Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Introducing My After-Christmas Child!

I have a new sponsored child!

Okay, now that the excitement has passed (who am I kidding? The excitement is still there), I have indeed sponsored a new child.

For months, I have been watching people sponsor with a new organization called Manna 4 Lempira, which works in Honduras. I have loved hearing all of the stories and seeing the great photos, but haven't felt the urge to sponsor with the organization myself. To be honest, I figured I would jump in eventually, but was waiting to feel lead.

Well, I felt lead. Haha. The leader of the organization's Facebook page posted this the other day:

"I want to share with you a very special encounter that we had with Ivan from our Tablon program. Ivan was introduced to us as a faithful young man who has attended church from a young age. He attends a bilingual school and wakes up very early to walk down to catch the bus to town. His father works hard in the fields to make this possible for his son, and he often does without needed materials for school. The Pastor told us that Ivan wanted to speak with us. Do you know what he wanted to know? Ivan wanted to know why people were doing what Manna is doing for the children of Honduras. He was genuinely curious! We were able to use this opportunity to share with Ivan about the value God places on him and the other children and how He has plans for their future! Have you told your child why? You are making a GREAT investment in God's kingdom plan for Honduras. Whoever decides to sponsor Ivan is in for a very special relationship" 

Well, this post just about melted my whole heart. I have no idea if I can live up to the hype, but I sure hope that I can explain God's love to Ivan. 

Part of the cool thing about this organization is that, at Christmas, sponsors get to pack a backpack for their sponsored children, filled with school supplies, clothes, and a couple special items. This year, somebody else filled a backpack for him, as part items that unsponsored children receive, but next year, I will get to fill the backpack. So exciting! 

Here are some more photos of Ivan from the day all of the children received their backpacks: 

Here's to a new adventure with a new organization! And a new child, of course! 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Sponsor a Christmas Child!

Hello all and Merry Christmas!

This post has become a bit of a yearly tradition with me and I love doing it!

I think one of the greatest gifts you can give a child, your family, and yourself for Christmas is the gift of child sponsorship. You can choose to love and support a child and literally change a life forever.

I went through the Compassion website and found children with very Christmas-y names. All of these children are currently waiting for a sponsor and would love to find out that you have chosen to sponsor them this Christmas season.

Do you have room in your heart for one of these children? It only costs $38 a month to change two lives, theirs and yours.

I had some extra fun this year and made sure that each child I post is from a different country. No repeats here. :)

Under each child is a link to the page where you can sponsor each child.

Happy sponsoring and Merry Christmas! 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

First Letters Galore!

Okay, I'm not sure if it's "galore". It's two letters. Can two letters count as "galore"?

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I have two first letters to share with you today.

At the beginning of August, I started writing to Bilor. From the start of his letter, I get the impression that Bilor has had other sponsors in the past who have not written to him because he mentions me not "letting him down". I know it is very typical for sponsors to not write to their children, but it makes me so sad. I can only pray that Bilor's financial sponsor continues their commitment, so I can continue to write to him. I don't want to let him down.

Bilor is 16 years old and lives in Haiti. His letter is dated November 29th, 2016.


Hello Dear Sponsor, 

How are you? How was the weekend for you? I'm happy to see that you don't let me down. I always think of you and I'm asking God to give you good health. I thank you for your support. Thank you for thinking of me. That encourages me to work well in school. I will tell you that I had a good week. I was sick but now I feel better. I will always pray for you and ask God to bless you. I thank you so much for your help. I wish you to have a good year and a Merry Christmas. Once more, thank you for your help and your support. Thank you for all you have done for me and God will protect you in all that you do. Please pray that I can work well in school in order that I can succeed and God will bless you. 



As I start to type this next letter, I realize that I am going out of age order, which I typically swear by. Oh well, I guess I'm mixing things up today. 

This first letter is from Erick. Technically, it's not a letter to me, as it was written to his previous sponsor. he letter was dated just one week after I started sponsoring him, so he didn't even know about me yet, but I'm going to pretend this letter is for me. :) 

Erick is 13 years old and lives in Honduras. His letter is dated October 15th, 2016. 


Dear Sponsor, 

I am happy to write to you again. I want to tell you that I am 13 years old and I go to the sixth grade. I feel that I have grown a lot. Also, I want to tell you that my favorite class is math, because I like numbers. I love my school. It is called "Jose Trinidad Reyes." My school is big and pretty. Please pray for me that I can improve my school with good grades and I can become an excellent student. Do you go to school? I have a friend called Anthony. He is very friendly and we play soccer, my favorite spot. I hope you write to me soon. God bless you. 



Tuesday, December 20, 2016

First Letter from Becca!

First letters are the best. The start of a brand new relationship. By the time I receive a first letter from a child, I have typically been writing to the for months already. It's always such a wonderful thing to hear back!

This letter is from Becca. I was first assigned her in August and shortly after, I introduced her to her prayer partner, which I give to all of my kids. Becca seems to be so excited to get to know hers. :)

Becca is 9 years old and lives in the Philippines. Her letter is dated November 12th, 2016.


Dear Ate Kayla, 

How are you? We are doing good here. I am happy that I have a new friend. I like it because I have a prayer partner. How is Ayling? How is her family? I am now 9 years old, celebrating in on September 4th. I am now in 4th grade. I have one elder brother and his name is Ydreian. My favorite school subjects are English, Math, Filipino, and History. I love to play dolls and hide & seek. At home, I help my mom by cooking rice and washing dishes. My favorite foods are fried chicken and chicken adobo. Ate, how old are you? Are you still studying? Please ask Ayling about how she will celebrate Christmas. I'll be waiting for your next letter. 

Thank you so much for your prayers and I also pray for you and Ayling. Please pray for my mother's cough, protection for us and the rheumatism of my father. 



Saturday, December 17, 2016

Six Letters in One Post. AKA: The Holiday Season is Too Busy to Write More Than One Post

Like the title suggests, I have six letters to share with you today. Naturally, it'll be a long post. Read what you'd like. No pressure. :)

I'll start with Djimitri's letter. I was just assigned this little guy last month, so it was a surprise to a letter from him so quickly! This letter is written on the How I Have Fun form letter.

Djimitri is 5 years old and lives in Togo. The letter is not dated, so I am not sure when it was written.


1. During my free time, I like to: Watch TV
2. When I am outside home, I like to: Go to Church
3. When I am inside, I like to: Learn and Read
4. One sport I like to play is: Soccer
5. I usually play with: My Friends
6. One thing I like to do is: Dance
7. Prayer for my sponsor: That the Lord protects you and blesses you in the new year. 
8. Question for my sponsor: How will you celebrate Christmas? 
9. A Bible verse: Job 42:2
10. Thank you note: Thank you for your sponsorship
11. Prayer request: Pray for the grace of God for my family


Up next, a letter from Rujikorn. She's such a good writer and I always love her drawings. I'm almost 100% sure that her drawing today is a self-portrait. She is responding to my Christmas letter that I wrote in October. I was wondering how early I should write Christmas letters this year due to the faster system. I have had several children respond to my Christmas letter already. It seems like October is definitely too early to send. I'll keep that in my next year. 

Rujikorn is 12 years old and lives in Thailand. Her letter is dated November 18th, 2016. 


Dear Kayla, 

Hello. Thank you for the letter, the Christmas card, and the photos you sent me. I like them very much. I am happy to read the letter from you. I am encouraged much more. I am glad to write to you again. My friends and I will be able to celebrate Christmas at the project soon. I can feel the love of God. He gave his son to help us from our sins. I am very excited. I am happy in God. When I was in kindergarten, I lived life like Gage and Chloe. May God bless them with many good things and they enjoy going to school. Please tell them that I love them and pray for them. They are lovely to me. I have drawn a picture for them too. I enjoy going to school very much. At school, I do many activities with my friends. I learn vocational subjects, draw pictures, and learn about the love of God to me and I am a believer. Please pray for my study, for my parents' work, and for our health. I always think of you in my prayers. May God bless you! If it's possible, please come to visit my place. 

Love in Christ, 


Climbing up the age ladder, we get to Agness next. As you may have read about in the past, I like to send lists of questions to my kids. I have always had great experiences with getting answers to these lists, so I will keep sending them. I have several lists that I cycle through with my new kids. I send them a couple times a year, to whichever new children I have that haven't received them yet. I recently sent a list of school questions to several of my kids and Agness is responding to those questions. 

Agness is 13 years old and lives in Tanzania. Her letter is dated December 3rd, 2016. 


Dear Kayla, 

I hope you and doing well and are healthy. The purpose of this letter is to greet you. Thank you for the letter you sent to me. I answer your questions as follows: 

1. I have completed form two and prepare to enter form three. 
2. My favorite subject is geography. 
3. My tough subject is mathematics. 
4. Yes, we wear school uniforms. 
5. I go to school on foot. 
6. I stay at school for 8 hours. 
7. All students, boys and girls, sit together. 
8. We have 68 students in our class. 
9. My teacher is called Pendo and she is thin. 
10. My best friend is Grace. 
11. We have a break from school for 30 minutes. 
12. No, there is no computer at school. 

Thank you for the Christmas and New Year wishes. May God bless you for your sponsorship of me. May God bless you and your family. 


Now, a letter from Jhonrex. He has quite a bit to say in this letter, which I love. I have so many chatty letter writers. It's such a blessing! 

Jhonrex is 16 years old and lives in the Philippines. His letter is dated November 4th, 2016. 


Dear Kayla, 

How are you and good day to you. If you were to ask me, I'm doing fine, especially in my studies. Thank you for the letter and for greeting me on my birthday and also for the verses. On the 29th of October we had a youth day in our student center. I enjoyed it so much because we had activities like cheer dance and a Mr. and Mrs. Ambungan (Pageant Activity). We are just done with our period exam in our school and it was kind of difficult, but by the grace of God, I was able to pass it. My favorite fruit is mango and my favorite vegetable is eggplant. I also like chocolate. The best gift I ever received was shoes. Sometimes, I go to church on Sundays. I like to bathe in the rain. I take a bath first thing in the morning and in the evening time, I watch movies. I like to play basketball. If I were invisible for a whole day, I would help people, those who are in need. I would rescue them. Please pray for my studies. What grade your kids in now? Thank you and God bless you. 

Respectfully Yours, 

Hebrews 11:1 "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and being sure of what we do not see." 


Next, I received a form letter from Daniel. It was a bit unusual because teenagers don't typically write on form letters. Also unusual, this is the First Letter form letter template and this is not the first letter that I've received from Daniel. He has written me a couple times before. But, oh well. I am happy to learn this new information about him! 

Daniel is 17 years old and lives in Kenya. He did not date this letter. 


1. My family members are: Paul (father), Lucy (mother), Rose (sister), Alana (sister), Didi (brother). 
2. The language I speak is: Maasai and English 
3. In my family I spend the most time with: My Father
4. My favorite color is: Red
5. The color of my hair is: Black
6. The color of my eyes is: Brown
7. My favorite food is: Meat and Rice
8. My favorite song is: God is Savior
9. My favorite season is: Rainy Season 

How are you Kayla? It is my prayer that you are fine in the Lord. How is your country? Tell me where you live. I am very happy to have you as my new friend and your family member. I have completed primary school. Pray for me that I may get good marks. I will always pray for your family and you. I hope to know more about you. Goodbye. 


You have reached the final letter. You made it! ;) 

This letter is my one of my oldest "kiddos", Eric. I have been writing to him for so long that I may actually in a state of denial that he will be graduating in just 8 short months. We are only 6 years apart in age and have called each other siblings since the beginning. My little brother in Africa. Love him. 

Eric is 21 years old and lives in Uganda. He wrote this letter on November 15th, 2016. 


Dear Kayla, 

I am greeting you in the name of Jesus Christ. How are you and how is your situation over there? Back to me, I am okay. My family is also sending you greetings. I am thanking you for the love, care, and support you give to me. I am doing well at school and I am predicting to do my end of term exams this month. I request you to pray for me so that I may pass well in that area. The weather is favorable because we are receiving both sunshine and rainfall, which is good for the crops to crow well. I thank you for the letters you sent me. They have encouraging words. My best friend is Brian and I love him so much. We spend time together and visit each other. Thank you for the good verses. Very soon we will be celebrating Christmas where we will be remembering the birth of Jesus Christ. How do you celebrate? May God bless you! 


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Kids are Coming and Going

We are only two weeks into December and there have been some big changes in my Compassion family.

On December 1st, my boy Edison graduated from the project. Honestly, I don't know anything about him. I started corresponding with him in March of this year. Due to the changeover in the writing system, I never received a single letter from him. I know absolutely nothing about who he is or what he is planning to do in the future. However, I sure wrote him a lot of letters. My goal was to absolutely overwhelm him with love before he graduated. So, wherever he is headed next in his life, I wish him well!

I lost two other young adults this month, as well. However, these were a bit unexpected. However, after a graduation, the reason for losing them is just about as good a reason as there is for losing a child. Both of these children have had changes in their family's financial situation and no longer need Compassion's help!

 First, I lost Enatenesh, from Ethiopia. She has two older brothers who found good jobs and were bringing in money. Then, Enatenesh herself, completed 8th grade, which is as far as she wanted to study, as she is already 20 years old, found a job in a local shop. I was told that she has dreams of owning her own shop someday. You go, girl! 

My other young man, Taye, also from Ethiopia, no longer needs help. His father found a better job and now makes enough money to support the whole family. Praise God! 

After losing a few kiddos, I was so happy to log onto my account one day and see a brand new name a face! I would like to introduce you to 8 year old Jonathan, from Burkina Faso. Welcome to the family, little guy! I can't wait to get to know you! 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Letters from Rodrigo: Finally!

After waiting over 10 months, letters from Rodrigo have finally arrived! I received two letters within the same week. These letters aren't dated, so I have no idea if they are letters that were written months ago and have finally made it through or if these letters have been written recently. But, I suppose it doesn't matter. I am just so happy to finally be hearing from him, after such a long wait.

Rodrigo is 6 years old, so he writes on templates, and will for a long time. The first letter I will share with you is written on the Festivals and Holidays template.


1. Our national festivals/holidays are: Carnival and winter holidays from school for two weeks. 

2. My favorite National Festival or holiday is: Christmas. 

3. What I like to do on holidays is: Play with my friend Pillin in front of his house. 

4. What I like to do with my family at Christmas is: Play with a ball and with fireworks

5. At church we celebrate Christmas by: I did not attend church on Christmas. 

Hello, my friend, I am Jabez, Rodrigo's tutor. His teacher recommended him to comply with his homework at school. He is now paying attention with his homework. He likes drawing and making riddles. He also participated at his school dancing the Tinku. We ask for prayers for Rodrigo's family. God bless you, with affection. 


The other letter I received was written on a template titled What I Like Best. 


1. What I like best to do with my friends is: Play dots (a popular game)

2. The chore I like best is: Watering the plants 

3. What I like best about the project is: The weekly learning activities because they are very interesting. 

4. What like to do best with my family is: Take a walk to the market. 

Hello friend, I am Jabez, Rodrigo's tutor. Thanks to God, he is in good health. He is taking advantage of his studies. His father is municipal guard. He likes to play with his friends at school. He also plays hide and seek in the street near his home. They take advantage of the trees in the neighborhood. May God bless you. 

Jabez and Rodrigo


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

My Tanzanian Trio!

Tanzania is really on the ball with letters! For example, I just wrote to all of my kids on November 5th about my grandfather's 80th birthday. On November 2nd, I received a letter from my boys about this birthday letter. Less that a month for me to send it to them, it to be translated and printed, delivered to their projects, they read it and responded, sent it back to the country office, and then translated and scanned back to me. As you can see, that is a lot of steps to be completed in just one month!

The third letter I received didn't mention the birthday party, is wishing me a merry Christmas. In the past, I've received Christmas greeting letters in March or April, way after the fact. I'm much more fond of these fast letters.

In age order, because that's the best way, here are my letters:

I'll share Agness's letter first. She wasn't feeling very chatty in this letter and let me know that. I love when I get to the stage with my kids where they can truly tell me how they feel.

Agness is 13 years old. Her letter was written on November 12th, 2016.


Dear Kayla, 

It is my hope that you are fine and full of health. Me and my family are both fine and we greet you a lot. Thank you for the nice letter you sent to me, which had a nice message for Christmas. I thank you for sponsoring me. May heavenly God bless you. Frankly, I do not have much to say, but to wish you a happy birthday of baby Jesus. 

It is me, 


Now I will share Haji's letter. I love his words about my grandpa's birthday and my family. He's such a sweet boy! 

Haji is 14 years old. His letter is dated November 19th, 2016. 


Dear Kayla, 

Praise the Lord! I am fine and continue well with my studies and now we are doing exams before school break. Thanks for your good letter and your family pictures. You look very nice. Congratulations for having such a nice family and to your grandfather for reaching 80 years. I am happy and thankful for your Christmas and New Year greetings. I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! My family, father and mother, greet you. My father is a fisher. When he fishes, he brings home fish and I like to eat them very much. The type of fish found in our area is mackerel. Do you love fish? Welcome from Tanzania. May God protect you always. Amen. 



Finally, the letter from Emanuel. He has a lot to say, as usual. He's a chatty young man. 

Emanuel is 19 years old. His letter is dated November 26th, 2016. 


Dear Kayla, 

I greet you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. My family and I are well and healthy. I hope that you and your family are well. I am very happy to receive your nice letter. I have learned a lot through your letters. You asked me questions. I like pineapple and I also like all vegetables. My favorite foods are beans and maize. During sunny days, I like to swim. During rainy days I like to water the garden. When I wake up in the morning, I thank God for awakening me. When I sleep, I thank God for protecting me during the day. I like the game of pool at the pool table. I am happy to see your photo. You look beautiful and how you celebrated together at your grandfather's birthday. I'd like to ask you about the distance from your home to your relatives. I'd like you give you a verse from Psalm 133:1, "How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity." 



Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Letters to My Kids: November 2016

In November, I wrote two letters to my kiddos. It's always such a pleasure to write to my kids. I literally get so much joy out of writing to them. I bet, if you're reading this blog, you feel the same way about writing. :)

In October, I traveled to Wisconsin to celebrate my grandpa's 80th birthday. I traveled there with my sister and visited several of our extended family members. We hadn't seen these family members in over 5 years, so it was a very nice trip. My cousins are pretty cool people and it was pretty cool to see how alike we are, even though we rarely see each other. Some personality traits really do come from genetics, I think.

Anyway, I wrote about this special weekend to my kids and included two pages of photos of my family from the birthday party. Amazingly enough, even though I wrote this letter on Nov. 5th, just a month ago, I've already had responses about the party and about my grandpa from my kids. The new delivery system sure is fast in some country!

Then, later in the month, I wrote another letter about the children that I nanny for. These are some of my favorite letters to write. I have been nannying for these kids for over 3 years and they feel like my own family members. Last month, the oldest boy I take care of turned 5 years old and to celebrate, I took him to the zoo, just the two of us. I included pictures of his birthday cake and photos from the fun day at the zoo. The youngest, the precious 3 year old, and I took part in an 8-week art class for 2-4 year olds. I told my kids about this class and included pictures of various art proceedings, haha. 

I wonder what I am going to write about when I am no longer nannying for this family...?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

First Sunday Advocate: December 2016

No witty introduction today.

These kiddos need loving sponsors. They attend the same projects as some of my kiddos. I would love to see them find a sponsor.

It'd be a wonderful Christmas gift for both you and that child. Lives connected forever.

Format I follow under each photo: Age, Name, Project Number, (Name of my child who attends the same project). Each line of text is a link to the child's page, where you can learn more about each child's family, schooling, chores, and interests.

Frid has found a sponsor! 

Sweet Nathaly has been sponsored!