Meet Heidy

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I had been hearing a lot about the new sponsorship program, Manna 4 Lempira, that was started by Compassion Sponsors, to help children in a very poor area of Honduras (now 2 areas), working through local missionaries. The more I researched about them, the more I really liked it. They know each of these kids in the program. They translate letters themselves, and hand-deliver gifts. I love how small and personal it is (not that I don’t love Compassion or World Vision because they are large- I think it’s great how many countries they can reach. I can share my love, though, and I like the idea of additionally being part of a smaller organization as well). Backpacks, school supplies, shoes, discipleship, 2 healthy meals per week, and more are provided for the children we sponsor, as well as 2 healthy meals per week for an additional 60 children, and all of this is done for only $15 a month! We can write letters to our children mostly, including folders and paper gifts, and can occasionally send more. Right now we are able to send sandwich-sized bags full of goodies that will be packed in the Manna staff’s own suitcases when they visit this summer and hand-delivered to our kids. It was lots of fun to get to shop for little things to fit in a bag that small!

So, as I looked through the children available for sponsorship, I was drawn to older girls. Several I saw wanted to be teachers, which always touches my heart, as a teacher myself, since that’s something I can be a mentor for. I looked at the number of siblings, some have quite a lot! I saw lots of lovely girls, but none really jumped out to me until I saw Heidy. After going to church that day and lots of prayer, I knew she was the one. Heidy is 10 years old, wants to be a teacher, and she has 10 siblings! Her favorite subject is math, her favorite color is pink, and her favorite activity is playing. I also couldn’t help but notice some similarities between her and Angeles. Of course they’re not related, but I think they look like they could be! I sent off my first letter to Heidy, and I will send off my bag soon, and I can’t wait to see more of her and hear from this beautiful girl!

Here is a great post with more information about Manna 4 Lempira.

And here is where you can see the children available for sponsorship!

Videos of Maria

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Maria had a video as well, as do all of the children through World Vision, and oh my goodness, it was definitely the reason I sponsored her. I was searching for children around the age of 5 to 6 from Mexico, because at the time that was the population of students I was working with, whose families came from Mexico, and on World Vision’s site, they show you one child at a time. I watched through the different videos, and each of them had the child standing next to or being held by their mother, while their mother talked. Then I saw Maria. She was the only one  I saw in the video by herself and did all her own talking perfectly! I just loved that! I decided to keep looking, just in case, even though I already loved her. Well, when she popped up for the 3rd time as I clicked through the different kids, I sponsored her. She also has a video on her account from when she was younger, and it is just precious. Maria is the child I’ve received the most letters from by far, and I just love this little girl so much.

Video of Angeles and her Center

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I mentioned before that I should post Angeles’ video, but I haven’t yet. This is the video that really made me fall in love with her, and know without a doubt she was mine. I loved getting to see her in a video along with a picture, and getting to know more about her through there than I wouldn’t have already known.

I mean how sweet is this little girl?? (click here).

I wish I could figure out a way to embed the videos here, but I’m not sure how. There also is a video for her center.

I love getting to see where she attends! (click here).

I still haven’t heard from Angeles aside from her intro letter since I started sponsoring her in November, so I’m really hoping to see that there’s a letter on the way from her soon!

Mail Call and Outgoing Mail

Last week, I got a letter from Peru, from the pastor at Cristofer’s church! I like how the pastors’ letters give more insight into the churches and the programs offered, as well as the challenges facing the area. They all seem to have such big hearts and to be doing such great works, and I love that. In more exciting news, it looks like I will be getting a letter from Cristofer himself soon, too! I noticed today I have a new letter from him that is “in translation”, so I can’t wait until I get to see it! This new online system makes things that more exciting to know when we have letters on the way. And I may or may not stalk it in hopes of seeing that good news…  😉

Cristofer is 9 years old and from Peru. He attends PE303.

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Dear Alisa,

I am Francisco ___ ____, pastor of Nazarene Church and Santa Rosa Student Center, where your sponsored child attends, located in Chiclayo city, Lambayeque department, in the north area of Peru.

By this letter I want to extend my gratitude to God and to you for the generous help you give to Cristofer.

Our community is located in a poor area of the city and most of the residents sell many products in the streets, do survival jobs, etc. The most common problem of the families is unemployment.

In our center we have to deal with many problems that families face, such was dysfunctional families, which are damaging the integrity of our boys and girls and restraining the proper development because they are damaged in the emotional, physical, and spiritual areas.

Our vision is to reach more families for Christ because we believe that only in this way our society will improve and the lives of our boys and girls will be transformed for GOd’s glory. Every day we feel the need to share the love of Jesus with our children so they learn to trust him to solve their personal and family problems. Consequently, some of our sponsored children have been directly influenced by the Word of God and this year we will have 10 new believers. They are now taking discipleship class and will be baptized very soon.

We have medical checks twice a year; provision to buy medicines when they are needed; school reinforcement for students with low grades; and various spiritual retreats for boys and girls, teens, or families.

Although this year we didn’t have the privilege to have a sponsor visit, we are looking forward to the visits of next year. Most of our sponsored children received letters and they have answered them because we understand the importance of communication between sponsor and sponsored child. We are very happy to know the sponsors are always writing letters to our children because it is very important for children to be in touch with them by letters and they like to hear how the sponsors are. Also our children write their prayer request and interact.

We thank God for your valuable support for Cristofer from our community. We ask you to keep praying to the Lord for the children and teens of our community.

We pray that our beloved God will supply all your needs and give you good health to continue being a blessing.

Sincerely,

Francisco ___ ____

Here is a picture of his center that I got from the Compassion app!

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And after painting with kindergarteners last week, I felt inspired to pull watercolors out on my own and paint something. Since all of my kids speak Spanish, I decided to write a simple but important message in Spanish, “eres especial”, or “you are special”. Since Compassion now scans items digitally to send, I decided to scan it myself, so that I could send this same painting to all of my Compassion children this way, and still have it to send on to Maria too. I’m getting used to and enjoying the ways the new letter writing features can be used. Here is what my painting looks like after uploading it as an extra full page that my kiddos will get:

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