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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Letter from Elvis

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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.

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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.

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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.

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