Letter from Alex’s Pastor

I received this letter earlier in the summer from the pastor of Alex’s center. It’s a lovely letter!

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Alex attends HA266

“Dear Alisa, My name is Ostiné Emile, I am the pastor of the Wesleyan church of Mango. We minister your child at the Child Development Center here. I pray that God is gracious and compassionate for you because of your sponsorship of Alex. Thanks to sponsors’ help many children in the community are accessible to school, hospital, and to God’s word.

Mango is located in the 1st rural section of Anse-á-Galets. It consists of about 1000 people. We do not have access to clean water, latrines, hospital, and roads. We have to walk a long way before finding some clean water. So, the poverty is ravaging that community. We cannot grow our gardens due to a lack of rain. It did not rain for ten months. We lost all our crops.

Without the church in the community, the situation would be worse. The church meets many problems like digging a cistern in order to save water during the drought season. Thanks to the presence of Compassion in the community, the poor condition of the parents is alleviated and many children can read, write, go to hospital and they can hear God’s Word. Also, we create jobs for some people in the community in order to meet their family’s needs. I congratulate every sponsor for this precious ministry for valuing the children. We love the children and we appreciate them. I advise them to become responsible.

I want you to know that the letters and photos mean a lot in the relationship between the sponsored children and their sponsors. It permits them to share piece of information about their family, their country, and their culture. Also, the letters allow the sponsors to inform about the children’s promotion at school, church, club, and in their family. It is very important for the children to know they are loved by receiving letters. I hope you know how valuable your words are and that you will write to Alex regularly.

We have a good staff that consists of teachers and instructors to teach the children Bible verses and stories about Jesus and Moses’ lives. My goal is to have an evangelical church that can transform the community and to make the children become valuable citizens, good Christian leaders, and to reinforce our partnership with Compassion. The children of the center are so different and privileged compared to those who are not part of it because they are transformed.

I cannot stop thanking sponsors for their supports towards the children in the world throughout Compassion International. Through this way they help the churches go further. At church, we are praying for you a lot so that God can bless you much more and give you good health. Please, pray for the children so that God can make a way for them and do efficient work in their lives and that they can always remain in Jesus.

I pray that God give you more blessing. I love you so much! Thanks!

In Christ, Ostiné Emile”

First Letter from Ingrid!

I was so excited to receive my first letter from Ingrid, less than 3 weeks after I sponsored her!! It used to take 4-6 months for a first letter, which would have been written before they knew who we were, and now I got one in under 3 weeks with her knowing my name! I’m still amazed at how fast the electronic scanning/writing on both ends has made communication.

I sponsored Ingrid after visiting her center and falling in love with it, knowing in my heart that I had to support it and sponsor a child there. The story of visiting Ingrid’s center and how I sponsored her can be found here.

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Ingrid Madaí is 6 and lives in Guatemala

The letter used the “Getting to Know Me Better” template. She is an only child, and it lists the names of her parents. She has brown eyes, and she asks for prayers for “her dad and his job and her house”. The letter says “Madaí greets you. She is so happy that you are her sponsor. She prays a lot for you. Madaí says May God protect, bless, and give you health. Madaí wants to ask you a question: what fruit do you like to eat? What is your favorite food? Madaí says goodbye. Written by Caty, tutor”

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Her question and drawing are adorable!

Letter from Mugisha’s Pastor

Earlier in the summer, I received a letter from the pastor of Mugisha’s center. I know that he lives in an area that is very much in need, so it was great to learn more about what the center is doing to help this community!

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Mugisha attends UG709

“Dear Alisa, I am Herbert Mujabwami, pastor of St. Andrew’s Cathedral Seseme in Muhabura Diocese, southwestern Uganda. We minister to Mugisha Isaac at the Seseme Child Development Center.

We are very grateful to you for the support that you continuously give to Mugisha. May our good Lord keep blessing you.

Our community has fertile soils but is densely populated, thus we have limited land for cultivation. It also has many cases of alcoholism and sexual immorality, which causes a high rate of HIV/AIDS infections. The church has a big responsibility of ministering to this community so that its members will receive Jesus as their personal savior.

The biggest challenge is that the children find it hard to get money for school, food, and sometimes even shelter. Being in town, many men go early in the morning to look for work and return late in the evening, so it is difficult to get them involved in our ministry.

The vision for the church and center is to equip all the people to extend the love of God to others and transform the community.

The center has demonstrated practical love to the children. We have supported children by providing medical treatment, hygiene training, education, social training, economic skills development, and spiritual discipleship. many children now have the skills to earn a living in the future. Others serve in the church in many ways, such as preaching the word of God. We have a formerly sponsored child who completed studies and is now working at one of our development centers and another one who is now working at the bank. We have several children who have graduated and attending colleges to study agriculture and nursing.

The church ministers to the community by reaching out to the elderly, helping in solving family conflicts, and giving pre-marital counseling. The church also teaches the youth and adults about self-reliance and good health practices. God is doing a lot of transformation in our community through this ministry.

Approximately 85% of our sponsored children’s families attend our church, 10% attend other churches, and about 5% are still struggling with faith and do not attend any church yet.

The relationship between children and sponsors is very important. The children, especially those who are orphans, feel the love of a parent when they receive a letter from their sponsors. They feel they have someone who cares for them and supports them. Thus, they have no fear about the future. Unfortunately, some children do not receive letters and they feel discouraged. So, we encourage all sponsors to please write to these little ones, as every word of love brings them great excitement.

We request that you pray for the children in the program and that all sponsors will keep supporting them. Pray also that parents will practice what they are taught, especially in doing work to complement the support Compassion is giving. Pray for our staff at all levels to remain committed to the program and that everyone in our community will maintain good health.

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share with you through this letter. We thank you again for your generous support of Mugisha and for helping our ministry flourish. May the Lord bless you, keep you, and shine upon you.

Sincerely, Herbert Mujabwami”

Letter from Lucia’s Pastor

I recently received a letter from the pastor of Lucia’s center. It’s shorter than most, but still a great letter and full of love that he has for these kids. I always enjoy pastor letters as extra insight!

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Lucia attends ES781.

“Dear Alisa, My name is José Miguel Serrano. I am the pastor of Tabernáculo Bíblico Bautista Sinaí las Conchitas Church in La Libertad, El Salvador. I minister to Lucia at the accompanying Child Development Center.

I am thankful to God with all my heart for your sponsorship of Lucia and that you her happy.

Right now our community faces many problems such as poverty and violence. These two problems affect our children. Our church is working through the Center to reach the children and their families.

Our vision as church and Center is to help our children and young people to study in college and train them to be good men and women for our community. The Center has been a great tool to make our children’s families come to church and seek Jesus’ love. Right now our church has a Bible school on Sundays and we also have other beautiful ministries in the community.

The young people and the children from our Center really value the support that their sponsors provide. They get so excited when they receive a sponsor letter. The correspondence from sponsors is very important for children, they keep every letter they receive and place it in a special place. They save all letters they have received and become part of their valuable belongings. Every day they ask to the coordinator if they have received a letter. It is something very important for them.

I am so glad to write to you and I wish you the best in all your dreams and plans.

Thank you for loving Lucia. Blessings in Christ, Pastor Miguel Serrano”

Letter from Finka’s Pastor

I’m eagerly awaiting my second letter from Finka, to get to know her better, but in the meantime, I did receive a letter from her pastor recently. I enjoy reading the pastor letters because it lets me learn a lot more about the child’s community and center specifically!

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Finka attends ID230 in East Indonesia

“Dear Alisa, I am Reverend Agabus Salawe, the Chairman of Harmony Church Protestant Seventh Indonesia and the Emmaus Child Development Center where we host and minister to Finka.

Most of the people in our community are very poor and uneducated. Many children cannot attend school because they have to help make a living with their parents. Poverty also results in many children who must live apart from their parents due to abandonment. The presence of Center in this area is very helpful address this challenge and to provide a holistic development for the children, releasing them from poverty in Jesus’ name.

In the over 200 children we serve at our Center, including your child, we are seeing great benefits and improvement. They have a good achievement in the school. Their health is much better and their parents see much better behavior and respect and they are polite. The spiritual life of the children is growing in a better direction and some children are able to lead worship and other services. All of this can happen because they were carried with the holistic program applied by Compassion through this sponsorship program and because of people like you.

The impact of the Center on the entire community is clear. People are increasingly concerned with the lives of children, education for children, and protection of children. People are starting to realize the importance of respecting the position of the child in their environment. Likewise, the government is beginning to teach courses on child awareness and protection. This is a very unusual thing. This is very pleasing, as we believe that the children are our future generation who will make great Christian leaders and who will change the community for the better.

The letters that the children receive from their sponsors are very important for their development and also for their self-esteem. The letters and photos make the children feel loved and motivated and diligent in the activities at the church and Center. They love to respond and share their lives and their dreams. For this reason, it is very important for you to write to Finka.

Thank you so much for supporting Finka. Please pray for the continued development and growth of all our children and the Center and the community.

May the Lord bless you abundantly. Shalom, Pastor Agabus Salawe”

Letter from Angeles

Before I get to the letter, I have been getting some updated profiles of Manna for Lempira kiddos. Each year, we get updated profiles on them. It’s fun to see what changed, of course their sizes, sometimes their favorite colors, school subjects, career choice, and favorite activities. My favorite update so far, though? Junior went from wanting to be a mason when he grows up to wanting to be a teacher! Not that there’s anything wrong with being a mason, but I’m hoping this means that he will stay in school and complete it, which will give him so many more opportunities and a better salary and a more stable career in the future. I’m proud of him that he’s setting his sights higher, and I hope it continues. After having my oldest Manna child decide to not continue school and therefore have to leave the program, I’m encouraging all of my children in this round of letters to stay in school and invest in themselves.

I realized that I never shared this letter that I received from Angeles earlier in the summer, which is the first letter I’ve received from her since her home was destroyed from the floods. The drawing breaks my heart. 😦 In good news, though, this is the first letter she wrote completely on her own, and she did a great job and her handwriting is awesome! I sent a family gift right after I heard the news that their home was destroyed, and I’m anxiously awaiting a letter about what they purchased with the gift. I want to know if I need to send more and what their needs still are.

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Angeles is 8 and lives in Peru.

The letter used the My House template. I’m not sure if it’s describing her house before the flooding or where she has been staying with relatives nearby. It says the house is made of straw mats, she gets water from a faucet, it has no floor other than the ground, it has a tile roof, and they have light from power. The letter says “Dear sponsor Alisa, I greet you in the name of the Lord. I tell you that I am fine. Answering to your questions, my advice would be to behave well and not to go out alone. I would tell them to be good children, practice the values, and learn the language and the dances of my country like Marinera. Thank you for your very beautiful letters. Goodbye, I send you hugs and kisses. I love you so much. Your photos are very beautiful. Bye. Angeles”

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Letter from Elaina

I received a letter last week from my Elaina, and it’s the first letter she’s written herself- always an exciting milestone! My dilemma with Elaina, is that sometimes, like in this one, her letters spell her name as Eliana. It’s common for kids to switch up spellings, especially the ones in Latin America, I’ve noticed, but this would change the pronunciation as well, so I want to make sure I’m getting it right. I’ve had Compassion sometimes list kids as going by a name that they don’t go by, so I’m wondering if there might have been a typo when they entered her name?

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Elaina is 7 and lives in the Dominican Republic

The letter uses the What I Like Best Template, but she left this side blank and didn’t fill it out 😉 I knew right away that she used marker, though, because you can see the marker coming through on the front! The letter says “Dear Alisa, Receive blessings! How are you? I’m well, thanks God. I want to tell you that I’m anxious and happy for the outing from the center to the Zoo. It has been of great happiness. I ask you to pray for me and my family. I will be praying for you. With love, Eliana”

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