Letters from Elvis

Since I’ve last posted in November, I’ve received 3 more letters from Elvis! It is always a pleasure to hear from this sweet boy and his loving tutor.

BO4150992

Elvis is 6 and lives in Bolivia.

The first letter, from November, used the “My Dreams” template. In it, he says that someday he would like to visit the zoo, he would like to be like his dad, he would like to meet me so we could play, when he grows up he would like to be a policeman, and his prayer request is for his family. His tutor, Eva, writes “Beloved sponsor Alisa, We greet you with lots of affection in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Elvis is very thankful for the present that you sent him, he bought a pair of pretty shoes and a pair of pants. He feels very happy and glad for the support that you give him. He sends you as gratitude some big hugs and some delicious kisses. He looks forward soon to hear from you. Since here, we pray for your spiritual lives, until another opportunity. God always blesses you and keeps you with lots of affection and love, Elvis and Eva.

elvis drawing 1

I would love for nothing more than to play with Elvis and give him the biggest hug. If Compassion would offer a summer Bolivia group tour, I’m so there. I can only go in the summer, being a teacher, so options are limited, but Bolivia is at the top of my list to travel to and meet this little guy that I feel such a strong connection to.

The next letter came in March, using the “What I Like Best” template. He likes to play soccer with his friends, the chore he likes best is watering the plants, what he likes best about the project is the weekly learning activities, and likes to share lunch with his family on weekends. Eva writes “Dear sponsor, it is a big joy to be able to write to you. First we want to salute you with all of our love in the name of our beloved Lord Jesus Christ. Elvis is really well and he wants to thank you with all his love for your help and also for your beautiful letters you sent. The thing he likes to do most is play soccer with his friends and he also likes to go to the park too. He asked to to pray for his family. We hope to know more from you soon. God bless you always and let him be your spiritual guide. With all our love and kindness, Elvis and Eva.

elvis drawing 2

The third letter was a complete surprise, as I received it just a week after the second one!! And it had been written just over a month before I received it! It used the “My Project” template. There are 537 children at Elvis’ project, wow! In his classroom, there are 35. He walks to his project and likes to do his work there. Eva writes “Dear sponsor Alisa, we greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Elvis, thank God, is doing fine. He’s very happy to have news from you. With a lot of affection he wants to thank you for the beautiful letter. He said he wants to tell you that he plays soccer a lot with his little cousins. His family is doing well. We hope to have news from you soon, we send you many hugs with a lot of love and affection and may God always bless you. Until another opportunity, with love, Elvis and Eva. He respectfully asks you to pray for his family and for all the children of the streets.

elvis drawing 3

Letter from Elvis

BO4150992

Elvis is 5 and lives in Bolivia.

I was so excited to receive a new letter from my little guy. In his letters, his tutor always speaks so highly of him. The letter was the “My Friends” template, which told me who his friends are and what he likes to play with them. Here is the letter portion:

Dear Sponsor Alisa, At this opportunity, we greet you with lots of affection. Elvis is so happy to have your news. He is always grateful to God because you are in his path. You are a great and special person in his life. Every day he is grateful to God because you are his sponsor. He is very grateful for all the beautiful letters that you send him. He had a great time. He keeps your letters with lots of love. He wants to tell you sincerely that he has many friends at school and the Project. But Daner is his special friend like his brother. He says that they take care of themselves. They also share many things. He likes to play soccer, and he likes to participate in all the activities. Elvis doesn’t know how to thank you for all the help that you give him every day. When he prays for you, he says it with lots of affection. May God bless your spiritual life and your daily activities there. We are so happy to have your news. He congratulates you for all your pretty letters that you send him. He keeps it with lots of love and affection. He tells you that his family is doing well in health and emotionally, thanks to God. He also tells you that he is getting good grades at school. Elvis is a humble and sweet boy with everybody. He likes to help others. He wants to ask you to pray for his family with respect and humility. We also pray for your spiritual life here. Elvis also hopes to receive your news. He sends you many kisses and hugs with lots of love and affection. May God bless you and take care of you every day. It was a pleasure to write you this pretty letter. Until another opportunity! With lots of affection, Elvis & Eva (tutor).

Letters like these are so very humbling. I want so badly to be able to visit Bolivia some day and give this boy the biggest hug. I’d also love to meet Eva, his tutor, because her enthusiasm, bubbliness, and big heart always shines through in the letters she writes for him.

images-2

Photo Updates Part 1

I haven’t posted in awhile for a good reason, I got a new job that I really like, and the way it all came about, I know God’s hand was in it. I still get to be teaching preschoolers, which I love, but instead of having students with special needs, like I’m used to, I’ll have students who are determined “at risk”. It’s a different challenge and I’m looking forward to it! School starts Monday, so I’ve been crazy busy. But there have been a lot of things going on lately related to my sponsored kids, so I’m going to start with those that have had photo updates.

First up is my sweet Maria. I’m the closest to Maria out of all of my kids, because she sends lots of letters in return to the lots that I send. I sponsor Maria through World Vision, so letter writing goes a lot faster than how Compassion currently is. I just adore this girl. And  I love the smile! Maria is 6 and is from Mexico.

170890-UWSV_20160707_154139_CUP

Next is my adorable Elvis. His first picture was the cutest, and I couldn’t imagine how his next picture could compare. But it is so perfect. A smile, a thumbs up, and a wave. I just need to get to Bolivia and give him a big squeeze already! Elvis is 5.

BO4150992

 

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!

BO4150992-Fullshot-200w

Unknown-2

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! 🙂

IMG_1471

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!

Unknown-4

Unknown-6

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!

Letters from Elvis

I have received 2 letters so far from Elvis’ center. The first one was from his pastor and the second from him, written with the help of his tutor, of course. I’m not going to post the pastor’s letter because of how long it is, but it’s very nice and was very informative to read. It also made me feel good to hear from someone who is right there working with Elvis, his family, and the other kids and families in the program. The city areas of Bolivia can be quite dangerous, and I’m so glad they have a safe, loving place to be where they can learn about God.

The picture that Elvis drew in his letter is the cutest and makes me so happy! All of that detail is amazing. He was probably still 4 when he drew it. As an early childhood teacher, you have to really work hard to get that much detail out of a lot of kids. I could just picture him drawing and coloring away with enthusiasm, excited to share with me, just as I’m excited to share with him in each of my letters to him.

BO4150992-Fullshot-200w

Letter 1:

elvisletter.jpg

Translation: Dear sponsor, We greet you with the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who writes this letter is Elvis’ tutor. He and his family are thankful for choosing him and decided to be his sponsor. Elvis is a happy kid and thank God he is doing well. He likes to play soccer, and with his little cars. He also likes to watch cartoons on the TV. His favorite fruits are banana and watermelon. His favorite meal or dish chicken soup. He likes to draw and color, so when he does it he is so enthusiastic and with all his effort. We hope to know more about you soon and Elvis will know more about you through these letters. Until the next opportunity, With love, Elvis and his tutor. Prayer Request: He will be praying for you and for blessings. May God bless and care you, and we hope you will be doing well in everything.

A Connection and Prayer for a Child

lettersangeles

I received my packet for sweet Angeles in the mail yesterday and I was so excited! I’ve already sent her a couple emails, so this isn’t my first letter, but I’m sending my first handwritten letter in the mail to her. Not a ton of goodies this time, but in a week or so I’m going to be sending a special batch of letters to each of my kiddos with some goodies, so this will be good for now, plus I designed my own stationary for the letter- hope she likes it!

PE5810088-Fullshot-200w

While my current position in work is far from what I want to be doing or where my heart is, and I’m facing a lot of adversity and negativity day in and day out, the one thing that I don’t hate about it is the sweet little kids I work with, and some days like today I’m reminded that I am still making a difference, albeit a different one than I’m used to. The students in the classroom I work with in the morning are from families that come from Mexico, have Spanish as their first language, and are learning English, although most of them can talk to me in English by now with no problems, which is good, because my Spanish is very limited. As a bonus part time teacher in the classroom, I work with 2 students who need extra help especially, but I work with all of the students too. Having been moved to this position in the middle of the year, it took me some time to get to know all the faces, names, and personalities. One little guy I remember as one of the kids that stood out to me early on, though.

I guess you could say that if I was looking at a page of children waiting to be sponsored, he would be the one that I would be drawn to. Something about that face has such innocence, but wears such a burden on it at the same time. In the beginning of the year he barely talked, and even now he can be very quiet sometimes, but he has started talking more. And when he smiles, I can’t help but smile too. He’s been struggling a lot in math lately, as we’ve been progressing further. It’s not for lack of working hard, because I see how hard he works and tries, it just takes him longer than the majority of the class, and because he’s so quiet, he can easily slip through the cracks. I’ve taken him under my wing since I’ve started there, spending time many days kneeling by his side, guiding and encouraging. When I see the despair on his face through math, it breaks my heart. I give him extra high fives and have him “move his clip up” when he completes a hard problem or I see him giving it his all. Sometimes just a look and a smile goes a long way. I’ve seen the chance in his disposition when I do all of this.

Today as the children were working independently in math and I walked around the room checking in, I saw him with his head down on the table. I kneeled down beside him. He had shut down, at first not answering my questions at all. Completely overwhelmed at what he had to do, feeling hopeless. I patted him on the shoulder, gently, to let him know I understood. Slowly, patiently, I continued and he started to answer me, not with words, but by pointing cautiously with his pencil. I’d encourage him each time, and was so proud to see as we continued to progress with the problems, he got the answer correct each time. I made sure to give him lots of “good jobs” and smiles along the way. When we got to the end, I held my hand up and he gave me a big high five while I told him how awesome he is. “See,” I said, “you did it! You’re smart, ____. You really are smart. You know how to do all of this. You did it.” His face lit up as he beamed with pride, and I was busting in pride inside for him. If nothing else, if I can instill confidence in this little guy, if I can make him believe that he can do anything he sets his mind to, I will have done something meaningful.

I then looked at him and noticed what he was wearing today, which brings me to where this story connects. He was wearing a thin white turtle neck, just like my Elvis is in his picture. Looking slightly disheveled as well, he was also wearing navy blue pants with it.

BO4150992-Fullshot-200w

I realized how easily this little guy in front of me could be Elvis. And they’re only a year, maybe a year and a half, apart in age. I thought about how my prayers and dreams for Elvis have been that he believes that he can do or be whatever he wants, without feeling any limitations. I can’t be there to hug Elvis in person, or to high five him, or share a smile. But hopefully through Compassion and through my letters, I can still have that impact on him.

Linking up with

November Joy through the Tears

I am going through some things both with my personal life and work right now that, especially in November, have made it at times a month I wish was over with already. Looking back at the month now, though, I can see that the call I felt to sponsor children came from God specifically this month as a way to help me through it. I can feel Him saying “I know you’re suffering my child. But I know how much you love children. I’m calling you to share your love with some of my children who are in need the most, and through this, you will find comfort and joy.” And that I did.

I started sponsoring 3 little sweethearts this month and on those days and at those times that were especially hard, I looked at their pictures and smiled. When I was suffering, I thought about their suffering and prayed for them and their families. I found joy and excitement in sending them letters and getting information packages.

First Maria pulled at my heartstrings, that face so full of cautious hope. Then Elvis and his thumbs up reminded me of all my loving little guys I teach and rendered me unable to pass him up. Finally, as a way to pay it forward on my birthday, I couldn’t resist Angeles’ sweet, kind smile.

3 November blessings

As a side note, things at my job that have been boiling for awhile are really coming to a head right now, so if you have a few seconds to spare a prayer, I would appreciate it more than I can say.

I’m linking this post up with Compassion Family’s Compassion Joy Dare. Check out the other posts!

 Compassion Family