Videos of Maria

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Maria had a video as well, as do all of the children through World Vision, and oh my goodness, it was definitely the reason I sponsored her. I was searching for children around the age of 5 to 6 from Mexico, because at the time that was the population of students I was working with, whose families came from Mexico, and on World Vision’s site, they show you one child at a time. I watched through the different videos, and each of them had the child standing next to or being held by their mother, while their mother talked. Then I saw Maria. She was the only one  I saw in the video by herself and did all her own talking perfectly! I just loved that! I decided to keep looking, just in case, even though I already loved her. Well, when she popped up for the 3rd time as I clicked through the different kids, I sponsored her. She also has a video on her account from when she was younger, and it is just precious. Maria is the child I’ve received the most letters from by far, and I just love this little girl so much.

Upcoming Conference and Letters from Maria

It’s been awhile since I said I would post the received letters. I went on vacation a couple weeks ago and was very busy with the packing and planning before that, but I guess better late than never!

I also am so excited that I’m going to the Act for Compassion Conference in 2 weeks! When I saw it shared and found out that it’s actually quite close to where I live in the Chicagoland area, I couldn’t believe it! I know it was a sign that I was meant to go, so I registered right away. I can’t wait, because I know it’ll be an amazing and powerful weekend, filled with people with the same values and passions as mine.

I’m going to share the letters I’ve received so far from Maria first. Maria is the child I sponsor through World Vision, and I have to say, I receive far more letters from her than my Compassion kiddos. Since I started sponsoring her in November, I’ve already received 6. The first 2 came a day apart, and the last 2 came together on the same day- that was such an exciting surprise! I absolutely adore how she traces her hand on each letter. I can hold my hand up to hers and pray for her. And I hope as she gets bigger, she’ll still do it and I can see her growth. It’s such a sweet, personal touch.

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Letter 1:

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Translation: Hello! This is Maria. I like to paint and to play at school. I am the flag bearer of my class color guard. I will attend elementary school soon. How are you? Are you fine? I hope you continue writing to me. I say goodbye. See you soon! I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! (My mother helped me write this letter.)

Letter 2:

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Translation: Hi, I got your letter. My favorite color is blue. I go to church on Sundays too. I am happy because I got your letter. I know how to write a little bit. I bid you farewell. May God keep you safe. See you soon.

Letter 3:

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Translation: Hello! This is Maria. How are you? I am fine. I am back to school now. I would love to meet you in person. I got your letter. I had a great year. I thank to God because my cousins are back to us, because their parents are separated. I pray to God to protect them and help you in your work! (My cousin, ____, helped me to write this letter).

Letter 4:

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Translation: Hello! How are you? I am fine. I went to the church or Christmas Eve. I got together with my family on December 31st, but I thought that I missed you there. I hope you are doing well. May God care of you at your home and your work! I say goodbye for now. I hope to hear from you soon. With love, Maria

Letter 5:

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Translation: Hello, I am happy because I got your letter. I keep all your letters that you have sent me. How are you? I am fine. My father’s name is ___. My mother’s name is ____. My brother is ____. The weather is cold here now. There are many trees with fruits. I live in the state of _____ close to the state of Veracruz. I hope you have a wonderful birthday! I send kisses and hugs to you. Maria

Letter 6:

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Translation: Hello, I am happy because I got your letter. I really enjoyed the sheets that you sent me. I hope you send me more sheets. The weather is colder now. I got cough and flu, but I am taking medicine. See you soon! Maria

If all of these sweet letters aren’t motivation to always keep writing and not let her down, I don’t know what is! She is the age of the kindergarteners that I work with this year, so I love that connection, and she sounds like such a little kindergartener learning to write in these letters. Whenever I see an orange and white envelope in the mail from Mexico, it’s a happy day 🙂

The Journey has Begun

Years ago, I correspondence sponsored a girl in Kenya through Compassion International. At the time, I couldn’t afford a sponsorship, but I still wanted to help. I fell in love with getting letters from a 9 year old girl on the other side of the world. I couldn’t believe they were filled with so much love for me. I hoped that I was able to show that much love in my letters. We wrote for a few years, before she left the program. As sad as I was, I was so busy with grad school at the time that I decided to wait some time before I started with another child, to be fair.

As more time passed, I kind of forgot. But recently after attending a Toby Mac concert and hearing him talk about it, the burning desire to sponsor a child was pushed back into the forefront of my heart. As a teacher I don’t make a ton of money, but by having a full-time job, I still have the ability to be a sponsor. I went on World Vision’s website. I work with young children, typically preschoolers, but right now I am working with kindergarteners, so I wanted someone around that age. Then I thought of those kindergarteners I work with in the morning, whose families are all from Mexico. I thought of all the children who are stuck in Mexico in poverty, and I started searching for children around that age in Mexico. I prayed a lot. When Maria’s picture popped up for the 3rd time as I was searching through (World Vision only shows you one child at a time), I knew that was my answer. Her face was so full of innocence. A bit unsure, but hopeful. I watched her video. Most of the other children her age stood next to their mothers in the video while they talked, but Maria sat there in a chair by herself and talked on her own while she played with her dress. I couldn’t understand all of what she was saying, but I loved this little girl for being brave enough to talk for herself.

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Maria, mi amor, I love you so much already. I think about you and your family daily, not just when I’m praying for you. I can’t wait for you to get the letters I’ve sent, and I can’t wait until I get my first letter from you!