Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Letters to My Kids: October 2012

Each month, I like to share the letters that I wrote to my sponsored children. I do this for a few reasons. One, is so I don't forget what I wrote about and two, so maybe I can help others when they are feeling unsure of what to write about.

So, without further ado, here are the two letters that I wrote to my kids this month:


The first letter I wrote to my kids was telling them about how we celebrate new year's here. I also told them about setting goals for the new year and I asked them if they wanted to set any goals that I could pray for them to accomplish in 2013.

I'm not sure when you'll receive this letter, but I want to talk about how we celebrate the new year in my country. In the United States, a new year beginning is a celebration! We think of a new year as a new opportunity to try something new and set new goals for ourselves.

On December 31st, people tend to get together with family and friends to celebrate. I usually spend the day with my family. We have a good meal, play games together, and we like to talk about what our favorite parts of the year were. It's a good time to share memories of the year with each other. When it gets dark outside, people often set of fireworks to light up the night sky. I love fireworks and I think they are so bright and colorful. People stay up until midnight to countdown until the new year. At midnight, people cheer and clap and celebrate that it is now a brand new year!

How do you celebrate the new year in your country?

One of my most favorite parts of our New Year's celebration is making what call New Year's Goals. In my family, we like to choose just one big goal that we hope to accomplish in the next year.

In the year 2013, I really want to work on trusting God more. It may sound silly, but sometimes I have a hard time trusting in God's plan for my life. Sometimes I think that I know better and can follow my own plan. I have learned that this just isn't true and God always knows what's best for me, even when life seems hard at times. Will you pray that I will trust God will everything in my life, both big and small decisions?

After reading my letter, can you think of a goal you would like to make for the year 2013? It can be anything you can think of. I would love to hear what your goal is so that I can pray for you to meet this goal.

I love you very much.I hope you have a good new year


The 2nd letter that I wrote (to my older children) was a letter about the parable of the Prodigal Son. I love how this letter turned out!

(I wrote a Noah's ark themed letter to my younger kids and sent it along with coloring sheets and stickers. I didn't take a picture of this letter, sorry)

Today I want to share one of my favorite parables that Jesus shared in the bible. This parable is the story of the Prodigal Son. Have you ever read this before? You can find this story in Luke 15:11-32. I encourage you to read the parable before you read the rest of this letter. I hope you have a bible close by.

My favorite verse from this story is verse 24 that says, "For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was dead and now is found."

Throughout the parable, the youngest son made many mistakes. He used the money that his father gave him in bad ways and he was not able to afford food and other things he needed to survive. Because he was so hungry, he wasn't able to do good work in order to make money. After living through many hard things, the young son realized that he needed help and he decided to go back home to his father. The son was worried, though, that his father would no longer love him because of the mistakes he made. He returned to his home, ready to be a slave for his father because he thought he no longer deserved love. However, when the son returned home, his father greeted him with a big hug and a lot of love.

I like this story because it shows exactly how God feels about all people. God loves you and me very much. No matter how many mistakes we make, God will always love us. Nothing you or I do will ever make God not love us. Sometimes, we are going to make bad choices in our lives, and God is going to be angry at us. Just like a good parent, God gets angry at us when we make mistakes or bad decisions. But, like the loving Father he is, God will always forgive us and he will always love us. He will greet us with open arms and a lot of love when get to heaven someday. Just like the father said in this parable, when we make mistakes and walk away from God, we are dead and lost. But when we confess our sins and come back to God, we are alive again in the spirit.

I hope you know this to be true. I love you very much


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Two More Letters from Kalpesh (Believe it or Not)

I received two letters from Kalpesh today, and Compassion told me there are actually two more on the way from him! Kalpesh is actually writing to me MORE than I am writing to him.

I just love him so much.

Dear friend Kayla,
Greetings to you in the loving name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Once again, it is my great pleasure to write this letter to you. I am very glad to receive your letter and thank you very much for picture of flowers, ducks, and your class children. Really very nice pictures. I like it very much. Here also different kinds of flowers found like rose, lily, cosmos, marigold, Jasmine, Mogra and so on. I like to play cricket with my friends. Once again, thanks a lot for your letter and pictures. I am praying for you. Love you so much.
First of all, my heart almost melted. This is the first time he has said, "I love you so much." I have a feeling it's because I say it to him, but I just know the feeling is mutual.
I know it may sound silly, but I've never seen a jasmine or mogra flower before, so I looked up some pictures. Here they are:
Hi Kayla!
How are you doing? Praise the Lord! Once again I get such opportunity to write and share with you. I am very happy to receive your seven letters at the same time. Really, it is a great surprise! Did you get much time for to write? Because there are others in your sponsorship family. How could you manage it? Whatever, but I am very thankful to you for it. I am not playing cricket in a team, just playing with my friends. My uncle and aunt are doing well. My mom and brothers will come for Deepavali Festival. In summer vacations, me and my sister went where my mom and brothers are staying. Love you so much and thanks a lot for your love.
It is so good to hear that I don't write too often! I write each of my kids a planned topic letter twice a month. Then, on top of that, I also write response letters. Since Kalpesh writes to often, I often have a lot of questions to respond to, so he gets probably about 4 letters a month. He receives them in bulk, I think about every 6-8 weeks, depending on what's happening at the project.
I love that he asks me how I find the time to write so many letters. I could totally ask him the same question! I love that he says "whatever" like it doesn't really matter, just keep writing, haha. I intend to!
I am so happy that he and his sister got to go stay with the rest of their family over the summer, since they are living so far away from each other. Yay!
I love hearing about the Deepavali Festival. It's always so fun to learn about holidays and festivals that my kiddos celebrate. From what I have researched, the Deepavali Festival is also known as the Festival of Lights. It sounds like families light candles and clean their houses to make it welcome for good spirits. At night, they set off firecrackers to scare off the bad spirits. Then everyone in the family eats and shares sweets. Sounds like a fun time...except for the cleaning, haha.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Fantastic Letter From Abu!

I opened my mailbox today and saw that famous World Vision orange in there! I saw Abu's ID number on the front and started jumping down the stairs to my apartment. I love reading letters from this sweet boy!

Dear Kayla,
Abu and his grandmother received the bright, lovely photos you sent for him with the letter.
They thanks a lot and always remember you in their prayers.
His grandmother says she has never seen the clarinet before and likes the photos of you and your two friends standing with the instruments in your hands.
Abu loves music, only that he has not been able to get any musical instruments. He joins his friends to sing and dance to praise God.
His grandmother and her friends have a set of drums which they play occasionally to praise and worship God and sometimes at death ceremonies.
Abu has gone back to school after the long holidays. He is happy to be back to school to meet new and old friends.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

See Your Impact Results: October 2012

Each month, I donate to an organization called See Your Impact.

With this organization, you donate money to a specific cause. The money goes to one person. When that person receives the item that the money paid for, you are emailed a picture and a story about the person who received the item.

It really is just amazing.

This month, I chose to donate $10 so a person in Uganda could get a mosquito net. The $10 doesn't pay for the whole net, but it allows the person to purchase the net at a severely discounted price, which is still awesome. Here's who I was able to help this month:


Kawesa's children get a net!

Dear Kayla,

Kawesa is a 35-year-old father of four children. He lives in the Bunio Village of Uganda, a village that Uganda Village Project has been working in for the past three years. Kawesa is a carpenter and subsistence farmer while his wife sells vegetables to make ends meet.

When asked why he bought nets, he said, "This season the harvest was good and we had enough money to purchase nets for the children. I have bought nets because this area has many mosquitoes and I want to keep my children from getting bitten by the mosquitoes, as they cause malaria. I am very grateful that UVP and their donors sell nets at a subsidized affordable price. Thank you very much."

Thank you, Kayla, for helping to keep Kawesa's healthy!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Wordless Saturday: Farm Field Trip Edition

So, I usually do Wordless Wednesday posts. Today is not Wednesday (in case you didn't know, haha). But, we did go on this field trip on Wednesday, so I feel like that counts. It just has taken me a little time to upload the pictures.

We had so much fun!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Letter from Kwizera's Pastor

Here is the pastor letter from my child Kwizera's project in Rwanda.

Dear Sponsor,

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I am pastor Akimana of the Nyantanga Church, where I minister to your Compassion sponsored child. Our sponsored children attend Nyantanga Church Child Development Center. We thank you very much indeed for your support you render, the prayers you offer, and the love you show for your sponsored child. May the Lord Jesus bless you!

I would like to share some thoughts with you that will help you understand more about our community and Compassion's Child sponsorship program in Rwanda. Our child development center serves 228 sponsored children and another 10 children are registered but still waiting to have sponsors.

Children are pleased to come to the center, where they receive entertainment, have fun with fellow children, and feel relieved of the burden of the chores back at home. The families are below the poverty line and cannot afford to give their children the basic needs. The major problems affecting their community are: poverty, diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, and famine caused by drought, all of which lead to poverty.

We teach children, with their families, how to prevent themselves from diseases like malaria, HIV, and AIDS. We have classes to supplement what they are taught in school, such as English and mathematics. And above all, we teach them about Jesus.

My vision is to serve this community in the name of Jesus and I believe that their lives have tremendously changed. Your support means a lot to the children. They are always delighted to receive your letters and photos, for they feel loved and special.

Please continue to pray for your sponsored child. And please pray for us too. We thank you so much for being our partner in this ministry.

May God bless you abundantly!

Pastor Akimana

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Touching Thursday: Teenage Boy Edition

Every Thursday, I like to post three children that are waiting for sponsors, in the hopes that they will find loving sponsors.

This week, I've felt myself drawn to some handsome teenage boys on the Compassion site. Usually, I feel myself drawn to the boys anyway, but usually they are between the ages of 7-11. This week, those teenagers have really been grabbing my heart. Here are three handsome young men, all waiting for somebody to give them hope and love:

This handsome guy is Eduardo. He is 16 years old and from Bolivia. His birthday is April 2nd. He lives with his father, mother, and two siblings. His father is sometimes employed and his mother maintains the home. Eduardo helps at home by running errands, making beds, and cleaning. As part of Compassion's ministry, Eduardo participates in church activities and Bible class. He is also in middle school where his performance is average. Soccer, singing and playing with marbles are his favorite activities.
The regional diet consists of maize, bananas, chicken, bread, beef, plantains, rice and potatoes. Common health problems in this area include tuberculosis, intestinal infections, anemia and parasites. Most adults in Las Pampitas work as laborers and earn the equivalent of $116 per month. This community has water and electricity but needs employment opportunities and paved roads.
This is 15 year old Jose. He is from Honduras. His birthday is September 22nd. Jose lives with his grandfather, mother, and five siblings. His grandfather and mother are both employed as laborers. Jose helps his family by gathering firewood, making beds, and running errands. For fun, Jose enjoys soccer, telling stories and playing with marbles. He attends church activities, Bible class and Vacation Bible School regularly and is in primary school where his performance is average.
The regional diet consists of maize, beans, eggs and rice. Common health problems in this area include respiratory illnesses, diarrhea, allergies, malnutrition and eye diseases. Most adults in Barrio Suyapa work as day laborers and earn the equivalent of $210 per month. This community needs secondary schools, employment opportunities and vocational training centers.
11-2-12 Wilfredo has been sponsored! I knew it wouldn't be too long before somebody fell in love with his smile.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Letter from Sadiya's Pastor

I'm sharing another pastor letter with you today, this time it is from my sweetheart Sadiya, from India. I just love reading these letters!

Dear Sponsor,
Greetings in the name of God.
I am pastor Jacob, engaged in ministry with staff working with us at the Chandan Hulla Child Development center in Delhi, India. In this center we provide care to your Compassion-sponsored child. We are thankful to you for your support for your sponsored child.
To introduce ourselves, we, as a spiritual welfare society, engaged in ministry in different parts of India. We are doing charitable works among the people in humble ways in order to lift the people from poverty.
Chandan Hulla, Delhi is a place where most of the people are poor, illiterate, and non-hygenic. The majority of the people are unemployed and the rest of the people are daily laborers. And they live in rented rooms with common bathrooms and toilets and each family have more than four children. Illiteracy, unemployment, lack of health check-ups and general awareness are the main issues among this community.
As the people of Chandan Hulla don't have permanent income, they cannot look after their family and children properly, to give proper education, food, and health care. Even they don't know the value of education. They are not getting the benefit of information technology. Most of the male members of the family are drunkards. They need general awareness.
Very recently, we started our center in partnership with Compassion International. Through this program, there will be a lot of change in the society. It will uplift the children from poverty and spiritual bondage. Also, this program helps the unprivelaged children of Chandan Hulla to get primary education, health care, and computer education. The adult literacy and general awareness program can be done so that we know the love of God both in action and word. Above all, we can share the joy of a deeper, personal relationship with God, among the village, through these children.
The children can be benefitted educationally, spiritually, socially, physically, and mentally. Chandan Hulla is a mixed community of religious beliefs. Through these children, we can reach those who have never heard of God to extend faith to many people, through these children.
We are grateful to you for your support and prayers for the children of this program. Through your support, the local church will be able to witness in an effort to show God's love in action. We trust that God will continue to work through each of us fulfilling his promises to the children of Chandan Hulla slum in Delhi.
Please pray for our center and staff. Pray always for your sponsored child. We pray God for using you to support our children and bring transformation in their lives. May God continue to pour his blessings upon you.
Thanking you, in His service,
Pastor Jacob

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Two More Letters from Kalpesh (Seriously)

It's official, this wonderful is answering each and every letter I write him. This is the 3rd and 4th letter I've received from him THIS MONTH. I'm just amazed. This is true correspondence with a sponsored child. A true give and take pen pal relationship.

Dear friend Kayla,
Family greetings to you in the most wonderful name of Lord Jesus Christ. Received your letter, happy to read it and thank you very much for writing and card of winter farm. How are you and your family? My study is going well, I had finished one month in the school. It is difficult to adapt the situation, because everything is new for me. (I wonder if he's going to a new school this year?) But I am enjoying with my friends. Once again, thanks a lot for your love. I am praying for you.
With Love,
In June, I wrote letters to a few of my sponsored children (the ones I felt that could handle it) and told them about some of my other sponsored children. I was a little nervous in doing so, but Kalpesh seems to be doing well with the news!


Dear friend Kayla,

Greetings to you in the sweetest name of Lord Jesus Christ. I am very happy to get your letter and stickers and coloring sheets. Also, I am happy to write you. Say hello to my siblings Eric, Abu, and Celeste (The sponsored children I told him about) and to dear little friends. Thank you for colorings, I like it very much. One of them I am sending back to you.

Here it is the rainy season is going on and raining heavily. Is it raining there? How are you and your students doing? Thank you so much for writing to me in spite of your busy schedule. May God help you in every work.

Your Friend,


Monday, October 22, 2012

Letter from Eric's Pastor

Through Compassion, several projects have the pastors at the local church write a letter to the sponsors of children in that community. These letters talk about what life is like for the kids and the families in this area. The letters are very interesting and sometimes shocking to read.

Only three of my nine Compassion children have letters from their pastors. I'm going to share all three of these letters over time, whenever I'm feeling the need for a little bit of filler.

Today is one of those filler days and I would like to share the letter from Eric's project in Uganda. Because I'm such a lover of pictures, I searched google to find some pictures to put some visuals to some of the things his pastor said.

Dear Sponsor,
Receive greetings and love from Kisoro, Uganda, in the name of Lord Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.
My name is Rev. John. I am the pastor of St. John's Church of Uganda in the Muganza parish and I am the overseer of Compassion's Child Sponsorship program at our Muganza Child Development Center. It is here that I minister to your sponsored child. I would like to extend my deep appreciation to you for the love, support, and prayers you extend to your sponsored child. May God richly bless you.
Through our sponsors support, our program is making a great impact in the lives of our children. Of our currently registered children, 272 are sponsored, with 9 children still waiting to be sponsored.
Children who come to the center here at our church are very excited to be in the program because some of them come from broken families, child-headed homes, and others suffer from malnutrition. Some of the children live on less than a dollar a day.
Some children live in very small and crowded homes where you find a family of eight living in a small mud wattle hut with poor ventilation. Conditions in these homes are unsanitary and a number of children suffer from skin diseases like rashes, respiratory diseases, and other poverty related diseases.
My center workers and teachers have devoted themselves to these children; they truly love them and know each by name. They are truly good stewards of the work that God has entrusted onto them.
Among the things we teach the children are health, hygeine, and good behavior. In addition to that, we also supplement what they learn from the school curriculum, especially for the academically weak children. Above all, we teach them about Jesus, their ressurected Lord. We also pray for each individual child and conduct bible classes. This is done according to age groups.
During the past 10 years of our ministry, about 75 of our children have confessed Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Many family members have been attending our church services in large numbers.
My vision is to touch this community with the love of Jesus and to bring healing to the community that is devastated by scurge of HIV and AIDS. I feel blessed to be a part of this ministry of children.
We also trained children in many skills, ranging from spiritual and economic. Among spiritual things, we have programs such as leading services in the church, reading bible lessons in the church, and leading others in their daily devotions. And economically, we teach them skills like carpentry, knitting, bricklaying, basket making, and tailoring.
I would like to assure your that your support and the encouraging letters you send mean a lot. Letters, photos, and gifts make the sponsored child feeled loved, valued, and very special.
Please continue to pray for your sponsored child and please pray for us here at the center as we continue to help these children grow into healthy and responsible Christian adults, who will become future leaders tomorrow.
Thank you very much for being a faithful partner in this ministry. May the almighty God of love continue to shine upon you, now and always.
Yours in Christ Jesus,
Pastor John
To sponsor a child in Uganda and a make a wonderful difference in their lives today: Go here to view children in Uganda waiting for sponsors.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Albanian Mail Call!

I got two letters from Albania today, one from each of my boys there. I just love these boys. Xhuliano is so open, loving, and sweet. Florenc is more serious and to the point, very thankful and respectful.

Two different personalities. Equal love.

I'll share Florenc's with you first. Florenc is 13 years old. He has the most awful handwriting, which I suppose is typical for a teenage boy, haha. Florenc's mother is essentially dying from kidney failure and needs a transplant. I called WV to look into the surgery and it was cost around 25,000 USD due to having to travel out of the country to have the surgery. I know there is no way I can help financially. Florenc also needs surgery due to "exteras bubalae" in his nose, which are essentially blockages that make it hard for him to breathe. This poor family. Also, WV is sending him a bible on my behalf. It seems like he knows that it's coming now!

 Here's the letter:


My dear sponsor Kayla,
This is Florenc writing to you. Now, I can say that know you much better and this is due to our constant correspondence. I would like to thank you so much for the support you give to me. Thank you for caring about my family and me as well. I am not doing very well though because my mother just had a surgery from her kidneys and she is not feeling very well.
I have a little brother and both of us have started the school. I am on 8th grade and my brother is on 6th grade. I am doing just fine at school, however, I have to do some chores in the house to help my mother. My parents are both unemployed and I have problems with the exteras bubulae in my nose and the doctors said I need to have surgery.
My mother needs a kidney transplant, even though our economic situation is not very good.
I am so much looking forward for your bible to come!
Thank you so much for the respect you show for my family and me!
Lots of honor and respect from Florenc and family!
Xhuliano's letter is a response to a letter I sent him. I listed a whole slew of questions about his school for him to answer. I told him not to worry about answering all of them if he got to bored or there were too many questions. He answered that part of the letter so sweetly! Everything this boy says is so sweet.
Here's his letter:
Dear my wonderful friend,
I was very happy to receive your letter again. I can't wait for school to start. I start school on 10th September. I'm going to buy my bag, shirt, books, school tools, etc. I go to school by foot and it's 20 minutes from my house, but it's a bit difficult to pass the street. Even here, the school lasts 6 hours. Last year, I went to school in the afternoon, but this year I go in the morning. I have plenty of friends. My best friend is Klajdi, who lives near my house, but even my cousin Redjon, with who I go to school every day. I like to ride the bike, but I take Klajdi's one because I don't have a bike. We are 28 students in class and our teacher's name is Eni.
No, I don't get bored from your questions. I like when you ask me about different things. I get happy when I read all the things you say for me. Thank you with all of my heart, my dear friend. I wish you a good school year.
With love and hugs from Xhuliano
I'm connecting this post to Michelle's Mail Call post over at Blogging from the Boonies . Check it out!

Six Word Saturday

Seriously, a six hour training day?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Touching Thursday

Today is the day that I share three beautiful children who are waiting to be sponsored by somebody loving and encouraging.

For only $38 a month you can save a child from a life of poverty and despair.

If you are feeling lead to sponsor any of these children, I urge you to do so. It's such an amazing blessing and really, you won't miss the money at all when you get that first letter from your child. It's beautiful.

Carlos has been sponsored! I am so happy to know that this handsome boy will be loved and taken care of.
This little guy is Gabriel from Guatemala. He is 5 years old and his birthday is January 17th.
Gabriel lives with his father and his mother. At home, duties include running errands. His father is employed as a teacher and his mother is employed as a teacher. Gabriel is not attending school because he is too young. Playing with cars and bicycling are his favorite activities. He also attends church activities, Bible class and Vacation Bible School regularly.
The regional diet consists of maize and beans. Common health problems in this area include respiratory diseases, stomach illnesses and allergies. Most adults in San Andres Peten work as day laborers and earn the equivalent of $75 per month. This community needs literacy training and schools .
To sponsor Gabriel, click here.
Smiley Usha has been sponsored!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Xhuliano's Birthday Gift

My wonderful boy Xhuliano in Albania will turn 12 years old on December 26th.

Check out this handsome guy!

Since I sponsor Xhuliano through World Vision, I am able to send him anything I can think of, as long as it's appropriate. I don't do it often, because shipping is expensive, but it's nice to not be restricted to paper items only, on occasion.
Here's the gift I am sending to Xhuliano:
A frog t-shirt, color your own Cars stickers, animal stickers, birthday card, and two pieces of decoratives paper. All of the paper items went into the Happy Birthday bag.
I can't wait for him to receive this package. I know he's going to love it!