Letter from Luna

I received a letter from lovely Luna earlier this month!

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Luna is 13 and lives in Colombia.

“Dear Alisa, God bless you dear godmother, may the glory of God fall on you. Today I’ll give you these lines. I’m especially glad to share with you this letter and tell you my school vacations have been fun. I wake up late, I’m in my home and watch TV, visit my sister and talk with her, and she gives me lots of tips. I also tell you that my school vacations last about 30 days. I don’t have a favorite food. I like all sorts of food. During my vacations I like to share with my family. In my next vacations I would like to go to Medellin, I think it’s a very nice place. For me it is important to express my gratitude for all the letters you sent me and the gifts I receive from you. I would love to know, how long are your vacations? What season are you in now? I leave you hoping for a quick response. I wish you again that God bless you!”

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Letter from the Country Director of Colombia

This week I’m sharing the letter from the Country Director of Colombia. The director, Jose Carrasco, mainly serves as the South America area director, but helps as country director with some of the South American countries, too. He is a very busy man, I’m sure! I really hope to be able to go to Colombia someday soon to meet Luna, who I sponsor there.

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“Dear Alisa, Greetings in Jesus’ name! My name is Jose Carrasco. I am the South America area director, and I’ve been privileged to serve as the interim country director of Colombia since 2014. I was born in Peru. I am married to Laura, and we have two wonderful children, Jose Alonso and Natalia.

Compassion has been serving Colombia for 45 years. We currently have more than 240 child development centers in Colombia, and we are serving 77,000 children and youth. Through sponsors’ generous and selfless giving, children feel loved, cared for, nurtured and supported in many ways. You have made all this possible for Luna through your sponsorship and your prayers. You truly are making the difference in your child. Thank you so much!

Unlike a child who is not in a program, a sponsored child has a safe place to go each day. At the centers, children have the opportunity to learn about the love of Jesus and to identify their strengths, develop their gifts and talents, and overcome difficulties. They are taught, among other things, that they are special because they are children of God.

We do face struggles daily. Compassion serves Colombia’s most impoverished children and their families. The children are at high risk of sickness and even death in their early years. Every day, they are surrounded by violence, the absence of one of the parents, etc. They also face economic crisis, in which unemployment and the cost of living are extremely high, making life increasingly difficult for those who live in poverty. Lack of water and access to good medical attention is a daily struggle. Hospitals lack medicine and equipment. The families cannot turn to government education or its agencies, as these do not offer the help they require.

By God’s grace, we will continue to go forward and overcome any obstacle that presents itself. Compassion Colombia has improved its program and materials to better empower the church to fulfill its mission. Churches work hard and diligently to serve the children better through training, materials and mobilizing local resources. We are developing child protection networks and early childhood and youth development strategies so we can help more children to become responsible and fulfilled Christian adults. It happens when the church of Christ gets mobilized in prayer and action to intervene in children’s lives.

Nourishing the relationship between the sponsor and the child is of utmost importance. I encourage you to write letters. When a child receives a letter, it means more to a child than you will ever know. Your words really affect your child positively. Knowing that someone who lives so far away is praying and thinking about them makes children feel loved and appreciated.

I cannot express my gratitude for your sponsorship for Luna. Your giving has changed the destiny of your child, and that is priceless! My heart fills with joy as I express my appreciation and recognize your generous giving. May the Lord bless you and your family. We covet your prayers and promise also to pray on your behalf.

Sincerely in Christ, Jose Carrasco”

Letter from Luna

I got a letter from Luna late last week that had been in translation for just under a month. I was thinking for sure I’d have to ask for it to be manually unstuck, but it made it through all on its own. I absolutely love hearing from Luna, my very bubbly young teen girl. Every letter from her is a joy.

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Luna is 13 and lives in Colombia.

“Dear Alisa, Hello Godmother. May God bless you abundantly. May God’s grace always be upon you. I am very happy to write the letter and tell you that the project’s name where I go is Hombre Nuevo CDC. The number of children in my project is 364. The days that I go to the projects are on Wednesdays and Thursdays. I also want to tell you that my favorite activity at the project is classes. Godmother, let me tell you that the staff that works there is very friendly and they are respectful. I want you to know that the cooks that work at the project prepare delicious foods, such as rice, beef, chicken, and natural juices. School is going very well for me, even my teachers always congratulate me. Godmother, I tell you that everything is thanks to God, who gives me wisdom. Godmother, I am very sad because my grandfather passed away and that was very hard for me. Thank you very much for all your letters and gifts. Kisses and hugs. Goodbye, Luna

‘and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all men, as we do to you,’ 1 Thessalonians 3:12”

 

Let me tell you, that if Compassion were to offer a summer tour to Colombia, I would figure out a way to be there to see this girl, without a doubt.

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Letters from Luna

I’ve received 2 letters from Luna since my last update. I absolutely love this awesome girl and hearing from her is always a great treat!

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Luna is 13 and lives in Colombia.

First letter: “Dear Alisa, Hello sponsor! May God’s glory be with you and your entire family. I’d like to tell you about all the beautiful things I’ve learned at the CDC and the Bible. It has taught me to be obedient and behave well with others and share with them. We have also celebrated birthdays and have camps, in which I have fun because I count on God with much love. I always remember He died on the cross to save us. What I like most at the CDC are the classes! Because they teach me to respect the elderly and say thanks. I like keeping my body clean and I don’t like littering in the streets because that’s not good. Now I’d like to keep telling you that my school year is almost over and we’re about to have a school break. Feel happy because Christmas is coming! I’d like to know: what do you know about the Bible? Would you like to tell me? I thank God because we get to communicate by means of this letter. I’ll be waiting for your soonest reply, bye! With a tight hug, Luna.”

This letter makes me smile every time I read it because of the bubbly 13-year-old girl style of writing in which she tells me everything. But I really love hearing about topics that they learn about at the center! It’s a wide variety of subjects and life skills, which is great!

Second letter: “Dear Alisa, Hello dear sponsor. May God bless you. I am pleased to greet you and tell you that I love you very much. I hope you receive this letter with love. I tell you that in my free time I like taking a nap. My favorite activity is doing my homework in the internet. When I am not in the project I like learning to be a professional. In the project I have learned now things about the word of God and how to pray. When I am bored I like going to my room and taking a nap. I have fun going out with my step sister in the park because we have lots of fun. I tell you that I received your letters. I use my talent in art class. My favorite movies are Twilight and Two Meters Above the Sky. You look beautiful on the photo you sent me. I don’t have any traditions for this season. I thank you for your presents. Bye. May God bless you, Luna.”

I just love how she mentions taking naps twice. This is a girl that makes getting her rest a priority! I looked up Two Meters Above the Sky, and it is a Colombian movie, which would explain why I’ve never heard of it 😉

Letters from Luna

I’ve received 2 letters from Luna! One is her introductory letter, and the other is a response to some of my letters. I love when I get specific responses to things I said. I am beyond excited to have heard from her. My sponsor of Luna was undeniably an act of God. It happened when I was on the Act for Compassion campaign page I had set up. As I like to sometimes browse children waiting and pray for them, I decided to do so on that night. This time, I set the search criteria to children who shared my birthday. I had no plans of sponsorship. But when I saw Luna, I almost immediately clicked and filled out the sponsorship for her. It’s something that I can’t even really explain, except to say that I know it was a much higher power acting through me. I didn’t question it, because if God has plans for me to be her sponsor, then it’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly and gladly accept.

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Luna is 12 and lives in Colombia.

Her introduction letter told me her favorite things, her friends, some questions she had for me, and her family members. It stated:

Hello Godmother! GOD bless you. I’m so glad to write you and to know I’ll be part of your life. I would like you to send me a photo to know you. I say goodby with a big hug and many kisses. I hope your prompt answer! Psalm 121:5

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Her second letter was written on August 18, not that long ago! I’m definitely loving how many letters have been coming through lately with the manual translation. It says:

Hello sponsor. God guards you and your family. I want you to know that I live with my stepdad, my mom, my brother, and my step siblings. My older sister is Camila and my youngest brother is Jesus David. I tell you that my family lives in a rural zone and my mom makes our delicious food. What I like to do with my family is go on trips and to eat, we like to talk, play, and watch movies and I feel very happy to have my family and I thank God for them and for letting you be a part of my life. Sponsor I tell you that I am very happy to write you this letter and I thank you for the letters you sent me. I tell you that I want to be a pediatrician. Yes I’ve seen pigs and learn about computers in my school. I ask you to pray for my family and for me and I say goodbye with affection and a big hug. I give you the Bible verse on Psalms 23. I love you so much.images-6

Mail Call Monday

Letters have been very slow lately, and I’m still waiting for my letter from Angeles which has been in translation for about 2 months now, but at least I got 2 in the past 2 weeks. One is a pastor letter, but it has to be my favorite pastor letter yet. The other is from Maria, who I hadn’t heard from in some time, compared to what is usual from her.

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From Maria, age 6, in Mexico

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Translation:

Hi Alisa! How have you been? I am fine here. I have been doing well in school. I am learning lots of new things. I have to do a presentation tomorrow in school, and it is going to be about the typical food that we eat here in my community. I am also getting ready to start going to elementary school, since I will graduate from preschool this July. I hope that everything is going well over there. God, Our Lord, has never left me by myself because He loves you, me and everybody. Have a good afternoon. I bid you farewell. Love, Maria

Love all the flowers at the bottom!

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From the pastor of Luna, age 12, in Colombia

Translation:

Dear Alisa, My name is Maria ****, and I am the pastor associated with the Child Development Center, ****, where Luna attends. I want to thank you in a special way for the support you give Luna, as it is a huge blessing to her and her family. I thank God for your life and pray for you to be abundantly blessed for your special heart. Today I want to tell you a bit more about this community. This is a place surrounded by arid mountains, with high temperatures that are contrasted with strong and pleasant winds that pass often through the area. This is an area mostly populated by families displaced by violence, socially marked but working hard to move forward. The program, through this wonderful partnership with Compassion, works on generating a positive impact in the lives of the benefited children and their families. I also want to tell you a bit about our pastoral work in this community. My husband and I lead the church that assists the center. One of our functions, among others, is visiting the children’s families to give them an encouraging word in the middle of their difficult life conditions. Together wit the leaders of the center, we provide a large amount of attention to the needs of the children and parents, who really need to feel loved and protected. Families usually work in informal jobs, while others take care of farms in nearby towns, so their incomes are very low. The children are exposed to spending much time by themselves, so that is why the activities at the center bless their lives in a great way by providing the children with company, education, spiritual support, nutrition, medical checkups, and medicine, among other benefits. Every passing day I can watch the improvements in the children, like how they spontaneously offer to pray to thank God for the food and how the smallest children kneel to pray to God with so much devotion, and it fills my heart with excitement and strength to carry on with this wonderful work. It is thanks to the kindness and support of sponsors that we are allowed to change the destiny of these children in a community in need of much love and prayer. It is thanks to your support that we can see hope reflected in the faces of the boys and girls of this community. I can see in them great men and women, professional physicians, lawyers, engineers, and more. They are the children that will inspire a whole generation, and this is all thanks to sponsors like you! The golden seal in this great work is that the children get to know about Jesus, accept Him as their Lord and Savior, and have a beautiful relationship with Him. Please pray for our church, the center, and for our ministry staff. They are committed to the children and teenagers to make their dreams come true, but this is not an easy task and there are new challenges to face every day. Once again I thank you for your support, and for giving me the chance to share these words with you. You are very important to us and to Luna. I only want to tell you one more thing: the importance of the sponsor-child relationship. Please write periodically to Luna. This is something very important to the children and they are always very happy to hear about their sponsor. If only you could see their faces when they read these letters! It is exciting to see their faces lighting up in happiness and their eyes shining brightly! May the Lord reward the work you do and bless you and your family. Sincerely, Maria

I just love this letter and it’s so beautifully written, maybe because it was written by a woman 😉 What a wonderful pastor and project it sounds like! I hope to be able to visit it someday.