Saturday, October 31, 2015

Four Letters to End October

I know Saturday is typically Step Into My World day, but I wanted to share my last letters of October on the last day of October. We will travel to a new country together tomorrow. Be sure to check back for more information about Tanzania!

I was happy to find four cream envelopes in my mailbox. You should should me when I get happy mail. I live in a basement apartment and the mailbox are upstairs (as in most apartment buildings). When I open my little box and see Compassion cream or World Vision orange, I do a little happy dance next to the mailboxes. Then I practically fly down the stairs to get back to my apartment to tear open the letters. I've been a sponsor for 7 years and getting mail never gets old. It's always such a joy!

Like as (because I like things in order) I'll share the letters from youngest child to the oldest.

First up, a letter from little Carolin. I just heard from her last month, so it was great to hear from here again so soon. A few of the questions were on the My Friends template and then her tutor helped her write a message.

Carolin is 3 years old and lives in the Dominican Republic. Her letter is dated August 27th, 2015.


Activities I do with my friends: Eating ice cream

My best friend is: A girl

My best friend is special because: She loves to share

I met my best friend at: The project center

Hello dear Kayla, 

May God's grace and peace be with you and your family. It's the wish of the child to ask: How are you and your family? She and her family are fine, thank God. She thanks you for the letter you sent her. She and her parents live together. She likes to eat a lot and is attending preschool. She prays for you and says goodbye with love. 


Next up, a letter from Khushi. This is the 2nd letter from her this month! She certainly loves to write! 

Khushi is 11 years old and lives in India. Her letter was written September 9th, 2015. 


My dear friend Kayla, 

Greetings from India! I hope you are very well. I am doing good and my study in class 8 is going well. I have received so many letters from you! It's so wonderful to hear many things from you. You are my very good and loving friend. Thank you very much. We had many festivals and programs during the last two months. We had our 69th Independence Day, then Rakshabandhan, which is a festival of brothers and sisters. Then Teacher's Day which was just celebrated a few days ago. My family is so good and thankful that I can learn many things and grow as a nice woman, through the child care project. I like the winter season which is about to start. My elder sister Rinka has finished 12th grade and going to start college. My father is working there in the city. My mother is now well. Very soon, my yearly exams are starting. I hope I will get good marks. I like painting and drawing. I help my family with kitchen help and cleaning. I will also pray for you. I love you, my friend. 

Your Friend,


Now, I will share a letter from Sandesh. Sadly, the English translation for this letter is pretty poor. The sentences are incomplete and the grammar is rough, but I can still understand the gist of the letter, so I guess all is well. Instead of typing out exactly what the letter says, I'm going to edit it a bit into complete sentences with correct grammar for this blog post. 

Sandesh is 11 years old and lives in India. This letter is dated July 21st, 2015. 


Dear Kayla, 

He read your story about when you accepted Christ. Jesus helped you. He liked to hear about the broomball game you played. He also, like you, likes singing worship song, praying, and learning about God. He was surprised to hear about sequoia trees because they are the largest trees in the world. We have to trust Jesus to be our foundation, to protect us. If you read John 15:5 you will be blessed more and more. Sandesh goes to church every Sunday. He prays at church and he knows that God will leave with him. He likes your photo. He loves you so much. 

He liked your story about the purple sheep and the king. In our project, there is a child name Aman. He didn't like to play with other children after school. After awhile, we all learned why he is not playing after school. After school he is making clay pots at home and they are very beautiful. He is a very talented child, like in your story. He loves you very much. 


Lastly, a letter from Jhonrex. This guy has had some rough times in the last couple of years. He fell into a bad crowd and ended up dropping out of school because his friends peer pressured him into it. I wrote a few letters encouraging him in the importance of education. It seems that his Compassion project had been doing the same thing because he re-enrolled into school before my letters would have reached him. In this letter, he's also talking about my friend Ali, who is expecting a baby (only a couple weeks to go!). 

Jhonrex is 14 years old and lives in the Philippines. This letter was written on July 19th, 2015. 


Dear Miss Kayla, 

Hello. I hope you're okay there. Thank you for all your letters you sent to me and also for the stickers. Thanks for all you wrote to me about Ate Ali. I'm glad to know that she is soon to become a mother. I'll pray that she'll have a healthy baby. 

I am now in school and I'm in 6th grade. I'm doing my best now. We transferred residences so I can avoid peer pressure. Thank you for your advice and yes, I will listen and obey. I will do my best in school. Please pray that God will give me wisdom in my schooling. 

Do you see Ate Ali often? Please extend my regards to her. 

Sponsor Child, 


Thursday, October 29, 2015

A Fun, Long Letter (With Drawings) from Florenc!

With every letter I receive from Florenc, I can really just feel him growing into a mature young man. His confidence seems to be improving with each passing month. His ability to express himself with words is growing by leaps and bounds and the letter I share with you today is wonderful. A full two pages. He wrote beautifully about his country's history and basic information. Plus, he drew two wonderful drawings! I'm just so in love with this boy.

Florenc is 16 years old and lives in Albania. This letter was written sometime after July, since he mentions my birthday greetings.


Hello Kayla, 

How are you doing? I'm very well and I"m so happy at the same time because school has started. The first day of school was very exciting. I met my friends. I had missed them. I hadn't seen most of them during the whole summer. From the very first day, the school was buzzing by the noises of students. Especially our class is very noisy and we often get reprimands by our teacher staff. 

I'm very passionate about football and my favorite football team is Real Madrid. My favorite player is Ronaldo. A few days ago, this team played a match against Albania's national team. The match took place in Elbasan Arena and it was going well until the very last minute, when the other team scored a goal. It was a beautiful game, but it would have been more beautiful if our national team would have scored that goal. I think I talk to much about sports. What is your favorite football team? Are you a fan of any team, anyway? 

The flag is the symbol of my country. The proud eagle with two heads. I'm telling you something; the red field of the flag shows the blood our of national heroes spilled during the war for thousands of years. Albania has been conquered by many countries. The worst enemy for us has been Turkey. This country has enslaved us for about five centuries and yet, we have never surrendered to them. We have fought for our liberation. Albanians are known for their bravery and loyalty. Loyalty is our greatest virtue and there exists an old saying for that: "The loyalty of an Albanian is stronger than a golden pole." The two headed eagle on the flag, is a symbol of our bravery, the courage of Albanians and our fierceness when talking about protecting our country (not a general feature of ours). (Hilariously honest!)

Our country has a lot of natural beauties. I'm naming you some of our most beautiful cities: Vlora, Tirana, Shkodra, Gjirokastra, Berati, Saranda, Durres, Tropoja, Hani, and Hotit (the is the most eastern city in Albania). The Alps where the snow is always so charming and Apollonia (which is the oldest city) dates from 588 B.C. It's really fascinating. 

I wanted to share with you these things about Albania. It would be lovely if you could come visit it someday! 

I need to go now. Thank you for your birthday wish! 

All the best! 



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fongwin is Back!

Do you all remember, back in August, when I lost my dear Fongwin due to his financial sponsor cancelling his sponsorship?

At the time, I was just starting a new job and was worried about having enough money to pick up his sponsorship, so I, reluctantly, let Fongwin go.

However, now that I've been working at my new job for two months and am feeling very secure in my future there, I felt confident in adding Fongwin to my financial sponsorships, if he was still available. I sent Compassion an email and hoped for the best.

Monday, I checked my email and my prayers have been answered! Fongwin has been added to my account again!

So, welcome back Fongwin! I am so happy that we can be in each other's lives again.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Christmas Letters 2015

Each year, I have a wonderful time getting Christmas letters put together. I try to think of something new and creative for each year. I know that all of my sponsored children are taught about the story and true meaning of Christmas at their projects, so  try to refrain from just repeating the story to them, though, there is nothing wrong with that. Repetition does equal memory.

In the past years, I've: written a letter about the 3 wise men and their gifts, sent goodies related to the nativity scene, and created a paper Christmas tree, which I covered with stickers of various Christmas symbols.

This year, due to my hectic work schedule, I stuck to a more simple path. But, I think the love is still shown.

For my 12 youngest children, I ordered sticker nativity scenes from Oriental Trading Company. They are super cute! With this, I sent a simple, short letter talking about how on Christmas, we celebrate the birth of baby Jesus, who would grow up to save us all. Lastly, each child received a coloring page of an adult Jesus surrounded my happy children.

For my remaining kids, I sent each of them a Chirstmas card, all related to the birth of Jesus, in some way. I was searching on Amazon, I ordered a variety pack of cards. Each box came with 3 cards each of 8 different designs. Inside each card, there was a pretty pre-written message and a bible verse. I added my own little message and sent them along. 

What did you send/are you sending to your kids for Christmas this year? 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Letters to My Kids: October 2015

It's been awhile since I posted one of these about letters I've written, hasn't it? I hate to say it, but it's not just because I've forgotten, it's because in August and September, I didn't write to my kids. In August, I lost a job and started a new one. In September, I was working 50-60 hours a week, between my two jobs. Still, no excuses, I've been a bad sponsor over the last couple of months. It makes me feel a little bit better knowing that most of my kids wrote a letter to me and I responded to those letters. But still, I feel guilty knowing my kids were waiting on letters from me.

So, while October isn't over yet, I've already written two letters. One I will share today and another (My Christmas letter) I will share tomorrow.

At the beginning of October, I shared about the amazing Blood Moon Eclipse that we experienced. I shared a little bit about the science of an eclipse and attached a little diagram that shows why the moon turns red in this special kind of eclipse. Then I shared a bible verse and talked about how powerful our God is, that he can control planets, the sun, and the moon and line them up in perfect way to show us, here on earth, beautiful images in the sky. I then asked each child if they were able to see the lunar eclipse where they live (I know it was visible in many countries throughout the world.

Here's the letter I sent, if you'd like to read it:

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Step Into My World: Northern Uganda

We head back to Uganda again, for the last time in this series. This time, we'll learn more about the Northern region of Uganda.

I have one child living in this region:

My child, Derrick, lives near the city of Hoima. To me, it looks like its in the central part of the country, but Compassion says it's in the Northern region.

I want to share a few facts to give you a glimpse of the Northern region of Uganda. 

- Over 70% of people in Northern Uganda live below the poverty line. 

- This region was hit especially hard from the effects of the Lord's Resistance Army, which terrorized the people living here; through looting, murder, and rape. This group of people rampaged for 20 years. The families here are just recently beginning to rebuild their lives. 

- The HIV/AIDS crisis causes more cases in Northern Uganda than in any other part of the country. Most families have at least one person living with, or has died from, the effects of the disease. 

Employment is hard to come by in this region. Most families work as subsistence farmers. However, the climate here is harsh. This region is often subject to extreme drought and wildfires, which leads to a severe lack of water. It's nearly impossible to grow a successful crop here and farmers often only get enough food to last a few months of the year. 

If, and when, food runs out, families will sell what they can in the markets or on the side of the road, with the hopes of earning money to purchase much needed food and supplies. 

Homes in this region are, typically, round mud huts with a thatched roof. These are one room homes and usually accommodate large families. Most families in this region have 4-5 children. Some families have even more.  These homes usually don't have electricity or running water. 

Compassion is working hard to change the lives of children and families in Northern Uganda. One of the biggest struggles for families here is with food shortage. In the cases that parents can't afford to feed their children, Compassion gives food supplies to the family, to ensure that children have healthy meals at home. 

Compassion provides a safe place for children to attend before and after school and on the weekends, at individual projects. Here, children are provided with equipment to play with peers and enjoy some free, uninterrupted joy. 

At the project, each child's learning is held to utmost importance. Children, and sometimes their parents, have one-one-one time with a tutor, to learn important skills. Skills taught are developmentally appropriate and includes the itty bitty ones all the way up to the young adults. Each child's progress is meticulously tracked. 

Children are taught about the life-saving, all loving message that can be found in the Bible. Children learn that God loves them so much and has a wonderful plan for their future, outside of living in poverty. Children are taught to sing and pray and dance and worship their heavenly father. 

In Northern Uganda, the Compassion staff pray (and ask sponsors to pray) the following prayers: 

- For political stability

- For good legislation and and government policies that will accelerate rural development. 

- That cultural practices that discriminate against women and children will be abandoned. 

- For children's protection against illness and domestic violence. 

- For Compassion center workers, that they will maintain their dedication to serving the children in their care. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Kwizera Yves's New Photo: 2015

Another photo updated on my account! That's two in one week!

Kwizera Yves always takes such a great picture. I think he's so handsome.

For those of you who are interested, here's a close-up of that handsome face: 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Parties, Prayers, & Other Wonderful Things (Like Love)

I have three letters to share with you today. I don't have any special introduction, though. letters!

Here's a letter from Maria. Like usual, the letter is short, but sweet. Maria seems to be a girl of few words, but it good at sharing a few highlights of her life.

Maria is 11 years old and lives in Brazil. Her letter is dated June 19th, 2015.


Dear Sponsor Kayla,

Thank you for your letters. I am happy when I receive your letters. The project is going to take the children to the cinema and it is going to be great. Are you okay? I am great and happy. On June 11th, it was my birthday and I turned 11 years old. 

We're going to have a party at the project and we're going to have corn cake, pe de moleque (a traditional Brazilian candy), vatapa (Brazilian shrimp stew), and rice. Kisses and write more. 



Next, a letter from Kwizera. This letter is wonderful! A couple of year ago, Kwizera graduated to writing his letters on his own, without a form to guide him. He hasn't seemed to enjoy it and his letters have been pretty devoid of detail, but this letter is just great! I learned so much in this letter. 

Kwizera is 11 years old and lives in Rwanda. He wrote this letter on August 22nd, 2015. (He's also due for a new photo any day now. It's been over 2 years). 

I paired each of my sponsored children up together and told them about each other, as prayer partners. Unfortunately, the boy I paired up with Kwizera is no longer I child I write to, so I recently emailed him about another child to pray for. 


Dear Kayla, 

To my beloved parent Kayla, I greet you in the name of Jesus Christ. I was happy for the lesson you wrote for me, teaching kids, and it helped me a lot. In my everyday life, it leads me near God very much. I was pleased by a thought of sheep with purple hair. (I shared a story about a purple sheep standing out in the field, but being loved by God.). Because no matter what we look like, God loves us all the same. I am happy that you have a child that you support in India and I saw a picture of that friend of mine and I love that child very much. He is beautiful and I wish to meet him to know each other better. God will bless you because you care about children, which are poor. Does that boy in India like to pray? Now, we begin our 3rd term at school. In the previous term, I got a 76% marks. In our country we have a lot of sunshine. I was happy for the photo of flowers you sent to me. 

Kwizera Yves


Last up, a letter from Enatenesh. Letters from Ethiopia used to be slow, but I have been hearing from Enatenesh every month or so, recently. I think that that is wonderful. Also, the end of her letter makes me smile. She's such a sweet girl. 

Enantenesh is 18 years old and lives in Ethiopia. Her letter is dated September 8th, 2015. 


Dear Kayla, 

My beloved and respectful sponsor, how are you doing? I am very fine. My family passes respectful greetings. Thank you so much for all your support reaching me through the church. For your question, here children attend bible lessons properly. We are happy as our new year feast is approaching. You may pray the Lord to be with us in all our moves, as I pray for you. I love you. I love you. I love you. 



Saturday, October 17, 2015

Step Into My World: Southeastern Dominican Republic

Again, I missed a Saturday post. Now, I'm officially out of Saturdays to miss, if I hope to finish these by the end of the year. I really want to get all of these pictures and all of this information down, because I think Compassion updates these pages every year.

Anyway, let's travel to a brand new country (in this series). Let's head to the Dominican Republic and learn more about the Southeastern region.

I have two children in this country:

Carolin and Enmanuel 

Both of my children live in the city of Santo Domingo, which is the capital city.  

Communities in this region are typically very crowded neighborhoods, in near slum-like conditions in some places. Homes here are typically made out of scrap materials like planks of wood and metal sheets. Though neighborhoods here are very poor, the communities are known to be very tight-knit, looking out for each other and helping each other, when able. 

Like in many other countries throughout the world, clean water is not the norm. These shack type homes do not have running water, so water must be bought or carried from a long distance. Carrying water is a chore that falls to the women and the children of the house. Carrying water is a chore that takes up many hours a day, leaving children exhausted, often causing them to miss school. Unfortunately, the drinking water is often filthy, being used for laundry and swimming, as well as for drinking. 

Compassion is truly moving mountains in these poor communities. Enrolled children receive many benefits, that often would not be available to them, due to their parents low income. A big problem in the Dominican Republic is the high drop out rate from school. Young teens are often forced to quit school to work and earn money for their families. This causes a cycle of uneducated, poor workers, that continues from generation to generation. Compassion is working to end this cycle, by providing children with money and supplies to attend school. After school, Compassion also teaches lessons at the project, to supplement each child's education. 

For the teenagers that have dropped out of school and are unable to return or who have decided not to return, Compassion is helping out them, as well. They offer many classes to these teens and young adults to help them learn valuable skills and trades, to give them a better chance at finding a good job later in life. 

But, it isn't all work and no play here! Baseball is a HUGE sport in the Dominican Republic and Compassion wasn't about to let that opportunity slide by. Compassion organizes baseball teams at the projects. This gives the children opportunities to learn teamwork, get exercise, and just have fun! 

After all that studying and exercise, a kid is bound to get hungry, right? Each time a child visits the project, they are provided with a healthy meal to ensure good nutrition and a full tummy. 

Of course, the children are also taught about our awesome God and how loved they truly on. Children are given time to sing praise and worship songs, hear bible stories, and to pray together. 

Compassion in the Southeastern region of the Dominican Republic have the following prayer requests for their children and families: 

- Pray that families will understand the importance of their child's education to end the cycle of poverty. 

- Pray that caregivers will find steady employment and not have to send their children out to work. 

- Pray that assisted children will stay in school and be successful in their studies. 

- Pray that families will be strengthened and stay together in loving, supportive relationships. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Brian's Updated Photo 2015

Hi everyone! I've certainly been pretty scarce around here, compared to how I usually post. I've just been working a crazy amount of hours, which is good for the paycheck, but bad for free time to blog. I do have a couple of letters to share and a few other posts planned, but I just have to share the photo update that I received today, because photo updates are always exciting.

This new photo is of my boy Brian, who lives in Kenya. He's killing me with the fact that his brilliant smile is gone, but I can see that he is growing and looking healthy, so I suppose that's all a sponsor can ask for. But, I intend to mention to him that I miss his happy smile, you know, just to pressure him for the next photo, haha.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Another Trio of Letters

I seem to be receiving letters in groups of three lately. I have to say, it's quite nice to find a stack of letters in my mailbox, especially so often.

First, a letter from Enmanuel. He's one of my newer kids and this is my very first letter from him. It's fairly short, but the information is still good. Also, he has the cutest, big, loopy little boy handwriting. :)

Enmanuel is 7 years old and lives in the Dominican Republic. This letter appears to have been written when he was first enrolled in the program.


Dear Sponsor, 

May God bless you and your family very much. My name is Enmanuel. I live with my mom, Alexandra and my brothers, Brayan and Alan. I'm so glad to write to you. I ask you to pray for me and my family. 



Next, a letter from my sweet boy, Mulwa. This letter is written on the My Favorite template. 

Mulwa is 8 years old and lives in Kenya. This letter was written on August 1st, 2015. 


My favorite food is rice and beans. My favorite food is football. My favorite activity is herding animals. My favorite color is red. My favorite friend is John. My favorite animal is a cow. My favorite hero is Obama. My favorite toy is a bicycle. 

Hello, Mulwa salutes you in Jesus name. He says that he is going on well together with the family. Mulwa says that he is grateful to God for his care and protection. Mulwa really appreciates the letters and gifts you have been sending to him. May God bless you. 


Lastly, a letter from Jhon. Like a couple of my other kids lately, he is always responding to me asking him to pray for another one of my sponsored children. I think it's great that my kids are responding to having prayer partners. 

Jhon is 16 years old and lives in Bolivia. His letter is dated August 24th, 2015. 


Hello Dear Sponsor Kayla, 

I greet you with the holy peace of the Lord. I'm very happy for the letter that you sent and I want to thank you for the stickers. They are very nice. My family is going well, thank God. I will pray for all of the children and for Nikko. I want to tell you that my family is in good health. On Sunday, I went with my friends in a ride to the Botanical Gardens and we had a great time. I want to share a bible verse with you, Psalm 16-17. I say goodbye with the peace of the Lord and may He bless you and your family. Pray for my family. 



Sunday, October 4, 2015

Another Group of Letters to Share

I was amazed to receive a total of 6 letters so far this month, in only 3 days! I received these letters on Saturday, since, is Sunday and there isn't mail delivery on Sunday. "No post on Sundays!" (For all my Harry Potter fan brethren.)

First, a letter from Allison. She's quickly turning into an every 1-2 month letter writer, which I think it's pretty great. Haha.

Allison is 11 years old and lives in Ecuador. She wrote this letter on August 6th, 2015.


Dear Kayla, 

My dear sponsor, I greet you in the name of Jesus. I'm in 8th grade. I am happy because I took exams. I wonder, how are you? How is the weather? I have had a good time with my family. Thank you for writing to me. I love to study. What subject do you like? I like grammar and math. I like to play. I am happy because my birthday is approaching. Dear sponsor, I look forward to receiving your next letter. I say goodbye in the name of Jesus. 



Now a letter from Emanuel. He is responding to the questions I asked all of my kids about their country. I like learning these details about my kids' countries. 

I also wrote a letter to each of my kids pairing them up with a "prayer partner", which is another child that I write to. 

Emanuel is 18 years old and lives in Tanzania. This letter is dated August 22nd, 2015. 


Dear Kayla, 

I greet you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. My family and I are fine and doing well. How are you doing? 

Now I am doing well at school. I'm very happy about the picture that you sent to me. In your letters you talked about Abbas. I promise you that I will pray for Abbas. You told me about your church. I would like to tell you that at our church we started a youth choir, for ages 10-18. Also, you asked me about my sister. I would like to tell you that she is fine and healthy. 

The capital of Tanzania is Dodoma, where the president lives. Now, it's the campaign for the election for president and parliament. Our Independence Day is December 9th. I would like to give you a verse from Psalm 101:1. I want to ask you a question. Why did you accept Jesus to be the Lord in your life? I wish you a good life that please God. 



Last, a letter from Lazarus. He and I only have 5 more months to write each other until he graduates from his Compassion project. I happy to get another letter from him. 

Lazarus is 21 years old and he lives in Kenya. This letter was written on August 1st, 2015. 


Dear Kayla, 

Hi! Receive much greetings from me, hoping that you are fine. With me, here in Kenya, I am fine. Even my family members are also fine. How about your family members? 

At school I am going on well with my studies. I'm working extra hard in order to achieve my goal of being a medical laboratory technician. During the holidays I usually help my parents carry out different activities, like cleaning the compound and conserving the environment by planting trees and looking after the family cow and sheep. On Sundays, my family members and I usually accompany each other to church to praise our Almighty God. 

I thank you for the letters you have been sending to me and I am happy and glad to hear about you. 

Lastly, I request you to pray for me as I also pray for you and your family members. Thank you. 

Your Loving Son,