiful Bea has found a sponsor!

Brian has been sponsored! My heart really goes out to these older boys that people seem to ignore. I am glad somebody out there feels the same about these young men that I do.

Neicily has been sponsored! Yay!

If you decide to sponsor one of these children, please consider how important the letter writing process is for these children. Knowing that somebody loves them enough to write to them a few times each month just does fabulous things for their self-esteem and confidence. Having a person halfway around the world tell them how much they are loved is more important than the $38 a month you give to Compassion. Love on these kids as much as you can.