Letter from Finka and a Photo Update

Out of all of my Compassion children, my experience with Finka in Indonesia has been the only one that has been abnormally inconsistent. I don’t blame her in the least, or even her center, because I know they are busy doing great work with the children there. I’m just glad that I know that this is abnormal thanks to the many other children I have that have always been consistent, and I’m very grateful to the Compassion staff here in the US who are always willing to help out.

First, after getting my introduction letter from Finka and then not hearing anything for over 6 months, an inquiry had to be sent. I received two letter from her not far apart from each other after that, but all 3 letters had different handwriting. I’m still not sure if someone else was writing or why since there was never any explanation on the letters. The third one indicated that there should have been a photo attached for a gift that I sent, but since there wasn’t one, another inquiry had to be sent. Now I received my fourth letter. It’s very sweet and loving, and it seems like it was written by her, and there were photos attached, but they were just of the items purchased. I thought it was odd, because all of my other gift photos had the child in them, and sure enough it is Compassion policy for the child or a family member to be in the photo, so yet another inquiry was just sent.

I don’t mind, and I’m happy to support her. My sponsorship of her is not about me- it’s about her, so as long as she’s receiving the support, I’m happy. And this latest letter is a great reminder of that. Additionally, last week I received a photo update of Finka! It gives me peace of mind that she is still active at the center and receiving that support by seeing the new photo of her.

She’s now 16 and becoming a very beautiful young lady!

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She has the exact same smile in her newest and her first photos! 🙂

“Greetings in the love of our Lord, it’s nice to meet you, Alisa. I’m grateful to God for only by His amazing grace that I’m in good health and free to move. I can also go to school and do my daily routine, all according to God’s guidance. Thank you for the letter as well as the gift that I already received, Alisa. The gift was well spent on school equipment, bag, shoes, and clothes. I would like to thank you for the birthday wishes. I already received all the letters that you sent me. It was indeed part of the Christmas tradition to decorate a Christmas tree. However, it was only done at church and the houses of families who could afford to buy a Christmas tree. As for me, we don’t have a Christmas tree at home. I saw the picture of the Christmas tree that you sent, it was a big and beautiful tree. I am so grateful to have a family who loves me. God has blessed me with such an amazing parent like you, Alisa. Even though I don’t have a mother and father anymore, but God has granted me a caring family. I go to Vocational High School and I’m in the first year. I will have the grade promotion exams soon, I chose the Agriculture Program. I’d kindly ask you to support me with your prayers, please pray that God will grant me spiritual intelligence so I could learn to be a better person. Goodbye for now. May Lord Jesus bless you. Best Wishes”

Here is the photo of what she bought:

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Finka is still listed as above average in school, and I’m proud of her for doing well in high school and choosing her area of study. To hear her call me a parent melts my heart. Both of her parents have passed away. She used to love with her grandmother and now she lives with her aunt and uncle.

Letter from Jofre

I received a great letter from Jofre recently!

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Jofre is 10 and lives in Ecuador

“Dear Alisa, receive cordial greetings from your sponsored child. I want to tell you that I’m very happy for the letter that you sent. I’m also happy because God gave us one more day of life. My favorite subject is mathematics and language. My favorite sport is soccer and tennis. My best friends are Kevin and Jonathan. The names of my siblings are Kevin, Saul, William, and Diana. Diana is studying to be a doctor. What are the names of your family members? I’m attending the Compassion project called “Lux de Vida”, and I’m also attending church. I remind you that the Carnival is coming. I would like to learn to play the violin and piano. Thank you for the letter that you sent. Please pray for my family and my siblings. I would like to ask you, are you doing well with your family?”

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I love all of his varied interests and how well-rounded he seems to be. And how cool is it that his sister is studying to be a doctor? I wonder if she was a Compassion child too. His drawing is a little sad, but I’m sure there’s an explanation behind it 😉

Photo Updates of Manuel, Jorge, and Lucia

I love receiving photo updates and seeing new pictures of the kids and how they’ve grown!

First is Manuel, from the Dominican Republic. He attends the same center as Eliana, but their photos were not updated at the same time, as I received Eliana’s update in January. I thought Manuel looked old for his age in his last photo and now he definitely does even more so… he’s only 11!

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Next is Jorge, also from the Dominican Republic. He’s growing up! Jorge is 6 years old.

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And finally Lucia, in her last photo update before she graduates in September. She looks beautiful in the purple!

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Letter from Luna

I received a letter from sweet Luna, who told me all about her house!

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Luna is 14 and lives in Colombia

“Dear godmother, today I want to greet you very affectionately sending you many hugs and kisses through the distance, wishing God will bless you and fill you with His Holy Spirit. Godmother, I want to tell you that the house I am living in with my family is made a part of bricks and another part of zinc. It has 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, the living room and the kitchen are together, and its floor is a part made of cement and a part is a dirt floor. Its roof is made of fiber cement. The water that comes to my house is from the river, they pass this water through the hoses but clean it. My house has electricity and I can enjoy it. Godmother, the bed I sleep in is a single bed where I can rest. I want to thank you for all those pretty letters you send me. The birds live in the mango trees and sing. I am very grateful with God because He gave me life. I say goodbye asking you to pray for me every day. I expect your answer soon. I send you many kisses and hugs, Luna”

Letter from Elvis

I’ve always heard from Elvis regularly since I started sponsoring him, so it was definitely out of the ordinary to go without hearing from him for so long. Several other Compassion sponsors noticed a long gap in the letters from their Bolivian children as well. Thankfully, a little before the 6 month mark, a letter from him started going through translation. Last week, it appeared on my account for me to view!

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Elvis is 6 and lives in Bolivia.

The letter uses the My Christian Learning template. His favorite Bible story is the prodigal son. His favorite Biblical person is Noah. His favorite song to sing at his project is “We are Soldiers”. At his project, they are learning to pray, sing, and help others. He’s learned to pray before eating, before leaving home, and before sleeping. He’s learned that Jesus died for us, He makes miracles, and to love Jesus. The letter says “Dear Sponsor Alisa, We greet you with the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Elvis thanks you for the nice letters. He also thanks you for the gift which he bought the uniform to go to his school. He likes to learn at school and to paint. Birds live in trees and trees also give us fruits like apple, banana, and many others. He is so grateful to be with his family. He asks for prayers for his family and his classmates. See you next time. Love, Elvis and his tutor Daniela”

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Elvis has always been a great artist and I love the family portrait. I’m glad he was able to get his uniform to go to school. If the children in many countries are not able to afford their uniforms, school supplies, and/or school fees, they are unable to attend. It seems like a small thing, but that’s one less thing that the family has to stretch their budget for, which makes a difference!

Introducing Yohanes!

Last week I received a new correspondent from Indonesia! Yohanes makes my 6th 14 year old. I love all of my 14 year olds, so I’m excited to have another teen to write to. That is going to be a busy year for graduations, though!

Here is Yohanes’ current photo:

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And his two previous photos:

I’m glad he looks happier in his latest photo! Yohanes is from the Papua region of Indonesia, the western half of the island shared with New Guinea. I’m excited to learn more about his culture and customs, since it’s a very interesting area!

Introducing Angie, My Little Sign for my Summer Plans

Deciding between two sponsorship trips is a very difficult task, because it’s like choosing between your children. To have to say no to some, even if they won’t know it, feels awful. That’s why it took me so long to decide between going with Compassion to El Salvador or with Manna 4 Lempira to Honduras this summer. In addition, because they’re two different organizations, there were other factors, like the fact that I’ve traveled with Compassion before and know what to expect, or the fact that the Honduras trip is a little longer and a little less money. After a lot of praying, weighing pros and cons, and asking some questions about the Honduras trip, I was leaning strongly in that direction. Then, last week, I received the sign I had been praying for all along. In circumstances that only God could have orchestrated, the opportunity to add little Angie to my Honduran sponsored family arose.

I knew it was God saying that I needed to go there and meet her… along with my 11 other Manna children in Honduras. To be able to meet so many of the children I love so much and have dreamt about giving hugs to in person is an excitement that’s hard to even describe! I’m praying that everything continues to work out and that it will soon be official that I will be traveling to rural Honduras in June!

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Introducing Kevin and Saying Goodbye to Beto

First, the good news: I found little Kevin as my newest Compassion correspondent on Thursday evening! Kevin is 5 and from La Paz, Bolivia, the capital city and also where Elvis lives. He’s giving a signature Bolvian photo pose: the thumbs up!

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In sad but also happy news, I lost my correspondent Beto from Ethiopia last week. While I never received any letters from him yet, as soon I receive any new child, I start loving them and praying for them immediately, so it still is sad and a loss. However, I’m glad that it happened for a good reason- his sponsor decided to write to him! I hope that they have a great relationship and that my letters had words that Beto needed to hear for the couple months that I was able to write to him.

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Introducing Noelia!

Sometimes I come across a child that nags on my heart so much after, that I know who’s doing the nagging and I know I can’t say no. This was the case with 9 year old Noelia from Bolivia. She looks so sweet and unsure and shy. This little girl has lost a parent and has 9 siblings at home. She lives in the Cochabamba area of Bolivia, where homes are typically only one big room. Can you imagine that many siblings living together in one room? Through it all, she’s listed as above average in school. Noelia clearly has a drive to succeed. And then there’s her outfit: a winter hat with a very thin sweater and leggings, all in various colors.

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I have a special place in my heart for sponsoring children from big families (Heidy, Brayan, Junior, Ludvi, and Jenny are among others with lots of siblings), because I feel like, especially with a family in poverty, the children don’t get a lot of special individual attention and poverty through no fault of the parents- it’s just not possible. I’m glad that God led me to beautiful Noelia, and I can’t wait to see what she does as she grows!

Here is her previous photo alongside her current one.

So stinkin’ cute. She still looks small to me for 9 years old, though, so either she’s due for a photo update soon or she’s very small for her age, likely due to malnourishment.