Exciting News

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After a long time of praying and deciding, last week I finally took the plunge and registered for the trip to Guatemala in July! It still doesn’t feel real, to think that in just over 250 days, I’ll be taking this leap and hopping on a plane to a country I’ve never traveled to before. I love to travel and of course I love working with children and families, as I get to do what I love every day as a teacher. I know this trip will be an amazing experience to merge these two loves while bringing God’s love to the people of Guatemala and becoming closer to Him in a new way myself, as well. I can’t wait to give Evelin a hug in person and tell her how beautiful and loved she is. I can’t wait to go to church and praise God alongside the Guatemalan people. I can’t wait to meet the babies and young mothers of the CSP and hear their stories and share in their hope. I can’t wait for all of it.

So I have some time to expand on my simple Spanish skills and plan and research and shop and pack and let it all sink in. It’s going to be an amazing experience.

Mail Call Monday

I received one letter last week, from Angeles. It was written in June, so I think it is still from the backlog, as it was one that suddenly appeared. I hadn’t heard from her in awhile, though, so I was very excited to receive it!

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Angeles is 7 and from Peru

It was the Festivals and National Holidays template, so I learned that Angeles’ favorite holiday is Independence Day, her favorite festival is Spring Festivity, and her favorite celebration is Christmas.

Translation:

Dear Sponsor Alisa, Your sponsored child greets you in the name of Jesus, and wants to thank you for all of the pictures and stickers you have sent her, everything it’s really pretty. She is also thankful to God because she continues attending the project. She has a sister and brother who are younger than her (Anyi and Santos) and her friends are Hariana and Keila. Her favorite color is pink and she doesn’t have a pet. She also enjoys to learn to draw better at school. She wants to ask you: What is your favorite dish? and also asks you to pray for her family. Your sponsored child says goodbye with a hug and a kiss.

Here is the picture:

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Introducing another Maria

If you’re not familiar with Manna 4 Lempira, they recently expanded and opened up a 3rd project in another area, El Tablon. If you’re not familiar, please do check them out, if for no other reason than to pray for them, because the work they’re doing is truly wonderful for children in Honduras. I have 2 children at each of their other projects: Heidy and Junior are from Mi Betania and Brayan and Deilin are from the Mercedes project. When the children of El Tablon were posted, I read through the information sheets of each child, praying for each one that they would find the right sponsors for them. There were so many children, and I knew there would be many eager and generous sponsors to start taking on some of them right away, but others I knew would have to wait longer. When Manna was starting to introduce El Tablon, they updated their profile picture to include a girl with the most radiant smile on her face. I smiled every time I saw her picture as the profile. I was sure this sweetheart would be sponsored right away.

Yesterday, however, as I was looking through the photos of the children still waiting for sponsors, I noticed Maria’s photo was still included. Over a week since these children became available for sponsorship, I was shocked no one else had sponsored her yet. Then I felt a strong pull, a voice in my heart, saying “She’s still available because you’re the one who’s meant to sponsor her.” I couldn’t shake this voice. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this incredible message. Both Elvis and Angeles had been waiting 200+ days when I sponsored them, and I couldn’t fathom why at first. But then it became clear: they were still there waiting for me, because I was meant to sponsor them.

When I inquired about sponsoring Maria, imagine my joy when I was told that the whole Manna team would be very happy because they were really pulling for her! What a blessing God has given me in this new addition to my family. I’ve learned through my time sponsoring children to trust in God’s plan, and He will provide. I can’t wait to get my first letter to her in the mail along with the letters to my other Manna children, so she knows that she has a sponsor in time for Christmas. Here is beautiful Maria:

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Even more letters from Maria!

I just got 3 more letters in the mail from my dear Maria, all on the same day. Talk about exciting! I just love seeing those orange and white envelopes in the mailbox that came all the way from Mexico.

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Maria is 6 and lives in Mexico.

Letter 1:

Hi, Alisa! We celebrate Mother’s Day here too. I gave my mommy a big hug and some kisses. Give a hug and some kisses to your mommy for me. I am happy because my uncle has a girlfriend now, and he will get married soon. I pray to God that you will find your significant other someday. Someone that takes care of you and supports you. Well, I bid you farewell.

This made me laugh out loud! I do hope so too 😉 Someday…

Letter 2:

Hi, dear Alisa! How are you doing? I have been doing well. I hope that you received the picture that I sent you last time. In that picture, I was wearing a Huipil with a pineapple. I got your letter today. I saw the pictures that you sent me. I love dogs too. I do not have pigs anymore; I used to have a pig. Let me tell you that they are very expensive to buy and that is wy my dad has not bought any more pigs. However, my uncle game me two dogs, the older one’s name is Negro (black) and the puppy’s name is Canela (cinnamon), she is my brother’s dog. I bid you farewell, hoping that I will get more letters from you. May God keep you safe.

I contacted World Vision about the picture, but still haven’t received a response. I will try again. I really hope that it wasn’t lost. And I had told her about a field trip I had taken with my students to a pig farm, which is what she was responding to in this letter. I’m sure pigs are expensive! 🙂

Letter 3:

Hi, Alisa! How are you doing? I am very excited because I will go back to school soon. I hope that I can send you photos of my friends and I because there is not anybody here who can take some pictures, since we do not have a camera nor a cellphone. We do not have internet either. My little town is highly marginalized, by I am very proud to be from here. We have the things that we need, thank God. I hope that I will meet you in person someday. God bless and protect you as well as your entire family.

I’ve never been told in her letters if it’s her mother or father writing for her, but I’m quite sure it’s either one of them. With World Vision, it seems to be the parents that help write the letters for children who are younger. I feel like I know her family with all of the details and candidness I hear about them. I feel honored that they’ve opened their lives to me and feel so happy that Maria has such a loving family!

Letter from Junior

As with Deilin yesterday, this letter from Junior was also written to his previous sponsor, as it was written before I started corresponding with him. I was grateful to receive it, though, so I can start to get to know him!

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Dear and appreciable sponsor, May the divine Creator of heaven bless you each day. May God give you and all those around you many blessings. You know, I feel very happy to have the opportunity to know people like you. I have 10 siblings. My favorite color is red. My birthday is May 14. My biggest wish is to be a farmer. My favorite Bible verse is Joshua 1:7- “Only be strong and very courageous. Be careful to do all the law that my servant Moses commended. Do not stray to the right hand or to the left so that you will be prosperous in all that you do.” May God care for you and give you many blessings from heaven. Until soon! May God give you many opportunities to come and see us.Thank you! Until later! I send you many kisses and hugs. Blessings! Junior

I just love how many different closings there are at the end! And I haven’t seen any picture of him without a smile on his face!

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