Introducing Serkalem!

While I was recovering from my tonsillectomy, I spent time looking at the children waiting for sponsors on Compassion’s website. However when I saw Serkalem, I immediately sponsored her. I could feel in my heart God’s words saying “wrap her in love”, and I knew this is what He was calling me to do. Serkalem, who is from Ethiopia, lost both of her parents and lives with a foster parent, which is hopefully a good home for her, but you never know. I do know her performance in school is listed as below average, and the average income in her community is only $23 a month. At 11, she’s clearly had a very difficult life so far. Her current and previous pictures are impossible not to fall in love with. I’m honored to be called to wrap Serkalem in love!

Letter and Family Photo from Tsegereda!

I was so happy to receive a second letter from Tsegereda, as it had been 5 months since her first, and the best part was definitely the beautiful photo of her with her siblings! It’s such a cool glimpse into her life, and she looks adorable with the dress!

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Tsegereda is 3 and lives in Ethiopia

The letter uses the My Typical Week template. In the morning, she typically eats her breakfast, cleans up, and puts on her school uniform. In the afternoon, she typically changes out of her uniform and plays with her friends. She goes to school Monday to Friday and to the project on Saturday. In the evening, she typically does her homework and sleeps. Tsegereda’s favorite day of the week is Saturday, because she can go to the project, play with friends, and watch tv. The letter says “Pray for God to help me and my family. I have received the birthday gift that you sent me and bought clothes and shoes. I have sent you a picture of me, my brother, and my sister on my birthday.”

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Letter from Endalu’s Pastor

I received this letter from Endalu’s pastor in Ethiopia.

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Dear Alisa, “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.” Hebrews 6:10

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the unity of the Holy Spirit be with you.

My name is Mitiku Bireda and I am a pastor at the Kolfe Mekane Yesus Church which runs the Child Development Center attended by Endalu. I serve the children and their parents in prayer and counseling.

Our center is located in an area called Kolfe of the Addis Ababa region. There are 248 children supported in this Center and they and their parents are very happy with this. I want to thank you on behalf of our church for your continuous and vital support of Endalu. May God richly bless you.

This area is densely populated and the majority of the inhabitants are very poor lacking even the basic needs of life. They work mainly as daily laborers. The Center is bringing a great change in the area by teaching their children to change the living of the community. We impose good ethics and spread the Gospel widely. The contribution is increasing from time to time. It has also created an opportunity to work for the workers in this Center. Our children are undergoing holistic development and transformation.

The letter communication of the children with their sponsors satisfies and encourages the children. This year a sponsor of one child came and met with his child. This child and his family rejoiced in this. This year over 200 children received letters from their sponsors. The prayers that they do for each other are very encouraging and pleasing. The Bible also teaches us to carry one another’s burden. I recommend you keep up your letter communication with Endalu.

I ask you in the Lord’s love to pray for our children, their parents, and for the other children in our community that don’t come to the Center. Also pray that God helps us implement our plan of constructing a worship building for our church.

At last, I thank you again for the support you extend to Endalu. I say God richly bless you. Sincerely, Mitiku Bireda

Introducing Kevin and Saying Goodbye to Beto

First, the good news: I found little Kevin as my newest Compassion correspondent on Thursday evening! Kevin is 5 and from La Paz, Bolivia, the capital city and also where Elvis lives. He’s giving a signature Bolvian photo pose: the thumbs up!

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In sad but also happy news, I lost my correspondent Beto from Ethiopia last week. While I never received any letters from him yet, as soon I receive any new child, I start loving them and praying for them immediately, so it still is sad and a loss. However, I’m glad that it happened for a good reason- his sponsor decided to write to him! I hope that they have a great relationship and that my letters had words that Beto needed to hear for the couple months that I was able to write to him.

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Letter from Tsegereda’s Pastor

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Tsegereda lives in Ethiopia.

“Dear Alisa, My name is Endalkachew and I am the chairman of the elders’ board in the Shashemene Meserete Kristos Church where the Child Development Center functions. It is located in the Aposto sub-city of the town of Shashemene. We minster to Tsegereda at this center.

Due to the support from sponsors, many of the lives of the children who are registered in our center have been transformed and they now have a better life standard. God bless you for supporting Tsegereda.

There are more than 240 children at our center and many good things were done for their parents and their families, for which they are happy. The problems that come side by side with poverty in our community are many. Our inability to meet all the needs of our society due to our capacity is the great challenge for us and the community. The church coordinates with the community and tries to find solutions to these problems. Due to our discussions, behavioral problems are being fixed and changes are seen. As the community participates in various developments in our surroundings, they have acquired good awareness. In their spiritual lives, in their education, and in various social interactions, growth has been observed.

The communication through letters between our children and their sponsors is so important; every bit of correspondence strengthens their relationship. The children are always so happy to receive a letter and read about their sponsors’ lives and their words of advice and encouragement. They are eager to write back and tell about their own lives.

In this ministry, a great relationship has developed between the church and the community and good works have been accomplished. In general, this center has brought a holistic transformation and we bless the Lord for you and all the sponsors.

Please pray for the children we serve and for their families so that their lives and living conditions will be transformed.

May the lord bless you and for your generous support of Tsegereda. May God bless Ethiopia and bless you and your family! Sincerely, Endalkachew”

Introducing Endalu!

The second of the new correspondents I’ve had added to my international family is another boy from Ethiopia, but this time an older one. Meet 14 year old Endalu! Here he is along with his previous photo.

Endalu is now my third 14 year old boy. I just love Rikelme and Marcus, my other two, and I think it’s such a great age to get to write to, so I’m excited to write to Endalu too!

Endalu has lots of hobbies, including playing sports, art, running, singing, soccer, story telling, and swimming. He has many household duties, which include carrying water, child care, cleaning, making beds, and running errands. He’s in 7th grade and his favorite school subjects are art, history, and language. The average income of his community is only $12 a month.

He has had 5 previous sponsors and only ever received 3 letters, which breaks my heart, but that will change now!!