Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Great Info from Fongwin

Yesterday, I got a letter from my boy Fongwin, who lives in Thailand. Since the beginning, Fongwin's letters have full of great information and questions that help lead us into a conversation. I really enjoy reading and responding to his letters. There is always plenty to talk about in a response letter.

Here is what my Thai buddy had to say to me: 


Dear Kayla, 

Hello. I am very glad to write you a letter again. I am very glad to know that you received my letter also. Thank you for your sponsorship and thinking of me always. I and my family are doing fine. Hopefully you are doing well, aren't you? I go to school everyday. I go there with my older sister. Sometimes I walk. Sometimes I ride a bicycle. My school has started a new term in May. My older sister's name is Tai. She is 13 years old. My older brother's name is Tuey. He is 17 years old. He is studying on higher level in a school in the city. It is raining at my place very much now. There was a storm from a neighbor country. Thailand got some effects, but it was not serious. Has your place ever had a serious storm? Please pray for my study. Finally, my God bless you and your family with happiness always. 

Love in Christ,
Thawatchai (Fongwin's Formal Name)


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pastor Letter from Debora's Project

In the mail today, I received a wonderful letter from Pastor Elias, who is the pastor at the church at HO-372.
This letter is extra special for me, because I have been to this project. I spent a couple days here, loving on the kids, worshipping with them, playing with them, talking to and hugging Pastor Elias, who is an absolutely wonderful man.

It is very nice to see his words down on paper. He truly has a wonderful soul and vision for his community.

The pictures I use in this post are from the actual project of HO-372. All of the pictures were taken by me during my visit there in August.


Dear Kayla,

Greetings and blessings from the city of San Pedro Sula. May God Almighty pour down rich and abundant blessings in your life and in your appreciable family.

My name is Elias Castellanos Rivas. I'm pastor at the Jehovah is my Refuge, Gateway to Missions Baptist Church in Honduras and our projects is Champions of the King, where Debora attends. We are located in the riverside El Gavion.

God knows how much I wanted to have this opportunity to write to you, beloved sponsor and collaborator in Christ. My words are not enough to thank you for what you are doing. Ever since the project came to our lives, things changed radically and now we cannot just talk about the love Jesus, but show it by serving children and their families. All I can say is that God is not unfair to forget what you are doing and the love you have shown by sharing your resources with those in need. I know that I might not have the opportunity to shake your hand or hug you but I assure you that one day, when we are in heaven, a child will approach you and say, "Thank you for sponsoring me. Had it not been for that, I would not be in this beautiful place and I would not have known Jesus."

Our community is located in a poor area and we don't have a sewer system. We have a very poor water service as we don't have water everyday and this causes diseases like dengue fever, malaria, skin rashes, and blisters, and also stomach diseases caused by parasites. My vision and desire is to have a potable water well because there is no water here and children need it for everything they do and also for the kitchen to keep it clean as it should be and that children can also brush their teeth after their meals. There are a few jobs and most of all the influence of antisocial groups that try to deviate children to get them to become a part of them. Another great problem is school drop-out because many of these children grow up and become a workforce for their families, and many parents would rather have them working instead of attending school, because many of them see it as a waste of time.

I have seen the project as a means to attack these problems directly, by making an impact in the lives of children. We are aware that this is a slow process and that we have to work hard, not only with the children, but also with mentality of their parents, and this not easy, but with God's help and your support, we will make it. As you can see, our challenges are great.

Our vision is to see our children become professionals, good Christians, and that one day they can have decent families.

The visits of our sponsors bring so much joy to the children and their families and also to our work team, because we can see and thank the sponsors in a personal way.

Know that they children are always looking forward to hearing from their sponsors. It is beautiful to see how they get excited when they see pictures of them, their families, and the places they live. They it very seriously knowing that there is somebody praying for them.

I ask you to help us pray that these children stay in the project, that the financial conditions of their families improve. Pray that the violence and abuse suffered by our children stops and pray for the plans that we have and that God provides for us.

Thank you so much. May God bless your life and your family and may the Almighty bless and prosper your life and your country and that the Holy Spirit dwells in your life.

Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the Lord delivers him in times of trouble. Pslam 41:1 Hallelujah!

Elias Castellanos Rivas


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Pastor Letter from Alexander's Project

Here is the pastor letter from project HO-352, which is where my newest correspondence kiddo, Alexander attends.

This is the last letter in my series of pastor letters. I am completely caught up, for now anyway. This letter is not as long as most pastor letters are, but it's still nice to read.


Dear Sponsor,

My name is Raul Alberto Garcia. I am the pastor of the church that ministers to 215 boys and girls assisted by the Compassion Child Sponsorship Program. Our church ministers to your Compassion-sponsored child at the "Mi Esperanza" Child Development Center. We are grateful for your generous support for your sponsored child. 

Your help allows our church to develop activities for the boys and girls that creates spiritual support, teaching them how to have a personal encounter with Jesus and forms them to be faithful Christians, of good testimony so they may also teach others the way of salvation.

Also, in the physical area we are supporting them with orientations for the parents and mothers about hygiene and health in order to diminish the rate of child deaths in our country. We are also giving them snacks every day, helping the nutrition of the boys and girls. We are also giving them school supplies that give them motivation to go to the schools to finish their education. 

In the social-emotional area we are helping by celebrating their birthdays and giving motivation to each one. This program is hope to many children from the sad way of living many of them experience. 

Please pray for us here, in the center, while we work for these children to help them know Jesus and so they may be healthier and better educated. Sometimes the work is very hard, but we love to serve them. 

Thank you for being a support to us in the ministry through your care for your sponsored child.

God bless you. 

Raul Alberto Garcia


Friday, October 18, 2013

Pastor Letter from Brenda's Project

Here is the letter from the pastor of Brenda's project, which is UG-137. These letters are just always so interesting to me. 


Dear Sponsor,

Greetings to you, in the precious name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, from Kisoro, Uganda.

My name is Joseph Mugisha. I am the pastor of the Compassion Child Sponsorship Program at our Kashinge Child Development Center that ministers to your sponsored child. I am also thankful to you for your goodness to your sponsored child. Thank you for the way you have shared your life and for your support, prayers and above all love. 

I pray that the almighty God will richly bless you. Our ministry is making a big impact in the lives of the children. At the moment we have 247 children. Currently 240 children have sponsors. The other seven are not sponsored and we are prayerfully waiting upon the Lord for the sponsors. 

The center at our church is grateful for the children's sponsors. With Compassion's help our church has grown by opening up another church for development of the ministry. 

Children are always happy to come to the center at our church because they face negative things in their homes and community. More than that the children have been able to acquire skills like baking, weaving, baskets making and pottery through the help of our center workers. Our center workers are our Christian brothers and sisters in our church. They have really devoted themselves to the children and they truly love them and all the children are known to them by name. 

Together with the center workers, we teach the children many things about good behaviors and healthy issues among others. We do always teach them at the center to supplement what they learn in schools. We teach them English, social studies, science, mathematics, religious education and skills. We also conduct them in Bible classes while teaching them the Word of God. 

My vision and prayer is to serve the children in particular and the community at large in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I am always happy when I see the children and youth alike come to our center and learn. 

We always share with them the names of their sponsors and when they receive letters and photos they become extremely happy and this makes them feel very special, valued and loved. 

Your personal support is so special to us. Please continue to pray for your sponsored child. And also pray for us here at the center as we work to serve these children to help them know Jesus Christ and grow in good health.

May our almighty Savior grant you much blessings. 

Thankfully yours,

Joseph Mugisha 


Xhuliano Always Writes Great Details

On Tuesday, I received two letters from Xhuliano. I have been getting monthly letters from this boy, which is just wonderful. Whenever I read one of Xhuliano's letters, I get the same feeling of love I got when I first saw his face on the World Vision website. Sponsoring children is great.


Dear Kayla,

I was so happy when I received your letter. You had written back to me with beautiful words and thoughts known from my best friend. Kayla, I will always be happy to read the letters that you will send me. Now, in her, we are in summer season and it's so hot, so the people go to the beach. I also went to the beach with my sister Stelina. World Vision took us there and there was also a pool, good food, and we slept in a hotel. 

We also celebrate the Independence Days. We have it on 28-29 November. We have the same thing only in different months. (I told him about our Independence Day in July) Even in Albania we hae people from different countries. We have forests, mountains, seas, and lakes. What about you, my friend? How are your summer vacations? I hope you have enjoyed them. (How do I tell him that I don't get a summer vacation? Haha) I thank you so much for God giving me a friend like you. God bless you and your family. 

Big Hugs for You! 
With Love Xhuliano



Dear My Friend, 

I was very glad to hear that you enjoy reading my letters. I enjoy reading your letters too. My sisters and I were very happy receiving the stickers you sent us. Thank you very much for your gift. I am very proud of you because you liked the story I told you in my last letter. 

At our farm we grow different and healthy animals. At my house I have got a sheep and two lambs. I take care of them every day. We have got even 10 hens. They do fresh eggs every day. I have even got a dog and a cat that has given birth to two little, beautiful kittens. I am very happy about them. We did not buy any turkeys this year because they cost a lot. I would be very glad if I was going to have the chance to get some of them. 

I was glad to hear that you are taking care of a little boy and I hope you enjoy doing this job. My school will be started on September 16th. I am very excited because I will meet my friends and teachers. Thanks for everything you are doing for me! 

With Love, 


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Touching Thursday: Brazil Edition

I received the packets for three precious kiddos from Brazil. 

Both of the girls attend project BR-417. My little Dafyne attends this project and many other O.Cers sponsor in this project too. BR-417 is located in the Fortaleza area, which is known for it's prostitution of very young girls, sometimes girls even as young as 5 years old. BR-417 is doing amazing work in the lives of the families in this community. 

The little boy attends project BR-422, which is located near Rio de Jinero. This community is located very near the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. It says in the information for BR-422, that 40% of the children enrolled in the project are too young to be enrolled in school. They are a very new project and I'm sure there are so many cute little ones running around the project. Can't you just imagine it? 

Here are the kids needing sponsors: 


This sweet girl is Mariana. She is 8 years old. Her birthday is April 8th. Mariana lives with her grandfather, her mother, and 1 sibling. Her grandfather is sometimes employed as a laborer and her mother maintains the home. Mariana is responsible for running errands. Playing house, playing with dolls, and running are Mariana's favorite activities. In primary school her performance is average and she also regularly attends church activities. 


This is Emily. She just turned 5 years old on September 27th. She makes her home with her father, mother, and 1 sibling. Her father is employed as a laborer and her mother maintains the home. Emily helps out at home by running errands. As part of Compassion's ministry, Emily participates in Bible class. She is in kindergarten and has average performance. Singing, art, and playing with dolls are her favorite activities. 


Meet Caio. He is 5 years old. His birthday is March 18th. Caio lives with his father and mother and appears to be an only child. His father is unemployed and his mother works as a laborer. Caio helps his family by caring for animals, running errands, and cleaning. Busy boy! For fun, Caio enjoys soccer, playing with cars, and swimming. He attends church activities and Vacation Bible School regularly. He is also in kindergarten and has average performance. 

If you are interested in sponsoring any of these children, please let me know!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pastor Letter from Derrick's Project

Today I want to share the pastor letter from Derrick's project. Derrick is one of my newer correspondent children and is attends project UG-428 in Uganda.


Dear Sponsor,

Receive greetings in the name of the risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from Buhimba Hoima, Uganda.

My name is Teo Irumba (Rev.), the parish pastor at Buhimba Child Development Center where we serve your Compassion-sponsored child. The center is located near Hoima town in the midwestern region of Uganda, East Africa.

(Actual Photo of UG-428)

I am very thankful to you for the continued support (moral, financial and prayers) that you have always extended to your sponsored child. You have been of great help, and our center is very proud to have people like you willing to sacrifice their resources for the sake of the children in Buhimba.

As a pastor at the centre, I spend lots of time with the children doing praise and worship, watching their drama and doing Bible study, in addition to visiting and ministering to the children's families. The ministry to children has been and continues to have a lasting impact on the way of life at the church.

Most of the children come from families with a humble background, most of whom live on less than half a dollar a day; yet they are mainly extended in nature (large families comprising of not only biological children but also other children like cousins, nephews, etc.). In most cases, the children have been left in the care of aging grandparents, while the parents have died of AIDS or malaria. Other parents simply abandon children to forge a life in the city.

The biggest means of survival for these families is by subsistence farming, which however is becoming unreliable, as pieces of land have been subdivided into smaller plots to accommodate the increasing population.

With such background therefore, your support means a lot for the children and their families. A letter of encouragement to the children means a lot and many of them return home with a smile after receiving a letter from a loving and caring friend overseas. Please continue to write and support these children as we together build a meaningful future for them.

Our staff members are all hard-working and always do their best to help mentor the children. They spend lots of time teaching, counseling, playing and making fun with the children as a way of bringing them closer to the church and the gospel of Christ. Through this center, we have been able to win the souls of nonbelievers who started recognizing the value of the church in the community. The centre is a tool in fighting cults that lead to death.

It's very clear that the center has had an impact in lives of the children since it started two years ago. The formerly malnourished and sickly children have all improved as a result of the medical attention and services as well as the training extended to the children and their caregivers respectively.

I once again thank you for the innumerable support that you have extended to us in Buhimba and to your sponsored child. 

May you be blessed and rewarded abundantly by the risen Christ in eternity.
Rev. Teo Irumba


Monday, October 14, 2013

Pastor Letter from Enatenesh's Project

Hello there, it's been quite awhile since I posted some pastor letters. I was doing a good job posting them as soon as I was assigned a correspondent child, if their project has a pastor letter. Over these last few months, I've fallen a little bit behind. Today, I will start to catch up. Today I will share the letter from the pastor of the church that my girl Enatenesh, in Ethiopia, attends. 


Dear Sponsor,

Let the grace and peace of God is with you. I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

My name is Dereje Gutama, chairperson for the congregation of the local church called Akaki Basaqa Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus at Akaki. 

In a challenging environment Compassion partnered with our local church to minister to your sponsored . In some of the cases the children were orphans and were living on the streets. I am grateful for your concern for . May God continue to bless you!

The church is located in the outskirt of Addis Ababa, the capital city of the country of Ethiopia. "Mekane Yesus" means "where Jesus dwells." Akaki where our church and its Akaki Beseka MYC Center is located is in an industrial suburban town where more than 75 percent of the dwellers are factory workers. 85 percent of the people are on subsistence living. Religion wise this part of the city was more occupied with paganism belief and witchcraft. Because of that evangelical believers used to be persecuted. Crimes such as sexual abuse and theft are common in this community. The global economic crisis has also affected the food prices and the result is higher food prices. 

(These photos show a community located around the Akaki River)

Through your support our local church could address the health care needs, food shortage, spiritual and educational needs of the children through Sunday school classes. Children get spiritual instruction and are encouraged to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We are seeing the fruits of our labor in this area. Even the guardians have an opportunity to hear the gospel and to become believers and church members. The children have choir club and have become ministers in the church.

Physical illness and sudden eye problems are being treated through the project activities. Children are fully supported in their school. I want to praise God for what He is doing through you to reach the needy children in our communities.

A reading center that is also established for use by the children is also widening their knowledge frontiers. Some women are getting vocational skill training, including hairdressing and food preparation and have started to get involved in income generating micro-businesses.

Sponsored children have good communication with their sponsors through letters. For example I have seen a sponsor's letter written to a child with a heart problem. The sponsor wrote that the family is praying for her three times a day and put her photograph on their wall. That is encouraging and hearing God's prayers has helped the child. When sponsors' letters are received children are encouraged and feel happy. So I encourage such communication to continue.

Finally I want to say thank you to you and others who have concern for humanity to support the needy let the Lord be praised, too.

Please continue to pray for . And pray for the adults of the center and the church and we will also pray for you. Let God bless you.

Dereje Gutema


A Change in the Line-Up

Some of you may have noticed already (a few of you are really great at that) but, a new face has joined the photo line on the right side of my blog. And sadly, a face has disappeared.

Early last week, I got an email from Compassion telling me that my boy Gemechu had been taken off of my account. His financial sponsor has decided that he would like to write to Gemechu. While this news is always sad, this is one time where I feel more happy than sad. You see, Gemechu has a wonderful financial sponsor. This sponsor sends money financial gifts to Gemechu and his family. I get long letters  full of thank yous and lists of everything Gemechu has been able to purchase with the money. Gemechu's sponsor has even been to visit him in Ethiopia, in his community. I received a picture of Gemechu with his financial sponsor together. I am very happy that Gemechu's sponsor has decided to take that extra step in getting to know him through letters. I know it's going to be a great thing for both of them. So, I say farewell to Gemechu:

This email, that I received, came directly from Janna, who is the person in charge of assigning correspondent children. She typically does not email people directly (from my experience anyway) so it did surprise me that she emailed me. I responded to her email about how happy I am for Gemechu and his financial sponsor. At the end of the email, because I just couldn't help it, I asked for another correspondent child to be added to my account. Janna responded that she would add me to the list and assign a child when one was available. Imagine my surprise when not even a whole day later, another child was on my account!

Meet Alexander:

Alexander is 12 years old and he lives in Honduras. Another precious Honduran child to visit on my next trip to Honduras. Excited! 

His information says that he is 4th grade, but that was last year, so I'm assuming that he is now in 5th grade. He has average performance in school.

Alexander helps at home by running errands, cleaning, and caring for animals. 

For fun, he enjoys playing ball games, riding a bike, and listening to music. 

Alexander lives with his father and mother, who are both employed as daily laborers. 

I am very excited to get to know this handsome young man.