Introducing Rikelme

Just on Friday, I checked my account after a long week of getting ready for students, and I found Rikelme, my new correspondent who was added to replace Abnner! He is my first child from Brazil and I’m very excited, as I visited Brazil several years ago and just loved the country, and I really hope to go back one day. Rikelme is 13, has been in the program for 4 years, has had one sponsor who has sent some gifts, but he has never received a letter. I just think of him, eagerly hoping a letter would one day arrive for him for 4 years, and never receiving one. But then I’m filled with joy when I think that that’s about to change, and I wish I could be there to see when he gets my first one! I know with an older child who maybe has lost some trust over these years, it will take time for him to feel comfortable opening up and forming the relationship. But I know that, through God, I can provide him with encouragement and love. Here are Rikelme’s current and previous photos.

Introducing Deilin and Junior

Along with saying goodbye to some faces, I’ve also been saying hello to some new faces. I told myself that if I got the new job, I would sponsor another Manna 4 Lempira kid. I really love this organization and what they do in Honduras since I’ve been sponsoring Heidy and Brayan with them. When Kim posted on the Manna page about Deilin writing about the loss of her father and how she honors him in church, and I saw that she wants to be a teacher, which is what I do and why I wanted to sponsor another child, I felt an immediate connection. I feel so blessed that I’m able to offer some encouragement to this sweet and beautiful young lady. When I added Deilin, I also added a correspondent, Junior, who jumped out to me. There was something about his smile that pulled at my heart. Junior is from a big family with lots of kids in the home, and I can’t wait to encourage him and make sure he feels special. Deilin is 14 and Junior is 7.

So I’ve had 2 more new kids to shop for backpack items for! If you don’t sponsor with Manna 4 Lempira, we are able to send backpacks to our kids right now, filled with school supplies and other items, which will be delivered in the winter. I’ve had fun shopping and need to get all 4 of mine in the mail very soon!

Saying Goodbye

I had 2 say goodbye to my 2 most recent Compassion children within a week, one a correspondent and one a sponsored child.

Abnner, from Nicaragua, was my correspondent who I had only gotten to write a few letters to, before I got a call from Compassion. His family situation changed for the better, so I’m very happy for them. I never heard from him yet, of course, but I was praying for him since he was added to my account. So I pray that he and his family will still always know God’s love for them.

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Deysi, from Guatemala, was my newest sponsor child. I just started sponsoring her a little over a month ago, since I’m planning on going to Guatemala next summer. Her parents pulled her from the program, but there was no reason given. She’s so young, and I pray that some of my letters will be able to still reach her and that her parents are open to God as a part of Deysi’s life.

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As sad as it is to say goodbye, it’s part of the life of being a sponsor. When we have to let go of our kids, we can only pray for them and send them some final encouragement in a last letter, and the rest is in God’s hands. It is a bit easier that they are recently added children, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love them. I hope that they always know that they can do great things with their lives.

Photo Updates Part 1

I haven’t posted in awhile for a good reason, I got a new job that I really like, and the way it all came about, I know God’s hand was in it. I still get to be teaching preschoolers, which I love, but instead of having students with special needs, like I’m used to, I’ll have students who are determined “at risk”. It’s a different challenge and I’m looking forward to it! School starts Monday, so I’ve been crazy busy. But there have been a lot of things going on lately related to my sponsored kids, so I’m going to start with those that have had photo updates.

First up is my sweet Maria. I’m the closest to Maria out of all of my kids, because she sends lots of letters in return to the lots that I send. I sponsor Maria through World Vision, so letter writing goes a lot faster than how Compassion currently is. I just adore this girl. And  I love the smile! Maria is 6 and is from Mexico.

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Next is my adorable Elvis. His first picture was the cutest, and I couldn’t imagine how his next picture could compare. But it is so perfect. A smile, a thumbs up, and a wave. I just need to get to Bolivia and give him a big squeeze already! Elvis is 5.

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Introducing Abnner

I may or may not stalk the Compassion site a few times each day in hopes of having a letter come through translation or a new correspondent appear. Well, I was thrilled today to see a new face on my account! And he’s from Nicaragua, a new country for me!

Here’s Abnner’s current and previous photos:

He is 11, but will be 12 in just 6 days! I’m getting a letter to him right away, in hopes that he’ll get it some time soon. I don’t know how fast letters are going through in Nicaragua right now. At least his financial sponsor has been sending him annual birthday gifts, so he will have something special for his day. He hasn’t received a letter in 3 years. That breaks my heart, but it’s definitely about to change! I hope he likes letters, because he’ll get plenty from me🙂 His parents are now married, and his father is a driver and his mother is a bioanalyst- impressive! He has a large list of interests, including: group games, soccer, bicycling, baseball, marbles, hide-and-seek, cars, running, singing, listening to music, and other ball games. He also plays an instrument- the drums! How I’d love to get to hear him play. I can’t wait to get to know this sweet boy with the kind smile, and I know God has plans in bringing Abnner and I together!

Mail Call Monday

Letters have been very slow lately, and I’m still waiting for my letter from Angeles which has been in translation for about 2 months now, but at least I got 2 in the past 2 weeks. One is a pastor letter, but it has to be my favorite pastor letter yet. The other is from Maria, who I hadn’t heard from in some time, compared to what is usual from her.

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From Maria, age 6, in Mexico

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Translation:

Hi Alisa! How have you been? I am fine here. I have been doing well in school. I am learning lots of new things. I have to do a presentation tomorrow in school, and it is going to be about the typical food that we eat here in my community. I am also getting ready to start going to elementary school, since I will graduate from preschool this July. I hope that everything is going well over there. God, Our Lord, has never left me by myself because He loves you, me and everybody. Have a good afternoon. I bid you farewell. Love, Maria

Love all the flowers at the bottom!

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From the pastor of Luna, age 12, in Colombia

Translation:

Dear Alisa, My name is Maria ****, and I am the pastor associated with the Child Development Center, ****, where Luna attends. I want to thank you in a special way for the support you give Luna, as it is a huge blessing to her and her family. I thank God for your life and pray for you to be abundantly blessed for your special heart. Today I want to tell you a bit more about this community. This is a place surrounded by arid mountains, with high temperatures that are contrasted with strong and pleasant winds that pass often through the area. This is an area mostly populated by families displaced by violence, socially marked but working hard to move forward. The program, through this wonderful partnership with Compassion, works on generating a positive impact in the lives of the benefited children and their families. I also want to tell you a bit about our pastoral work in this community. My husband and I lead the church that assists the center. One of our functions, among others, is visiting the children’s families to give them an encouraging word in the middle of their difficult life conditions. Together wit the leaders of the center, we provide a large amount of attention to the needs of the children and parents, who really need to feel loved and protected. Families usually work in informal jobs, while others take care of farms in nearby towns, so their incomes are very low. The children are exposed to spending much time by themselves, so that is why the activities at the center bless their lives in a great way by providing the children with company, education, spiritual support, nutrition, medical checkups, and medicine, among other benefits. Every passing day I can watch the improvements in the children, like how they spontaneously offer to pray to thank God for the food and how the smallest children kneel to pray to God with so much devotion, and it fills my heart with excitement and strength to carry on with this wonderful work. It is thanks to the kindness and support of sponsors that we are allowed to change the destiny of these children in a community in need of much love and prayer. It is thanks to your support that we can see hope reflected in the faces of the boys and girls of this community. I can see in them great men and women, professional physicians, lawyers, engineers, and more. They are the children that will inspire a whole generation, and this is all thanks to sponsors like you! The golden seal in this great work is that the children get to know about Jesus, accept Him as their Lord and Savior, and have a beautiful relationship with Him. Please pray for our church, the center, and for our ministry staff. They are committed to the children and teenagers to make their dreams come true, but this is not an easy task and there are new challenges to face every day. Once again I thank you for your support, and for giving me the chance to share these words with you. You are very important to us and to Luna. I only want to tell you one more thing: the importance of the sponsor-child relationship. Please write periodically to Luna. This is something very important to the children and they are always very happy to hear about their sponsor. If only you could see their faces when they read these letters! It is exciting to see their faces lighting up in happiness and their eyes shining brightly! May the Lord reward the work you do and bless you and your family. Sincerely, Maria

I just love this letter and it’s so beautifully written, maybe because it was written by a woman😉 What a wonderful pastor and project it sounds like! I hope to be able to visit it someday.