Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Three Letters to Share

I really need to come up with a system to create better titles for my posts. When I'm posting letters, I really have no idea what else to say. Creativity isn't my strong suit.

I received five letters yesterday and I posted the ones from Colombia yesterday. Today, I'll share the other three with you.

First up, a letter from Khushi, who I call my Indian Princess. To me, in all of her photos, she just seems so regal.

Khushi is 11 years old and lives in India (obviously). She wrote this letter on March 18th, 2015.


My Dear Friend Kayla,

Greetings to you in the sweet name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Here, I am doing well and my school is going well. I always love to learn and hear from you. God has really made you a blessing for me. I have finished my 7th grade exam an I hope to get good marks. My grandmother passed away about two weeks ago so I have been missing her a lot. She was about 65 years old. Then my uncle come home and we are having a good time. There's beautiful sunshine today. I like to sing songs, play, and learn from the bible. I have been blessed by the project and I am very thankful to God for such a nice sponsor like you. Thank you very much for praying for and supporting me. Weather is now turning warmer and cold days are going. I like warm weather. My mother works in the fields and cleaning the place where our cow lives. I like to help my mother at home; filling water, clean the house, making tea, and going to market to purchase things. My elder sister Priyanka has got a daughter, seven months old and my second sister Rinka is also writing her exams. We pray and wish you all the best for your future. I hope someday we can meet. Bye. 

Your Khushi


I finally heard from Sagar! The last letter I received from him was in October and then all of the drama with his project happened. It seems that all of the kids are now settled in at their new project and are sending letters. Several of the sponsors I know from this project (I know a lot!) have received letters. Yay!

Sagar is 12 years old and lives in India. This letter was written on January 17th, 2015. 


Dear Kayla,

Greetings to you in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am the project staff writing on behalf of your loving child, Sagar. 

He sends you a big hello from India in the wonderful name of Jesus. He hopes that you and your family are doing well. He always remembers you in his prayers. He loves you so much. Thank you so much for your beautiful and precious letter. He likes your letter. He always talks about your letters and gifts. He likes the Tooth Fairy story, but in India the children throw their old teeth to another house. 

He is regularly going to school. He is doing well in his studies. His favorite subject is Marathi. His favorite animal is the lion and dog. He wants to become a police inspector. He is regularly coming to the project center and he learns many Jesus songs and stories. He likes the project center food. 

He loves you so much. Thank you very much for your love and support. He always prays for you and your family. 


To end off, a letter from Celeste. This is the second letter I've gotten from her this month. Letters were slow from her for awhile, I love that they are coming more often again. 

Celeste is 13 years old and lives in Honduras. This letter is dated April 20th, 2015. 


Hello Dear Kayla, 

It's my pleasure to greet you and get those beautiful letters you write and to answer them, hoping you are alright in the Lord. Blessing. From the pictures you sent me, the one with the crown is very pretty. C is a beautiful girl and with a wonderful smile. G is very beautiful, as well. Here in church, we don't have a special event for Christmas, but for New Year's Eve, we have a vigil. We don't have a choir, but we do have a worship ministry with drums, piano, guitar, and bass. Also, in the CDC, we some choreographies with some classmates and we also take part in bible story skits. In the month of March, we had an artistic talent contest. There was dance, skits, and songs from all the groups of children. I love Christmas and the bible Christmas story from your letter. If I could give Jesus a gift, I would give him the most precious thing, my life and my family's life because I know he will like it if my family and I worship him. Kayla, I want to ask you, with all respect, for a picture of you with your mother, grandmother, and sister. I send them many greetings and I'm praying for your family. Thank for being my friend and love me so much. I say goodbye with hugs and kisses. 



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My Boys from CO-384

Today, I received five letters! I definitely did a happy dance when I got into my apartment. I'm going to share two of those letters today, from my two boys at CO-384.

Both boys wrote about their homes, families, and community. Caleb filled out a template and Daniel wrote on his own.

I'll share Caleb's letter first, since he's the baby. :) He's 7 years old and he wrote his letter on March 25th, 2015.

I am so happy that Caleb has a loving, supportive, Christian family. That makes so much of a difference.

At home, I live with: My parents, brothers, and sister.
I help with: Sweeping and organizing the house.
My house is made of: Bricks and concrete
Its color is: Orange
What I like the most about my house: My bedroom
We get together with my family to: talk about my studies and my friends from the CDC. We also gather to pray every single night. 


I write to you and I greet you with joy. I sleep in a bed. I share my bed with my brother. I do have electric power. They bring the water from the woods with a hose. My parents sell oatmeal smoothies and empanadas in the marketplace. They go on my dad's motorcycle. I like sharing outdoor games with my classmates at the project. 

Prayer request or something new to tell my sponsor and/or bible verse

The traditional meal from the plains is "carne a la llanera" (grilled meat) and "sancocho" (soup made of various native ingredients like yucca, potatoes, scallions, plantains and any kind of meat). Thank you for your letters and pictures. I always remember you in my prayers and I love you very much. I like when your letters come. They are very beautiful. Sponsor, all my family is grateful for you. May God keep you. I give you Psalm 91:1-16. 


Now, Daniel's letter. Daniel wrote his letter on a different day than Caleb. I've often heard that different age groups attend the project on different days. This is the first time I've been able to see evidence of that. 

Daniel is 9 years old and wrote his letter on March 27th, 2015. His writing style reminds me so much of my dear Xhuliano's. What do you think? 


Dear Kayla,

I greet you with affection. Dear sponsor, I want you to know that I feel very happy to write to you and with this letter thank you for the letters you sent. 

My house is made of wood planks and bricks and I live with my mom, my dad, and my siblings. I sleep in my bedroom and I have a bed and I have lots of light there. The water from my house comes from the mountain through a hose. The jobs in my neighborhood are selling pineapples and the building sites. The transportation we have are buses, taxis, motorcycles, and bicyles. 

I want to tell you that I like to go to the project. What I like the most about the project is when we go strolling. The food I like the most is beans. 

I thank you because I know I have a friend like you. That makes me happy. You are a very special person for me. I want to give you a beautiful verse: Deuteronomy 6:6-7. I send you lots of huge. Farewell. 

Juan Daniel


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Letters to My Kids: April 2015

I can't believe how far behind I've gotten on these posts. The last time I shared the letters I wrote to my kids, it was January. I swear, I've still been writing! Instead of making up for lost time, I'm just going to share the letter I wrote in April.

I wrote to my kids about how my church celebrated Easter weekend. At my church, we do something from Good Friday to Easter Sunday. I especially enjoyed sharing the picture of Jesus on the cross that the children created.

Here is the letter:

Love From Ethiopia

Saturday morning came with one letter in the mailbox. A short message from my boy Elias. Typically, letters come from Ethiopia only 5-6 months. I received my last letter from Elias two months ago. That, and the fact that Elias's last letter had good information in it, I'm feeling pretty hopeful about getting to know Elias better now.

Elias is 16 years old. He wrote his letter on March 20th, 2015.


Dear Kayla, 

My dear sponsor! Thanks to God that I and my family are all fine. I am now learning in grade 5 in school nicely. Thank you very much for all of your support for me. I have received your photographs and letters with pleasure. Thank you very much for both. I like you very much. My family and I are all thanking you. How are your conditions now? Our country is in fast preparations now. Please pray for my education. Until your next letter! Goodbye. 



Friday, May 22, 2015

Crops, Christmas, Chorus, and Curiosity

I seem to be on this alliteration kick lately.

Anyway, I received four letters this week and each one told me about something important that started with C. I just couldn't help but find fun in that.

First up, a letter from Kwizera. As he grows, he is becoming a little more chatty. I definitely like that.

Kwizera is 10 years old and lives in Rwanda. His letter is dated March 18th, 2015.


Dear Kayla,

To my beloved parent, I first greet you and wish you God's peace. My family is also greeting you very much. At school now, I am in Primary 5 and studies are going well, so pray for me to proceed to Primary 6. Here in Rwanda we are in dry season and our crops have been destroyed by too much sunshine. At the project we have no problems and we are in children's choir. I appreciate the way you love me and may God bless you and your family. I appreciate the letter you wrote to me and my family was also happy. We were glad for the nice photos you sent to me showing how you celebrated Christmas. We also celebrated Christmas. 

Kwizera Yves


Next, a letter from Sandesh and his tutor. Mail really seems to be delayed from where Sandesh lives. 

Sandesh is 11 years old. His letter is dated January 13th, 2015.

Dear Kayla,

Greetings to you in the very precious name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am Priyanka (child development facilitator) and I am writing this letter on behalf of Sandesh. Sandesh is doing well. His family is also doing well. He is a very good boy. He comes regularly to our project because he likes our project very much. He loves Jesus Christ because he realize that Jesus Christ is his savior. I teach all the children. He likes Jesus songs which we taught to them in our center. He is very good in his studies. He regularly does his homework, which is given by the school. 

Nowadays here it is winter season. In this season, the temperature is usually very low. Sandesh likes this season very much. He said to me that this season is very good for me, I like this season very much. Last month we decided to do a special event called Christmas Program. Sandesh likes Christmas because of gifts, chocolate, cakes, and new clothes. In this event we performed a small skit and the group sang. 

He is praying regularly for you and your family. Thank you for your prayers and support. Please pray for him and his family. Thank you. 

With Warm Regards,
Sandesh & Priyanka


Now, a letter from Fongwin. Even though he wrote this letter in March, he still seems to be keen on talking about Christmas. Kids are funny. 

Also, he's sticking to his usually mystery about financial gifts. He always tells me he spent the money on "stuff or things."

Fongwin is 12 years old and lives in Thailand. This letter is dated March 10th, 2015. 


Dear Kayla, 

Hello, sponsor. I am very glad to have an opportunity to write you again. Thank you very much for your continuous kindness on me and my family. Thank you for the birthday gift. I spent it on personal things. I and my family are doing fine. How are you and your family? I have a lot of fun on last Christmas. The weather was not cold much at that time. In the morning, we worshiped God. I sang songs with friends at church. I ate food, played games, and exchanged presents with friends. My church has a chorus team also. Being an important day, they practice to sing. The chorus songs are very sweet. I celebrated Christmas at church. There were shows at night. People from other villages joined in this. Please pray for my studies. Finally, may God bless you forever. 

Love in Christ,


Lastly, a very first letter from my Haitian princess, Emanise. She's a very curious girl and asked me some great questions. 

Emanise is 15 years old and lives in Haiti. Her letter is not dated. 


Dear Kayla,

Philippians 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord always; and I again I say rejoice." I greet you in the powerful name of Jesus. Today I am so pleased to share this verse with you. About my activities, they go very well, thanks to God. For the second school term, I got an average of 7.95 (any ideas what this means?). I want you to know that I like geology very much. Let me ask you a question. Are you married already? How would you like me to pray for you? Thank you for the letter you sent to me. I ask God to protect you in everything you do. I hope you will write to me soon. May God richly bless you. 



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Derrick's Latest Photo Update

Photos updates have just been rolling in, lately. Here's the most recent one, my Derrick, from Uganda.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Two Photo Updates

I am always happy to share new photo updates with you! These two precious "babies" are teenagers now. I can't believe how grown up they are getting.

Abu, from Sierra Leone

Celeste, from Honduras

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Community Updates 2014: Labinot ADP

Lastly, in my string of update posts, I will share World Vision's progress over the last year in Florenc's community. World Vision didn't share as many photos as they did for my other kids, but I do have two videos, so I think it balances out.

Children wait for school to start at their newly renovated primary school.

Children race outside to play after attending school in their newly built kindergarten. In Albania, kindergarten is it's own school, separate from primary school. 

Children work with their tutor to fill out their yearly progress reports.

Children singing a popular song at a summer Vacation Bible School. Do you recognize the song?

"Father Abraham, has many sons..."

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Community Updates 2014: Qendra ADP

It's time to share some of things that were done in Xhuliano's community, in Albania. Every year, when World Vision puts these updates on my account, I am just so happy to see the good things that were taught to the children and their families.

Here are some of the great things done in Qendra, Albania:

Men and women met together to discuss gender equality for children in their community, especially in the regards of allowing girls to attend secondary school. 

Teens took to the streets on their community to discuss the importance of secondary education for both boys and girls. Boys often are forced to drop out to work and support their families. Girls are often not allowed to attend. 

Teens took a class on life skills and self-esteem. They were encouraged to speak their minds and share their opinions in their friend groups and families. 

World Vision visited a local Roma community and told them the importance of sending their children to school. Roma families often don't see or understand the value in education. In other siutations, Roma children are viewed as second class citizens aren't allowed to attend school. World Vision is working to change this attitude. 

A girl shares why education is important to her in a small group meeting. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Community Updates 2014: Bagbo ADP

Just like last year, World Vision has updated my account with several pictures and even a few videos of what has been going on in the community in the last year.

I will share these updates with you, one sponsored child at a time. I think it's so fun to see how the children and the overall community has benefited with World Vision's help.

First up, I will share about Abu's community, which is called Bagbo. It is in Sierra Leone.

A group of kids work on filling out their yearly progress reports. :) 

As a way to make income, the women of the community were given a cassava processing machine. The cassava can then be sold in the local market. Side note, I love the cute baby in the sling. 

Children and their families celebrating Christmas with a dance party!

Parents in the community have a training about health and hygiene.

After hard work, the community set up a savings and loan program to help families when they need it. The starting money was generated by people in the community, which will then be lent out to a family in need. When the money is paid back, it will be available for another family to borrow. I think this is fantastic! 

And just for a little cuteness, here are some kids outside of their school, just playing a fun game of tag. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Three Lovely Letters from Three Lovely Lads

See what I did there? Consonance/Alliteration is fun. :)

Anyway, like the title says, I received three letters today, each from one of my young men.

First up, I'll share the letter from Florenc. He is 15 years old and lives in Albania.


Hello Kayla, 

Thank you for writing and dedicating some of your time to me! I also thank you that you care about my mother. The doctors say that she's going to get well. The weather is warmer now and there are birds singing everywhere. The trees are blossoming and everything is green. I'm doing well at school and my friends are nice and friendly. Everything is fine. You know that I'm not that good at school, so I don't think that I'll go to university. Anyway, thank you for asking, you're very kind. How's work going? How are the kids? Is everything fine with them? I believe that the weather in your country must be warm now. I hope so! 

I have to leave now. Please write me soon! 

Your Friend,

Friends Forever (He wrote this very big on the bottom on the letter. Love!)


Now a letter from Nikko, my super chatty guy from the Philippines. He is 16 years old. This letter was written o February 21st, 2015. 


Dear Kayla,

Hi! How are you? I'm fine with my family. We enjoy reading your letters. 

The results of my medical and dental exams are fine. Yes, I'm healthy. Thanks for sharing verses. I have read them. The verses are wonderful and also thanks for the prayers. 

I stopped attending school because of financial reasons. I spend my days with my uncle. I help him sell clothes. The project is tutoring me. I have learned a lot from them. Thank you for the stickers for my siblings. They were so happy. 

In our country we celebrate our Valentine's Day on February 14th. On that day Manny Pocquiao was in our sport center. He preached the word of God and me and my church-mates listened about God's word and I learned a lot. How about you? How did you celebrate your Valentine's? Did you spend it with God?

In the last part of this letter please continue praying for my family and also I continue praying for you and your family. Take care and God bless. 


Proverbs 27:12 "The prudent sees danger and hides himself but the simple go on and suffer for it."


Now, a word from Wendjy. He is 20 years old and lives in Haiti. This letter is dated March 28th, 2015. 

In this letter, he is answering several of the random questions that I send to my kids, just to try to get more of a glimpse of their unique personalities. I love Wendjy's answers. 


Dear Kayla,

It is always a pleasure for me to find the opportunity to write to you. How is your health? How are your activities? As for me, all is very well by God's grace. Thanks for your letters. I always like to receive them. You asked me about my next step in education. This is my last grade in school then I will go to college in September, God willing. 

If I was invisible for one day, I would follow everyone in everything they do with much attention to see if they do wrong and to tell them not to do it again. If I had to make a law for my country, I would ask for every child to go to school. They congratulate and award me when I do nice things, especially when I succeed at school. (He has above average in school, this doesn't surprise me.) I am glad to have you as my sponsor to continue to talk to you. I have a nickname, "Djy Djy". My mates call me this. My favorite book to read is the bible. I hope God will continue to bless you. 



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Miraj Girls Needing a Sponsor

I have taken a leap of faith and I am now completely focusing my advocacy completely on one project and that project is IN-868. If you've been on my blog for even a short time, you know how much I love this project.

Here is a little bit of background on this Compassion project. It is located smack dab in the middle of a community called the Miraj Red Light District. Like most red light districts, the main profession here is sex work. Most of the women in this community work as sex workers, most against their own will. Many women were sold into the brothels by their own families, out of desperation that comes from poverty. Some of the women were kidnapped as girls and sold into the sex trade, against their will. Other women joined the trade "by choice" when there were no other jobs to be found and they needed money to take care of their families. Sadly, once you are in the sex trade, you not leave, ever. Even if the pimps would allow the women to leave, the caste system in India will label them as "untouchable" for the rest of their lives. It is truly a dark, horrible place to live. Many of the children, especially girls are at risk of getting sucked into the sex trade, especially if their mothers are already in it. It's then considered "the family business."

Compassion International is working very hard to rescue as many children as they can. They are teaching the children in the community that they are not worthless, God loves them, they matter to this world, and that they can grow up to do anything. The past does not dictate their future.

For only $38 a month, you can provide this child with a safe place to go before and after school, a curriculum that allows them to learn about Jesus, healthy meals that they don't receive at home, quality health care, and a place to play, safe from the streets of the sex trade. It's really a miracle for so little money.

Even then, there is icing on the cake. I am connected to a church in Georgia that runs an orphanage in this community. It is not connected to Compassion in any way, but this church visits the community at least once a year. When they go, they are also able to visit many of the Compassion kids and take pictures of them for their sponsors. There is a special Facebook page for sponsors in this project and pictures and stories are shared regularly.

I have 2 precious girls to share with you that need sponsors. Thanks to this wonderful church, I also have extra pictures of these girls.

Ankita has been sponsored!

Shradha has also been sponsored! 

A Round of Letters

After a slow April, with only a trickle of letters, May is shaping up much better. I have three letters to share with you today, including two very first letters.

All mail from my kids is special, but there is just something extra special about those first letters. The first glimpse into that child's life. The first time you hear their "voice" (mostly older children for this one. Younger kids don't typically have a writing voice, yet). The first time you try to look into their personality based on their handwriting. That's not just me, right? Okay, maybe it's weird.

Anyway, here's my first letter, from our newest Honduran cutie, Nahomy. It was the typical first letter template.


I am a: Girl
My Age: 8
I live in: The country/village
I live with: My parents and 2 siblings
My favorite color: Pink
What I love to do: Play with Dolls
My favorite food: Chicken
My height: 133 cm (about 4' 4")
My weight: 54 pounds
My eye color: Light Brown
What I like the most about me: My hair

Questions to my sponsor: What is your name? Do you work? What is the color of your hair? What is the color of your eyes? 


I also received a first letter from my newest Ugandan "child", Abbas, who is actually a young man. His handwriting looks like a font on Microsoft Word. It's just immaculate and so tiny. Side note, just wait until you see how many children are in his family! For his mom's sake, I hope that some of those are cousins that have lived with him. 

Abbas is 18 years old and lives in Uganda. He wrote this letter on March 14th, 2015. 


Dear Kayla,

I greet you in the name of the almighty God. How are things going? I hope everything is okay and your family is well. How is your country? Back to me, I am fine and I am getting on well. My family is also okay and my country is well. 

I have written this letter to thank you for the support you sacrifice to me including school fees, gifts, letters, most especially the last one, which was good and nice looking in color. (A+ to the Compassion email templates!). When I went through it I was very glad to know you and your family and soon you are going to know me and about my family. I am Abbas and I am 18 years old. I am from Uganda, in the Luwero district. I am in form five in secondary school. Life is enjoyed in the advanced level because we do everything with respect. I have one more year to go before university. I thank God for this good work you are doing in my life and the country at large. 

About my family, my father and my mother are still alive. My father is 66 years old and my mother is 49 years old. We are 20 children in number, 12 boys and 8 girls. But now we are just 5 children at home, 2 boys and 3 girls. The other children reached the time of leaving their parents home and left us. 

About my favorite things in life. My favorite color is red. My favorite food is rice mixed with potatoes. My favorite game is football. I also like dancing, mostly break dance (he break dances!). I also like to make people more happy. 

Allow me to stop here and wish you well in everything you do in your life. I love you to the moon and back. (Love!) You will always be in my prayers and on my heart. May God bless you and your family. 

Your Loving One,


To round out the wonderful letters, I also received a letter from Celeste. There was a definite slowdown in letters between Celeste and I and they seem to be catching up now. This letter was written before Christmas. 

Celeste just turned 13 years old, but was still 12 when she wrote this letter. Celeste is from Honduras. This letter is dated December 20th, 2014. 


Hello Dear Sponsor Kayla, 

It is a great joy for me to have you as a dear and beloved sponsor. I am so glad to be writing you another letter. I wish you and your beloved family are enjoying good health. I am doing very well. I want to tell you that I already passed my school year. The school year will start in February. I am going to 6th grade. We are now on vacations. I will have the same classes. Thank you for the pictures. My favorite subjects are computers and science. The Christmas season will be shared with family and friends. Here, it is cold and rainy. We will go visit our family and some of my dad's friends and Mario. I send you kisses and hugs with great love and kindness for you and your family. I now wish you a merry Christmas. 



Monday, May 11, 2015

A Miraculous First Letter

Recently, I received three first letters from three of my newer kiddos. I want to share one of those letters with you today. Before I share this letter, I have to share this miraculous story, as a background.

One of my new kiddos is Jhonrex, from the Philippines. He was randomly assigned to me in January.

Over a year ago (maybe even two years now?) my good friend Ali got very sick and was physically unable to write letters to her long list of correspondent children. She, after a tough decision, decided to release her children back to Compassion to be re-assigned to correspondent sponsors. One of her boys was named Jhonrex. When I was assigned a Jhonrex, I thought nothing of it, because the photo I had of him wasn't the photo that Ali had of him. However, in the letter I just got from him, he is asking about his "big sister Ali." I immediately made the connection and about had a panic attack. This is the same boy! I immediately talked to my friend Ali about it and we are both just in awe of this whole situation. God clearly wants Jhonrex to keep updated about Ali and he assigned him to the very person who can update him. It's, by far, the most amazing God-moment I've ever had. Just a true miracle.

(By the way, Ali is doing much better now, has met a great guy, and is expecting a baby. Jhonrex is going to be thrilled!).

Jhonrex is 14 years old and lives in the Philippines. He wrote this letter on March 30th, 2015.


Dear Kayla,

Greetings! I am happy to be able to write you a letter. I'm confused where my big sister Ali is now and who is my sponsor now. I still attend my center classes at the student center. I love to listen to the bible and I also love to play basketball here. I learned to pray there, too. Soon, classes in school will be over and I hope to go to the province to bond with my cousins. My plan is to go to the sea and enjoy summer. We will also have summer class at the project for two weeks straight. Please pray for my family to be in good health. 

Your Sponsor Child,


Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Letter to My Mom

Compassion sent out a blog assignment for us to write a letter to our moms, to let them know how much we love them. My mom will, most likely, never see this letter, but I wanted to write it anyway. If my typical fashion, of course, I will use photos galore!

Dear Mom,

Thank you for giving birth to me. I showed up a little too early and needed some extra special care. I know that was hard. 

Thank you for showing me the joy in books early on.

Thank you for encouraging me to learn new things

Thank you for instilling in me the love of being outdoors

Thanks for putting up with (and staying happy) when I was cranky.

Thank you for providing me with cheap entertainment.

Thanks for celebrating each birthday in a special way.

Thanks for playing with me.

Thank you for not letting the rain ruin our picnic plans. You were always so creative.

Thank you for holding me steady.

Thank you for allowing me to get messy

Thanks for showing me that there was enough love to go around.

Thank you for ending each day in such a special way.

Thanks for taking me on fun adventures.

Thank you for being strong through your divorce, and for showing me that happiness is choice, even in hard times. 

Thank you for showing me how it is to love a new, blended family and for loving a daughter that you didn't give birth to. 

Thanks for everything mom. I love you very much!