Thursday, May 31, 2012

What a Wonderful Mail Call!

I have received four (4!!!!) letters from Abu-Bakarr! Now that he's getting older, he is certainly writing more and more. I counted letters recently. In the first three years that I sponsored him got 11 total letters. In 2012, so far, in only five months, I have received 7 from him. Crazy!

Mail from Sierra Leone is also pretty crazy. Letters are sent out bulk mail style, so I get many at the same time. Abu is responding to letters he received in January, February, and March. I'm assuming they were sent out mid-March and I received them yesterday. Overall, not a bad travel time!

One thing that does make me a little sad, is that Abu's community doesn't allow the sponsored children to write their own letters. Abu is 10. My friend sponsors a teenager from the same project. All letters are written by a WV volunteer. It makes it hard to get to know him.

Now...without further ado, here are Abu's four letters:

(Written early January)

Dear Kayla,

It is always with joy that Abu and his family receive your letters. He is very happy, even today, to receive the parcel which contains pictures, a notebook, and stickers. He says thank you.

As for the questions of how he receives his mail, World Vision has trained volunteers who collect mail and carry it to the children and parents. They also carry information on the well-being of the children, under World Vision, as volunteers write replies (if the child and family cannot write) to the sponsors. Even when money is sent to the children through World Vision office, it is the volunteers who inform the child and parents so that thye will go and collect it through the bank with written check through World Vision.

Again, Abu says thank you so much

I really liked this letter. It was interesting to hear some behind the scenes work of the volunteers. I just recently had a friend send a money gift to Abu's family and hearing about the process is fascinating. 

(Written late January)

Dear Kayla,

Abu received the letter, photos, stickers, maze paper, and snowflake card. He says thank you and pray that such relationship last longer.

However, he does not know anything about snow, because it does not snow in his country. Sometimes in December and January the rain falls so much that cars and horses travel with lights on in the mornings. By that time, people go to sleep very early and do not come out early in the morning. Some people go to bed late, but stay indoors. During the day, the sun shines only a few hours. At about 5 p.m it begins to get cold.

One more, Abu and grandmother say thank you for your kindness and always remember you in their prayers. Good luck!

I love this letter! He has no knowledge about snow, so he shared his experience about heavy rains and how they accomodate themselves in Sierra Leone. It's interesting to hear about people going to bed early. I guess without electricity, when the sun goes down early in the winter, there really isn't much else to do except go to bed. I also am wondering about how "cold" it gets at night. I know most days, all year round, the days are between 80-90 degrees. I'm guessing it could be about 50-60 outside at night, which would get pretty chilly. I'm so glad I sent him a blanket!

(Written mid February)

Dear Kayla,

It is with joy that Abu received the parcel you sent for him with the lovely Valentine card. It is only you who considered him on that day. With such a loving and caring sponsor, he says he always thinks of you at night.

To say Abu will remember the day you chose to sponsor him, he cannot tell because it is World Vision who told him. He says many thanks to God for that.

According to Abu, some people sent cards and best wishes to their loved ones on Valentine's Day. He has not been able to to send one to you, but God showed you the way to do it for him. He says that whatever you do to him, he will praise God and thank you and your family for.

Happy, Happy Valentine to you and your family and many more to come.

Another great letter! I love that I got to "celebrate" Valentine's Day with Abu. In this letter, I was telling him about how Valentine's Day is the same day as the anniversary that I started sponsoring him. It's been four great years. I can't wait to be with this kiddo until he graduates the program!

(Written mid March)

Dear Kayla,

Abu received the package you sent for him for which he says thanks so much. He and his grandmother are always happy to hear and receive letters from you and they appreciate you a lot.

Abu knows that Easter is coming but didn't know the right date and now that you have written to him, he will be telling his friends.

He has been taught in school about Jesus, the way he came and died on the cross to save all human race. He also believes that Jesus was, and is, the savior of the world.

For the stickers you sent, Abu and his friends have already used them to create the Easter story. It is interesting to see them at work.

Once more, Abu, his grandmother, and his friends say thank you for your kindness and also wish you a happy Easter.

I sent Abu stickers, that when put in the correct order, show scenes from the Easter story. I sent multiple copies so he could share with his friends. The teacher in me longs to see Abu working dilligently on something like this. Watching him show off his knowledge of what Jesus did for him. This letter was especially wonderful for me, because it's the very first time I have heard that Abu believes that Jesus is the savior of the world. I am excited to talk with him as he ages and to hear how he follows Christ.

Whew! Four wonderful letters! That was a lot of typing!

Touching Thursday

I've had my eye on three boys lately. These three boys are those kids that I feel are overlooked on the website. There isn't much about them that sticks out when you're browsing. I don't like to say it, but these three guys aren't really the cutest kids on the website. I know that may be horrible to say, because all children are beautiful and made in the image of God. However, when looking at thousands of children on the Compassion website, these kiddos don't really stick out. So, I would like to try to help them find a sponsor this week so three wonderful people can find out just how wonderful these boys are.

7-7-12 Jefferson has been sponsored! Yay!!!!!

6-10-12. Allan has been sponsored! This little guy waited a very long time. I'm so happy for him.

6-9-12 Rachid has been sponsored. I am so happy that this gentle faced boy is going to have a friend to love him, write to him, and help him have hope and opportunity.   

If you choose to sponsor a child after seeing him on my page, PLEASE leave me a comment below. I have zero privacy settings so anybody can leave a comment by just typing in their first name. I will then get in touch with you. I would love to send you some stationary, stickers, and other fun things to send to your new kiddo.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Praying, Praying, Praying

It's been a week since God put visiting my beautiful sponsor boy, Abu, on my heart. I am literally having dreams about visiting him every single night.

I long to hug him and to touch his face.

I long to meet his sweet grandmother and thank her for taking such good care of him.

I long to talk to Abu, to ask him about his dreams in life, to ask him about his favorite things, to ask him to show me the letters I've written him.

I long to see where Abu lives, to meet his siblings, to see his school, to meet his best friends.

I long to visit the World Vision office in Sierra Leone, to learn how everything works, to see letter translation and the employees in action.

I am praying and praying and praying. I will be praying until the day I get to see him. The only obstacle in my way right now, is raising the money to see him. The plane ticket will be about $3000. After that for food, hotels, gifts, transportation, and translator/tour fees, it'll be another $2000 or so. This amount of money just seems impossible to me. I know that it is not impossible for God. So, for now, I am praying. For fundraising, for open doors, for possibility, for hope.

Will you please join me in praying for this opportunity to see Abu? Prayer is so powerful, especially when done in a large group.

If you wish to do more than pray, you can donate money towards my trip using the Chip-In box on the right of my profile. If you choose to donate, please use the GIFT OPTION to donate. If you don't choose the gift option, they will take out money for fees. Thank you for reading my blog!

Matthew 7:7 "Ask and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened to you."

Matthew 21:22 "And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith."

John 14:13-14 "Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it."

John 15:7 "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."

Matthew 6:9-13 "Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliever us from evil"


Six Word Saturday

Sitting on My Couch, Watching Movies

Thursday, May 24, 2012

First Letter From Florenc!

As you can tell from the title, I received my very first letter from my 12 year old boy in Albania. He has the messiest handwriting, I feel sorry for the translator, haha. Typical 12 year old boy, I suppose. Here's his letter...

Dear Sponsor,

This is Florenc writing to you.

I live with my parents and my brother. We live in a house and there are three rooms in it. I am doing fine and I have a great relationship with my friends. I go to school everyday and I am in 7th grade.

My brother is younger than I am, and he is in 5th grade. He is doing well at school and my father is fine. My mom is sufferent from the kidneys.

We have different animals here, as well as plants. The climate here is a Mediterranean one. How are you my dear friend?

What kind of plants do you cultivate there in your country?

Thank you very much for choosing me!

Lots of love and respect from Florenc and his family!

I am so excited to start my relationship with this young man! He seems very curious and intelligent, going to school everyday. Way to go man!

I know that he waited a very long time, years, for a sponsor. Seeing him write "thank you for choosing me" breaks my heart a little bit because I can only imagine how hard it was to wait for a sponsor. I'm elated that God chose to bring us together!

I thank God for providing for Florenc. I honestly haven't noticed a difference in my bank account. The money to sponsor three kids just seems there when it's needed. It's amazing.

I love this adventure!

Touching Thursday: J Name Edition

Lately, I've been feeling connected to mainly children whose names start with the letter J. I'm not sure if there is any significant meaning behind that or not, but that's just the way it's been. Here are three beautiful children for this week...

Remember, if you sponsor one of the child from my blog, you should leave me a comment (Comments are open to absolutely everyone. You don't have to have a blogger to comment. I have zero privacy settings set) with your email address. I can then get your home address so I can send you some great stationary, stickers, and other fun things to send to your sponsored child. How great is that?!

6-15-12. Finally! After 192 days of waiting, John has found a sponsor. I really hope he has a sponsor that will write to him. John certainly deserves it, as does every child.

Jackline has been sponsored! I hope this little cutie with her bright shoes brings joy to somebody's life.

6-9-12 Jose has been sponsored! This young man is going to be so blessed!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kalpesh's New Info

Today is a bittersweet day, guys.

I'm excited because Kalpesh's information was udpated today. I'm very sad because their isn't really good news on it. The poor boy's family life has been shaken up! It appears that sometime in the last two years, his father has died and his mother could no longer support them on her own. Kalpesh now lives with his aunt and uncle. I hope he is at least still with his siblings.

Kalpesh also only went up one grade in school in the last two years. I can only assume it's because his home life has been quite rocky. I hope that he is doing well now.

However, I'm feeling awful because I sent him a Father's Day letter. I wrote two different kinds of letters. Two of my sponsored children don't have fathers in their lives, so they got letters talking about how God is their father and how he loves them very much. I also talked to them about how another male figure in their lives can play a father figure for them, a person for them to go when they need advice or help. However, Kalpesh got a letter asking what kinds of things he likes do with his father, what kinds of things his father likes, and I sent him a card to give to his father.

I'm heartbroken. I hope Kalpesh doesn't hate me when he gets this letter in June.'s his new information:

Name: Kalpesh
Age: 10
Grade in School: 4th
School Performance: Average
Family Duties: Running Errands & Cleaning
Hobbies & Sports: Group Games, Playing House, Walking, Hide-and-Seek, Running, Reading.
Guardians: Aunt & Uncle
Natural Parents: Mother is alive and supporting Kalpesh. Father is now deceased.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Kalpesh is Growing!

I've been longing for this day for awhile now. The day that Kalpesh's photo was updated on my Compassion account.

Today was the day!

Here are the pictures I have of Kalpesh. He certainly is growing. He seems like he's very tall.

Age 6, 2008

Age 8, 2010

Age 10, 2012

My handsome boy is just as handsome as he's always been! What a lovely boy I have here. I just wish I could get a letter from him.

I'm expecting his information to be updated soon too. I can't wait!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Visiting Abu!

Wow, a lot has been happening lately!

For the last few months, I've been having at least one dream a week of me visiting Abu. They haven't been real realistic dreams, because, well...they're dreams. For example, one was set in New York, one was us playing a concert in the Sydney Opera House, haha. However, in each dream, Abu was clear and I know I was so happy to see him and hug him in each of my dreams.

I've been praying about getting to visit him and I feel like it's time to get the process started.

It's terrifying and exciting all at the same time!

Now, here's the hard part. I already ask you for a lot. I ask you to sponsor children, I ask you donate your money to good causes, and I ask you pray for your soul, on occasion.

This time, I ask you for another thing.

To go on this trip, I will need funds. Funds that I just don't have on my own. Teaching preschool in a daycare center doesn't exactly pay the big bucks.

But, God has put this on my heart and I know that he will provide everything I need to go to Sierra Leone.

To start, I'm going to fundraise through my blog. I have added a "Chip-In" widget to the sidebar of this blog. You can find it right under the pictures of my sponsored children. Clicking on the Chip-In button will take you to the donation page. There, you can donate money through PayPal. Using PayPal, you can trust that all of your money will be transferred safetly and securely. Nothing will go to a 3rd party, at all.

If you choose to donate money, please use the "Gift" option to donate, then no fees are taken out.

Also, if you choose to donate money for my trip, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. You're a wonderful person!

And now, for a little inspiration for both us. This is what I want to see:

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mail Call!

I received a wonderful letter from Xhuliano today!

This time though, it was a little different, haha. After sponsoring this lovely young guy for six months and I've received six letters from him.

The letter I got today was forwarded from the main office in Washington. As it turns out, it's the very first letter that Xhuliano ever sent me. I had never received it. Apparantly it's been lost in the paperwork shuffle for six months. Crazy! This letter is full of information that I didn't know about him and I am so happy to now know.

What a guy...

Dear Friend,

My name is Xhuliano, writing this letter. I'm in the 5th grade and my school is just 20 minutes away from my home. I'm good with my studies, but I have to work more with math, which I don't like it too much.

We started learning English when I was in 3rd grade and I want to learn it very good.

I have a great time with my friends, we play football. My favorite dishes are friend chicken with potatoes, kadaif (an Albanian dessert), and grape.

I live in a village near the Vlora City. I live with my parents, my father Shkelqim and my mother Engjellushe, with my two sisters in a little house with two rooms.

We have a few chickens and some sheep, my mom looks after them.

My father works in different works, either in farming and construction.

The climate here is very soft, but now that I'm writing outside is raining.

The health center and the hospital are very close. Our village is beautiful; the hills are planted with olive trees and vineyards.

How is the weather there? Do you have any pets?

God Bless You!


What a sweet letter! This young man definitely has my heart. I also loved friend chicken and grapes. I want to look up that dessert and try my hand at making it. I think it'd be fun to take pictures of my efforts and send them to Xhuliano.

Reading about his house hit me strongly. I know that the families of sponsored children live in very small homes and the fact that Xhuliano even has two rooms is better than average. However, just thinking of the five of his family members living in such a small space hurts my heart a little bit. I hope that I get to see his home someday!

I looked up pictures of rural Albania and I can picture Xhuliano living someplace like this...

And the olive trees probably look something like this...

I hope I get to see this all in person someday.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Touching Thursday

This week, I have three handsome boys to share with you. I would love to see them find a sponsor this week.

Paulo has been sponsored! Yay!

After his long wait, Aben has been sponsored too!

Lastly, Tonmoy has found a sponsor too!   

Remember, if you choose to sponsor a child after seeing them on my blog, please leave a comment and let me know. I have my comments sent so anybody can comment. Leave me your email address and I will get your mailing address. I will send you stationary, stickers, and other fun things to send to your newly sponsored child!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I've been trying to process it for a few days now. My life is going great.

I have a wonderful job that I feel truly blessed to have. I was called to teach at a young age, I went to college for early childhood education, I graduated on May 15th, 2011, I started my job as a preschool teacher on May 23rd, 2011. It was as if God had it planned that way the whole.

Did I mention that my job is in my hometown? I found a dream teaching job, in an economy that hates teachers, in my own town, the same town that I can drive 15 minutes in to see my family.

I have amazing friends. Sure, at this point, they are spread out across the world. My two best friends are a few hours away and almost a continent away, respectively. Despite this, we talk frequently.

I have a wonderful family, both biological and given to me by God. I talk to these family members on a daily basis. They are loving, encouraging, and happy to talk to me about anything.

I have a potential relationship brewing. I haven't told many people about this because I don't want to jinx anything (yes, part of me is superstitious, especially when it comes to dating, since it happens so rarely.)

I sponsor six wonderful children. I am constantly blessed by these children. Every word they write to me is full of love, hope, and gratitude. It is me who is truly thankful for them.

Even though so many things in my life are going well, I have this longing. My heart is longing for more. Every ounce of my heart and soul longs to be in heaven.

I don't mean for this to be a negative thing. I don't want to die. I'm not feeling depressed or suicidal in any manner. I have just been learning so much lately, through various books, songs, and blog posts, and I have been given visions of heaven through other people. I know how amazing it's going to be.

I don't want to go to heaven alone. I want to bring my family, friends, and sponsored children with me.

I want the world, as we know it, to end. I long for the rapture. I want to stand before God and (hopefully) have him tell me that I was a faithful and loving servant. I long to walk through those heavenly gates and worship God for all eternity. I long to hug my sponsored children. I want to have a picnic with them, I want to praise God with them. I want to tell them how much I love them. I want to hear their voices.

I want to know that all suffering on Earth is gone. I don't want to see any more news stories about children dying in poverty, teenagers being bullied because of their sexuality, mothers killing their children, teachers abusing their students, politicians taking money away from important things and using it to buy bombs.

I just can't take it anymore.

I don't belong here. I know it.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end."

Someday, everything will be perfect.

Are you as excited as I am for heaven?!

Also, if God knows me at all, which I'm pretty sure he does (haha), heaven will have a place like this that I can run around in...

Monday, May 14, 2012

See Your Impact: May 2012 (And an April Donation)

If you guys are new to my blog, I do something fun and amazing every month. I donate to a special cause on the first day of each month. I use this website called See Your Impact. On this website, you can choose from a variety of causes to donate to. You can choose by country, by age group, by theme, and even by amount of money you had available to donate. When you choose a cause, you donate your specific amount of money. You can choose to send a gift completely on your own or you can combine your donation with others to fulfill a bigger cause.

After about two weeks, you receive an email from the website, showing you a picture and giving you a story about the exact person that your donation helped. It's so cool!

This month, I chose to spend $20 to donate school uniforms to a child in India. Check out this little cutie that I helped send to school...

Dear Kayla,
Vaum Lavanya is six years old, studying grade one is the youngest child of Veerababu, who is a farm laborer from the village Thammavaram which is located in the outskirts of Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, India. Veerababu is a mason works inKakinadawhich is about 10 kilometers from his village. He earns about $4 per day, when he can find the work only. Because of his poor economic background his children need support for proper education and development. His another child is older than Lavanya and also studying Grade 3 in Sarada Vidyalayam, the school managed by Sankurathri Foundation.

Under such circumstances education is never a priority for them and if they send the child to work she can make some money to supplement the family income. In this manner many boys and girls in the rural areas are becoming child laborers and supporting their families.

Thus there are many children in the rural areas who are drop outs of education because of their parents' economic conditions. Sarada Vidyalayam is helping such children to complete their education without any financial burden to their parents. The school provides not only free education. The school maintains a very strict curriculum and provides quality education and imparts good discipline and values to groom them as good citizens. With your assistance we can provide a set of two uniforms to Lavanya.

Thank you Kayla to make a change in Lavanya's life.

I did not give a See Your Impact donation in April. Instead, I came across this blog with a wonderfully amazing 14 year old. She is trying to raise over 5 million dollars to send 1 million chickens to families in India. By donating just $11 you send a family a male and female chicken. The female chicken can lay eggs for both food and to birth more chickens. It gives each family food and a new buisness as they start to farm their growing chicken family. This girl has raised over $37,000 so far for chickens. That's just about 7000 chickens! She's 14!

If you would like donate some chickens for this great cause, you can go to this site and do just that. Because really, what else were you going to do with that $11? 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Praise

Today I am praising God for one fantastic woman. My mom. She is just amazing. I am absolutely blessed to have been paired up with her for life. God sure does know what he's doing when he pairs up children and mothers, doesn't he?

I owe so much to my mother. She has made me the strong and independent woman that I am today. I appreciate her so much. She has done more for me than I could ever know.

Thanks for putting up with me for the last 23 years, mom. I love you.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

Compassion Bloggers: Tanzania (Internal Link Craziness!)

I know that if you are a follower of various child sponsorship blogs, you've seen this already. But seriously, how can I not post about it? The Compassion Bloggers are in Tanzania! These blogs have been so great to read. Here is the website with all of the blog posts so far.

Now I want to share with you some of my favorite blog posts. The passion and the love and the pictures in this blog really show what child sponsorship is all about. It makes me so proud that God has chosen me to be part of this process. I am a child sponsor and God is doing great work through me in the lives of wonderful children in the world. I am so happy. Anyway, onto the blog posts...

If you would like to sponsor a child through Compassion International, click here to be taken to many pictures of beautiful children from all over the world. You can choose your child based on country, gender, special needs, age, and birthday. Don't wait another day. A child out there needs you!    

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Abu is 10!

Happy Birthday Abu-Bakarr!

You're 10 years old today. On May 10th. It's your golden birthday! I am praying that you have a wonderful day and that you are happy and healthy.

I hope you got the presents I sent you in the mail and that you enjoy your new clothes and your friends like playing Connect Four with you. It's a pretty fun game.

I'm very excited to get a new picture from you, since you are only 8 years old in this picture. I bet you look so grown up now. I am so happy to have been your sponsor for four years. I hope our friendship continues for several more years!

I love you, Abu.

Touching Thursday

Wegaheyu has been sponsored! Praise God that this beautiful young woman has hope for a new life. I wish her all the best in her life!

Ndayizeye has been sponsored! So happy!

Eric has been sponsored too! What a great week! All three of these beautiful children have been sponsored!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Friday, May 4, 2012

Letter to the Kids!

I love writing letters to my sponsored children! I admit, I stayed up way too late last night writing these letters and I'm so exhausted this morning. But, it's Friday and I can get through anything at work on a Friday. Maybe I'll take a nap on my lunch hour. That would be lovely.

Anyway, I chose to write spring themed letters. Each child got a letter talking about some of the changes the weather and nature go through in the spring. I also included some picture. Five pictures of flowers that I found while I was walking around my town. These are mostly from people landscaping, don't tell people I was in their yards, haha. I also sent a picture of a duck family (the mama duck was about to lay her eggs) and a picture of some of my students flying a kite. I hope the kids love these pictures!

Of course, I also had to decorate the paper with stickers because...well...that's what I do. I think a plain piece of white paper looks boring. I hope my boys appreciate sparkley flower and bunny stickers, haha.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Touching Thursday

Another Thursday, another three wonderful children looking for sponsors. If you're interested in sponsoring one of these children, you should definitely do it. Sponsoring children is such a wonderful part of my life!

Also, if you choose to sponsor one of these kiddos after seeing them on my blog, please email me at . I would love to send you some stationary and some stickers and maybe some other fun things to send to your newly sponsored child.

Nicolaus has been sponsored! I'm so happy!  

5-29-12. After waiting 181 days, 6 long months, for a sponsor, Daliver's wait is over! He has been sponsored. I am excited for this handsome young man's life.

5-23-12. Swarupa has been sponsored! I'm so happy that this lovely young lady is going to be blessed by her sponsor, as well as a blessing to her new sponsor family.