Letters from Junior

Junior and Heidy, two of my kiddos from Mi Betania, another church through Manna 4 Lempira, are two that I can always count on for long letters, extra letters, and incredible sweetness. Not that I don’t get those things from the others, also, but I get it consistently every time with these two.

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Junior is 10

“This moment is wonderful to take this pen and paper in my hands to tell you that my family and I are well here in Honduras and that you re well with your dear family. I thank God for the privilege He gives me to write you another letter. It is to tell you that I finished my vacation week. Monday, the 17th of the same month, I returned to classes. I tell you that in this Holy Week, I did not swim in the river. One day I went to see my aunt, my father’s sister. One day I went to visit my mother’s sisters. I walked with my sisters and my three nephews/nieces. My favorite games are soccer, marbles, and to walk in the neighborhood. I love to see you and your students in the photo. I would rejoice for you to come visit so I can meet you so we can shake hands and I could give you my hug. My mother and I are praying for you. I pray a lot for you that God blesses you each day. May God protect on your trip to our country, Honduras. Receive this letter with much appreciation. Receive hugs and kisses through the distance. May God bless you today, tomorrow, and always.”

He didn’t know I was coming to visit when he wrote this, obviously, so to hear him say that he was already praying for my visit there is still pretty incredible for me to think of. Junior always tells me he wants me to come visit, but to hear him specifically say he’s praying for protection on my trip, which he had no clue about, shows me I’m clearly on the right path with this trip.

“I greet you with much love and affection, hoping that God keeps you well. Well, after this short greeting, I continue. I tell you that it is already almost Christmas. We make tamales, bread, and pork. We set off firecrackers on the 31st. We blow up a doll with firecrackers. I would like to know how you celebrate Christmas in your country. It is also near the time of coffee harvest where we can earn money to help our parents. We enjoy cutting coffee. I go with my brother and my father. My mother takes care of my niece. Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year! May God shower you with many blessings. With much love and affection, Junior”

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“Hello my dear sponsor! I am happy for your wonderful gift. i am grateful to God and to you for the gift you sent me. Thanks a lot! May God continue blessing the lives of you and your family. I hope that you receive this short letter. My family and I are very well. My parents, siblings, nephews, and I have been very well. I am on my vacations, but I return to classes on February 15. I am going to 5th grade. I will enjoy my backpack, my notebooks and my shoes. I tell you that I go to the field to cut coffee because we are in coffee season. Thanks to God He is giving us health and intelligence to cut gallons. We earn money to buy sweets and cookies and to take them to school. I hope to meet you, dear Alisa, so that I can put my arms around you and give you many hugs. My mama also says that she wants to meet you. I am now going to say goodbye. May God continue blessing Betania. We will receive you with open arms. These are my few words. Receive many hugs and kisses through the distance. I love you very much. I miss you.”

“My favorite animal is the elephant. I like them because they have big trunks. I also like lions, tigers, and dogs. I would like to see a lion in person. I only have a dog at home. I love you very much. I ask God to continue pouring blessing on your life and the lives of all your family. I also ask your prayers for me. I am very grateful for everything you have given me because all of it is useful. Thanks a lot! TKM (te quiero mucho)- I love you very much”

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Just yesterday I learned (as some of the team is already in Honduras and visiting the churches), that Junior experienced a bad truck accident in May and he’s still recovering. Manna 4 Lempira is such a blessing, because they’re getting him in to see a specialist next month. The doctors at the hospital think he will continue to recover. I was shocked and devastated to hear the news, but so thankful that he is alive and that it could have been so much worse. I’m so eager to go give him hugs and encouragement in whatever condition he’s in, and I can’t help but think, again, that the timing of my trip isn’t an accident.

Letters from Angie

Angie is my fourth and final child at the Mercedes church through Manna 4 Lempira. Tomorrow, I’ll post letters from my children at the Mi Betania church. Angie just came to me very recently, so these letters still aren’t addressed to me yet, but it’s great to have them and read them. Her mom seems wonderful, and I can’t wait to meet both of them. Angie is very special, because her joining my Manna family was the sign that gave me the final direction towards committing to this trip!

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Angie is 3 years old

“The purpose of writing you this letter is to tell you that I am very obedient with my parents. This year, I hope to go to kindergarten, but my mama doesn’t want me to because I am still little. I will turn 3 on November 22. I am very happy because my papa is going to buy me a cake and some clothes. Christmas is near, and I really like Christmas. Behold, I have chickens. My papa tells me that he is going to buy a dog. My papa always thinks of me because I am his only daughter. I love you so much. I dismiss you with a strong hug. I love you very much, my dear sponsor. Kisses! Blessings!”

“I greet you with much love and affection. I thank God for suffering me to have sponsors like you. I love very much. I ask God to guard and protect you always. I also thank you for the things you sent me. My papa says that he is going to send me to kindergarten because I am very smart. Thanks for everything. May God bless you. When you write again, send me a photo please so that I can meet you. Blessings, dear Sponsor! With much love, Angie”

“My favorite animal is the dog. I like them because they run a lot. I also like cats, dogs, chickens, and ducks. I would like to see a deer in person. I have chickens and dogs and home. (Psalm 23: 1-3)”

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“Hello Sponsor! I hope that you are well with all those who surround you. I hope that you have had a happy Holy Week. I had a great time with my papa. He took me swimming every day at the river. Tell me what you did with your family. I hope that you respond with much love and affection. God bless you and your family. I send you a rose so that you know how much I love you.”

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Letters from Valery (with Photos!)

I just love spunky little Valery, and in one of her latest letters, her mom even sent 6 extra photos, which was such an amazing treat! I think she’s going to be a little diva 🙂 I’ll be just missing her birthday, too. I’ll be in Honduras by then, it’s on Sunday, but I’ll be at the El Tablon church that day. By the time I meet Valery, she’ll be 4.

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“God bless you! My name is Valery. I am 3 years old. I really like to play with the other children. I really like to sing Christian hymns. I also like to pray to God when I rise up and when I like down. I always sing a Bible text that says, “in peace I lie down as when I go to sleep because only You, Jehovah, make me to live in trust”. I pray to God, and I ask Him to find a wonderful person to sponsor me. The year 2017 is about to end. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. Blessings!”

“Hello! I hope that you are well. I wish you success in your daily labors. I am grateful and happy for the gift you sent me. I am very happy because I am going to begin my classes. The supplies you have given me will be a great help in my studies. I am happy because I am going to color a lot of drawings. I wish you many abundant blessings. May God bless your life today and forever. With love, Valery”

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“My favorite animal is the rabbit. I like it because it is small and cleaner than other animals. I also like dogs, cats, and birds. I would like to see a mermaid in person. I have a dog, a cat, a hen, and a rabbit at home. God bless you! I hope that you are well. I am very happy that you are my sponsor. I am grateful to God for allowing you to sponsor me. I wish you much success in your daily labors. I think of you every day. I pray for the lives of you and your family. You are very special to me. I appreciate you, and I love you very much. Psalm 31:3”

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“Dear Alisa, I am very happy to receive your letter. I am thrilled to know that you are well. I am always praying for you and your family. I want to tell you that I have a favorite pet that is a bunny named Toto. I really like to play with him. For fun I like to walk down the street. I love to go for a walk with my mama. I love you very much. Blessings!”

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So many letters and so much love!! Valery is an only child and she is clearly very loved. The photos are wonderful. I love how they used some of the letter stickers I sent at the bottom of one of the letters. And of course I’m including a mermaid item or two in her gifts I’m bringing after that comment 😉

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Letters from Ludvi

Next up from the Mercedes church is beautiful Ludvi. I’ll be just missing her birthday (it’s this Thursday), so she’ll be 10 by the time I visit her.

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“Hello! How are you? I hope that you are well, dear sponsor. I am happy because I am going to fulfill another year of life. Thanks to God, who gives me strength to move forward. I would like to be able to walk in the church someday and see you. God is wonderful. God makes many beautiful things for the world. I really like to play ball and cars. I spend time playing with my friends. I am about to get out of school. My teacher is good with me. For that, I love her very much. Her name is Mayra. She is a good teacher. I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas with your dear family. A greeting and many hugs through the long distance. Thanks for everything. I love you in the love of God. With much love and affection for you, Ludvi”

I get a little bit of chills as I reread how she’d like to be able to walk into the church and see me, because it’s going to be happening so soon!!

“Hello! How are you? I am very well, and I am very proud that you are my sponsor. I am very grateful for all that you gave me; the notebooks, the pens, and the erasers. I love you. I liked the corn crafts. I colored them. I like the play doh. Thanks for everything. God bless you! I really like the backpack. My family is very happy. I really like the little monkey. It is pretty. I am 9 years old. My birthday is June 21. Thanks for everything. God bless you!”

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“My favorite animal is the rabbit. I like it because it is pretty. I also like dogs, ducks, and chickens. I would like to see a monkey in person. I have animals in my house to take care of. I am very grateful for the gifts you have sent me; the books and the toys that were inside. They are very useful for my studies. My mama and I are so grateful. I do not have a papa, but with the help of God and you, I am moving forward with my studies. Thank you! God bless you!”

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She is so sweet, isn’t she? With 9 siblings and a single mother, I am sure that the support of Manna 4 Lempira and the backpacks and shoes provided are what are keeping her in school, and I’m so grateful for that and to get to contribute to it!

Letters from Brayan

I’m pinching myself that in just 4 days, I’m going to be arriving in Honduras!! This is a trip that I’ve been dreaming of for 2 years, and I can’t believe it’s actually happening and that I’m going to be meeting so many of my sponsored kiddos that I love so much. I’ve developed so much love and respect for the Manna 4 Lempira and Sowers 4 Pastors ministries over the past couple years, that to get to see them in action is going to be amazing. The first team is there now, and I’ve gotten some glimpses through photos! Some of them will be staying for the second week, which I’ll be arriving for with a few others, and some of them will be going home.

I’ve realized that I’m behind in posting my Manna letters, though, so in these final days leading up to my trip, I’m going to be sharing the letters I’ve received from the last 2 mailings from my kiddos. Today I’ll be sharing the letters from my children from the Mercedes church, starting with Brayan.

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Brayan is 5

“Hello Dear Sponsor! How are you? I hope that you are well. I am very happy because next year I am going to my first year of classes. I will be going to kindergarten. I want to know more about you. It is almost Christmas. I hope to have a good one with my family and friends. I hope that you also have a great Christmas full of blessings. Many hugs for you. A greeting through the long distance. Thanks for everything. We have prayed for you and all the world. Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo!”

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“Holy Week is important because we spend time with family, friends, and neighbors. On vacations my family likes to go to church and to swim. Typical Easter food is fish and honey. Traditions in my country are Independence Day and Indian Day. My favorite part of the feast is the sea. I am very important for me and my family. I am a treasure of God.”

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This last letter did not come translated and google was very little help. I know basic Spanish, but certainly not enough to translate this. The Manna team was very busy getting ready for their trip so I didn’t want to bother them at the time. So this is what I have for now. I’ll update it when I have a better translation…

“For my Sponsor Alisa, From Brayan, I hope you have enjoyed a Holy Week with your family- me and my father went to bapario I felt very happy in my bacasiones. We meet with my fighters (?). I hope you are well and I start my classes again. I have 3 very lottery (?) pets. One sema pingui, the other was called Rok, and the other sema Cosita. I hope to write you again. God bless you, those who surround you, many blessings. Much love and affection and hugs. Brayan”

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First Letter from Noelia!

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Noelia is 9 and lives in Bolivia

The letter uses the My First Letter Template. She lives with her dad and her siblings, which confirms that it was her mother that passed away. They speak Spanish, and she spends the most time with her siblings. Her favorite color is pink and her hair is black. Her eyes are dark brown and her favorite food is pique macho (beef, fries, sausage, hard boiled egg, tomato). Noelia’s favorite song is Somos Soldaditos del Señor (We are Little Soldiers of the Lord). Her favorite season is Spring. The letter says “Hello dear Alisa, I greet you with the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank you a lot for choosing me to sponsor. I also thank God for giving you the heart to sponsor me and for choosing me among so many children in the world. Also, thank you for the letter you sent me. I really like it. Thank you very much. I do have pets, a kitten and a little dog. I want to be a veterinarian when I grow up. I like to pray. My prayer request is for my family so that they know God. I say goodbye with love. Noelia”

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What an incredibly sweet girl! And her drawing is beautiful!

First letter from Rukundo and a Photo Update!

Not long into being Rukundo’s correspondent, I already received a photo update! I’m including all 3 of his pictures below so you can see his growth! (Click on photos to see them larger)

Rukundo is 7 and lives in Rwanda

The letter uses the My Typical Week template. He typically gets up at 6 am. In the morning he typically takes a bath and goes to school. In the evening he typically washes plates and plays with others. He typically goes to sleep at 8 pm. His favorite day of the week is Saturday because he goes to the project to study. The letter says “Dear Alisa, I foremost greet you. I loved the letter you wrote to me and want to answer the questions that you asked me. I have a family, my father, mother, and siblings. I like to study, to play with other children, and my favorite color is yellow. I don’t have a pet but I wish to have one. I like a cow and a goat. When I grow up, I want to become a great player of soccer. I like to go fetch water with other children. I send you a photo of my family as you asked me. Drawings: a flower, a cup, a house, and a car”

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The letter mentioned sending a photo, but there isn’t one attached and it doesn’t indicate a photo should be included at the top of the letter. Maybe it means he will send one?