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!


  1. Awesome!! It's wonderful that you are getting so many letters from him! I love learning more about my kids through their letters.

  2. Yay for four letters!!! That's great!
    PS: Here is the link to where I view the kids siblings. If you replace the INSERT-YOUR-CHILDS-ID-#-HERE with the actual ID number you can see your child as all the kids are on that link. Then just go one digit up or down to find siblings that were registered at the same time. If they were registered at a different date then their ID number would be much different and you have to start going through the ID's for ever kid in a project starting with 0001 to find them based on name and age etc, unless, like with my Cris' sister Tiara, Compassion just gives you their ID

    1. Thanks for the help, but that link didn't take me anywhere.

    2. It won't unless you insert your child's ID first and delete the whole phrase part of it.

    3. Oh, I get it now! Thanks!

    4. You're welcome :) And yes, Compassion's rule is 3 kids per family can be enrolled, but they also leave it up to individual countries and even projects to decide if it's 1, 2 or 3. In areas where there is a lot of poverty, less kids per family are enrolled so that more families can take advantage of the program (since there is a limit to # of kids too). Also, they don't enroll kids older than age 10 (kids that are older than 10 that are in the program were enrolled before they reached that age and then they can stay, but new kids are always between age 3 - 10.
      And I just found out I have 2 letters on the way from my kids. One from Linda and one from Keila! Yay! (should take a couple weeks to get them though)