Introducing Mugisha Isaac, and a letter!

A month and a week ago, I was assigned my second child from Africa, a new correspondent, Mugisha Isaac from Uganda. And now, I already received a first letter from Mugisha, which also answers questions from my first letter to him! How incredible is that?? Before Compassion’s new letter writing system, it could easily take 6 months to receive a first letter, which would have been written before the child received any letters from you. Such an awesome improvement! And I love how it looks like he’s trying to hold back a smile in his photo.

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Mugisha Isaac is 5 and lives in Uganda.

His Introduction Letter says that he lives in a village and gives the names and ages of each of his family members, as well as the names of his best friends. If he could visit anywhere, he would go to Kisoro because there are many cars. His favorite school subject is reading, his favorite food is rice and something I can’t read, his favorite color is orange, his favorite game is sports (football), his favorite Bible story is the story of David, and his favorite song is He is Good He Did Me Good My Heart Praise the Lord! The letter says “Dear Alisa, Receive Christian greetings from Isaac and his family. He says he is excited to know you as his friend and also excited to receive your letter with amazing pictures. He says he would like you to always call him Mugisha, that in his language it means blessings and he also asks how he can be calling you and that him and his family would like to know how they can be praying for you.”

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I asked him what he would like me to call him, and I think it’s so cool to know that his Ugandan name means ‘blessings’. I don’t know what the drawing is of but I love it, and I also love the fingerprint!

Introducing Oxford, and a Letter!

In January, I took on a very special sponsorship. I lost my grandmother in October, and I had a very difficult time with her passing, as I was very close with her. I thought that the best way to honor her was to sponsor a child in her memory, as she was all about giving and helping others, and she loved children. I searched for children with the same birthday as my grandmother over several weeks. I was looking for the right child, and I know I’d know who it was when I saw him or her. And eventually I saw Oxford and I knew. My grandmother would absolutely love this bright smile that could light up a room. Oxford became my first African child, as previously I kept all of my children to the Western Hemisphere, but it seemed fitting to expand out to Ghana for him. Whenever I see Oxford’s picture, I smile, which is a perfect way to honor someone who I still very much miss every day.

I’ve received a first letter from Oxford since I started sponsoring him, too!

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Oxford is 5 and lives in Ghana.

In his introduction letter, I learned the names of Oxford’s family members, that he lives in a town, and some of his favorites. His favorite song is gospel, his favorite food is rice and stew, his favorite color is yellow, his favorite game is playing football, his favorite toy is a car, and his favorite pet is a cat. It says “Oxford is much delighted and thanks you for choosing him. Oxford says pray for him to become a doctor and to be a good boy. He prays for God to grant you a long life and also bless you abundantly in all areas of your life. He wants to know please what is your full name?”

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Letters from Evelin

I’ve received 2 letters from Evelin so far since I’ve started sponsoring her. I have another one on the way, but right now it says it “has a problem” so hopefully it won’t take too long to come through. I study every word on her letters even more so, as I’ll be visiting Evelin in just 71 days!

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Evelin is 8 and lives in Guatemala.

Her introduction letter used the “Getting to Know Me Better” template. Evelin’s sister wrote this letter for her. I learned the names of her parents and siblings, where in the country that she lives, and that her eyes are brown. She wants me to pray for her family. “Dear sponsor Alisa, Evelin greets you and she is thankful for your sponsorship. She likes to play with dolls. Her favorite doll is the Cinderella. Your child is in first grade and she would like to know how the place where you live is. She sends you hugs. She thanks you for your correspondence for her. Thank you for your love.”

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Her second letter used the “My Family” template. Again it mentions her siblings’ names, and says that she spends the most time with her sister. She lives with her parents, siblings, and uncle. Her food is prepared by her mother. Evelin likes to help the family by washing dishes. She likes going out and having a meal with her family. Her faith background is Evangelic. She asks for prayers for her sick grandmother. This time, her mother wrote the letter for her. “Dear Sponsor, Evelin greets you with a big hug. She thanks you for her sponsorship and for selecting her. She likes to spend time with her family. She likes to seek God. She enjoys going to the Child Development Center where she learns many new things. She wishes that our Lord bless you and that the coming year be of great blessing in your life.”

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The family drawing is super cute! I really like that her family members write for her, because they know her best, and it helps me build a relationship with her whole family. They seem very close, and I can’t wait to meet her mother too and share God’s love with her when I meet Evelin!

Letters and Photo Update from Rikelme

I’ve received 3 letters from Rikelme since I became his correspondent. He had been in the program 4 years and never received a letter. Well, that’s over now. Since he started receiving my regular letters, I’ve already received 3 letters from him in 4 months! And the best part is in the photo update, he’s smiling for the first time in his photo!! It makes me SO happy to see that smile and confidence!

Here are all of Rikelme’s photos, oldest to newest.

Rikelme is 13 and lives in Brazil.

First letter: “Greetings! My dear sponsor, I am happy writing this letter to you to tell you my news. I want to say thank you for the beautiful letter that you gave me and I was very happy. Thank God, my family is okay and healthy. I’m doing my best at school because I want to get approved next year. Here in Brazil we are on our election time and he is very good. My mother is working and my family is doing very well and I have a younger sister and she is very smart and intelligent. May God keep blessing you. With love, Rikelme.”

Second letter: “Hello dear sponsor, I’m glad to write you and thank you for all your love and support. I got your letter and that made me feel loved. I’m doing great at school, working hard to pass the grade, and I can’t wait for my vacation, so I can play with my family. I like going to the park with my family and play at the park, and going to the movie. At the project, my favorite classes are the indoor soccer and the computer ones. I also like going for the wonderful walks they promote, where we have pool, games, and Bible studies. I’m waiting for news. I hope you and your family are fine. I’ll pray for you. Thanks for your prayers and for giving me the opportunity to experience good things in here. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a year filled with peace and joy. Thanks for everything. Love, Rikelme”

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He seems like such a thoughtful young teenager, with a great heart. It makes me so happy to know he is finally getting letters and that he’s happy to receive them. To hear that the letters ‘made him feel loved’ is what it’s all about. And how sweet that he says thank you for the opportunity to experience the good things at the project.

Third letter: “Hello dear sponsor, how are you and your family doing? I hope you are fine. My family and I are good. I’m in the 7th grade at school and I’m learning new things. I’m making new friends. When I’m home, I like to play ball with my friends and listen to music on my smartphone. What do you like to do on your free time? Here where I live the weather is too hot, and sometimes it rains. I love rain. Where do you live? What is the current season? I’m waiting for your news. I hope you send me more pictures next time. May God bless you. Hugs, Rikelme.”

Letters from Elaina

I’ve received 3 more letters from Elaina since my last update.

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Elaina is 7 and lives in the Dominican Republic

Her first letter used the “My Friends” template. I learned the name of her friend, and that they like to eat ice cream. She said her friend is special because she loves to share, and they met in their neighborhood. Her tutor writes “Dear Alisa, how are you? I hope you’re fine. The girl is fine, thank God. Thanks for the letter and stickers, she liked it. We have nice weather because Christmas is coming. She asks, how do you feel after surgery? She hopes you’re fine. Please pray for her. Regards.”

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Her second letter used the “Festivals and Holidays” template. Elaina’s favorite holiday is Christmas, she likes to eat chicken on Christmas and have dinner with her family. They celebrate New Years with relatives and friends. It says “Dear Alisa, Hello! How are you doing? This letter is written on behalf of Elaina. She is doing very well thank God. She hopes you are doing fine. Elaina lives with her father, grandmother, and sister. Who do you live with? She wants to know if you are doing better from your surgery. Please pray for her and her family. She will pray for you and your family.”

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The third letter came through just a few weeks after the second! It’s such a treat to get 2 letters from a child in one month! It used the “My Project” template. Elaina goes to her project 2 days a week. She usually eats oatmeal there. A typical activity is listening to Bible stories. It says “Hello dear Alisa, I am writing to you on behalf of your sponsored child Elaina. Blessings Alisa! The child is very well thank God. She wonders how are you? She hopes that you are very well. She thanks you for the picture that you sent to her and she liked it so much and she expects more. How did you spend Christmas? She spent it very well. She thanks you for the project’s dinner and bonus. She hopes that you pray for her and her family. She says goodbye to you with a lot of love.”

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Letters from Luna

I’ve received 2 letters from Luna since my last update. I absolutely love this awesome girl and hearing from her is always a great treat!

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Luna is 13 and lives in Colombia.

First letter: “Dear Alisa, Hello sponsor! May God’s glory be with you and your entire family. I’d like to tell you about all the beautiful things I’ve learned at the CDC and the Bible. It has taught me to be obedient and behave well with others and share with them. We have also celebrated birthdays and have camps, in which I have fun because I count on God with much love. I always remember He died on the cross to save us. What I like most at the CDC are the classes! Because they teach me to respect the elderly and say thanks. I like keeping my body clean and I don’t like littering in the streets because that’s not good. Now I’d like to keep telling you that my school year is almost over and we’re about to have a school break. Feel happy because Christmas is coming! I’d like to know: what do you know about the Bible? Would you like to tell me? I thank God because we get to communicate by means of this letter. I’ll be waiting for your soonest reply, bye! With a tight hug, Luna.”

This letter makes me smile every time I read it because of the bubbly 13-year-old girl style of writing in which she tells me everything. But I really love hearing about topics that they learn about at the center! It’s a wide variety of subjects and life skills, which is great!

Second letter: “Dear Alisa, Hello dear sponsor. May God bless you. I am pleased to greet you and tell you that I love you very much. I hope you receive this letter with love. I tell you that in my free time I like taking a nap. My favorite activity is doing my homework in the internet. When I am not in the project I like learning to be a professional. In the project I have learned now things about the word of God and how to pray. When I am bored I like going to my room and taking a nap. I have fun going out with my step sister in the park because we have lots of fun. I tell you that I received your letters. I use my talent in art class. My favorite movies are Twilight and Two Meters Above the Sky. You look beautiful on the photo you sent me. I don’t have any traditions for this season. I thank you for your presents. Bye. May God bless you, Luna.”

I just love how she mentions taking naps twice. This is a girl that makes getting her rest a priority! I looked up Two Meters Above the Sky, and it is a Colombian movie, which would explain why I’ve never heard of it 😉