A Very Happy Mail Call Monday!

My letter from Cristofer, my first letter from him that’s addressed to me (last one was addressed to financial sponsor/previous correspondent), finally came through after being in translation since May 2nd! I have been so very eagerly awaiting this letter to come through, and I knew, with all the waiting I had to do, that it would be worth it. I am so happy to say that it absolutely was!! It is such a long letter that it even went on to a 3rd page!

Cristofer is 9 years old and from Peru.

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Translation:

Dear sponsor Alisa, Hello! I want to thank you for the letter and the photos you sent. I am so thankful to the Lord because he is taking care of my mom and me. I want you to know that during my vacation I went to “La Granja” and when I got there I was very happy because there were many elks and I caught a big gray one. The water of the pool was refreshing. We are in summer and the weather is very hot. I also want to tell you that the kids of the student center and I went to a playground. I have a new teacher at school who loves us very much. When she gives us an exam, my classmates and I get very nervous. On my birthday I am going to invite my friends and my cousins to celebrate my birthday on October 12. When is your birthday? I have a little dog which is a mutt dog but he’s cute. Do you have a dog? My mom bought me a soccer ball. I enjoy playing soccer with my friends after church. Before school began, I was going to Pimentel Beach every Sunday because it is a really nice beach. I enjoy making sand castles and I have my rubber ring. At church we had a Bible knowledge contes and I am memorizing many Bible verses. At the end of the month we are going to participate in a dance contest. We are rehearsing because we would like to win. Well my beloved sponsor, I pray to Jesus that He might look after you. I love you. Please pray for my grandpa and for my mom. Goodbye, Cristofer

What an awesome and sweet kid he is! He is so open and has so much to say, and I was able to learn so much more about him! With having had 2 previous sponsors and receiving very few letters between them, I was expecting it to take awhile for him to open up this much.

Photo Update!

Hearing everyone else’s good news about getting letters so fast makes me very happy for them and hopeful, but it is testing my patience a teeny tiny bit, because I haven’t had anything new come from Compassion in awhile, including photo updates, a new correspondent, and the letters I have sitting “in translation” that don’t seem to be going anywhere. I was a supporter of the new system from the beginning, and I’m not complaining in any way. I just keep telling myself that they’re all going to be SO worth the wait! 🙂

Cristofer’s letter to me has been in translation since May 2nd, and while I’ve been stalking the website anxious to be able to read it, I was very excited to see a photo update for him today! Cristofer is from Peru and 9 years old. I became his correspondent in February. Before that he had only received a couple letters, but now he’s already received lots from me! I’m so glad to see a smile back! And he is looking more grown up and less “little boy”. But he looks great!

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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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Pichuberries, Luna, and and Life

When I was grocery shopping at Mariano’s this weekend, a fruit I had never seen before, the Pichuberry, caught my eye. These interestingly named fruits come from Peru, where both Angeles and Cristofer live. Curious and always up for trying new produce, I got some. They are little plump orange balls, with a somewhat similar taste to a tomato, but much sweeter than the sweetest tomato. And they are less liquidy inside. Probably more similar to a tomatillo, but still much sweeter. Looking it up, they are also packed full of vitamins and minerals and are VERY good for you! It was fun to try something new from their country, and I like them a lot! I’ve been putting some in my salads this week and eating them by themselves too.

I got some more information about Luna, as well as her previous photo. Look at how timid she looks in her first photo, and how she is radiating with confidence in the latest one! THIS is Compassion in work, right here in her transformation in 2 years time. And Luna has had 2 previous sponsors and only received 3 letters between them, as well as 3 gifts. Something tells me this girl is going to be teaching me things, and I cannot wait until I start to hear from her!

I’ve posted little bits before about my job situation not being good at all this school year (I’m a teacher). Last month, after talking with others and determining that it was the best option, I resigned effective the last day of school. Which means I don’t have a job right now come fall, which can be a very scary thought. I am trying to put my trust in God, and know that He will lead me to where I’m supposed to be, but, being human, there is still some anxiety present because of the direness of the situation. One lyric that has been really helping lately is Casting Crown’s “Just Be Held” when he says “You’re world’s not falling apart it’s falling into place.” It helps to believe that I went through all I did this year to have to find a new, better job, which is where I’m supposed to end up. That all being said, I have 2 interviews the next 2 days, one of which is at a place that I especially love. I’m so hopeful that I’m starting to get them, but interviewing tends to make me second guess myself. If you are reading this and could spare a few seconds for prayers, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you

Mail Call!

The Act for Compassion Conference was absolutely amazing! So uplifting and inspiring. I will be sharing more on that soon, as I gather all of my thoughts and the information together.

I’ve received 2 new letters already online with the new letter writing system! One from my dear sweet little Elvis from Bolivia, and the other from my new correspondent child, Cristofer from Peru!

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From Elvis I got the All About Me form and I learned some more about him. I learned his parents names and his siblings names and ages. What he says he does really well is drawing, and yes he does! He is about 3’4″ tall, he has black hair and black eyes, and his favorite game is soccer.

Translation: Appreciated sponsor Alisa, we greet you with much affection in our Lord Jesus Christ’s name. Elvis is very thankful to you for the help you give him. He wants to be a policeman when he is older to help other people. His favorite Bible story is about Noah’s arc. He likes to go to school and his favorite subject is language. He asked with all his love and affection and with all his heart that you take care. He also asked you to pray for him. We hope to hear news from you soon. Until the next opportunity. We wish you a lot of success. God always bless and keep you. With much love and affection, Elvis and Eva (tutor)

So sweet how much love is sent through in this letter! I absolutely love it! Now I know that I can send him more things with Noah’s arc, and how cool is it that the name of his center is Arca de Noah? 🙂 And I can see how big his heart is already in that he wants to be a policeman to help other people. What really impressed me was the drawing. Wow! So much progress from his first letter, and so beautifully done for a 5 year old! Trust me, I work with 5 year olds, and not a lot of boys this age draw this neatly. He has a talent for sure! 🙂

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I just started my correspondence sponsorship with Cristofer in March, so I didn’t expect to hear from him already, but this letter was actually addressed to his financial sponsor still. She had sent him a financial gift as well, so it also came with the added bonus of a photo! I’m sad for her that she doesn’t get to see it, but I do love getting to see more of Cristofer and getting to know him a little!

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Translation: Dear Sponsor ******, I want to tell you I am praying for you so God will bless you. I thank you for your gift of *****. I bought clothes. I want to ask you: How are you? How will you spend Christmas? I also want to tell you I am happy because I passed to 4th grade. I know, with the help of God, I will make progress and I will be an outstanding pupil. I say goodbye sending greetings and kisses for all of you. God bless you!! Cristofer

How great that he was able to get some new cartoon shirts with her gift- what boy doesn’t love those?? It sounds like he has a great little head on his shoulders, and I will definitely be praying for God to help him be an outstanding pupil too! And what a sweet drawing. I  love the smiley face on the sun! I’ll have to ask him if he has a bike that likes to ride!

Meet Cristofer!

Letters received are coming, but first, my day was made yesterday when I found my new correspondent child on my account! I am so excited to welcome Cristofer to my family, and my heart feels so full to have it grow again. And he’s from Peru, like Angeles, so now I have 2 children from there!

Cristofer’s first photo:

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And here is his most recent one:

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He is growing and looking great! I already got a letter in the mail to him today, because I had a batch of letters for my other kiddos ready to go too. Cristofer’s been in the program since 2011 and has had 2 sponsors during that time, but only received 4 letters. Well Cristofer, that’s going to change because you can be prepared to be showered in lots and lots of love from frequent letters! I feel so blessed to get to be a part of making these kids feel special and loved by God working through me to reach them. I think it will be fun that Cristopher’s also a little older than my other kids (he’s 9), so I’ll get to hear more of his voice and can include more details in my letters to him too.