This is my first letter from Maria! I started sponsoring her in December.
Maria is 9 and lives in Brazil.
The letter uses the My First Letter template. It says that she lives with her parents and 2 brothers. Her house is located near a school and a church. Her favorite food is beans and rice. The letter says “I was so glad to hear from you. Thanks for choosing me. I’m Christian. I’ll pray for you and your family.” And the verse included is Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.”
I love this letter! It is simple but very sweet and heartfelt. And the sentence “Thanks for choosing me” makes my heart melt.
I already posted the surprise video I got from Jenny, something I will always treasure! Now here are the photos of her receiving her backpack and a little intro from me. Jenny is my only child at the newest Manna 4 Lempira center, Quelacasque.
Based on her photos, this sweet 8 year old always seems on the shy side. I’d love to get to meet her and give her lots of hugs and encouragement in person. Jenny lives with her mom and 8 siblings, so I’m SO happy that she was able to receive new shoes and a backpack, even including a doll! Since this center opened well after the backpack submission date, I actually didn’t pack hers, but rather some generous sponsors donated everything for all of the children of Quelacasque!
El Tablon is the feeding center with Manna for Lempira that I have the most sponsored children with. I am so tempted to sponsor another one or two specific children there that are calling to my heart, but since visiting Honduras with Manna may now be a very real possibility this summer, I’m conflicted about whether it may be too many children at one center…
Maria is 12 and my oldest Manna child. With each new profile she still says she wants to be a doctor, and I really think she can do it.
I love how it looks like she’s laughing about something. I just love this girl!
Every time that I see new photos of Cristian means that he’s still in school, which is such a huge relief to me. His older brother stopped attending school to work, so I’m always worried that there’s that possibility with him. And I lost one of my other children, Deilin, because she stopped attending school. Going to school is a requirement to stay enrolled in the Manna program. I recently wrote to Cristian (and all of my older kids), about how many more opportunities are available as a result of staying in school, encouraging them to do so. I want the best life possible for him and each of them.
11 year old Cristian is growing up fast and I think he looks even older than he is in this photo!
Yeyson and Greysi are the set of siblings that I sponsor. I couldn’t bare to only choose one, as I fell in love with both of them. 9 year old Yeyson always looks so kind and gentle.
The extra photo of him with the huge smile after receiving his backpack makes me SO happy! The letters for the children at Yeyson and Greysi’s church had to be distributed on a separate day, which means I got to see a photo of him wearing one of the shirts I sent him (the green one). It looks great!
And then there’s 3 year old Greysi, the little sister of Yeyson. This girl is absolutely precious.
In the photo of her with the letter, she is wearing a dress I sent her! I just love seeing this on her and fitting her well, because I was so excited when I found it while backpack shopping!
My week last week took an unexpected turn. Over the weekend, I had not been feeling well. I had a sore throat, headache, dizzy spells, stomachache, fatigue… my symptoms were all over the place. On Monday, I was feeling worse and I barely made it through work. I hate taking sick days and not being there for my students, but I knew I needed to take one to rest up and hopefully feel much better. I was also coming down with a fever. I wasn’t big on the idea of going to the doctor, since I figured I had the flu and they wouldn’t be able to do anything for me. But as my symptoms progressed even more on Tuesday and new ones appeared, I decided to go to urgent care. I was shocked to find out I had strep throat, scarlet fever, a sinus infection, and a peritonsillar abscess. Here I thought I’d regret going, but everything I had needed to be treated by antibiotics, so I’m so grateful I did. Even the doctor said she was glad I went in. I haven’t had strep since I was a kid, never had scarlet fever, and never even heard of a peritonsillar abscess…
So just like that, my week changed and I had to stay home Wednesday and Thursday too. When I let my boss know, she told me to also take Friday off. I figured I’d definitely be better by Friday with the antibiotics and steroids, but I agreed. I was told to come back to urgent care Wednesday for a recheck of my tonsil. It still was the same, so then I was told to come back again on Friday for another recheck. By then, I could feel the strep/scarlet fever and sinus infection were getting better. However that tonsil and the side of my neck it was on were still swollen and I wasn’t sure if it would have to be aspirated. When I went back for the second recheck on Friday, I was told I’ll have to come back again on Sunday (today). They want to make sure it’s going down and not staying the same or it will have to be aspirated.
All these days stuck on the couch and in bed sick, with little motivation to do anything, had me checking Compassion’s website quite a bit, hoping to see a new correspondent. Finally on Thursday evening, there was beautiful Nafula Faith from Uganda, a country that has become very near and dear to my heart.
Feeling discouraged and worried about this potentially serious abscess, God reminded me to have Faith! 😉
Faith is 14 and lives a little outside the capital city of Kampala. I’m thrilled to have a new teen girl to write to.
Last week, Edwige became my second beautiful girl from Burkina Faso, a country that is still very new to me.
Here are her previous and current photos. Edwige is 7, just like my other girl from BF, Latifatou. Her birthday is extra special, because it’s the same as my grandmother’s who passed away a year ago in October. She’s now my second child to share that birthday, as I previously sponsored Oxford in my grandmother’s honor. Edwige feels like a little gift from my grandmother, telling me she’s looking out for me.
She helps her family with cleaning and running errands, and her hobbies include listening to Bible stories, playing games, hide and seek, and soccer. The Child Development Center information says that none of the children there are attending school because they are all too young. I don’t know how often that is updated, though, and 7 seems old enough to start school, so hopefully she will soon if she’s not currently enrolled. Most adults in the community earn only $10 per month.
The next new Manna 4 Lempira photos I’m sharing are of my children who attend the Mi Betania feeding center in rural Honduras.
First is Junior, who I’ve had as a correspondent for over a year and a half, and I have never seen this boy without a smile. He is just amazing!
I was blessed with some extra photos of my 9 year old Junior. I love getting to see him open his backpack! Two of the other boys in his very large family happen to be sponsored by the family who runs the Manna program. I didn’t know this until after I chose him, and it has often meant extra photos, which I happily treasure!
Next is beautiful Heidy, my first Manna child. This newly 12 year old girl has my heart.
Her confidence in that smile and pose mean the world to me. Last year, the barbie doll was definitely her favorite of the things I sent her. This year I picked out an Anna from Frozen barbie, because I know she is an Anna fan!
And then there’s Diego, a more recently sponsored child and one I actually have the fewest pictures of. I was so eager to see new pictures of him, and these certainly did not disappoint!
Diego is 5 and so stinkin’ cute. I hope he loves the soccer ball. He had been waiting a long time for a sponsor when I chose him, so to see him with my letter and the backpack I sent him makes me very happy. Plus he’s wearing yellow and a dinosaur! Clearly we’re meant to be connected! 🙂
Last month, the Manna 4 Lempira team visited Honduras to distribute backpacks, shoes, and letters to the children. All of the photos are now posted, and it’s such a joy to see these children with the items I lovingly picked out and packed for them!! I’m going to post the pictures by center, so first up is my children who attend the Mercedes feeding center.
Here is Brayan, who is still sticking with the grumpy photo face… It’s his signature! 🙂
Brayan just turned 5 this month, and I will have sponsored him for 2 years this spring!
Next is Ludvi, who I started sponsoring over the summer when my previous child, Deilin, left the program. She is 9 years old.
I just love how she’s beaming with the gift of her backpack!! Ludvi lives with her unemployed mother and 9 siblings, so she has very little. I was so excited to treat her and give her special things to call her own!
And finally is little Velery, who is one of my more recently sponsored Manna children. I fell in love with her spunk in her photos and video, and she’s still letting it shine through!
Velery is 3 and she just couldn’t be any cuter! Those curls are precious, and I love the dress. She seems to be happy with her baby doll!