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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Manna Backpacks: 2017

One of the amazing, fun perks in sponsoring with Manna 4 Lempira is that we get to pack backpacks for our kids. These backpacks are shipped to Honduras and arrive just in time for Christmas. The backpacks must include specific school supplies. After that, hygiene items and clothes are highly encouraged. Whatever space is left can be used for fun items like toys, jewelry, etc.

My tactic for these backpacks (except for my newer kids) was to put a backpack for each boy in the closet. Then I shopped all year and filled up the bags slowly, over the months. This was the best option for me, so I could spread out the money spending significantly.

Now, the backpacks are finished! I took photos of everything and then packed it all neatly into the backpacks. I will be shipping them soon!

Without further ado, let me show you what I am sending to each of my boys. I am going to post from oldest to youngest.

(Notice: I am sending all of my boys Legos, but for some reason, I left them out of half of the photos).




14 year old Ivan will receive: 

- A blue/green Backpack
- A pencil pouch (pencils, pens, colored pencils, erasers, scissors)
- Ruler
- Soccer Ball
- Robot Lego Set
- Toy Cars
- Long Sleeved Shirt
- 2 Short Sleeved Shirts
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste
- Washcloth & Soap




11 year old Jarlin will receive: 

- A blue/orange Backpack 
- A pencil pouch (pencils, pens, colored pencils, erasers, scissors)
- Ruler
- Book: Despereaux 
- Jeans
- Two Short Sleeved Shirts
- Soccer Ball
- Dinosaur Lego Set 
- Toy Cars
- Toy Dinosaur 
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste
- Washcloth & Soap




- 9 year old Jordy is receiving: 

- A Ninja Turtles Backpack
- A pencil pouch (pencils, pens, colored pencils, erasers, scissors)
- Ruler
- Jeans
- Long Sleeved Shirt
- Short Sleeved Shirt 
- Soccer Ball
- Pirate Ship Lego Set 
- Toy Cars
- Toy Dinosaurs 
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste
- Washcloth & Soap




8 year old Brayan will receive: 

- A Red/Black Backpack
- A pencil pouch (pencils, pens, crayons, erasers, scissors)
- Ruler
 - Books: Little Polar Bear and the Big Balloon & Jungle Colors (these books were donated to me. No link)
- Jeans
- Two Short Sleeved Shirts
- Soccer Ball
- Speed Boat Lego Set 
- Toy Cars
- Toy Dinosaurs 
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste
- Washcloth & Soap





5 year old Noel will receive: 

- A Hot Wheels Backpack
- A pencil pouch (pencils, pens, crayons, erasers, scissors)
- Ruler
- Blue Pants
- Black/Red Soccer Shorts
- Two Short Sleeved Shirts
- Soccer Ball
- Rocket Lego Set 
- Toy Cars
- Toy Dinosaurs 
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste
- Washcloth & Soap




2 year old Antony will receive: 

- A Big Hero 6 Backpack
- A pencil pouch (pencils, pens, crayons, erasers, scissors)
- Ruler
- Two Pairs of Sweatpants
- Two Short Sleeved Shirts
- Bag of Legos
- Toy Car
- Toy Dinosaurs 
- Ninja Turtle Water Bottle 
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste
- Washcloth & Soap


Two from Tanzania, Two From Honduras

As the title suggests, I will be sharing two letters from Tanzania and two letters from Honduras in this post. These four letters are pretty great. I am super happy to share them with you today.

We'll start with a letter from Agness. Her letters crack me up because she always says something along the lines of, "I don't know what else to say" before she ends her letters.

Agness is 14 years old. Her letter is dated June 24th, 2017.

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Dear Kayla, 

I hope you are fine together with your family. Firstly, I thank you for the news you sent to me. I am happy to know of the progress of Gage and Chloe. Tell Gage I congratulate him for completing his initial studies. Tell him to try hard in primary school. Thank you for the letter you sent to me, as it is our method or enjoying and saying hello to each other. My family is greeting you so much and we wish one day to celebrate with you. I do not have much else to say but please greet Gage and Chloe. Tell them I love them so much. 

Your Dear, 
Agness

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Up next, a letter from Emanuel who is also so sweetly greeting and talking about my nanny kids. My sponsored kids really seem to love these little ones. 

Emanuel is 20 years old. He wrote this letter on July 8th, 2017. 

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Dear Kayla, 

I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. My family and I are proceeding well. It's my hope that you are also proceeding well. I'm proceeding well with my studies at the center. Thank you for the letter you sent to me including Gage and Chloe's photos. They are growing up. Tell Gage congratulations for completing nursery school. He and Chloe should study hard. I'm praying God to protect them and and help them do well in their studies. I congratulate them for their talents. They should maintain them and proceed with it. I would like to give you the Bible verse 2 John 1:2. Amen. I would like to ask you a question. Will Gage go to school near home or will he go to boarding school? God bless you. 

Emanuel

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Now we move onto those two letters from Honduras. We'll start with the letter from Carlos. 

He is 16 years old and his letter is dated June 10th, 2017. 

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Hello Dear Kayla, 

How is your health? I am in very good health. My last medical checkup was on March 3rd. My height was 1.64 cm and my weight was 41 kg. My mom came with me to my last medical checkup. I received vitamins and dewormer. I always go to school and learn my classes. I am in the school band and we march on National Tree Day. I am studying hard to reach my goals. I want to tell you that I have a little sister who is 1 year old. My brothers are 3 years old and 14 years old. I like coming to the CDC and it's only 5 minutes away from my home. My mom always works and my grandmother looks after my siblings. During the afternoon, I play with them. Do you have any prayer requests? Pray for me and my family. I will pray for you. I say goodbye with much love. 

Carlos Alexander

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To end, a letter from Celeste. This letter comes with some pretty wonderful photos of her quinceneara! 

Celeste is 15 years old and wrote this letter on June 10th, 2017. 

________________________________________________________________________________



Hello My Dear Sponsor Kayla, 

I hope you and your beautiful family are healthy. I am healthy, thank God. I want to tell you that my birthday was beautiful. All my friends came and it was a unforgettable night. I am sending you some photographs of my birthday party so you can see it. My grandmother made some delicious popcorn and we had soda. Yes, I do still have the Bible that you gave me when you visited in 2013. I received the gifts you sent me with your friend. Everything was beautiful. Thank you for that. Every verse you send me fills me with happiness and is useful in my spiritual life. It seems you have fun. We don't have all the four seasons as you in my country. We are in summer most of the year and it is very hot. I do consider myself a princess of the Lord. I read Galatians 4:7 and it blessed me. I say goodbye with love and kisses. 

Celeste



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Friday, July 21, 2017

From the Field Friday: East Indonesia

Today's country director letter is different than any posted so far for one reason. The director that runs the show in East Indonesia is a woman! That may not seem so odd, by our standards here in the first world, but in a developing nation, especially an Asian country, woman are often not seen as leaders or as intelligent as men. Having a woman in charge of the business of so many projects is an accomplishment, for sure!

I have one precious girl in East Indonesia; Prity!


______________________________________________________________________________

Dear Kayla, 

I am Georry Nefiantuty, country director of Compassion East Indonesia. I am originally from Badung, West Java, in the Western part of Indonesia. I started working with Compassion Bandung in 2001, and four years later, I was appointed to start the new office in East Indonesia. I feel blessed to have experiences in these two offices so I can understand all of Indonesia from end to end. 


Georry Nefiantuty


Compassion East Indonesia now has more than 240 church partners. Together we are serving about 55,000 sponsored children, more than 1400 mothers and babies in the survival program, and about 45 Leadership Development Program students. We can minister to these many children because of faithful sponsors like you. I would like to thank you for your love, continuous prayers, and support for Prity. Your child can experience the love of Jesus Christ. 


A Group of Happy Papuan Children 


East Indonesia is huge and most of the areas are remote. We thank God that our current government is giving special attention to East Indonesia's infrastructure development, so access to remote areas is becoming more and more open now. In the past, public facilities to remote areas were very rare and very expensive. Most of the transportation from island to island and also within the island is by plane, because each island mostly still has vast, protected forest. East Indonesia is also famous for its many tourist destinations. 


Impoverished Homes in East Indonesia


Sponsored children are protected and know where to go for help in difficult situations. They have appropriate medical treatment when they are sick. One girl in Kalimantan Island survived leukemia. Now she is healthy and active in the child development center. 

Children who are victims of abuse get medical and psychological treatment. Their cases are legally processed too; some of the perpetrators are in jail now. Every center has a trained child-protection champion who helps educate center staff, parents, and children on child protection and follows up on child-protection issues. 


Children Taking a Class in Their Project 


In this healthy environment, the children can have dreams and reach them. For example, one of the LDP students passed the final exam and will graduate soon from university. In 2017, 12 more LDP students will graduate. 


An Older Boy Working Hard


There are always challenges in ministering to children in poverty. Many of our children come from broken homes and they face bad influences from peers and electronic media. Our centers struggle to hire long-term, capable staff because, in the remote areas especially, people education. It takes longer to train the staff. Once they become trained, the local government often hires them away to become civil servants. 

We humbly ask for your prayer support for those challenges, so we will have wisdom in solving these issues. Please pray that the parents of  our children will know Jesus and draw closer to Him, and they will be able to support their children's participation in the centers. Would you pray for our church partners, especially for the pastors, center committees, staff, and tutors? May God give them passion, strength, wisdom, health, peace, and joy in serving our children. It always touches me when I hear that a staff member accompanied a sick child to the hospital, even in the middle of the night. 


A Young Boy Walking to School 


Thank you for your faithfulness in sponsoring Prity and walking with your child on the journey to fulfill God's plan. You are in our prayers as well. May God bless you, your family, and the work you do. 

Regards, 
Georry Nefiantuty

_______________________________________________________________________________

If you would like to sponsor a child from East Indonesia, may I suggest sponsoring this sweet boy, Jhosiah. He is 8 years old and has been waiting for a sponsor for 234 days! He could really use your love and encouragement. Click here to visit his page and learn more about him. 






Thursday, July 20, 2017

Happiness is a Collection of Letters

That sounded like some ancient proverb. Haha!

But, I will be sharing several letters with you today.

First up, a letter from little Joseph. He is 6 years old and from Guatemala. His letter is dated June 6th, 2017.

________________________________________________________________________________


Dear Sponsor Kayla, 

Your little friend Joseph greets you with lots of love and affection and he wishes you lots of blessings from God for you. He wants you to know he is in very good health and happy for you. He also says he would like to get to know you and your family through a photograph. He wants to ask you, how do you have fun? 

________________________________________________________________________________

Now, we jump up a bit in age and read a letter from Joel. This young man of mine has such big dreams and I love that! His sister has big dreams too. I hope they both get to accomplish all they want! 

Joel is 16 years old and lives in Mexico. His letter is dated April 22nd, 2017. 

________________________________________________________________________________


Dear Sponsor, 

I want to tell you about me and my family. We live closer to my mother's family because my father's family lives in another state. I have a sister named Milka who is studying to become a chef. Her dream is traveling to France and I hope she achieves it. My favorite sport is to play soccer. I also like taking pictures, running outdoors, and watching TV. The place where I live is surrounded by mountains. It is cold. It is also hot. One of the most popular legends here is the Legend of the Wailer. It is about a dancer woman who lost her children and she has been looking for them ever since. She cries and wails every night for them. Pray for my sister, my parents, and me. I would like to ask you what the place you live is like. Thank you for being my friend. 

Joel

________________________________________________________________________________

It's a bit of a back and forth today. Back to a letter from a little one! 

Airin wrote to me on the weather template. I have been receiving a lot of weather related letters lately! 

Airin is 7 years old and lives in Indonesia. Her letter is dated June 6th, 2017. 

________________________________________________________________________________


1. Right now, the weather is: Hot

2. When the weather is sunny, I like to: Swim 

3. When the weather is rainy, I like to: Take a nap 

4. My favorite kind of weather is: Hot, because then I can go swimming with my friends. 

5. On my birthday, the weather is usually: The rainy season 

Dear Mama Kayla, 

Thank you for your letter, Mama Kayla. We are having the dry season here. I am happy because every afternoon I can go swimming and play in the water with all my friends. I am 7 now. I also like to help my mom to draw water, wash dishes, and do laundry. I go to school on foot with my neighbor friend every day. Please pray for my family, for them to be strong and have long lives and be blessed richly. May Jesus bless you! 

________________________________________________________________________________

I will end my post with my sweet daughter, Faith. I call her my daughter because she recently became a total orphan and asked if she could call me Mama. I will never take that lightly. She is now in the care of a much older brother who seems to be a wonderful light in her life. Faith's letters have been so full of hope and happiness lately! She calls her brother and his wife her parents now. 

Faith is 11 years old and lives in Kenya. Her letter was written on June 24th, 2017. 

________________________________________________________________________________


Hi My Sponsor! 

How have you been? I hope that you are still going on well. On my side, Jesus Christ is the Savior and he has been my protector. I have got all of the reasons to thank the almighty. We are glad together, with my family members, as I write this letter to you. I am very thankful for the letter that you sent to me. My parents appreciated it since they were eagerly awaiting information from you. We thank God that we are in a peaceful environment. The climate has been a threat to some people. In spite of all this, we still believe in God, hoping in him. This year, we are going to conduct elections. I request prayers from you that we will have peaceful elections. It is upon all the pupils and students to pray and cry out to God. If the elections cause conflict, we are likely to be affected. From the book of Job, we learnt his story, which gives us hope and encourages us to strengthen our faith. Lastly, greet your family members. I thank you for your sponsorship and may God bless you so much. 

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Answered Questions from CO-384

I heard from my two precious boys at project CO-384 and I was so happy to have them answer many of my questions. I love these boys so much!

First, I'll share the letter from Jonatan, who is 9 years old. His letter is dated April 24th, 2017.

________________________________________________________________________________


Dear Kayla, 

Hello sponsor. God bless you. I am glad to write you again and let you know about my life. I like to ride bikes and play soccer with my brother. My favorite activity is to draw. When I am at the project, I like to draw and paint. I also tell you when I am not at the CDI, I like to play hide and seek with my cousins. When I am sad, I go to sleep. What I like to do the most is have races on bikes with my friends. I love you and thank you for your good wishes. May God bless you. In response to your questions, I can say that I had a beautiful Christmas and I rested from waking up early to go to school. I went to visit with my uncles with my parents in a village called Guayabetal. The weather is warm where I live and it is good enough to go to the river where I have a lot of fun. I think about you often and I wish the Lord blesses you and the children you care for. Kisses. 

Jonatan

________________________________________________________________________________

Now onto the letter from Daniel. He is 12 years old (wrote this letter when he was 11) and he wrote this letter on April 28th, 2017. 

_______________________________________________________________________________


Dear Sponsor, 

I send you my best greetings, wishing you a thousand blessings. Let me tell you that I am living somewhere else. The Lord blessed us with a house. I am studying in a new school where everyone is treating me well and I have new friends. I am happy because my birthday is in two months. I am also looking forward to my sister's birthday because she will be celebrating her 15th birthday and I'm asking God to give me more years filled with health next to her. I want to tell you that in my free time I play soccer and basketball with my school classmates. When I am a little sad I lie down and sleep. My favorite thing to do is going to the pool with my whole family because we are very close. May God bless you. Thank you. I want to thank you for the pictures you sent me and the beautiful words you wrote in your letters. As to your question, the coldest temperature in my city has been 18 degrees C. I say goodbye, hoping to hear from you soon. I love you and keep you in my heart and mind. I pray God to bless you everyday. I want to share this verse with you: Isaiah 41: 10-13. 

Daniel

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Two Letters from Little Acram

After only a short two month wait to hear from little Acram, I was surprised to find not just one, but two, letters from him!

Acram is 6 years old and lives in Tanzania. His letters are dated June 27th, 2017 and June 29th, 2017, respectively.




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Dear Kayla, 

Acram greets you in the name of Jesus. He thanks you for sending a letter. He is also happy to hear that you have another sponsored child in Compassion. He is very happy to know Marilyn. He says, "From now on Marilyn will be my friend. I will pray for her everyday. Marilyn looks so nice in her picture." Those are Acram's words to Marilyn. He also asks Marilyn to study hard. 

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Dear Kayla, 

Acram was so excited to receive a letter from you. He is also happy to know Gage and Chloe. He congratulates Chloe on finishing the school year and Gage for completing preschool. Acram has finished preschool. Here, school starts each January. He says, "I will do well in my studies and I will start school in January" Acram's father greets you. Acram is on school holiday until July 3rd. 

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Manna 4 Lempira Updated Photos!

Last month, a wonderful team of people visited Honduras to spend time with the Manna 4 Lempira kids. They did updates and over the last week or so, I've received new photos of all of my boys!

Check them out! My boys are all so handsome, I can't even handle it. The photographer they have working for this organization is amazing. The photos he takes are so professional and really catch each child's personality perfectly. This man truly has a gift.







Friday, July 14, 2017

From the Field Friday: Dominican Republic

Want to hear another letter from a Compassion Country Director? You do?! Me too!

Today, we hear from the man who runs the program in the country of the Dominican Republic. I am especially moved by this letter because it shares the starfish story. It's such a great representation of what Compassion is doing.

I have three children in this country; Marinelis, Enmanuel, and Carolin


 



_________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Kayla, 

My name is Kleber Lora and I am the Country Director of Compassion in the Dominican Republic. I joined Compassion 2005 after a time of prayer, asking the Lord for an opportunity to serve the impoverished. My wife Layla and I have three children. Our older daughter came to us as a foster daughter when we were asked to be a transition home for her for a week. That time became 10 years! Now she is a teacher in a Christian school and has three beautiful children, my grandchildren. 



Kleber Lora


Making a difference one child at a time is what Compassion has done in the DR for the last 46 years. My heart rejoices, knowing that we have reached so many children. Currently, more than 60,000 are receiving help through 175 church partners, thanks to sponsors like you. I am so grateful for your love and support to Enmanuel, Marinelis, and Carolin. 



Children Learning in Their Compassion Classroom


Some of our country-specific struggles include a high mortality rate in children under five and a high mortality rate for mothers in childbirth. Nearly 40 percent of the population is living in poverty and 15 percent don't have access to adequate drinking water. 

Loren Eiseley wrote a story, often retold, about a man on a beach. He noticed someone else bending down to pink up and object and throw it into the sea. The other person was throwing starfish into the ocean because the tide had washed them onto the beach and they couldn't possibly return to the sea by themselves. In most versions, the observer tells the thrower he can't possibly make a difference! The latter replies, after throwing another starfish as far as he could, "It made a difference for that one!". 



An Impoverished Neighborhood in the DR


The story reminds me of a boy who was found walking without shoes by his neighbor. His mother and grandmother had passed away; his father, cousin, and aunt were working. The child slept on the floor, he used to eat at his neighbor's. Nobody was taking care of him. That neighbor, who used to be a tutor in a Compassion child development center, saw his needs and talents. She brought him to church. He found a sponsor and now he has become a responsible, obedient, Christian teenager, who plays the piano at church and dreams of going to college. Isn't it amazing how God uses us to change the life of a child? 



Boys Walking to Collect Water for Their Families 


As the children hear the Word of God, they have the opportunity to receive Jesus in their hearts, and their families do too. Our impoverished communities don't have safe places for the children to play; they find that at the center. Also, the children receive love, care, curriculum classes, meals, and vocational training that equip them for a better future. This brings hope to our hearts. 



Children Playing on a Playground at Their Compassion Project 


The center is like a second home for the children, but having a sponsor is a unique blessing for each child. Children wait with all their heart for their sponsor's letters. A sponsor becomes a friend that encourages them, tells them that they're loved, and they are in their prayers, and also asks them in detail about their life, parents, and school. This is a highlight of the program. I encourage you to write as often as possible. 



A Boy Writing a Letter to His Sponsor 


Currently in the DR we have more than 300 churches applying to open a Compassion center in their communities. In 2017, we want to provide new sponsorship opportunities to thousands of children in need in partnership with at least 16 new church partners. Also, after implementing more than 20 water-purification plants in the last five years, we want to help provide access to adequate water in at least three new communities in the next year. 



Girls Washing Their Face in a Clean Water Source Provided by Compassion


Thank you for your commitment to help those who don't have a voice. Thank you for your effort and support that make such a difference to Enmanuel, Marinelis, and Carolin. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him. 

In Jesus, 
Kleber Lora

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Do you want to sponsor a child in the Dominican Republic? If so, may I suggest this sweet boy, Maicol. He has been waiting over a year for a sponsor! Due to his young age, I bet that he has been waiting this long for his very first sponsor. Please Click Here to visit his page, learn more about him, and take that leap into sponsorship!