Welcoming a Special Child

In Honduras, the Hall family shared with us their plans to move their family from the US to Honduras by January. It was something they had thought and prayed a lot about, and something that couldn’t feel more right to them. Seeing them there, in their element, I could definitely see why. The Halls are remarkable people with huge hearts, and they have 3 smart, fun, loving kids as well! It was special to get to be there as they made steps to begin this huge new chapter in their lives.

One of the decisions that they made was that they really want to be there for all the children in moving there, which means not sponsoring only certain children. I know this had to be an incredibly hard decision to make, because even though they will continue seeing their sponsored children regularly, releasing them into the hands of other sponsors is still a big deal. Not long after arriving back home, the Halls made their upcoming move to Honduras an announcement through the Manna 4 Lempira and their personal pages. Soon after that, their children became available for sponsorship. It was noted that priority would be given to those who already sponsored siblings/family members of any of these children.

So of course in Honduras, the fact that Brayan and Ayumi (Junior’s brother and nephew both sponsored by the Halls) were going to be needing new sponsors soon was in the back of my mind. I guess I figured it would happen a little farther into the future. When the announcement came about them being available for sponsorship, I felt a HUGE pull. And I immediately started praying. A lot. I knew I needed to make a decision quickly, and I knew I needed God’s help in making it. At the time, I was between teaching jobs and technically unemployed. As much as I WANTED to sponsor both of them, it didn’t feel financially responsible to. So then I had to decide and pray some more. I loved both of these boys dearly when I met them. However, I did spend more time with Ayumi. He and Junior are only 15 days apart in age. They’re in the same class, they live together, and are as close as close can be. Every time I would try to picture someone sponsoring Ayumi, I kept feeling strongly that that someone had to be me. I couldn’t get the way he so freely and lovingly gave me so many hugs the day at the pool, despite a very difficult early life, out of my head.

And so finally I knew what I had to do. I sponsored Ayumi, and committed to advocating for Brayan.

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Here are some pictures of him over the years.

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Eventually, I got a Facebook message that couldn’t make me any happier! Another sponsor from our team had decided to sponsor Brayan. And not just any sponsor. She sponsors the other Brayan from the group the day at the pool, the 4th boy in this photo that she took!

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It couldn’t have worked out more perfectly, and it’s just further evidence of God’s hand in it all along. It still makes me smile to think that Brayan has a fantastic sponsor, and one who shares just as much love for these boys as I do!!

Introducing Helen!

I thought 12 kids to pack for was a lot… but then it turned into 13. Helen has been waiting for a sponsor through Manna 4 Lempira for a few months. I remembered her from her photos even before she needed a sponsor, and loved her joyful smile. I’d been watching and praying, hoping she’d find somebody soon. I actually figured if I sponsored a 13th child, it would be during or shortly after the trip.

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But then, there was a post featuring Helen on the Manna page, and I kept thinking about her. I figured she’d be sponsored right away though. But she wasn’t, and the following day there was another post, this one with more detail, all of which described everything I adore in a child.

“Spunky Helen is a delight. She is a 100% at whatever she does. She is a hilarious mix of wild child and sweetheart, and you never know exactly what to expect. Her smile can light up a room, and giggles are never far from her lips. If you hope to sponsor a perfectly obedient child, well, Helen may not be the child for you—but if you hope to sponsor a child who is hungry to receive love and affection and then return it tenfold, Helen is your girl!”

Now, all of this was going on while I was out of the state and very distracted and busy, but I still could not stop thinking about Helen. I told myself after a certain time, if she wasn’t sponsored, I’d ask about her. I ended up waiting even an hour or two after that. The rest unfolded in only a way that could have been meant to be, and now Helen is my newest sponsored child. I’m thrilled to be visiting her and loving on her!

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I can’t wait to hear that giggle in person. And this last picture is when she was told I’d be visiting next week!

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Introducing Serkalem!

While I was recovering from my tonsillectomy, I spent time looking at the children waiting for sponsors on Compassion’s website. However when I saw Serkalem, I immediately sponsored her. I could feel in my heart God’s words saying “wrap her in love”, and I knew this is what He was calling me to do. Serkalem, who is from Ethiopia, lost both of her parents and lives with a foster parent, which is hopefully a good home for her, but you never know. I do know her performance in school is listed as below average, and the average income in her community is only $23 a month. At 11, she’s clearly had a very difficult life so far. Her current and previous pictures are impossible not to fall in love with. I’m honored to be called to wrap Serkalem in love!

Introducing Surachet!

I had been hoping to have a Compassion child in Thailand for awhile. Finally, I decided to make a specific request for a correspondent from Thailand. Usually all of my correspondent requests don’t have any stipulations, but I was glad I made this one, because several months later, Surachet arrived on my account! He is 8 years old and from the Karen tribe. He lives in a very small community where the average income is only $78 a month and there are not enough schools. Surachet does attend school at least, though, which is great. He likes hide and seek, marbles, and running and walking. I can’t wait to hear from him!

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Introducing Nathalie and Dimanche!

It feels only right to introduce these two together, since they came to me at the very same time, and I’m pretty sure they’re related. Nathalie and Dimanche both attend the same center in Burkina Faso and both have the same last name. They do have different caregiver’s names listed, though, so maybe their cousins? It was a great surprise to see these two little cuties. With their double addition, Burkina Faso suddenly jumped to the country I have the most Compassion children in. I’m looking forward into learning more about this country to know more about my girls there, as well as hearing from Nathalie and Dimanche! Letters to and from Burkina Faso seem to move really slowly through translation, so it may be awhile, but I’m sure it will be worth the wait.

Nathalie, age 5:

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Dimanche, age 4:

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Introducing Marco!

At the end of April, I received a new correspondent child, Marco. I love Colombia and really hope to visit there one year, so I was excited to see that that’s where he is from. Marco’s community needs safe water, and the average monthly income is only $77, which really high unemployment rates. He enjoys learning at the project, bicycling, and soccer. Marco is 6 years old. I’m looking forward to getting to know him!

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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!