Friday, September 26, 2014

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells...

...jingle all the way?

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Haha, you must think I'm nuts.

However, Christmas is only 88 days away. It's time to get those Christmas letters and cards off to your sponsored children!

If you want your child to receive something by Christmas, Compassion suggests that you get it in the mail by October 31st. Given time for translation, and the fact that letter volume tends to increase around the holidays, your items will need about two months to get to your children in time.

It took me a few weeks to come up with a topic to write about. I didn't just want to repeat the Christmas story because all of the kids will learn this story and about the true meaning of Christmas at their projects, though the use of readings, stories, music, skits, etc.

This year, I am writing to my kids about the story of the wise men that came to visit Jesus awhile after he was born. I shared how they heard of a great king that was born and followed a bright star to the home where Jesus was living with his parents. I wrote in my letters about how the wise men brought Jesus gifts, the most valuable gifts they possessed, to worship and adore him. I ended the letter asking each child what gift they would give to Jesus, if they had the chance? I reminded them that a gift doesn't have to be valuable as long as it is full of love. Jesus loves anything that we bring to him.

I'm choosing to hand write these letters, so I have to write 37 of them. I have two done so far, haha, so I have a long way to go. Good thing I have another month! I am writing the letter on beautiful decorative Christmas paper and pairing each letter with a small coloring page depicting the wise men that came to visit Jesus.

What are you going to write about or send to your sponsored children for Christmas? 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Manuel: My New Sponsored Child

Do you guys remember back when my sponsorship of Debora ended and I said I wasn't going to replace her sponsorship because I wanted to save money? Do you also remember that whenever I make a plan, God always has a different plan?

You think I would learn, wouldn't you?

Anyway, I was scanning the website and praying for kiddos (I do this quite often) and I started noticing a pattern of kids that all had the same background in their pictures. I searched this center, EC-535, specifically and saw over 30 kids waiting for sponsors. It turns out that this project had just opened up in July. I'm not sure what drew me to this center (except, now I know it was Manuel). I started looking through each child individually and when I neared the end, I saw a boy with just the cutest little face and smile I think I've ever seen. Here's the face I saw:

Well, naturally I had to click on his page to learn more about him. His name is Manuel, he's from Ecuador, he's 9 years old, he lives with his parents and four siblings. he likes to play soccer, he likes to sing, and he has above average performance at school. I just fell in love with him. 

Manuel also has a form of dwarfism. I recognized it immediately as achondroplasia. It's characterized by short stature, a large head, and disproportionately short limbs. A lot of people with this form of dwarfism tend to have problems with their legs, because their body is typically too heavy for their legs. They often require surgery over time. A good friend of mine in elementary school had this form of dwarfism and had about 6 surgeries before he entered Jr. high. Manuel is not listed as a special needs child, so he could be one of the lucky ones that has no physical problems. That's great! Or, it could have been a mislabel. 

Either way, I'm seriously in love with this little boy. I am so excited to get to know him. Here is his full picture: 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Info About Alexander's Community

Of all of the letters that I write to my kids, the letter I write all my new kiddos, asking about their communities and project is the most popular letter for my children to answer. This is a list of 10 or so questions on a piece of paper. I don't say anything else besides those 10 or so questions. A good majority of my kids have answered these questions. It's such a great way to learn about the kids and where they live! 

This time, Alexander answered my questions. He also told me about his medical checkup, which is one of the themes Compassion kids write about (all ages). 

Alexander is 13 years old and lives in Honduras. This letter was written on August 20th, 2014. 


Hello Sponsor Kayla, 

I hope you and your family are enjoying good health. I would like to tell you about my medical checkup at the project. Let me tell you that I walked to my medical checkup and I was accompanied by my mother. The results of my medical checkup were that I am weighing 36 kg and I am 144 cm tall (Seriously, he's tiny!). Let me tell you that I am physically healthy and I am happy. At my medical checkup I received vitamins and dewormers. One way my project is helping people is praying for them. Let me tell you that my project there are 250 children. The typical foods we eat in my community are tortillas and mondongo soup (A soup made from tripe and assorted vegetables). My house is made of cement blocks and I live with my father and mother. I have a bed where I sleep. I drink clean water. The usual jobs in my community are cleaning the streets, urban transportation, and selling tortillas. I would like to thank you for your letter and for wanting to know more about me. I would like you to always pray for me and my family. Kiss and hugs. 

Carlos Alexander


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Five Prayer Children

Today I want to share five children that I have been praying for lately. These children are all waiting for the love and support of a sponsor. All five children attend Compassion projects that I have a child in. I can absolutely vouch for these projects and the great work that they do. I would love to see each of these children find a sponsor as soon as possible.

Galia has been sponsored!

Kenji found a sponsor! 

Selvin has been sponsored!

Henry has been sponsored! 

This young lady's name is Jenninah. She lives in a rural village in Uganda. She is 18 years old and her birthday is January 13th. She lives with her parents and five siblings. At home, it is her job to carry water, gather firewood, and working the garden. She likes to sing, tell stories, and do art. She is very involved in activities like youth group and choir. She is currently in high school. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

What a Monday!

Today was quite a day for me. After a week off of work, I was back with the kiddos that I nanny for. It was a great day until about 3:00 p.m, which the little guy started throwing up. Poor guy.

But, we all survived through that and when I got home, I had three letters waiting for me!

First up, a letter from Kwizera. A few of my children, in the past, have talked about me not having a husband or asking why I don't have one. While I may be considered "young" in the United States, I have to remember that in some of these developing countries, a 25 year old, unmarried woman can be considered an old-maid. I shared with these kids that I do hope to get married someday, God just hasn't shown me the right man to marry yet. Kwizera addressed that in this letter and I just love him all the much more.

Kwizera is 9 years old and lives in Rwanda. This letter was written July 29th, 2014.


Dear Kayla, 

Beloved, I greet you in the name of Jesus Christ. Thank you so much for the letter you sent to me. It pleased me and my family. You told me that you keep me in your prayers. May God bless you. I also keep you in my prayers. May God bless you with a born-again husband. I also request you to invite me to your wedding ceremony. I got a 78% last term and I am on vacation before 2nd term. May God bless you. Thank you so much. 



Next up, a letter from Maria. I feel like Maria is a child who is just so full of life. I know that she lives in a dangerous area and probably has more complications in her life than I can imagine, but she always seems so cheerful in her letters. I can see that she has a family who loves her very much. 

Maria is 10 years old and lives in Brazil. This letter was written August 8th, 2014. 


Dear Sponsor Kayla, 

I enjoyed very much your letter. I am okay, how are you? I enjoyed your question, if I have siblings. Yes, I have a brother called Junior who is 19. He already finished his studies and is taking some courses in college and he has a girlfriend called Gisele. I love my brother. I play with him and I watch cartoons and go out with him. On my birthday, I went to the cinema with him. I like when you send me pictures of you and your family. Be with God. Kisses. I wish you health and may God alays with you, my friend. 



Lastly, I received a letter from Sandesh. I have to admit that I'm not as happy with this letters, lately. When I first sponsored Sandesh, he was writing his own letters and was very expressive. Now, the last three letters I've received have all been written by a project worker. I still think that Sandesh is there with the writer, because there are personal details in the letters, but I think anytime you dictate something to someone, things get lost. I wonder if they are trying to save time by not having Sandesh write his own letters. I know, it's not really that big of a deal, but I always like seeing my kids' handwriting and knowing that all of the thoughts are their own. 

Sandesh is 10 years old and lives in India. This letter is dated August 4th, 2014. 


Dear Kayla, 

Greetings to you in the name of Jesus. I am Priyanka, a child development facilitator writing this letter on behalf of Sandesh. How are you? And your family? Sandesh is always asking about you. He misses you a lot. He is excited about you and your letters. He likes your letters very much. In this letter, he learned very good thoughts. Jesus is an amazing God and does miracles of God and it is an important thing to pray. Prayer is a powerful thing. 

Sandesh regularly comes to our project. Because of this project, he has learned Jesus action songs and new biblical verses. He likes to learn many new biblical verses. His school is very near to his home. He likes to play cricket. He really enjoys all of the activities at the project. He has many friends, but Ritesh is his best friend in our project, nowadays. 

He asks how are you? He loves you very much and misses you. Thank you so much for your prayer and support. God bless you. 

On Behalf of Sandesh


Saturday, September 13, 2014

My Beautiful Celeste Writes Great Letters

I was beginning to think that I would never get to write in this blog again. ;)

But, there hasn't been much action around here, on the sponsorship front, since the beginning of the week. But today, I received a letter from Celeste. She has a lot to say, as always. Ever since I met her in person, I can really picture her sitting and writing letters to me. I can picture her smile and her personality. I know trips to visit our sponsored children are expensive, but I only have good things to say about my trip. I hope to take more trips like it in the future. I encourage all other sponsors to visit their sponsored children, as well.

But, I digress. Onto the letter! Celeste is 12 years old and she lives in Honduras. She wrote this letter on August 13th, 2014.


Hello my dearest and beautiful sponsor Kayla, 

I send you greetings, hugs, and kisses for you and your family. I hope you are well in health. Thank you for the stickers and the coloring pages. The ponies are so cute. I had a lovely day on my birthday. I went to eat at the CDC. I really like for you to send me lots of letters, because they are so beautiful. I like when you talk about your family and yourself. I received your gift. The Hello Kitty purse is where I keep all of my ornaments (the word she used can also translate as adornments. My guess is she keeps her hair items or earrings in the purse.) I like the story of Jesus and Peter's mother-in-law. Jesus is very powerful to heal the sick and to perform miracles. I am really well, thank you for asking. I am happy that the letter I sent you arrived on your birthday. I am sorry about your cat. What was his name? I have two cats and one dog, which had puppies. I say goodbye with lots of hugs and kisses and blessings. 



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Chatty and Artsy, Respectively

Yesterday, I received two letters, one from Nikko and one from Sagitaria.

Nikko always has so much to say. I know that I've said it before, but I love communicating with my older boys. They are always the most chatty and most open, so I find. He writes in English now so nothing gets lost in translation.

Nikko is 15 years old and lives in the Philippines. This letter was written on July 18th, 2014.


Dear Ms. Kayla,

Hi! How are you, again? I hope you're always doing well. What keeps you busy, aside from your work? 

I was happy when I received your letters last month of June. I have read that you visited your uncle's place and you enjoyed it a lot. I also have so many things to share with you, in our activities here. I will start with my studies. I enrolled in June and it's my 2nd year in high school. I'm happy meeting new friends, though I had a hard time because my family can hardly provide my daily needs in school, but still I thank God. He provided everything and I hope I can promote to the next level next year. 

In our center last May we had our camp together with my classmates. We enjoyed a lot and learned about the words of God and I was baptized and I thank God for that. (Hooray!) We also had our recognition day here in the mall and we call it "eat all you can day". (Now that is funny. Typical teenage boy) We enjoy the foods. We had our flu vaccinations and dental and medical checkups. We are able to enjoy these things because of your support. Thank you so much Ms. Kayla. Also I was able to buy school materials and it's a big help for me because I bought shoes, uniforms, and other materials. Thank you so much again. 

Ms. Kayla, I will always pray to God for you to bless more and to have good health. Continue to pray for me also in my studies and my family's provision and good health. Until the next letter, "Salamat" (Thank You) and God bless. 


Pslam 27:5 "For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in his dwelling. He will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock."


Sagitaria is typically not the most chatty girl. I generally hear about her family and her school. It's still good to hear from her. However, every letter from her comes with a beautiful drawing. I always look forward to looking on the back page to see what she drew. She is truly a great artist. I can see a future in art for her. 

Sagitaria is 10 years old and lives in Indonesia. This letter was written July 31st, 2014. 


Dear Kayla,

Hello, mommy. How are you there? I hope you are fine. I also am fine with my family, too. Here mommy, I am now in 6th grade and I get good enough grades. Right now, I am having a vacation. We went to the flower garden with my parents. Mommy, thank you for the drawing. I am very happy I can receive the drawing. Mommy, I pray so that your family and my family are healthy. Thank you, I received your letters. Lord Jesus bless you. 



Monday, September 8, 2014

Another Unexpected Change

Today I signed onto my Compassion account, as I do a few times a day (I just can't help looking for changes often). I've taken to counting the children's names on my account, just to make sure everyone is there. The number was right.

Though, when I went to view the pictures, I saw a new face. Yay a new face! But wait, the number was the same when I counted. Uh oh, who's missing?

It turns out that my lovely boy Karanja, from Kenya, has been pulled out the Compassion project by his family. I am sad about this because I was going on two years with Karanja and I really loved him. He was one of the correspondent children that I would have picked up to sponsor if his sponsor ever cancelled the sponsorship.

However, this was not the case. So, I must say goodbye to Karanja. I do not know why his parents pulled him out of the program. I really hope that he will be able to continue going to school. He only has a few years left until he graduates. I will be praying for him.

But, I did mention that I had a new face! Compassion must have told Karanja's sponsor a few days ago about him leaving the program because his sponsor decided to sponsor another boy from Kenya. After this new child was sponsored, he was added to my account to correspond with him. Here is the boy I found on my account today. 

His name is Lazarus. He is 20 years old and he is attending school. I am not sure what kind of school, at this point, but it does say he's out of high school. Lazarus lives with both of his parents, who work as farmers. He enjoys playing soccer and he is in charge of taking care of the animals at home. 

I am getting excited to get to know him! 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Two Letters to Share

I received two letters yesterday, one from Lina and one from Abu. I've been sponsoring for over six years now and I still get super excited every time I receive a letter. I hope that this excitement never goes away.

First, I will share Lina's letter. She wrote a long letter answering many of the questions I've asked in her past letters. I love detail-filled, newsy letters. :)

Lina is 15 years old and lives in Colombia. This letter is dated July 14th, 2014.


Dear Kayla, 

I greet you with a "God bless you." This letter is to thank you for your letters. In answer to your question: I like children so much. I think they are very nice. I live with my mom, my sister, and my grandmother. I like studying. My favorite subject is English because it's the easiest subject for learning. I like sharing with my family and friends. I like eating ice cream a lot. I like spending my free time at home. My family are: my grandmother who is called Carmen, my mom Lorena, and my sister who is Luisa. My house is made of bricks. What like about my own project is the teaching they give me. In my project there are 250 children. I have my own bed. Thanks to God, my house has potable water and electricity. Changing the subject, the most common works in my community are building and own businesses. People transport by bus or taxi. Sponsor, the other questions you asked, I answered in the letter I sent to you not long ago. I give you this verse: Psalm 133. I end with a, "God bless you" and may the peace of God abound in your heart. 



Next up, a letter from Abu. Even though he is 12 years old, he is just now beginning to write on his own, as he struggles in school. His handwriting is difficult to read, but I am very happy to know that the thoughts on the page are his own and not the translator's. 

Abu is from Sierra Leone. This letter was written on June 16th, 2014. 


Dear Kayla, 

I received your letter with many thanks. I live with my grandmother and grandfather. Happy birthday, though I know the day is passed. I have five friends. The are Sumalia, Amara, Seneste, Jusufu, and Ibrahim. On Saturday morning we do cleaning later in the day. After eating our food, we play football. From there, we go to our houses to have a rest. We have no indoor *game* (??) but we stay together until night falls. Very soon we shall sit to take our exams and close for the holidays. Again, I say thank you for your kindness. God bless you. 



Thursday, September 4, 2014

Letters to My Kids: August 2014

This month, I wrote one letter to each of my children. As usual, the children that I received a letter from also got a response, so some children got two letters.

This month, letter writing took several days as each child got a letter that was similar, but also vastly different from the letters to the others. Inspired by school starting, I wrote a school themed letter to each child. Each letter was different depending on the grade that the child is in at school. The first section of each letter was the same, telling about how school has started in my city and about what some of the students experience. After that, the letters were individualized for each child. For example, this letter is to Antonio, who is in 5th grade this year. I gave him examples of what 5th grade children learn in schools here. Then I asked him to share about some of the things that he is learning.

I really had fun writing these letters, so I hope the children enjoy reading them. I really think the children will be interested to hear about what children their age are learning in another part of the world.



Monday, September 1, 2014

Xhuliano Has Electricity! And More!

On Saturday, I received two letters from Xhuliano. One of the letters was responding to the money that you all helped me fundraise for his family. I sent his family the $180 that was raised. Not only was he able to get the electricity turned back on, but he used the rest of the money to buy groceries for his family. Here is the photo that World Vision sent to me of Xhuliano with the groceries. I love all the Coca Cola in the cart. It's one of my favorite drinks too.

My wonderful dear friend, 

My family and I were very happy to hear that you sent us a gift and we are happy to have got such a wonderful friend as you are. We thank you very much and wish you good luck in your life. I am very happy writing you this letter. 

I often think about you, just as you think about me. I am thankful to God for listening to my prayer and making my wish come true to have such a wonderful friend like you. And I hope that this friendship will last forever between us. 

Thank you from my heart, my friend. All my thoughts I have expressed to you and all my wishes, you have made them true and made me always happy and I hope I will be happy everyay. 

My wonderful friend, I pray to God for you and your family. May God make all your wishes come true. Hugs with much love and joy. 



I also received another letter from Xhuliano. When I found out that boys in Albania often drop out of school after 9th grade, I wrote both my older boys there a letter about how important a full education is. I am relieved to get this letter from Xhuliano. 


Hello, my dear friend, 

I am very happy to be writing to you. I think just the same way you do and I hope that things will be good for you and your family. 

I am very lucky to have the possibility to have a wonderful friend like you. I hope that we will be forever friends. 

I am doing well at school. I am studying hard in order to achieve good results, but it sometimes hard, especially when I have exams. I agree with you when you say that I should finish high school, because a good education will make me a better person in my life and for my family. Yes, my family is fine and we all are thankful to you. 

My friend, may God fulfill your wishes. I love you very much. I hope that God will soon make your thoughts come to life. You, my friend, will always be in my heart. I will never forget what you have given me and the love you show towards me through your letters. 

With Love,