Photos, Letters, and a Video from Heidy!

I have received several more letters from Heidy and lots more photos of her since my last update on her. Heidy is the first child I sponsored with Manna 4 Lempira, and I’m extremely fond of her. She has 9 siblings. Having only 1 sibling myself, that’s hard to imagine even here in America, let alone in Honduras living in poverty! She has a quiet, sweet spirit and a beautiful heart. And knowing that she likely doesn’t get a lot of individual attention, I love being able to shower her with love through my letters.

From October 2016

 

From December 2016

From April 2017

From July 2017

First letter: “Dear Alisa, Hello! How are you and your family? My family and I are well. I am very happy that you are my sponsor. I tell you that in the school, I enjoy spending time with my friends. I also like to spend time with my family. Also, I go to church every Sunday because I learn more of God and His word. Also, I tell you that February 2 of next year is my birthday. I hope to pass it well. It is a pleasure to see you and your family in the photo. Your cat, Emma, is very pretty. You and your family are very special for me. With much love, Heidy”

Second letter: “Dear Alisa, Thank you for what you have sent me. How are you and your family? I hope that you are very well. Thank you for all that you sent me; special things I can enjoy. Thanks to God that we can send these letters. Dear Alisa, I know what you sent me, but I send you letters with love for you, sponsor. Thank you for making the effort to send me what you sent me. Have a Merry Christmas with your family.”

Third letter: “Dear Sponsor, How are you? I hope you and your family are well. My family and I are well. Alisa, thank you very much for the backpack and everything. I tell you that we begin classes February 13. I am using the backpack that you sent me. Thank you for the doll of Barbie. I really love it. May God give you a life full of health every moment and every hour. Many, many thanks. Blessings and thank you!”

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I’m so glad she loved her barbie so much. I realize how much it probably means to her to have one of her own. Knowing how much she loved it and that she’s an Anna from Frozen fan, clearly an Anna barbie is in her future for her next backpack! 🙂

Then the best surprise came Monday morning, when videos of some of the sponsored children were posted on the Manna 4 Lempira page. I was excited to look, wondering if one of my children would be in one, but enjoying watching them all even if they weren’t. Then I saw Heidy. And I got to hear her voice for the first time. And the best part? I’ve seen the biggest smiles from her in this video than I’ve ever seen in the over 14 months I’ve been sponsoring her! It’s always a treat when I see a smile break through in her photos, because they’re not always there. I get it and I know she’s happy from her letters. And when there is one, it’s usually tiny. But in this video, these are big, toothy smiles! She is so adorable, and I couldn’t stop watching it again and again. It meant the world to me that my Heidy was featured. Especially on a morning that I was in a lot of pain and very tired, thanks to the rain and not getting any sleep the night before.

Here are the video and a couple screenshots. I love this girl so much!!

(click on the photos to see them larger)

Letters from Heidy

I was blessed to get a few letters from Heidy when Manna letters came in in August! 3 to be exact! The last one just says it’s from Elizabeth, so I thought I received it on accident. Heidy does sign her letters as Heydey Elizabeth, though, and apparently there is no other Elizabeth in the program, so it must be from her, too!

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First letter:

Greeting: Dear Sponsor, I feel very happy and content. I hope that you are in good health along with your loving family. I wish you success in your daily labors. Thanks: I am very thankful with God for having put in my way such a kind and caring person as you. Thank you for bringing me this unconditional support. May God always bless your life. For what you are doing for me I feel very thankful. I hope to meet you soon! I tell you that I like to play with my friends and with dolls. I feel very excited to go to the church at betania. I go to school and I am in 4th grade. I like to go to church and to school. Blessings!

Second letter:

My dear sponsor Alisa. I am grateful with God in the first place for choosing me. I live in Los Naranjas (The Oranges), San Juan, Intibuca. I have a white rabbit. My favorite color is pink. My favorite food is chicken. I am 10 years old, and I am in fourth grade. I would like to be a teacher of Bible School, and to support my community. My birthday is February 2nd. For fun I like to jump rope. My school is so pretty. I am going to pray for you that God would help you in your profession and that God blesses your life always. Thank you for writing me these nice things. I love you very much, Alisa. I send you hugs and kisses. God bless you.

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Third letter:

Dear Sponsor, My name is Elizabeth. i wish you many blessings. Today I want to tell you that I am very well of health. i also want to tell you that I have a pet named Matius. He is a white dog with two spots- one on his head and another on his eyes and he has spots on the pink part of his belly and paws. I study in a private school called Liceo San Juan. I am 10 years old. I am in 5th grade. I like to ride a bicycle and I always play with my mother. I wish that your day is filled with blessings.

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It came in a little envelope hand-folded and stapled out of looseleaf paper, with a heart on it. Maybe she was feeling like going by her middle name that day? And this letter is dated after the others, and in May, so she could’ve finished 4th grade and moved on to 5th. The only thing that seems conflicting is that in one letter she says she has a rabbit for a pet and in this one it talks about a pet dog. I talked to Kim, who runs, Manna 4 Lempira, and she does think it is Heidy’s though, so I’ll assume it’s hers unless I hear differently.

Pictures of Brayan and Heidy!

Things have been moving slowly and quietly lately, without getting any letters, updates, new children, etc. for awhile. But this past week, I’ve had some exciting moments, finally! First I’ll share the pictures of Brayan and Heidy, both sponsored through Manna 4 Lempira in Honduras, with their bags I sent them. Kim and her family just got back, and all of the pictures posted so far are just the sweetest!

Here’s Brayan, 3, looking as adorable as ever:

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And Heidy, 10, looks beautiful with her thick hair down:

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Monday Mail Call!

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I’m so excited to share my first letter from Heidy- I couldn’t wait to open it when I saw the mail from Manna 4 Lempira! This was written in March, before I sponsored her, as a first letter, of course, but it still gives me more insight into her and I get to know her a little better!

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Translation: Dear Sponsor, I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, wishing you encounter good health alongside of all your family. I want to give you special thanks for the beautiful gift that you sent me. I received from you a backpack, a toothpaste, pencil sharpener, a ruler, gloves, and pencils. These will be very useful for me to go to school, and I am thankful to you with all my heart. I tell you that I go to church every Sunday and I am learning about God each day. I like to sing and to pray. My church is very pretty and many children come. It is by the side of the highway. There are many trees and the weather is very fresh and rainy. I am very thankful and I send you many greetings.

I love the drawing! I also love to hear all the great, practical things that Manna 4 Lempira is able to purchase for the kids with our sponsorship money. It makes me so happy that she is able to receive these things that in a family with 12 children, her parents wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford for her.

In other news, while I am still interviewing and searching for a new job, I did get offered something for over the summer for a district I interviewed at last week (I’m still waiting to hear back on the full-time job for that same place). In special education, we have something called Extended School Year, where students who would benefit greatly from further education and working on IEP goals in the summer, so they don’t have as great of a gap without school, can attend if recommended by the team. While I wasn’t planning on doing this anywhere over the summer, since I’m focusing on finding a job, but when the opportunity was presented, it felt like the right thing to do. One of the thoughts that hit me after deciding to accept was that I could use the extra, unexpected money, to go on a Compassion trip next summer. This makes me really excited! I will be doing a lot of praying and asking God to direct me in terms of what trip He wants me to go on. I’m limited to a summer trip due to being a teacher, but there are 4 trips right now upcoming in summer 2017, so it’s all in God’s hands!

Bags on the Way!

Since the Manna 4 Lempira staff will soon be traveling down to Honduras, we are able to send sandwich-sized bags filled with items for our sponsored kids this month. The staff will be packing these bags in their luggage to bring down, which is why the size is small. But I will say, while a sandwich bag sounds very small at first, you can fit quite a bit in it! I had lots of fun shopping for things for Heidy and Brayan’s bags, and my love of tetris came out when trying to get it all to fit!

Here’s what I fit in Heidy’s bag:

  • a personalized small decoration that I painted and decorated with her picture and name
  • a glow stick with a necklace string
  • a crystal growing kit
  • a notebook for her to write in, with a little message to her inside
  • 2 pretty pens to write with
  • a painted letter “H”
  • 4 fabric stretchy hair ties
  • a small sparkly compact
  • a toothbrush
  • a flower decoration
  • a handmade fabric bracelet

I have a sweet girl in family that I am very close to who is the same age as Heidy, so I kept her in mind when making Heidy’s bag. I wanted some things to make her feel special, things she could use, and things to brighten up her home a little bit, that were personalized. I can’t wait until she gets it!

Here’s what I fit in Brayan’s bag:

  • a personalized small decoration that I painted and decorated with his picture and name
  • a glow stick with a necklace string
  • a toothbrush
  • colorful building toys that can connect vertically or horizontally
  • a box of different colors of chalk
  • a pair of socks
  • letters to practice with that are also magnetic
  • a toy car
  • dissolvable capsules with sponge dinosaurs inside

I’m quite familiar with 3 year old boys, since I’m an early childhood teacher. Since his school performance is listed as above average and his favorite subject was numbers, I wanted things that he could use for learning and play, as well as things he could use as well. These little blocks are great and I was so glad I was able to fit them nicely in the bag, as there are so many ways to build with them to inspire his creativity. While they didn’t have small numbers like these letters, I thought the letters would still be great to work on learning them and as he gets older, start to spell with them too. And chalk is fun to be used just about anywhere!

I’m so glad I get the chance to send them these little packages of some extra goodies! I packed them carefully with love, and I’m sure they’ll be excited to get to open them. Thinking about putting a smile on their face as they open and as they get to use the contents makes me smile too!