Saturday, June 30, 2012

Six Word Saturday

"Volunteering with Compassion. Praying for Sponsors"

Friday, June 29, 2012

Worship: The Same Everywhere

Lately, I've been thinking about worship a lot. I've been realizing that I worship so often. Not just at church, but eveywhere. I find myself constantly raising up my arms and thanking God throughout the day, for various reasons:

Getting a letter from one of my sponsored children makes me jump up and down and praise God.

Being able to pay my bills on time and still have money leftover for my savings account is truly a miracle. God is a wonderful provider.

Having prayers answered in big ways is changing my heart.

Of course, there are countless other reasons to worship and praise God. To get deeper, I've looked up both bible verses and quotes about worship, to help me see other sides and opinions on worship. I would like to share some with you. And because I love sponsorship so much, each of these quotes/verses will also come with a picture of cute kids worshipping.

Prepare your hearts for adorableness.

Psalms 99:5 Exalt the LORD our God; worship at his footstool! Holy is he!

"The whole person, with all his senses, with both mind and body, needs to be
involved in genuine worship."
Jerry Kerns

Psalms 95:6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!

"God is to be praised with the voice, and the heart should go therewith in holy
Charles H. Spurgeon

James 4:8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you…

Romans 12:1-2 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

"'A glimpse of God will save you. To gaze at Him will sanctify you."
Manley Beasley

Psalms 59:16 But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.

"The first element in worship is adoration. The Hebrews expressed this by their posture
and not alone my their word. For they prostrated themselves before God. O come, let
us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. They did not come
with an easy familiarity into the presence of God, but were aware of his greatness and
majesty, and came with a sense of privilege to His house.
H.H. Rowley

Psalms 66:4 All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name.” Selah

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Touching Thursday

Happy Thursday everyone! Another Thursday, another three children I would love to see sponsored! Are you their sponsor?

Sunil has been sponsored!

Solange has been sponsored! Yay!

7-7-12 Beautiful Charity has been sponsored! I am just so happy about this. This little cutie deserves a wonderful sponsor.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Letters to My Kids: June 2012

This month I wrote my kiddos two letters.

In the first one I told the kids about some of the local animals I can see in my town. I asked them to tell me about some of the animals they can see where they live. Pretty simple, but interesting to share.

I didn't take pictures of the second letters that I wrote, but I put a lot of heart into them. I decided that this was the time for me to introduce my sponsored children to some of the other children that I sponsor. I decided that the best way to go about this was to tell each child about three other children, that way to not overwhelm any of them. I chose which children to introduce to each child based on those closest in age to them or those that have similar home lives. For example, I introduced Abu and Celeste to each other because they both live with their grandmother and siblings, no parents around. It's nice to feel connected to someone, I think.

I sent each child pictures of the three children I introduced them to and I intend to share any updated pictures of their "sponsorship friends."

I'm hoping for the best. I spent much of the letters telling each child how much I loved them and what made them special to me. I'm just hoping for no jealousy. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Very Special Letter From Florenc

Awhile back, I wrote each of my sponsored kiddos asking them to send family photos, if they had them, and would be willing to part with them. I honestly didn't think I would get anything in return because most poor families either can't afford to get photos taken or if they have a few, they are prized possesions that the family won't give up.

When I opened the envelope from Albania yesterday, I saw a little hint of of a photo. They were real photos! Not even printed out on paper! I literally screamed a little bit in my apartment. If my neighbors didn't think I was odd before...they do now. Anyway, here are the pictures Florenc sent to me.

Florenc is the young man on the far left. In this picture with him is his baby cousin, his father, and his younger brother. Look how happy they all look! And the way dad is helping Florenc hold the baby shows how gentle and caring he is.

Florenc's brother, father, and mother. Check out mama's pink shades!

These wonderful pictures also came with a heartfelt letter. So much love comes from this 12 year old boy.

Hi my dear friend Kayla,

I received your letter and your pictures well.

I was so happy to hear from you and to hear that you are fine and have an amazing family. I like the pictures very much and you looked very beautiful. This is Florenci writing to you. I am doing fine.

I got to school everyday and I am on the 7th grade. I am doing fine with my lesson. I live with my parents and my brother. My father is doing well and he is a farmer. He works everyday with farming and he is doing fine. My mother is sick because of the kidneys. She is not feeling very well. My brother is doing fine. Hhe goes to the fifth grade. He is doing fine at school.

I have a great desire to go to the university and to have very high results.

I live in a very beautiful village and there is lots of greeness here where we live. We have many different and beautiful colors. There is warm weather here and we have started to plant different plants here. I am sending you two pictures and in one of them, I am with my brother, my father, and my little cousin. In the other one, there are my parents and my brother.

I would like to thank you for being my friend and I consider you as a member of my family.

Lots of honor and respect from your friend Florenci and family.

I love how excited Florenc is about his education! I hope that I can encourage him in his studies so he continues to work towards his goal of going to college.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Photos of Celeste (Lots of Them!)

As you guys know, my lovely friend Amanda over at Our Comapssion Adventure went to Honduras and she visited a ton of newly sponsored children. In that mix was my beautiful 10 year old Celeste. She went on this trip with Compassion and a group of amazing people. A smaller group of these amazing people got to go on a home visit to my Celeste's home. They took so many beautiful picutres.

Up until today, I've been keeping these pictures off of blog because I wasn't really ready to share them with the whole world quite yet. But, today is the day. I did not go on this trip and I did not take any of these pictures. I wish I could give credit where credit is due, but I'm honestly not sure who took what picture. But, I do have a feeling they aren't going to care that I'm sharing them.

Photos: Activate!


The Welcoming Committee at the Project

Beautiful Dancers

The Project's Worship Band

The Project's Pastor

A Projection of Their Dream Project

Celeste's Home. With her Grandmother, Brother, and Other Family Members

Celeste with her Grandmother in their Kitchen

Cooking Lunch on their Stove


Their Drinking Water. I think it's collected when it rains. I'm worried about it sitting out all the time and getting stagnent.

Celeste and her Cute Puppy!

Celeste with the Gift of Food she was Given

How Precious is She?!

Amanda and all of the beautiful children she was able to find sponsors for before her trip. Look at this group of cuties! Also...Celeste is super tall, haha.

I don't think I could be more in love if I tried.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Farewell to Meena

On Tuesday, I got a phone call from Compassion. I was at work and I was not able to answer it. They left a message. During my lunch break, I checked the message and got something along the lines of:

"Kayla, I was hoping to speak to you personally (uh-oh, never a good thing). I wanted to let you know that you will no longer be able to correspond with Meena because her project will be closing. Call back if you have any questions."

Any questions?! I had a lot!

After both calling and emailing, all of my questions were answered for me. Aren't the people who work at Compassion just wonderful?

It turns out that Meena's project is closing because the community no longer needs Compassion's assistance. The email I got from them said this:

"Project termination; DPT IN-556 Prj Term FL/FG: Y/Y; The community has seen a decrease in poverty and the church partner leadership no longer requires Compassion's support for working among children. We met with the church partner and can see the direct impact within the community. Children may continue to attend regular church activities and will receive direct benefits from the church partner without the assistance of Compassion. Child completed grade 10; will continue school"

It was explained to me that FL/FG: Y/Y means "Final Letter/Final Gift: Yes/Yes." It means that I am able to send both of these things to her. I think I'll only be able to send her a final letter, but I for sure am going to make it a good one. Compassion told me that I have to have the letter into the office by September. It won't take that long for me to write it, but I do have a lot to think and pray about before I sit down to write it.

I am so happy to hear that Compassion has done it's job and Meena's community can now be self sufficient, the church helping out the community on its own.

Still, it's bittersweet. I was hoping to have more time with Meena (is there ever really enough time?) I've only been corresponding with Meena since October, but I've written so many letters and got seven letters in return. I feel like we have really gotten to know each other. I'm going to miss her long, wonderful letters.

I am very happy that is going to continue going to school. Her dream is to become an archaelogist, which I know she can do if she keeps up her good work at school! Meena is also a wonderful Christian and loves God with her whole heart.

I know she is going to be okay.

God Bless Meena!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Touching Thursday

None of the children I posted last week found their sponsors. I know that God has a plan for these children and that they will find their sponsors in the perfect time. I can't help but feel a little disappointed though.

However, it is a new week and I have three more children to share with you!

Ezira has been sponsored! I hope his new sponsor can put a smile on that adorable face.

Keila has been sponsored!

7-2-12 Elmer has been sponsored! He'll get to start going to school again!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Letter From Eric!!!!

After almost five months, I have received a letter from Eric. I am just beyond happy! He truly sounds like a wonderful young man. He is almost 17 years old, but he is only in primary 4th grade. He told me how he is struggling with his school work and would like some prayer.

Part of the letter is written by Eric and the other part is written by a project worker.

Dear Kayla,

I am greet you in the name of the Jesus Christ. How are you and how is your life? Back to me, I am okay. My family members are greeting you. I have on brother. I am in primary four. I like two subjects, eg: mathematicas and science, only I don't have a lot of knowledge, but I do know Jesus.


From Project Workers:

Eric is a good boy struggling with handwriting and English language and hopes for improvement. He says he is glad for the concern and all the love you have for him and that he enjoys receiving mails from you.

Eric says that in Uganda, people do not ice skate because we do not experience winter season.

In Uganda, we are experiencing raining weather but we are just coming to the long dry season from mid-may to mid-september.

Eric says that he prays to God so that one day he will look at your face to face as well as his whole family.

He adds that you pray for him so that he can acheive success in school and in academics. And that his brother Moses is in school and is primary one.

He says that he is praying that God blesses you so much and he wishes you God's favor.

All from you loving son, Eric

Monday, June 18, 2012

My Beauty Queen, Celeste

I was going to wait until I got all of the pictures from Amanda to do a post like this, but I just couldn't wait. Amanda took two pictures of my wonderful girl in Honduras. A different group of people went to visit her in home and they have many more pictures of her that I will get from Amanda sometime soon.

Also, her name is not Iris, she actually goes by Celeste, her middle name. I've gotten so used to Iris, haha. I'll have to work on changing that.

Here are two pictures of Celeste:

Just seeing her holding my picture is just amazing. My heart is so full right now.

Here is Celeste with Amanda. Two gorgeous girls!

Amanda also told me a story. She said that as the group of people were leaving Celeste's home after her home visit, Celeste came running after them and said "Please tell my sponsor Kayla that I love her."

Be still my heart...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Amanda and Iris

Amanda over at Our Compassion Adventure has been in Honduras since Thursday. I've been thinking about her and praying for her and her group since the very moment I woke up on Thursday morning.

Today, Sunday, I woke up literally jumping up and down, with butterflies in my stomach. Today is Child Visit Day on this particular Compassion trip.

Amanda is not only visiting the beautiful children that she sponsors, she is also visiting the precious children she found sponsors for when she was advocating before her trip.

One of those children is my beauty queen, Iris. Amanda gets to see her today. She gets to hug her, pray with her, show her my picture, love on her, and even give her an amazing gift. I just can't even contain myself.

I know that when Amanda comes back she is going to have endless stories and lots of pictures to share with me and everyone.

I am constantly amazed and in awe of what God does when I choose to follow his will for my life.

Because of God working through Amanda, I get to love and be friends with this adorable 10 year old girl.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Importance of Letter Writing

I know that most people that read this blog are already dedicated sponsors. I know most of you already know how important it is to write letters to your sponsored children and you do so on a regular basis.

I also know that there are sponsors out there who know how important letter writing is, but they have gotten busy and haven't written their sponsored children recently, or only write every few months. This is okay. However, I want to encourage you to write more. It seems that most sponsors choose to write to their children once a month, especially younger children. I sponsor all older children and I strive to write them 2-3 times a month. This may be too often for some kids, but all of my sponsored children have proven to me that I do not write too often and that they are able to keep up, and love receiving so many letters from me at a time.

Sadly, I know there are sponsors out there who have never written their sponsored children a letter. Not even one. I want to help put things into perspective for these sponsors, and hopefully help change their minds a little bit.

Imagine you're a child in a 3rd world country. You live in a slum, you have two rooms in your house, one bedroom where you sleep with your mother and four siblings. Your father is off living in the city trying to make money to support the family. He comes home to visit a few times a year. Your mother goes off everyday to work leaving you in charge of your four younger siblings, who you are in charge of getting fed (if there's food) and off to school (if you were able to pay your tuition that month) in the morning.

One day, you get wonderful news. You've been sponsored! A wonderful young person in the United States has chosen your face, out of thousands, to sponsor. This person whom you have never met has agreed to pay for your food, your clean water, your education fees, and your healthcare. You want to thank this person! You want to get to know this person! You can't wait to receive a letter from them to learn all about them. A few months pass by, no letter. That's okay, it hasn't been that long, you write your sponsor a letter thanking them for their support and you ask them to write you back because you wish to know more about them. A year letter...still no letter. You continue writing to your sponsor, telling them about your school work and your family, but you know longer ask them to write you back. Writing becomes a chore. You're forced to write to a person who shows no interest in you.

Why did this person sponsor me if they don't love me? Maybe I really don't matter.

This is the norm for so many sponsored children in the world. They long to hear from you. Write your sponsored child! It's never too late to start developing a relationship with them. If it's been awhile, apoligize to them. Let them know how much they matter to you and to this world!

Look at the joy that comes from getting letters from their sponsors!

Be still my heart. Too much cuteness!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Touching Thursday: More Boys (Haha)

Oh you guys, I'm always drawn to these boys. They are all just so precious to me. I just want to see them all find sponsors, especially these three this week.

7-7-12 Vipin has been sponsored! After a long wait, he's found his wonderful sponsor, just a few days after his birthday. So happy!

6-23-12 Johan has been sponsored! I always feel an extra spurt of joy when an older boy gets sponsored. I just can't help it.

August, 2012. Henock has been sponsored!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

More Letters!

I have been so blessed with letters in the last few days, 7 from Kalpesh on Saturday, 2 from Abu yesterday, and today I received 2 letters from Xhuliano.

This little 11 year old boy from Albania is really one of the sweetest boys I now. He writes wonderful letters and everything he says is full of so much love.

His first letter needs a little background information and some explaination. Awhile ago I wrote to Xhuliano about my best friend Kristin. I told him about how she is working in Nicaragua, helping to teach children about argriculture and health. I told him about how I love Kristin and how I miss her very much. I told him about how she came home to visit in April and how that made me very happy. There was clearly an error in translation somewhere along the because he wrote all about my husband, Kris. Hahahahaha. You have to just read the letter. He's so sweet! But it just cracks me up.


Dear my wonderful friend,

I was very happy to receive your letter again, not only me but the all family.

Are you healthy, my friend? How about your family?

We do celebrate the feast of ABC, and the whole school gather and sing, dance, and recite.

I have a good relationship with my father and we hope to celebrate his birthday on 23rd of September. We want to do a surprise for him.

I wish you to have lucky days in your life with your husband Kris, who by the way has a beautiful name. I want to thank Kris for giving you love, support, and for making you happy. God bless you both to be together forever. I hug you both with love.



Dear my friend Kayla,

I was very happy to receive your letter, your gifts, and the picture of the students that you teach and educate. You must be a very good teacher. I like the letters that you write to me. I am very happy that you think about me. Now, the weather is hot. I pray everyday for Marsela, even for you my dear friend, to have luck and health in life. I still cover myself with the blanket that you sent and I think of you everyday. We share the same opinion about your favorite animal, the sea turtle. I was happy to learn about the sea turtle from you, you are so smart. Thank you from my heart for being an amazing friend and a smart girl. God bless you!

Hugs from Xhuliano


Monday, June 11, 2012

Holy Super Sierra Leone, Batman!

I got two letters from Abu today!

I just got four letters from him less than two weeks ago.

The letters were both written last month. I have never gotten a letter from Sierra Leone in just a month. They must be in super speed. I like it!

I feel like 2nd letter needs some clarification. I wrote Abu a letter about how my family likes to bake and decorate cookies. I thought it would be fun to take a picture of each step in the baking process and send them to my kids. As it turns out, that's not allowed. Abu didn't receive any of the pictures I took. While I can understand that it's like showing off food, and it would probably be mean to show him this. I didn't even think of that. I feel bad for even sending them to him. And all of my kids.

Sometimes my head doesn't think through things that may hurt my sponsored children.

Anyway, I really am happy to receive these two letters. I'm not trying to be a downer. Here they are:

Dear Kayla,

Your child is happy to receive a card and the stickers from you. He appreciates your kindness so much that he says thank you and your family. He says you are changing his life better as you have earlier said. (I think I told him that he was changing my life for the better). He spends his free time with his friends whilst talking to them about you and your family, telling them about your goodness to him. (It sounds like we are the same, talking to our friends about each other). He teaches his friends to jump for joy everyday because he has learned it from the card you sent to him. (I sent him a card with a frog on it that said Jump For Joy. This is too cute). He shows the stickers as well. Once again, he says thanks and remembers you all day long.


Dear Kayla,

Abu received the letter dated on April 6th on the 8th of May. He says many thanks for the wonderful explainations about the way you make and bake sweets and cookies. He has to understand everything as he continues to attend school. Maybe his teacher will teach him more. (I am super confused on what these two sentences mean). However, he says he did not see the finished cookies picture but it appears as he was there too. (I told him about how I made a cookie look just like him. I wish he would've been able to see that little boy cookie). He does not know how to bake, or even cook. His grandmother cooks for them but she too does not bake, even bread, which is common in the community. (I wonder where the bread comes from, or if they even eat it at all). Abu hopes that he will get some cookies so he can have and eat them. (I wonder if I'm allowed to bring him some cookies when I go visit him next summer). Once more, Abu says thanks and appreciates your kindness.


I just love this little boy. I wish I could even put it into words.