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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Letters from My 7's

It's been another pretty great month for letters. In fact, this whole summer has been great when it comes to letters. My Compassion kids have been writing up a storm! How about yours?

I'll start where anybody starts, at the beginning; a very first letter from my newest financial sponsored child, Mor-Mi-Say. I sponsored this cutie on my birthday in April, so it's great to hear from him! Let the letter exchange begin!

Mor-Mi-Say is 7 years old and from Thailand. His letter is dated August 8th, 2017.

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1. My favorite toy is: Ball
2. My favorite food is: Mango
3. My favorite season is: Summer, March-June
4. My favorite food is: Fried Rice
5. My favorite color is: Dark Blue & Red 
6. My favorite animal is: Elephant 
7. I live in the: North 

Dear Kayla, 

Greetings! I am a project worker and I am writing on behalf of Mor-Mi-Say because he cannot write well yet. He is very happy and thankful for your kindness and for supporting him and writing to him. He and his family are fine. He lives with his grandmother because his father has gone to work in another area. He comes to visit him sometimes. He enjoys school very much and likes attending project activities too. How are you and your family? What have you been up to? What is your favorite color? He wants to know these things. He would like to ask you to pray for his studies and family. In closing, may God be will you and bless your family. 

Love in Christ

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Next, a letter from Tamiru. I have been hearing from her quite often recently. Yay! 

Tamiru is 7 years old and is from Ethiopia. Her letter is not dated this time around. 

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1. In my free time, I like to play: Ball

2. When I am at home, I like to play: With a group 

3. My favorite sport to play is: Handball

4. I usually play with: Friends

5. One thing I like to do is: Play 

6. When I am outside, I like to: Jump Rope 

Pray for my good health and for my family. I have received your letter. I am so happy. Thank you. God bless you for all your support. Here we are in the rainy season. 

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I will end with a letter from Airin. She is sharing on the What I Like Best template today. 

Airin is 7 years old and lives in Indonesia. Her letter was written on July 22nd, 2017. 

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1. What I like best about the project is: Getting along well with friends from other churches 

2. The chore I like best is: Carrying Water 

3. The game I like best is: Hide and Seek 

4. What I like best to do with my family is: Traveling together 

5. The place I like best to visit is: The beach, because I can play on the white sand and see the waves. 

To My Dearest Sponsor Kayla, 

Jesus' grace blesses us all wherever we are. Thank you for the letters. I'm very happy reading them. My favorite thing at my project is that I can get along well with children from other churches. We are taught to faithfully pray and read the Bible. At home, I like to help my mother fetch water from the well. After that, I play hide and seek with my friends. Please pray for my family, that God always blesses us with good health and longevity. Jesus bless you. Shalom. 

Airin

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Saturday, August 26, 2017

And Now, Words from my CO-384 Boys

Unfortunately, that is the last time that you will see that phrase uttered on my blog. I no longer have two CO-384 boys. Don't worry, I didn't lose one of them, but my oldest boy, who had been attending project CO-384, has moved to another community and is now attending project CO-372.

I am keep these two letters labeled as they are because at the time the letters were written, both boys were still attending CO-384. Through my letters, I had encouraged both of these boys to be friends and watch out for each other. I have no idea if they actually did that, but if they did, I wonder if they are missing each other after this move.

Both boys are just writing general letters, sometimes answering my questions and sometimes writing whatever they want. Sometimes my CO kids are given themes to write about and this seems to be more of a free write. Both of these boys are great letter writers, so I appreciate the freedom they were given.

To start, Jonatan's letter. He is 9 years old and wrote his letter on June 23rd, 2017.

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Hello Godmother, 

I greet you with a lot of love. I want you to know how happy I am at the project. I am participating in soccer training for a championship that we will have in October. I am on vacation from school. I have accompanied by dad to work. He sells empanadas and oatmeal drinks in the plaza. In my free time I play with marbles, play soccer, and play on my tablet. When I am bored, I lie down to sleep. I have the most fun with jumping rope. Receive many greetings from my parents and siblings. I send you kisses and hugs. Precious sponsor, I am happy to hear that you are having a good time with your friends. Thank you for the bible verse that you dedicate to me. May God bless you. The verse for you is Joshua 1:7. 


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And now the kiddo I will call my little big guy until he goes through some kind of growth spurt. ;) 

Sweet Daniel seems to have been about the same size for as long as I've been writing to him. I think it's pretty adorable. 

Daniel is 12 years old and also wrote his letter on June 23rd, 2017. 

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Dear Kayla, 

Appreciated sponsor, I greet you in the love of the Lord and always praying to Him for you. I tell you that I am doing well in school and that I work hard every day to achieve success and make my parents happy and also for you to feel proud of me. 

I would like you to know that I play soccer with my classmates and I also play soccer with the children of the church. They are very respectful. I love the Lord. I thank Him for the life and the blessings he gives me every day. 

I like to spend time with my family and make them laugh at my jokes. At the project, I enjoy drawing and I also like to socialize with all the children and share with them the works that are done in class. 

I like ice cream and fruit salad a lot. When I go to bed, I start singing praise songs with my dad and I fall asleep in the heat of the Earth. I send you a hug and a giant kiss. 

Thank you, sponsor, for your letters. I always wait for your news, longing to hear from you. Thank you for introducing me to another friend. I will pray for Dagim and for you, that the Lord will always protect you both. I tell Dagim to remain a good child and continue to get good grades in school. Your news makes me very happy. 

I appreciate you so much and I hope that God keeps blessing you, along with your family. I give you this promise, from Psalm 91:7. 

Daniel


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Friday, August 25, 2017

From the Field Friday: Guatemala

Today we hear from the man called by God to lead the Compassion program in Guatemala. 

I have one sweet little guy in that country; Joseph. 



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Dear Kayla, 

My name is Jose Carlos Prem and I have been the country director of Guatemala for eight years. I am a chemical engineer and I also graduated from the Central American Theological Seminary. 


Jose Jose Prem


Compassion started working in Guatemala after a terrible earthquake in 1976 and it was officially registered in 1989. We currently have almost 200 church partners that are helping us release more than 53,000 children from poverty in Jesus' name. 


Children Celebrating in Jesus' Name


I want to express how very grateful I am for your thoughtful sensitivity in ministering to Joseph. I feel certain that your contributions represent a decision you did not make quickly or lightly and I want you to know how much it means to Joseph. 

I am able to see firsthand the work of Compassion in the most impoverished communities around the country. I see our children speak and show the love of Jesus to their families and those around them. I have also seen how a timely intervention can save a child's life. 


Young Students Studying Their Bibles 


I like to ask our children what they like best about attending a child development center. Many say that they get to play; some say that they like to hear Bible stories. But one child told me his favorite thing was a getting a plate of food and being able to ask for a second one if he was still hungry. 

This child was able to see God's love through a plate of food, or in this case, two plates of food. Hunger is just one of the many problems our children and their families have to overcome daily. It is an overwhelmingly reality, but we decided to focus on five of our most urgent needs: violence, child abuse, malnutrition, parents' unemployment, and poor access to health care. 


A Sweet Boy Enjoying a Meal 


Official statistics show that in our country, one of our two children under five has chronic malnutrition. Guatemala is the fifth most violent country in the world, and there are more than 3,500 reports of child abuse every year. More than half our population lives in poverty and there is only one doctor for every 5,000 people. These facts are devastating and may discourage people, but for us they are a reminder that there are still many things we can do to continue the work that Jesus started here on Earth. 


A Mother & Her Three Children Outside Their Home


In the development work, resources are not always enough to meet the needs. That is why we are working with strategic alliances. Some of these alliances are providing purified water to distant communities and offering vocational training, counseling, pastor training, and youth discipleship. 


A Boy Learning Weaving Skills 


Thanks to sponsors, all our efforts become more meaningful to these children. They know that somewhere in the world there is someone who cares about them. Letters are especially important to fostering this bond. As children grow, they understand how important a sponsor is to their lives. I met a little girl who lost both of her parents. When her sponsor found out, she decided to become a motherly figure and a role model for her little sponsored girl. In two years, the girl received dozen of letters and she told me she felt the love of a mother through her sponsor's words. It makes our children feel special and loved when they know someone took time to think of them and write to them. Please your sponsored children as often as possible. 


A Class of Children Writing Letters to Their Sponsors 


Please pray for our future plans as we move toward growth in the ministry. In the last four years, we have grown from 30,000 to more than 53,000 children, and in the coming years, we are expecting even bigger growth. 


Young, Newly Registered Children Learning Dental Hygiene 


Thank you for allowing God's direction and for expressing, through your sponsorship, your devotion to Joseph. 

Thankfully, 
Jose Carlos Prem

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Heaps of Letters with Artwork!

All of the letters I share today have come with some lovely artwork. I'm not sure if any of my kids have futures in an art career, but the drawings sure are cute. :)

This first letter is from Dagim. He wrote me a longer letter than usual. I'm pretty happy about that! 

Dagim is 9 years old and lives in Ethiopia. His letter is dated, but as in the past, I have no idea when it was written! The calendar in Ethiopia is so far off from the rest of the world. If it helps, the letter is dated November 4th, 2009. 

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Dear Kayla, 

How are you? I am so fine. Thank you so much for being my sponsor. I am very happy. I am enjoying my vacation with my friends, for the schools are closed here. Our schools will reopen in September. Then we will start a new education year. When will the schools reopen in your country? Our new school year is always at the beginning of our new calendar year. Please pray for God to help me in my education. I love you so much. I pray for you. Goodbye until my next letter. 

Your Child in Christ,
Dagim


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Now, a little peanut letter of a letter from Enmanuel. For some reason, his letter makes me chuckle. He seems like a sweet little boy. 

Enmanuel is 9 years old and lives in the Dominican Republic. He wrote this letter on June 21st, 2017. 

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Hi Dear Sponsor Kayla, 

May God bless you! I thank you for the letter that you have sent me. I like a lot to hear what is a prince and to know that God looks at me like a prince, with as many children as he has. We are in the month of spring. The weather here is kind of crazy. It can be cold and hot at the same time! I have read your letter where you talk about princes. May God bless you. I ask for your prayers. 



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This next letter is written on the My Typical Week template. It has been filled in by Muuo. I think out of all of the template letters I receive, this particular design is one of my favorites. It really helps me visualize what my kids do in an average week of their life. 

Muuo is 6 years old and lives in Kenya. His letter was written on July 25th, 2017. 

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1. I usually wake up at: 7:00 a.m

2. In the morning, I normally: Take a shower, brush my teeth, and go to school. 

3. The days I attend school are: Monday-Friday

4. The name of my school is: Ktanginywa Primary School

5. In the afternoon, I usually: Do my homework 

6. In the evening, I normally: Play with my friends 

7. I go to the project on: Saturday 

8. I typically go to sleep at: 7:00 p.m 

9. My favorite day of the week is: Sunday because I go to church 

10. The day I go to church is: Sunday 

11. The name of my church is: Grace Worship Center 

Muuo sends you warm greetings, hoping that you are doing well together with your family. He says his family is doing great. He is happy to hear from you and to know more about your country. He would like to tell you a little about his country Kenya. Kenya is divided into 47 counties. I live in Makueni County in the Eastern part of the country. Kenya does well in athletics. The capital city is Nairobi. He would like to inform you that he had difficulty in drawing Kenya's flag and requested his social worker to draw it for you. He says thank you for your love and care. He says bye for now and hopes to hear from you soon. 

1. Black represents the people of Kenya.

2. White represents peace. 

3. Red represents blood. 

4. Green represents natural wealth. 

5. Maasai shield and spear represents defense and freedom.

6. Our Independence Day is December 12th. 


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Now the same letter from Tumbu. It's so fun how to see how many kids schedules share some similarities and how they are different. 

Tumub is 6 years old and from Kenya. His letter is dated August 2nd, 2017. 

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1. I usually wake up at: 6:00 a.m

2. In the morning, I normally: Wak up and eat breakfast 

3. The days I attend school are: Monday-Friday

4. The name of my school is: Muimi Primary School

5. In the afternoon, I usually: Assist my parents with their work

6. In the evening, I normally: Take a bath, read, and go to bed

7. I go to the project on: Saturday 

8. I typically go to sleep at: 8:00 p.m 

9. My favorite day of the week is: Monday, because it is the first day of school each week

10. The day I go to church is: Sunday 

11. The name of my church is: Saint Patrick Catholic Church


Tumbu takes this precious moment to greet you. How are you going on? He hopes that you are going on well. He says that at home they are going on well. He says thank you for the letter that you sent to him telling him how about your country. He wants to inform you that his country got independence in the year 1963. The flag of Kenya has four colors, which are red, white, black, and green. He says thank you for the pictures of your country. Goodbye. 


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Let's end the post with some letters from some girls. First, a letter from Rebecca. In her letter, she answers several of my questions about herself and draws me a fun picture of a game we play here in the United States too! 

There was certainly a translation error in my letter to her. In a past letter I asked my kids, "Which family member do you LOOK like?" It seems it was translated as, "Which family members do you like?" Rebecca probably thought I was crazy! 

Rebecca is 9 years old and lives in the Philippines. Her letter is dated July 1st, 2017. 

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Dear Ate Kayla, 

Good day! How are you and your family? We're doing well here. I learn from my favorite subject history, all the beautiful spots. The lessons I like in math class are addition, subtraction, and division. My favorite part of the 4th grade is the 4th quarter. My elder brother Ydreian also has a sponsor and also receives letters. He is 12 years old and will turn 13 years old this month. Yes, we also celebrate Valentine's Day here. What makes me happy is my studies. Whenever I am sad I like to look at flowers that have no insects. I do not play guitar, but would like to learn how. I like all my family members. When I grow up, I want to be the president of the Philippines. I use my right hand to write. I am the one who washes the dishes. I like to play. My favorite animal is the fish. My favorite color is pink. My favorite foods are fried rice and adobo. Our seasons here are dry and wet. We are experiencing cold weather now due to the typhoon. As a princess, I will protect my people. In May, I joined a fancy dress costume contest and I was the winner! I am very happy! I wore a white dress and wings like an angel. I share Psalm 116:5, "The Lord is gracious and righteous. Our God is full of Compassion." 

Love, 
Rebecca 


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And finally, we end with a letter from Mariela. Even though she is no longer writing on templates, she is still given the theme to write about. She is following the theme of How I Have Fun with this letter. 

Mariela is 12 years old and lives in Nicaragua. Her letter is dated July 25th, 2017. 

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Beloved Sponsor Kayla, 

I greet you warmly and I hope you are well with your relatives and friends. I always keep you and your family in my prayers, for God to protect and bless you. Today I will tell you about the theme How I Have Fun. I like to play soccer with my friends and cousins. To have fun, we also play hide and seek. I like to come to the project because they teach me many things, especially about the Word of God. Also, there are workshops of music and computing. I like computing because I get to do my homework. How do you have fun? I thank you for the letters you sent me and for the the picture of the princess you sent me. It is very pretty! I ask you to always keep me in your prayers for God to bless us and keep us. I say bye with much fondness and love! 

Your girl,
Mariela 


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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Final Final Letters from Uganda

Not too long ago, I talked about how my little brother from Uganda, Eric was graduating from his project. I also shared about how I heard that my boy Derrick may be moving away to live with his aunt and father. Well, both boys are officially gone and I have received official final letters from them. Reading their sweet words really touches my heart. I know that Compassion has made a lasting impact on their lives. In God wills it, I will connect with these wonderful men again someday.

First, I will share the letter from Derrick. He is only 14 years old, but has already completed a mechanics course. I fully believe that God will use Derrick's mechanical skills for good in the future. I pray that Derrick has a wonderful life!

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Dear Kayla, 

I am writing to say hello, Kayla. I am fine and I do believe that you are okay, by God's grace. I am writing this letter to inform you that I will not be able to continue with the project program. I have moved to live at my father's place, which is far from the project. I am so hopeful that I will be able to be taken care of by my aunt Safina, with my father's support. I am also soon finishing my mechanics course and I hope this will help me to take care of myself. I want you to know that you have been a blessing in my life. I so much enjoyed hearing from you and your support and care made me feel so loved. I was blessed to learn about Jesus's love from the project. I got various skills like hair-cutting and football playing. I got items like a Bible, a mattress, a mosquito net, soap, vaseline, and many others. I was taken care of when I got sick and I also got a lot of encouragement from our staff and teachers at the project. Being told about God's love has always blessed me and kept me going. I do believe that God will continue to be with me. God bless you Kayla and thank you so much, once again. I am Derrick, forever your friend. 

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Now, Eric's glorious letter. Over the years, I have written to many, many, many children, as you know. But there is something special about Eric. For one, he was one of my very first correspondent children. I was assigned three correspondence kids in 2011, Eric was one of them. At the time, Eric was 16 years old and I was 21 years old. Being just 5 years older than him, I called him Little Brother and he responded that I was his sister. I've never had a brother before and now, I will forever have one in Uganda. 

When I started writing to Eric, he was very much delayed. At 16 years old, he was in 3rd grade, could not write or read, and could barely speak or understand English. I watched him learn and grow literally before my eyes. What a difference simple encouragement of a sponsor (and a lot of prayer!) can make. 

Eric is a wonderful young man now and I am so proud of him. This letter makes my heart swell. I hope I get to see my brother again someday. 

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Dear Kayla, 

I am greeting you in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Back to me, I am okay and my family is okay. Let me take this opportunity to thank you for the support to have been rendering to me since I joined Compassion. I am writing this letter because I am now 22 years old and I will be leaving the program. I joined Compassion when I was unable to write, read, sing, or speak English. But after joining it, I can now do all of the things above. Surely I benefited a lot from the program. Again, while in Compassion, I learned the skill of carpentry and joinery and I am now a fully trained builder with a certificate of qualification from a training institute. As I talk now, I am now able to work with some building companies and get survival. Let me also thank you for the frequent gifts and letters I always received from you. I could always use it as school fees topped up, buying food at home, buying clothes, shoes, and goats, which are still assisting me. May God bless you abundantly. Surely, also let me thank you and Compassion International, at large, because Compassion built a house for us where we stay and also gave us a tank for water reserve and a toilet, all of which my family are still appreciating. Socially, I was able to learn to socialize with other people after joining Compassion and I now have many friends from the project. From these friends, I learnt to play football and have enjoyed tours in which we could visit places like Lake Buyonyi and Kabale City, which helped me to be exposed to geographical locations. Spiritually, I learned how to read the Bible and also witnessed the love of Jesus Christ, which he showed by dying for us. Now I believe that Jesus is alive and I believe him as my Lord and Savior and I believe that he will come again to take those who truly believe in him. I have hope to join the heavenly kingdom with other believers. Physically, I am now an adult, mature person and energetic, able to work with my hands because of the skills I learned from Compassion. I am thanking Compassion for always giving us food in cases of shortage because I was able to grow. May God bless you. 

Eric

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Friday, August 18, 2017

From the Field Friday: Ghana

Happy Friday to you! Let's hear from another Compassion country director!

Today we'll hear from the man running the Compassion program in Ghana. I have one sweet boy in Ghana. His name is Ernest.


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Dear Kayla, 

I am Padmore Baffour Agyapong. I have been the country director of Compassion Ghana for five years. Compassion Ghana is 11 years old. We are currently supporting more than 68,000 children in about 250 child development centers. 


Padmore Baffour Agyapong 


I sincerely wish to express my utmost appreciation to you for sponsoring Ernest in Ghana. 

The challenges the children and their families face include high unemployment rates, low income levels, lack of health facilities, inaccessibility of potable water and toilet facilities, harmful cultural practices, child abuse, and inadequate infrastructure. 


An Impoverished Community in Ghana 


Schools in the rural communities are largely inadequate and dilapidated. Some children must walk long distances daily to attend school. Some schools lack libraries, computer centers, and trained teachers. In some places, health facilities either do not exist or are seriously under-resourced. Lack of access to health care is so serious in some communities that children and their families lose their lives from preventable and curable diseases such as malaria, worm infestations, and tuberculosis. 

Sponsorship makes a tremendous impact in the lives of children and their communities. Children receive age-graded Bibles and learn God's word. As a result, many confess their faith in Christ and are able to demonstrate the love of God to other people. 


Children Dancing and Singing Outside Their Project 


Before one boy entered Compassion, his single mother could no longer take care of her children, so she abandoned them and left the community in search of a job. She could not find a job, yet she failed to return. When the child was registered, the center staff followed up on the mother and brought her back to the community. Not long after, her child's sponsor sent them a family gift that she used to open a bookshop. Profit from selling books now serves as her regular source of income and she is able to support her family. 


A Couple Owns a Small Shop to Earn Money


Children have access to medical care and receive an annual comprehensive health screening, after which center staff follow up to ensure that all required care is done. Last year, several children had surgeries that their families couldn't have afforded. Children receive everything necessary to stay in school (school uniforms, books, supplies, tuition fees, etc) and are also trained in income-generating skills such as sewing, bead-making, shoemaking, baking, etc. 


Children Learning Musical  Skills 


When they graduate from the program, the children will be physically healthy and economically self-sustaining. Literacy rates will be higher. This coming year, we will focus on children's water, sanitation, and hygiene needs and also roll out a new youth development strategy. In addition to Compassion's programs, our partner churches minister to the community through activities such as evangelism, community clean ups, and other outreach programs. 


Sweet Kids at Their Project 


The exchange of letters between sponsors and their children create a close bond between them. Encouraging words from sponsors mean so much to the children. They feel loved and treasured. The thought of having caring sponsors abroad to write to them makes them feel special. These children always look forward to the day when their sponsors will also write to them; some actually pray about it. I wish to kindly request you to write to your sponsored children as often as possible. Children cherish the letters. 


Boys Writing Letters to Their Sponsors 


I am grateful for our deep love and concern for Ernest. Your sponsorship has opened the door of hope for the future of your child. We will continue to pray for God's blessings for you and your family. 

Thank You,
Padmore Baffour Agyapong 

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Do you want to change the story of a young woman living in Ghana? I encourage you to consider sponsoring Janet. She is 19 years old and will be graduating her Compassion project in a just a couple of years. She has also been waiting almost 300 days for a sponsor! You can click here to read more about her and make the decision to sponsor her. 




Thursday, August 17, 2017

Sevenson's Updated Photo: 2017

I swear, my handsome Sevenson never looks any different, face wise in his photo, he just keeps getting taller! A friend looked at this collage said, "His face never changes! It just looks like somebody grabs him by the face and stretches him taller over the years!"

I think that's a pretty fair description. :)




Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Just Several Letters :)

Can't complain about having more letters to share. I love hearing from my kids! No rhyme or reason to the order of posting today.

First up, a quick letter from Jhonrex. He's not the most chatty guy, but I treasure him so.

Jhonrex is 16 years old and lives in the Philippines. His letter is dated June 25th, 2017.

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Dear Kayla, 

How are you now? I'm so happy and glad for the letter you have sent. Thanks for having me in your thoughts always. Thank you for all your prayers on my behalf. About summer, I attended VBS and had fun. I also attended summer skills training, though I was not able to attend all of the sessions. Please pray that God will continue to bless me with good health and for daily protection. What did you do during the summer? Thank you so much. 

Respectfully Yours,
Kayla

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Continuing with the "J" theme, a letter from Jhon. I feel absolutely terrible for this young man, as he is having to take a different direction in his life, than he originally planned. I will definitely be praying that things improve/go well for him on his new path. 

Jhon is 18 years old and lives in Bolivia. His letter is dated July 18th, 2017. 

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Hello Dear Sponsor Kayla, 

I greet you and your family with the peace of the Lord. I am doing good in health and so is my family. Let me tell you that I took my test at the university and it didn't go well. The bad thing is that my score was not good enough to enroll in the university. I feel so bad because I wasn't able to join the university. I started to work and it is going well. I decided to work with my dad. We both work in mechanics and electricity. I am learning to fix cars. It is difficult, but I know I will make it. Let me tell you that I am thinking about going to Chile with my older brother to visit my uncles, aunts, and cousins. May God bless you and your family, dear sponsor. I say goodbye with the peace of the Lord. My prayer request is for my family. 

Sincerely, 
Jhon

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Up next, a first letter from Milkias! First letters are always so exciting! 

Milkias is 13 years old and lives in Ethiopia. His letter is dated June 30th, 2017. 

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Dear My Sponsor Kayla, 

How are you? I'm very fine. I have received your letters. I have taken the final examination. I hope I get good results. During the winter vacation, I want to spend my time playing with my friends and attending tutorial classes. What did you plan during your vacation? Pray for me. 

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Now, a letter from my sweet boy Derrick. He is so young, by my first world standards, but this guy has stopped attending school, has enrolled in and now, almost finished a vocational training course. It seems his life may change yet again and I may be losing him. Fortunately, this all seems to still be in the planning phase, so I won't be losing him yet. If I do end up losing Derrick, that would mean I have lost all three of my kids from this country, all in the same year. 

I love seeing the responses by my children about the prince and princess letter I wrote. Derrick's reaction is exactly what I was hoping for! 

Derrick is 14 years old and lives in Uganda. His letter is dated July 7th, 2017. 

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Dear Kayla, 

I am happy to hear from you. Thank you so much for the letter. I am indeed blessed to be a child of God and yes, I am a prince and it is great. A prince has to work hard. He also has to behave as a child of a King. A prince has to respect others, as well. I am glad that God is always ready to forgive us when we act not like princes and princesses. I am almost finishing my mechanics course and I hope to find work and to be able to maintain myself. I am also now going to be living with my father in a place called Kizirefumbe. This place is about 7 km from my project and my mother's home. I may not be able to attend project activities due to distance. I will let you know in my next letter about my family and plans. But what my father has told me, as of know, is that I will be living near his home, under the care of my aunt. Pray for me and my family. One thing I know is that God has good plans for me. Kayla, greet all of your family. 

Derrick

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Onto a letter from Mulwa. With how long I have been writing to him, I am so looking forward to the day when he is able to write his own letters. I think once that happens, I will be able to learn many more details about him. 

Mulwa is 10 years old and lives in Kenya. The letter was written on July 6th, 2017. 

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Mulwa salutes you in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. He wishes to know how you are doing. He hopes that you are fine in the Lord. He says that together with his family, they are well, as God has given them the gift of life. Mulwa appreciates you so much for the pictures of your children that you sent to him. He says he wishes to meet your family one day in his life time. He also acknowledges your gratitude to him and says that God will bless you so much. Mulwa adds to say that they are experiencing a cold winter season and he is always wearing heavy clothes to keep warm. Mulwa says that he is still attending the church project, which has caused much change in his life. He wishes that you continue praying for him, as he prays for you too. Bye bye Kayla! 

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Now it is time to end the post with a letter from a girl, after a whole slew of letters from boys. :) 

Maria writes to me about how she hopes to spend her vacation from school. Sounds like a pretty typical teenager to me. 

Maria is 13 years old and lives in Brazil. Her letter is dated June 30th, 2017. 

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Hello Dear Sponsor Kayla! 

How are you? My family and I are doing well, thank God. I am now in school vacation. My grades were good, I only need have to get better in English. I will try to enjoy the most I can on my vacation; watching movies and riding with my friends. I want to thank you for the letter you sent. Here where I live, the weather is always hot. Some months ago we had rain. It was very good to cool off and the rivers were filled again. The weather was very dry so it was very good. For your meditation: 1 Peter 5:7. I say goodbye wishing you peace and health. 

Love,
Maria

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Friday, August 11, 2017

From the Field Friday: Ethiopia

Today's "From the Field" comes from the gentleman who is running the show in Ethiopia. From the way he talks about his work, I can just tell that he's a great guy.

Over the years, I have had several children from Ethiopia and a few of them have even ended up leaving the program because their situations have changed and they no longer live in poverty. That proves that the program works!

I currently have four children in Ethiopia; Zenebu, Tamiru, Dagim, and Milkias.

 


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Dear Kayla, 

I am Tsehaywota Taddesse; I have been the country director of Ethiopia since December 2008. I am married and a father of three children. One of my life favorites is being with my children, playing with them, or going out for a walk. It gives me life and reminds me of how honorable it is to serve children. 


Tsehaywota Taddesse


Compassion, in partnership with the church, has been serving children of Ethiopia since 1993. There are about 104,000 sponsored children in about 440 partner churches spread over the country. 

In my journey with Compassion, I have witnessed the selfless engagement of many people (bedridden mothers, siblings, social workers, pastors, and sponsors) to serve children who face lack, disease, loneliness, insecurity, and despair because of the brutal realities of poverty. What drives this deep and selfless engagement? What is the mystery of these individuals? Love is the driver. Love is the mystery. Love-driven people are heroes of saving others. You are one of these individuals. Thank you for your love and inestimable contribution in sponsoring Tamiru, Dagim, Zenebu, and Milkias. 


Children Play a Game at Their Project 


Through sponsors' support, Compassion provides holistic development for children in poverty. Partner churches open their facilities and welcome children of their communities. Children enjoy a caring and conducive environment. They get help to pursue their education and nurture their gifts. Children learn God's word and how much He values them. They gain a sense of worth; they are connected to a caring and sustainable community of believers. 


Older Students Learning Vocational Training 


When one girl's mom brought her for registration, she was about five years old. She got a sponsor, continued her education, and enjoyed life until she faced her mother's deteriorated health. This robbed the girl and her younger brother of hope. She ended up taking care of her bedridden mother and the young boy. She witnessed the long suffering and tragic death of her mother. Finally, she was alone with her brother. No security, no care. The small room where they were living in suddenly seemed full of fear. The nights turned to long times of worry. Thankfully, these children were not left to continue that life of misery. The child development center extended extra care. A social worker took the responsibility of providing psychological, physical, and nutritional care. The girl got vocational training and is now employed, leading her own life. She actively participates in church and serves children. The boy is in university, a top-scoring engineering student. Sponsors make such stories possible. 


An Impoverished Neighborhood in Ethiopia


Many children in Ethiopia need love and care. They struggle with the brutal realities of poverty; lack of income, family breakdown, abuse, child labor, street living, and abnormal practices. It is our vision to reach such as God enables us, while giving the best for every individual child in our program so that they can be the best of themselves. Our churches and centers become resourceful institutions for children. Please pray for us so that we can do this well amid poverty and man-made and natural disasters like the drought we faced last year. 


Girls Reading the Bible Together


Sponsorship is a soul-to-soul connection nurtured by words of hope, care, and encouragement exchanged through letters and prayers. Your letters represent you before your sponsored children. Children get better understanding of sponsorship through letters. Children count and treasure sponsor letters more than any other support rendered to them. I encourage you to strengthen the bond through writing letters to your children. 


Boys Writing Letters to Their Sponsors


I cannot thank you enough for making the world better by sponsoring and loving Tamiru, Dagim, Zenebu, and Milkias. May God bless you immensely! 

Thank You,
Tsehaywota Taddesse

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