Friday, August 30, 2013

Two Girls from IN-860 Need Sponsors!

I have the child packets of five precious children from the project IN-860. For those of you who don't yet know what this project is/what it does, I will give you a quick rundown.

IN-860 is a project that is located in a red light district. This is a place where women openly sell their bodies on the streets for sex, often for way less than $1. These shops are big money makers and are run by both men and women. Children, both girls and boys are lured into working in these shops, through promises of money, an education, a good job, even sweets/toys. Some children are even kidnapped and forced to work here. Once a child/young adult starts to work in one of these sex shops, very little will get them out.

Compassion has started a project in this area to help those women are a currently stuck in this life of selling sex. The children in this area (often times children of the sex workers) are being rescued from this life and shown a better way to live. Compassion is teaching them hygiene, safety, schoolwork, and bible stories. Compassion is providing good nutrition, clean water, and free healthcare as well.

If you are interested in sponsoring one of these sweet children, please email me at and I will lead you through the process of filling out the form.

This project is truly doing amazing things in the lives of these children. If you choose to sponsor one of them, you are in for a wonderful journey. You will not regret it for one minute.

Today, I am going to share the girls with you. Girls are definitely more vulnerable in this community. Even though these girls are only 8 and 9 years old, they are already at risk of being sold off or even kidnapped into the sex trade. Compassion will truly change their lives.

This sweet girl is Prema. She is 9 years old. Her birthday is May 11th. 

Prema makes her home with her father, mother, and one sibling. Her father is sometimes employed as a laborer and her mother maintains the home. Prema helps by carrying water and caring for children. As part of Compassion's ministry, Prema participates in church activities. She is in primary school where her performance is average. Playing with dolls, walking, and hide-and-seek are her favorite activities. 

Shital has been sponsored! Yay!

Remember, If you are interested in sponsoring one of these sweet children, please email me at and I will lead you through the process of filling out the form.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A New Face Joins the Family

I've taken the leap again!

The girl that I posted in my Honduras post last week has found her way into my heart. After seeing her project, meeting the staff members and children there, experiencing church there, and actually seeing little Debora with her dad during the service, I just couldn't let her join somebody else's family.

So, here she is, the newest and youngest member of my family, Debora:

I am almost positive that I saw her and her family at the church service at HO-372 while I was there. I am near 100% sure that these pictures of her. I've already written her a first email and I attached one of these photos on it, asking her if the picture showed her with her dad. If it ends up not being her, it's okay, I already love the little girl in the picture. But, if it is a picture of her with her dad, I have some extra special things to say to them in that response letter. 

What do you think? Is this the same girl? 

Anyway, here is her information that I received from Compassion: 

Name: Debora
Age: 4
Birthday: September 22nd
Reason Not Attending School: Too Young

Family Duties: Running Errands, Cleaning, Gathering Firewood
Hobbies and Sports: Group Games, Bicycling, Singing
Guardians: Father & Mother
Father's Job: Welder
Mother's Job: None 

I am beyond excited to love on this little girl and her family. They are already so special to me. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Honduras Tuesday: God Doesn't Like Poverty

When I was making my way home after my trip to Honduras, I spent many hours in airports by myself. Between layovers between flights and then over four hours of sitting in O'hare bus terminal (it's definitely not the most entertaining place to spend time) I had a lot of time to sit and reflect. While in Honduras, there was never a moment of solitude. As an introvert, this sometimes got the better of me. I need time to reflect on what I'm seeing, on what I'm doing, what I'm going to do, and especially on what I'm feeling. There was a moment while we were in the mall (of all places) that I actually said, aloud, "I'm feeling fed up with people right now." I didn't mean to say it, it was just the truth. I was feeling overwhelmed, especially with the shocking difference of spending the morning at a Compassion project, where poverty was everywhere, to now spending the afternoon at a mall, where people are spending large amounts of money on things they simply didn't need. I think I was most overwhelmed with the fact that it was only about a 10 minute drive from the poverty to the opulence. It made me feel a little sick and I just wanted to sit and think about it for a little while.

But, now that I was at the airport, sitting for hours by myself, I was feeling the exact opposite. I didn't want to think about it. I didn't want to think about the shoe-less children, the homes made out of cardboard, the garbage lined dirt roads, the burning piles of trash, and the hopelessness of kids that weren't registered with Compassion staring in through the barbed wire fence that surrounded the Compassion project, where me and over 100 other people were having fun. 

(Photo Credit goes to Mark Hernandez) 

But, like any good introvert does, I let myself think. I let myself reflect. I let myself cry (just a little) in the O'hare bus terminal. To be honest, it probably wasn't the weirdest thing going on in the bus terminal. Chicago is a weird place. 

It was during that time that I started to plan my Honduras blog series. This trip to Honduras only lasted 5 days, but I came home with a lot to say. One of things I anticipated (and it turns out that I was correct) that some people wouldn't exactly be supportive of my trip. I was going to come home to haters, to say the least. People that would question why I spent my life savings on a trip to such a poor place. People that would see the pictures I brought home and say things like, "Oh that's a shame" and "Those poor people" and then go on with their daily lives. I can deal with those comments. However, when I started to mention what Compassion is and what they do, people start to talk about God. Good! Let's talk about God. Isn't he great?! Well, that's not exactly what everyone thinks. It comes down to, "Well, if God is so great, why does poverty exist? Why does He allow these poor children to live like this? What kind of God is that?" 

And that breaks my heart. 

Because, well, it turns out, that God doesn't like poverty. 

God did not create poverty. God does not want to see his children suffer. God does like to see his children living like this: 

(Photo Credit to Various Members on the Honduras Sponsor Tour)

God did not create poverty. Poverty comes from a corrupt world. It comes from people having more than they need in this world and not being willing to share it with those that don't. It comes from people getting so comfortable in their lives that they can't/won't notice the people who don't have what they have. It comes from a horrible cycle of a lack of education, from uneducated parents having children who also grow up uneducated. It comes from economical hardships, from the lack of money to buy basic necessities. 

But, more than anything poverty is a series of lies from Satan that teaches young children that they are nothing. Satan tells these children the lies that they don't matter, they aren't intelligent, they aren't loved, they mean nothing in this world, and that they will never amount to anything. Satan uses poverty to steal the hope out of young children. 

(Photo Credit to Mark Hernandez)

People can say that God is doing nothing to fight poverty. But, that couldn't be farther from the truth. While God is not snapping his fingers and making everyone wealthy (because that would just be silly), He is doing work in poverty. God is calling us to help. God has lead many, many people to care for the children and families living in poverty. These people, these staff members, volunteers, teachers, pastors, tutors, sponsors, and many other supporters, have all come together to work through Compassion International. Compassion intervenes in the lives of these young children and provides them with support academically, socially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Compassion works in all of these areas with each child, so that they will grow up to be a healthy, educated, productive, and God-loving adult. These are the children that will go on lead their country in many ways. 

Believe it or not, this trip has made me love God even more. God doesn't cause poverty. He doesn't want to see his precious children living in horrible conditions. God wants them out of poverty and he calls us, who are able, to help pull these children out, in Jesus' name. I am eternally grateful that God has chosen me to be a part of the mission of Compassion. He has chosen me to love these children, to connect with them, and even experience this poverty firsthand. He has started a fire in my soul to see poverty eradicated completely. I feel so blessed to be called on this road, this path, this mission. 

God is so good. 

 And yes, you can help fuel this change too. You can sponsor a child through Compassion. Not just in Honduras, but in 25 other countries as well. With your $38 a month, Compassion can rescue a child from poverty, give them basic necessities, and best of all, tell them that they matter. Compassion will teach these kids that their lives are not hopeless, they are not destined to be poor, and that their lives can change.

I urge you to look through your budget, and realize that $38 is not a lot of money. It's a meal at a restaurant for your family, it's a night at the movies, it's a cup of coffee everyday for a month. For me, it was too many fast food meals. What could it it be for you?

But, for a child living in poverty, $38 is everything.

Please visit Compassion International's Website and connect with a child needing a sponsor today.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Eric is Right on Schedule!

I's been a bit of a slower week here, with only one post from me. I'm sorry for that, but there just hasn't been much going on here lately. I posted my first Honduras post and have the next one planned and my mailbox has been empty, until today that is!

Since I started corresponding with Eric he has always written me a letter every three months or so. I last heard from him on June 4th, and then again today. That makes it less than 3 months this time. Hooray!

Eric started out a pretty quiet, closed, shy, and not very confident guy. Over this last year and a half, he has really opened up and seems to really think he can do well in life. I am so proud to get to see his confidence rise as he learns more at his Compassion project and as he starts to believe more in himself as he's grown into adulthood.

I am so grateful for Compassion and for God for pairing me with Eric. What a special young man he is. Here is his letter:

(I've noticed that Eric writes in first person, as far as I can tell, and the translator doesn't directly translate his words, but instead changes it to third person. I find that very interesting.)


Dear Kayla, 

Eric sends his love greetings in Jesus' name. He says that he is extremely happy for you especially the support and love towards him. Eric loves you so much and says that he is so proud of you. Eric adds that you have improved his standard of living. 

He appreciates so much for the money he received equivalent to 200,400 F. Eric says he was able to buy a school uniform, shoes, a sweater, t-shirts, clothes for his young brother, and also food at home. He says thank you so much and that may God reward you for the generous heart. 

Eric says that he is reading hard inside to improve his studies. He will continue praying for you. 

Eric says that it's summer season and with a lot of wind. He asks that how is weather over there? What are you doing these days? 

Eric ends by wishing you the best in whatever you do. Thank you so much. 


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Honduras Tuesday: Champions of the King

Before I begin, I want to tell you that all photos can be enlarged by clicking on them. 

When I sat and thought about how I should start updating about my Honduras trip, I decided to start at the very heart of what Compassion International is.

Compassion exists to help children in poverty. That is why this organization was created over 60 years ago. The main focus of Compassion always has been and always will be on the children.

On the very first morning of our trip, we traveled to a local Compassion project. The project we visited was HO-372: Los Campeones del Rey. This translates to Champions of the King.

This is exactly what these children are. They are Champions of the King. They are fiercely and unimaginably loved by God. And guess what? They totally know it! These kids live in the most horrible of conditions. They live in homes made made of iron sheets and cardboard boxes. They eat when they can. They don't always feel safe at home. They may or may not have shoes on their feet or the best clothes on their body, but they completely and utterly love God and know that He is in control of their lives.

When our bus pulled up in front of the project, we were immediately surrounded and greeted by sweet, beautiful faces. I was hugged by children almost instantly. No shyness. Just love.

(Photo Credit goes to the Schmitt Family)

We were ushered into the church at the project and asked to sit down. We were introduced by the pastor of the church and then we shared in a time of worship with the children and some of the parents. I have never in my life seen a child praise God with their eyes closed and their hands up. It was beautiful. 

After worship, we were invited to the courtyard area of the project. Here, we were greeted even more with some great dance performances. A group of girls performed a dance they had created and then a group of children did some traditional dances for us. Let me tell you, it was over 100 degrees outside at this point, but I would not have moved from my spot if you had paid me. I loved watching these children dance.

When the dancing was done, we did what children know best. We played! We played and we played and we played. We had various ball games going on, we blew bubbles, we played with stickers, we smiled, we laughed, we took pictures, we did group dances, and we just let the love pour out. We did all of this without really talking to each other. The language difference doesn't matter at all when you're playing. Fun crosses all language barriers.

After a wonderful morning of so much fun, it was time to gather inside to settle down a little bit and have some lunch. Each child received a nutritious lunch and a special drink full of vitamins and minerals. For some of the children, this may have been the only meal they would receive that day. 

After lunch, it was time for the children to start making their way home for the day. Some of the children were picked up from the center by their parents. The children that lived closer, started their walks home. Even better, some children stayed. I learned that the children are asked to stay for the few hours in the morning for activities, but they can stay longer. The staff at the project won't ask them to leave yet, if they are not ready to go home. I do wonder how many children typically stay. I think the group of boys who chose to stay were mainly just interested in watching us. They sat on the stairs and watched us eat lunch and talk for about an hour. 

After seeing this project and learning more about it in our group meeting after the children left, I am even more grateful for Compassion and the work that they do. They really are interested in every area of development for each child. Each child's progress physically, emotionally, socially, academically, and spiritually is tracked in detail. Anything they can possibly need, is provided, and noted in their file. It's just amazing how much the small staff at the project is able to accomplish. They truly love these kids. 

There are still children at this project, HO-372, who are waiting for sponsors. I brought back home one packet for a little girl from this project. I encourage you to take the details you have just read about this project and to look at the photos of all of the good that is happening here, and prayerfully consider sponsoring this little cutie. 

I want you to meet Debora: 

I sponsored Debora. Yay! 

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Info Packed Letter from Jhon!

This is the 3rd and final letter I received while I was on my tour in Honduras. It's always so nice to come home to a full mailbox after a trip away from home.

In this letter, Jhon is answering my questions about his project, school, etc. I love how much he told me in this letter. Jhon is such a great guy. He writes just about every two months, which is absolutely ideal, according to Compassion's standards.


Hello Dear Sponsor Kayla, 

Greetings in the peace of the Lord! Thanks for sending me the letter, photo, and stickers. About your questions, my house is made of Duralit (?) material. I live with my family and I sleep in the only bed. Yes, there is electricity in my home. We receive water through a water bomb (?). In Bolivia, there are many works in different part of Bolivia. People travel my plane, bus, train, or driving. In my project there are 350 children and young adults. The traditional food in our community is called Majadito (rice, dried meat, eggs, and bananas) and Churrasco (BBQ meat on skewers). I go to school by walking because my school is almost in front of my house physically. The subject which is hard for me is math. I go to school wearing a uniform. Also in my school I stay in classes for 4 hours and I like to play soccer at school. In my classroom there are 40 students. I think your turtle should be named Linda and if it's a male, Cars. I have a dog as a pet, but it doesn't know how to do anything. It just takes care of my house and her name is Princess. Everything is going on well in my life thanks to my parents and to God. I'm regular at school. I pray for you and your family's well-being and job. God keep you and your angel. Well, I say goodbye in the peace of the Lord. God bless your family! 

With Love,


Letters from my Indian Boys!

While I was in Honduras, I received a few letters from some of my kiddos. Today, I want to share the letters I received from Sandesh and Sagar, my sponsored boys from India. For some reason, the letter I got from Sandesh was written in December. I think it may actually be his very first letter. Isn't it odd how first letters sometimes get lost in the mail and show up so many months later?

Anyway, here is the letter:


Dear Kayla, 

Greetings to you in Jesus name. I am writing this letter on behalf of Sandesh. He is 9 years old. He study in 4th standard. His father's name is Sunil and mother's name is Maya. 

He like this project very much. He like to study and he is interested in singing and biblical story activities. 

He is a very good boy and he is regularly doing studies and prayer. Sandesh goes to school everyday. His family member is 6. 

He like to learn many biblical verses. Thank you for all your support and help and also for your prayers, on behalf of Sandesh. 

Your's in Christ


This next letter, from Sagar, is a very informative letter. His project is, yet again, doing wonderful things in his life and in the lives of the other children. I am continually amazed and happy to read about the positive change. I feel so blessed that God has chosen me to be a part of the lives of this project, through Sagar. 

In this letter, Sagar shared his daily schedule with me, which is so exciting!


Dear Sponsor Kayla,

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

I am so happy to write this letter to you! How are you? Thank you very much for your letters. Please pray for me increasing my faith on God. I want to become as like Daniel. 

Every day I wake up at 6:00 a.m. I take my bath and eat my breakfast. I leave for school at 7 a.m. My school time is 7 a.m to 12 p.m. I eat my lunch and going for project center everyday until 4 p.m. I sit in the shop for sale until 8 p.m. I eat dinner and sit for a study. I take time praying to God and the I go to bed. This is my schedule time everyday. 

Every I am going to project center, learning gospel songs and stories. In my project center they teach me curriculum activities. From the subject of physical development we have learned lesson number 1. We learn Genesis 1:27. They give me school bag, dress clothes, books and notebooks, and raincoat. It's very good. I have attended medical camp at my project center and they checked my blood group and HIV test. They give me well balanced diet foods. It's a very good diet. I am so happy to say about my project center. 

God bless you and your family. Thinking of you! 

Your Loving Child,


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A First Letter from Domenik! (With a quick update)

Hello Everyone!

I am officially back from Honduras. I had a wonderful time and experienced many amazing things. Please stay tuned for a new blog series. I will be posting a blog post about Honduras every Tuesday, starting next week. When I had many hours to spend in various airports yesterday, I planned out an 8 part series. So, 8 weeks of blog posts. Get excited!

Anyway, onto the meaning behind today's post. I received a first letter from Domenik. It took 4 months for this letter to get to me, which is the longest I've had to wait for an Albanian letter. I figured out by reading this particular letter, that another one had been sent previously and I never received it. I hope it makes it way to me someday!


Dear Kayla, 

I received your letter, your gift, and the card. When we saw your photo, I was with my mother, and when she saw it she said, "She has an angelic face and smile." (Heart melting already!). We loved them and I will send you some of my photos along with my mother. As I told you in my first letter, I have my mother, my father, my sister, and my grandparents. My mother does not work because she takes care of my little sister. My father helps my grandparents at the store, because we have a small grocery store. My father is 31 years old and my mother is 23 (She had Domenik when she was 17 years old). I am 6 years old and I will get in the 1st grade. My sister is 1 year old. My mother is writing the letter because I am little. We are all happy to get to know you so we would love to get to know you more. I was born in Greece and we lived there for three years and my mother knows Greek. I hope that you will write to me again so our friendship will be long. 



Thursday, August 8, 2013

Happy Birthday Eric!

Today is Eric's 18th birthday! It's a pretty big day in a young man's life when he turns 18 years old. I'm not sure if the law is the same in Uganda, but in my eyes, I suppose I have to stop calling Eric my sponsored "child", since...well...he's an adult now. Is it weird to call him my sponsored "man". Haha. Yeah, that sounds weird.

Either way, I pray birthday blessings over Eric today.

Dear Eric, 

I hope that you are having an absolutely wonderful day today! I hope you woke up this morning with excitement for your birthday. I hope you know how much you are loved and appreciated by your family, by your friends, by me, and most importantly, by God. 

God has certainly made you into a wonderful young man. I know that God has many big plans for you and your life. I will continue to pray that God blesses you and your family with abundant grace. 

I hope you get to do something special for your birthday. Maybe your mother will make you your favorite meal today. Maybe you'll have time to spend with your friends. Maybe you get to even have a party! Whatever you get to do, I'm hoping that you have a wonderful birthday. 


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Letters to My Kids: July 2013

I completely forgot to post letters for June or July. I'm sorry, I know that some of you really enjoy using the ideas I post on here. 

Well, I'm sad to say that I will not be sharing my June letters with you. The online writing system that Compassion has only shares the last 3 letters you write to the kids and there aren't any remaining from June. And, I don't keep a typed record of what I handwrite, at all. 

But! You're in luck, because I am going to share the letter I wrote in July!

I wrote it on July 4th. I wanted to write it on Independence Day, so the kids would know that I was writing it on the day I was celebrating. I got this letter idea (and pretty much copied parts of it exactly) from Jill over at Compassion Family . Here is the letter: 


How are you? I am so thankful to have this opportunity to write another letter to you. It is summer here in our country and during this season we celebrate the independence of our country. Our national holiday is July 4th and everywhere you look you see red, white and blue - the colors of our flag. People celebrate independence day by spending time with their families and by setting off fireworks. I've always loved watching fireworks, since I was a little child.

My country is divided into 50 different states. I put a map of my country on the bottom of this letter? That map shows you the 50 states. Our flag has 50 stars on it to represent these 50 states. I put a picture of our flag on the letter too. I thought I would share some interesting facts about my country with you.

Sports - Our popular sports include football, baseball and basketball.
Food - All American food includes hamburgers, hot dogs and french fries. We also like our soda (Coke).
People - Our country is made up of people from all over the world. There are very few native Americans compared to those who immigrated here and had descendants.
Cities - Our biggest cities include New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and our capital city is Washington, D. C.
Landscape - In our country we have forests, mountains, volcanoes, deserts, plains and coastline.
Agriculture - We grow many things in our country including apples, corn, wheat, cotton and hay.
Animals - Some of the animals native to our country include deer, black bear, raccoons, beavers, skunks and alligators.

I hope you enjoyed reading a little bit about my country. If you have any questions or want to know more about something, please ask me.

When is your country's independence day?



Monday, August 5, 2013

A Letter and Photos from Fongwin!

Isn't it so great to get a letter from a sponsored child in the mail? I am beyond blessed to have these children in my lives. 

Today, I got a letter from Fongwin and attached to the letter was a family photo (!) and a photo of Fongwin with a big smile on his face. (! again). 

Here is what Fongwin wrote? 


Dear Kayla, 

Hello sir (Haha. Oops). I am very glad to write you again. Thank you so much for always supporting me and thinking of me. My family and I are fine. I hope that you and your family are doing well. I go to school everyday. I wear the school uniform when I go to school. There is one day in a week that I have to wear the Boy Scout uniform. My mother sends me to school everyday because my home is not far from school. I like to study mathematics. I am not good at science. I have a close friend. His name is Pee. I like to play with him everyday. My teacher's name is Ms. Wilawan. 

My family has taken a family picture for you. Please find the enclosed picture. 

Are there a lot of naughty students at your school? What is your favorite activity? What is your favorite kind of sport? 

Please kindly pray for my study. May God bless you forever. 

Love in Christ, 
Thawatchai (Fongwin)


Friday, August 2, 2013

News from Gemechu!

Gemechu is my lovely correspondent boy who is sponsored by a company of some sort. I'm not sure what kind of company it is, but I know that somebody from this company has gone to Ethiopia and met with Gemechu and his family. In this letter, Gemechu mentions meeting George, which I'm assuming is the man that went to visit him. This company is also sending large amounts of money to him on a regular basis, which I think is wonderful. Gemechu's family has been able to build a new home with the money that has been sent to them.

With this letter, I got a picture of the progress on his home. Gemechu tells me that it isn't finished yet. I think it's looking great!

Here's the letter:


Dear Kayla,

How are you doing beloved sponsor? Praise be to God that my family and I are fine. I write this letter after I completed formal class. Now we are in break time. I've received all of the letter you sent me. Thanks! When I read your letter, I knew that you were ill. I was so worried and so were my family. And we prayed to God to heal you. (I feel horrible! There must have been a mis-translation somewhere. I don't recall telling my kids that I was sick. I don't remember when I was sick. I didn't mean to make them worry so much!) I think you are better now, because I could see the photograph you were taken at your uncle's wedding. I can't tell you details about the marriage custom in our area. (Is it a secret or does he not know?) 

I like the story of the Good Samaritan. I like playing soccer. I have received your letters that require 8 answers: 

1. I enjoy when I learn, play, or work at home. (What makes you happy?)

2. I get angry when my parents quarrel. (What makes you sad/angry?)

3. I get scared when I see a chameleon. (What are you afraid of? I love this answer!)

4. I always like drawing and painting pictures (Probably: What do you like to do?)

5. I use my right hand to write. (What hand do you write with?)

6. I got to bed at 4:00 and get up at 12:00 (Hmm...this answer is odd to me)

7. The same as you do (Vague answer. I looked up the list of questions he is answering and saw that I said, "I think that I look like my dad. Which parent do you look like. He must look like his dad too.)

8. Soccer is my favorite (What's your favorite sport?)

I have received *money amount* last March and bought roof cover & wall frames with *money amount* and spent *money amount* for the carpenter. With the *money amount* I received in April, we have bought other things for the house. The house has been constructed already, but it is not finished yet. George has seen it and I was pleased. May God bless you. 

- Gemechu\


Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Surprise Letter from Celeste!

I was completely shocked to get a letter from Celeste today, as I just heard from her on July 9th. But, of course, I am so happy to hear from here. Especially since I will be seeing her in less than two weeks.

I am so pumped!


Hello Dear Sponsor, 

I hope that you are in good health with your family. When I grow up, I want to be a teacher and I'm studying a lot so I can become a teacher. We just received our report car and I did well. Thank God. My parents congratulated me on doing well. Could you do me a big favor? Please pray for my grandfather because he is sick. I pray for him every day that he gets better so he can be here with us. Do you have a pet? I'm so grateful for the letters you sent me. I like the story of the Prodigal Son. I will read it at night. I'm very happy when my teacher tells me that there is a letter for me. We celebrate Holy Week here and we go out swimming and have a good time.