Letter from Finka and a Photo Update

Out of all of my Compassion children, my experience with Finka in Indonesia has been the only one that has been abnormally inconsistent. I don’t blame her in the least, or even her center, because I know they are busy doing great work with the children there. I’m just glad that I know that this is abnormal thanks to the many other children I have that have always been consistent, and I’m very grateful to the Compassion staff here in the US who are always willing to help out.

First, after getting my introduction letter from Finka and then not hearing anything for over 6 months, an inquiry had to be sent. I received two letter from her not far apart from each other after that, but all 3 letters had different handwriting. I’m still not sure if someone else was writing or why since there was never any explanation on the letters. The third one indicated that there should have been a photo attached for a gift that I sent, but since there wasn’t one, another inquiry had to be sent. Now I received my fourth letter. It’s very sweet and loving, and it seems like it was written by her, and there were photos attached, but they were just of the items purchased. I thought it was odd, because all of my other gift photos had the child in them, and sure enough it is Compassion policy for the child or a family member to be in the photo, so yet another inquiry was just sent.

I don’t mind, and I’m happy to support her. My sponsorship of her is not about me- it’s about her, so as long as she’s receiving the support, I’m happy. And this latest letter is a great reminder of that. Additionally, last week I received a photo update of Finka! It gives me peace of mind that she is still active at the center and receiving that support by seeing the new photo of her.

She’s now 16 and becoming a very beautiful young lady!

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She has the exact same smile in her newest and her first photos! 🙂

“Greetings in the love of our Lord, it’s nice to meet you, Alisa. I’m grateful to God for only by His amazing grace that I’m in good health and free to move. I can also go to school and do my daily routine, all according to God’s guidance. Thank you for the letter as well as the gift that I already received, Alisa. The gift was well spent on school equipment, bag, shoes, and clothes. I would like to thank you for the birthday wishes. I already received all the letters that you sent me. It was indeed part of the Christmas tradition to decorate a Christmas tree. However, it was only done at church and the houses of families who could afford to buy a Christmas tree. As for me, we don’t have a Christmas tree at home. I saw the picture of the Christmas tree that you sent, it was a big and beautiful tree. I am so grateful to have a family who loves me. God has blessed me with such an amazing parent like you, Alisa. Even though I don’t have a mother and father anymore, but God has granted me a caring family. I go to Vocational High School and I’m in the first year. I will have the grade promotion exams soon, I chose the Agriculture Program. I’d kindly ask you to support me with your prayers, please pray that God will grant me spiritual intelligence so I could learn to be a better person. Goodbye for now. May Lord Jesus bless you. Best Wishes”

Here is the photo of what she bought:

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Finka is still listed as above average in school, and I’m proud of her for doing well in high school and choosing her area of study. To hear her call me a parent melts my heart. Both of her parents have passed away. She used to love with her grandmother and now she lives with her aunt and uncle.

Introducing Yohanes!

Last week I received a new correspondent from Indonesia! Yohanes makes my 6th 14 year old. I love all of my 14 year olds, so I’m excited to have another teen to write to. That is going to be a busy year for graduations, though!

Here is Yohanes’ current photo:

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And his two previous photos:

I’m glad he looks happier in his latest photo! Yohanes is from the Papua region of Indonesia, the western half of the island shared with New Guinea. I’m excited to learn more about his culture and customs, since it’s a very interesting area!

Letter from Finka

When I received my last letter from Finka, I was a little unsure why someone else would be writing for her and the translation would be changed to first person. Now in this letter, my third one from her, the situation is the same. Again written by someone else with no explanation, and the translation being changed to first person makes it seem like she wrote it herself. The handwriting in this letter is also clearly different than the last one. I’m sure the translators mean well, my concern is just to make sure that everything’s okay with Finka and that she’s still attending the project so that I know that my financial support is still going to her. The letter also indicated that there was supposed to be a photo attached for the gift I sent but there wasn’t, so Compassion sent an inquiry for me. I think that when I see a photo of her I’ll be more reassured.

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Finka is 15 and lives in Indonesia.

Again, I’m changing the letter back to third person when I type it. “May the love of God always be with us. Dear Alisa, how are you? Finka was very happy to hear from you, she hopes that you and your family are in good health. Finka wishes you Merry Christmas December 25, 2017 and Happy New Year January 1, 2018. She always prays to God that He will bless you always in your work as a teacher. A teacher is a noble job and it also requires a lot of patience. Thank you very much for keep sponsoring Finka, thank you for the monthly support and also for the Christmas gift, Finka already used it to buy some of her needs. Once again thank you very much for everything, Jesus will return all your kindness. Everything is going on well here, Finka is in good health and still lives with her grandmother. Please pray that she will be able to continue her school and that she’ll stay in good health. Sending prayers that this Christmas and new year will bring peace and joy and that God will bless abundantly. This is all from Finka, thank you. With love”

 

Letter from Finka

After 6 months of not hearing anything from Finka since her introduction letter, I sent an inquiry. I received a letter, which if you only read the translation, appears to be written by her. But in looking at the written part, I noticed her name mentioned a lot throughout, like it was written in the 3rd person. I pulled up Google translate, which worked well enough to confirm for me that the letter was indeed written by someone else. What didn’t sit well with me was that whoever translated it made it look like they were trying to cover this fact up by changing it to first person, taking liberty to put words in her mouth that weren’t hers. It also does bug me a little that after 6 months of waiting, someone else wrote the letter. Finka’s school performance is above average so I know she’s more than capable. I’m going to wait and see what happens with the next letter (that I hopefully won’t have to wait that long again for). But here is the letter, typed back into 3rd person as it was originally written.

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Finka is 15 and lives in Indonesia.

“Peace be with you. Hopefully you and the family are well and blessed. Nice to communicate with you through this letter. Finka has graduated from secondary school and been studying in grade 10 at a high school. In this new school, she has to study harder to achieve her future goal. Would you pray for her family, studies, and future goal? Thank you for supporting her at the project and Compassion until this time. God surely blesses your kindness. What are your current activities? How is the weather there? The weather here is unpredictable; changing a lot. That’s all for today. Thank you. Until next time. Lord Jesus bless you.”

Letter from the Country Director of Indonesia

This week’s Country Director letter is from Indonesia, where I sponsor Finka. I haven’t been a sponsor in Indonesia too long, just since April. So it was great to learn more about their ministry there!

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“Dear Alisa, I am Sarah Jeanin Rahardja, Compassion Indonesia country director. This is my 15th year working with Compassion. Compassion Indonesia started its ministry in 1984. Today, we minister to almost 70,000 children, nearly 800 mothers and babies in the survival program, and 87 Leadership Development Program students through more than 315 church partners.

Thank you for your commitment, love and contribution to Finka. You have changed everything for your child. Sponsors’ financial support not only provides school tuition, healthy meals, and medical intervention, but it gives the children confidence, since they know they are loved, known and protected.

In Indonesia, 13.8 million children live below the poverty line. Children who live in rural eastern Indonesia have more disadvantages in access to clean water, schools and health care. However, children in western Indonesia have their own disadvantages due to the concentration of population. In Indonesia, increasing numbers of parents must work outside their village or even out of the country. Only 10 percent of children see both their parents daily, and 20 percent of children do not see either of their parents.

One of our focuses for the coming year is youth development, which will provide programs and opportunities for youth to be disciples, develop their leadership, and develop their interests and talents to become self-sufficient. We are also expanding our ministry to more extreme-poverty areas. This year, we will expand into Alor Island, East Nusa Tenggara province, and North Sumatra.

Last year, we implemented Qavah, a method to empower church partners. We help church partners to identify their resources instead of identifying their needs. The process has a significant result when church partners start to access resources around them and mobilize their communities to respond to their own needs. Church partners have been able to mobilize communities to build toilets or bridges and clean the streets. We used a similar process with youth, and they came up with some great ideas and programs; empowering youth also helped the church partners maintain youth participation at the child development centers. In one center, the youth developed a program to pick up the younger children and serve them during the activities at the center.

Children value their relationships with their sponsors. They not only appreciate the financial support, but especially the sponsor letters. Some children study harder because of encouragement from their sponsors in letters, some children feel valuable because their sponsors say they pray for them and love them, and some children meet Christ through sponsor letters. Through letters, children feel the love and attention that some of them cannot get from their parents, who are too busy to meet their needs. Please write as often as you can.

These achievements in children’s lives could not happen without sponsors’ support and commitment. You play an important role. Through the relationship between sponsor and child, two different people from different countries, different languages, and different cultures can know each other and see the kingdom of God in wider perspective. The sponsor-child relationship is not limited by program, but it is a lifelong relationship. I am thankful to be your co-worker in this most effective ministry to bring children to rise from poverty and to know Jesus.

I humbly ask you to pray that we can have the courage and commitment to do our best; also pray for the process of expanding our ministry to more impoverished areas in Indonesia.

Please let me express my gratitude again for your commitment, love and heart for Finka. May God bless you abundantly.

In Jesus, Sarah Jeanin Rahardja”

Letter from Finka’s Pastor

I’m eagerly awaiting my second letter from Finka, to get to know her better, but in the meantime, I did receive a letter from her pastor recently. I enjoy reading the pastor letters because it lets me learn a lot more about the child’s community and center specifically!

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Finka attends ID230 in East Indonesia

“Dear Alisa, I am Reverend Agabus Salawe, the Chairman of Harmony Church Protestant Seventh Indonesia and the Emmaus Child Development Center where we host and minister to Finka.

Most of the people in our community are very poor and uneducated. Many children cannot attend school because they have to help make a living with their parents. Poverty also results in many children who must live apart from their parents due to abandonment. The presence of Center in this area is very helpful address this challenge and to provide a holistic development for the children, releasing them from poverty in Jesus’ name.

In the over 200 children we serve at our Center, including your child, we are seeing great benefits and improvement. They have a good achievement in the school. Their health is much better and their parents see much better behavior and respect and they are polite. The spiritual life of the children is growing in a better direction and some children are able to lead worship and other services. All of this can happen because they were carried with the holistic program applied by Compassion through this sponsorship program and because of people like you.

The impact of the Center on the entire community is clear. People are increasingly concerned with the lives of children, education for children, and protection of children. People are starting to realize the importance of respecting the position of the child in their environment. Likewise, the government is beginning to teach courses on child awareness and protection. This is a very unusual thing. This is very pleasing, as we believe that the children are our future generation who will make great Christian leaders and who will change the community for the better.

The letters that the children receive from their sponsors are very important for their development and also for their self-esteem. The letters and photos make the children feel loved and motivated and diligent in the activities at the church and Center. They love to respond and share their lives and their dreams. For this reason, it is very important for you to write to Finka.

Thank you so much for supporting Finka. Please pray for the continued development and growth of all our children and the Center and the community.

May the Lord bless you abundantly. Shalom, Pastor Agabus Salawe”

Introducing Finka and a letter!

I sponsored Finka back in early April. God called me to sponsor another child and He lead me to her. Sadly, Finka lost both of her parents, so she previously lived with her aunt and uncle, and now her grandmother. Still, though, she performs above average in school. Her little smirk in her photo makes me think she has a fun and easygoing personality. I received an introduction letter from Finka, included below!

Finka is 15 and lives in Indonesia. Her most recent photo is on the right.

Her introduction letter says she lives in a village and lists her late parents names and ages as part of her family. They were just 38 and 36 when they passed away. Some of her favorite things are helping her grandma, studying, and refreshing with friends (that’s the wording in the translation, I’m guessing it means hanging out?). If she could go anywhere, she would go to her sponsor’s home. The letter says: “Shalom Dearest Sponsor, how are you? My grandma and I are in good health. Thank you for sponsoring me. I hope God will repay your kindness. I’ve just finished my final exam. Kindly please pray so that I can pass the final exam and continue my study at senior high school. I live with my grandma. Father and mother passed away when I was still young. That’s all my letter. See you in the next letter.”

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