Letter from Elvis

The last month or so that I’ve gotten behind on my posting has been a blur. At the end of March, I was told that I would need to get my tonsils out. Upon hearing that it’s a 3 week recovery for adults and I’d need to take at least 2 weeks off of work, I told myself I’d wait til summer, which would actually have to be July, due to my Honduras trip at the end of June. Well, due to personal circumstances, and having many more tonsil issues, I ended up having them out a week ago on May 17. Let me tell you that it really is no joke for adults. I told my doctor going in that I wanted to know what to expect for recovery and he replied “expect the worst.” In a week, I’ve consumed mostly crushed ice and popsicles, with a few meals of a scrambled egg or soup that I’ve never been able to completely finish. I’ve lost 10 lbs so far in just a week. Currently, it feels like I’m swallowing a knife and being stabbed in the ear at the same time. I know eventually I will be glad that I got this necessary surgery done, but right now, every day is a struggle. I’ve been spending more time on the computer to distract myself, along with lots of Netflix, though, so here is the start of all of the letters and updates I’ve received in the past month!

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Elvis is 7 and lives in Bolivia.

Back in July, I received a letter about his medical check up. Now I received another letter, this time about a dental check up. It’s cool that the project sends these out! His last dental check up was in January, at the project and health center. His mom went with him and the doctor told him to take care of his teeth. He learned to brush his teeth after eating, that he should not eat candies, and that a check up is important. The letter says “Dear sponsor Alisa, we greet you with the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Elvis is fine. He thanks you for the beautiful letter. In answer to your questions: he likes the white shirt. His Christmas was good. His tradition is to share in family. Yes, there is a tree, but it is of his aunt. He had a good time in the New Year’s eve. Yes, a little. He would help poor people, but God does that; He is great. Elvis asks for prayers for his family and country. He will be praying for you. We say goodbye with love. Elvis and his tutor Daniela”

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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!

Letter from Elvis!

I always love hearing from Elvis and his tutor Eva. I love Eva so much, and she is so much a part of my wonderful experience in sponsoring Elvis, that I recently wrote a card just for her to thank her and make sure she knows what a wonderful job she does and how much I appreciate her. In the latest letter, I got to hear back from both of them!

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Elvis is 6 and lives in Bolivia.

The letter uses the My Community template. Elvis’ community is located in La Paz, the capital of Bolivia. People speak Spanish and Aymara and the weather is cold. Typical food is plato paceño. “Beloved Sponsor Alisa, It is a privilege to write you again. Greet you in the name of our Lord and Savior. We feel very happy to get your pretty letters. Elvis is happy to hear more from you. He thanks you for the pretty correspondences. His three wishes are to be a professional (doctor), help the rest, and that his parents go to church. As tutor, I feel happy that my child Elvis gets to know you more, he loves you a lot and he looks forward to meet you soon. Until another opportunity, with lots of affection, Elvis and Eva. He asks with lots of respect prayer for his dad that works a lot, you are always in our prayers day by day.”

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I pray that Compassion offers a summer sponsor tour to Bolivia so that I can go visit, because I will make it work and be there in a heartbeat. This is the first I’ve heard that his parents do not attend church, so I will be praying extra for them that their hearts will be opened. Usually it’s an exciting moment when a child starts writing letters on his own, but when Elvis does, it will be bittersweet, because I will miss Eva writing them with him!

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Letter from the Country Director of Bolivia

Awhile back, letters from the Country Directors for all of our sponsored kids were sent out. I got a big envelope filled with wonderful letters about all the great work Compassion is doing in different countries. I’m going to start sharing these on the blog, and first up is Bolivia’s!

I have nothing but fantastic things to say about Compassion Bolivia, from the amazing photographs of the children to the quality of the letters to the wonderful tutors- it’s clear they’re doing fantastic work there. I sponsor my beloved Elvis in Bolivia, and my close relationship with him is why Bolivia is at the top of my list for a future Compassion trip (here’s hoping they offer one in the summer soon!).

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“Dear Alisa,

My name is Mario Vásquez, and I’ve been working for Compassion for about 30 years. I started as an errand boy, and 21 years ago, I became Country Director for Bolivia.

Thank you for your support to change the future of Elvis through your faithfulness. Sponsorship is God’s tool to shape and transform lives. There are two groups of heroes: the first are this great host of sponsors and donors who give their money in faith. The Bible says that whoever gives to the poor lends to God (Proverbs 19:17). The second is the staff at the child development centers who work daily with the children, providing a safe environment where children can come to know God’s purpose for their lives.

In Bolivia, the main challenges children face rise from a lack of role models in their families. Most of our children live in overcrowded conditions with few basic utilities, vulnerable to all kinds of dangers. The older children take care of the younger, because their parents go out to work. Many also suffer violence from their own parents under the pretext of discipline. Sadly, in Bolivia, exercising violence against the most vulnerable is part of the culture. Schools and health care centers are far away. Thus, the child development centers become an oasis for the children.

There is significant different between children who were sponsored through Compassion and those who didn’t have the opportunity to participate in the program. One sponsored child completed here university degree; she helps her family, supports her church, and is now mentoring other children in the program. But she sadly said that none of her other siblings completed university, and that the eldest already has a family and too many responsibilities she finds it difficult to fulfill.

The work that the churches and centers do is highly valued in the communities. For example, we encourage churches that have been working with us for a long time (15 to 20 years) to plant other churches and centers in areas outside the city. These new churches are welcomed in the new communities. The community leaders look to them with much hope for all the children in the area.

The sponsor-child relationship is invaluable. The letters help their self-esteem grow incredibly. I heard the testimony of a young woman who has a birthmark covering much of her face. When she was a child, she was bullied by other children, who called her ‘werewolf’. But a miracle happened, because her sponsor did not stop writing and telling her she was beautiful. This encouragement through letters helped her so much that the girl has come to feel comfortable with her birthmark. She is now a professional who works with other young people, helping provide leadership training.

I can see the fruits of this ministry. I remember the faces of children at the center, and now I see them all grown up: pastors, doctors, and other responsible people. When I learn that they are faithful people, no longer living in poverty, who see their future with hope and optimism, I see God’s power. My goal is to give to Bolivia citizens who represent God’s kingdom well, who are good children, good parents, good husbands and wives, good bosses, good workers, and good citizens- men and women who desire to serve others and not just serve themselves.

This ministry works to expand God’s kingdom. It is not an easy task. Please pray for your child and all children in Bolivia who live in poverty and vulnerability, so that God gives wisdom to all of us working to do His will.

Thank you for your support for Elvis, which is fundamental. I would like to encourage you to keep on supporting your child, knowing that your investment is invaluable.

In Jesus, Mario Vásquez”

 

love this letter ❤

Letter from Elvis

I received a letter from Elvis earlier this month about his medical checkup.

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Elvis is 6 and lives in Bolivia.

Elvis received his last medical checkup in May at the project with his mother. At the checkup, they said he has caries and must brush his teeth every day. The letter says: “Dear Sponsor Alisa, It’s a joy to write you this nice letter. I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus. Elvis is really happy for having news from you, he thanks you with a nice hug. He wants to tell you that he’s learning too much of the word of God. His family is well. He sends you many greetings, with love, may God always bless your spiritual life. Till another chance, with love, Elvis, and his tutor, Eva. Prayer request: He asks you with much humble prayer for his mom”

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I had to look up caries, because I hadn’t heard the term, and it is tooth decay.

Letter from Elvis

I received a letter written in April from my favorite little Bolivian guy, Elvis.

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Elvis is 6 and lives in Bolivia.

The letter uses the My Hobbies and Pets template. Elvis has a dog named Boby. He likes to walk and sightsee with his dog, and if he could have another pet, he would want a rabbit. The letter says: “Dear sponsor Alisa, it is a pleasure to greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Elvis is fine and he wants to thank you for the letters you sent, thank you very much, he sends you kisses. He wants to tell you that he is doing well at school and his family is fine, may God bless you. Until another opportunity, with love, Elvis and Eva (tutor)”. He asks for prayers for his dad.

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I’m always amazed at the artistic  talent of this kid! I love that he drew his dog, Boby.