Introducing Jenny!

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Manna 4 Lempira just opened a new program this month in a community called Quelacasque. A church wanted to partner with the Manna program, and its members sponsored many of the children, but there were still quite a few available for sponsorship. When the photos and profiles of the kids were posted, I had to look. I love to learn about each kid and pray that they all find the right sponsor. I wasn’t necessarily looking to add another child. But of course, the children were so lovable. Then I thought, if there was one that moved me, and he/she was still available after a few days, I’d consider it.

A little over a year ago, I lost my grandmother that I was very close to. And a little more than a year before that, I lost my grandfather, her husband. In January, I sponsored Oxford through Compassion in honor of my grandmother. They share the same birthday and I knew she would have loved his huge smile. Since then, I’ve been looking for a child to sponsor in honor of my grandfather. Every so often I’d look through children available for sponsorship with the same birthday of him, but although the children were wonderful, I never felt that “click” moment with any of them to know that they were right child.

When looking through the Quelacasque children, I noticed that Jenny had a birthday one day after my grandfather’s. I loved her shy, sweet smile. I loved that she wants to be a doctor when she grows up. But what really made the difference was when I saw she had 8 siblings and a single mother. I have a special place in my heart for children from large families, and four of my other Manna children also have many siblings. Imagine as a parent in the US living in financial stability and having 9 children. That seems hard enough, but now imagine it in poverty. I love to be able to make children from large families feel special and singled out. I love to send them things that are just for them and not hand-me-downs. And I can’t wait to do these things for Jenny.

So guess what? I didn’t end up waiting a couple days. I barely made it a couple hours after I got home from work on the first day that the children were available for sponsorship. I was happy to know that Jenny was still available and to hear the news that I was able to sponsor her gave me a feeling of peace, knowing that after many months, I finally had the child who was meant to be sponsored in honor of my grandfather. I can’t wait to share some of this story with her either.

Introducing Jofre!

In the beginning of November I was thrilled to find a new correspondent on my account from a new country for me! Meet Jofre from Ecuador:

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Jofre is 10 years old. His hobbies include learning about God, participating in service activities, singing songs, group games, running, and soccer. His three previous pictures are included below. I feel blessed to get to write to Jofre and let him know how special he is!

Introducing Tsegereda!

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Just try to resist the smile of this adorable little cutie from Ethiopia. I know I couldn’t. There’s more to the story than that, though. I am a preschool teacher, as I’ve mentioned before, and I work at a public school district teaching at-risk and low income children. After I got my teaching license, I went through the classes to get my English as a Second Language endorsement. As a result, I get lots of students whose families are from all over, which I love. This year I have a student from Ethiopia, whose family just moved to the US recently. In learning more about her country, the culture, the language, etc. I was moved more and more by the desire to sponsor a child from Ethiopia through Compassion. Having an Ethiopian child that I was getting to know and love more each day made it all the more real to for me to picture a real child in Ethiopia that I could help, if that makes sense.

One evening, I couldn’t resist the urge any longer and made up my mind to start looking at the available children on Compassion’s website and see if I felt connected to any of them. When I saw Tsegereda, I instantly fell in love. I continued to look through many more children, but none of the rest of them felt right after her. What sealed the deal was reading that the average income in her community is only $8 a month. So in need, so much more than I would ever know in my life, but an undeniable light radiating from this little 3 year old. If I could somehow reach across all the distance to Africa, I’d scoop her up in my arms right now and give her the biggest hug!

Introducing Velery!

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As I shared in yesterday’s post, in early October, I had the opportunity to add two more Manna 4 Lempira children to my Honduran family. I knew I wanted Diego to be one of them, but then I had the challenging task of choosing just one more. I say it was challenging because I wished I could have sponsored all of the waiting children! I’ve always liked keeping my Manna numbers of boys and girls even, so I was looking for a girl this time. When Kim and the Manna team visited Honduras over the summer, she was able to take videos of many of the newly registered and waiting children. I loved the videos, because they give you an extra glimpse into the child’s personality and show more than a photo can. I just adored everything about little Velery. Her curls, her love of french fries, how she hammed it up in front of the camera… and I felt very sure in my decision that she should be mine.

Velery is 3 and lives in the Mercedes community of Lempira, Honduras. I also sponsor Brayan and Ludvi in this area, and Velery and Brayan go to the same school. Velery’s favorite subject is art, her favorite color is pink, and her favorite activity is playing with dolls. She wants to be a teacher when she grows up. She is an only child and lives with her mom and dad, who is a farmer.

Like I mentioned yesterday, I was quickly able to shop and send out backpacks to Velery and Diego, and I’m so grateful!

Here are some stills of Velery’s video. She seems like a total girly-girl, full of personality and spunk, and I can’t wait to get to know her more!

Introducing Diego!

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In early October, I had the opportunity to add two more Manna 4 Lempira children to my Honduran family. I was thrilled and blessed to be able to choose two sweet children, but how to only choose two was the hard part. I knew, though, that Diego had to be one of them. This sweet smiling boy had been on my heart for awhile, and he was one of the longest waiting children. I knew I couldn’t bear to pass him up with the opportunity I was given, and he was meant to be mine!

Diego is 5 years old and lives in the Mi Betania community of Lempira, Honduras. Other children that I have in this community are Heidy and Junior. He is in kindergarten, and his favorite subject is English. I wonder if that means he attends a bilingual school? His favorite color is orange, his favorite activity is playing soccer, and he wants to be a firefighter when he grows up. Diego lives with his mom and his sister, who is also enrolled in the Manna 4 Lempira program and has a sponsor. His mother is a farmer.

Considering I sponsored him shortly after backpacks were due, I was prepared to just get a letter together for him and Velery, the other child I sponsored with him, in time for the upcoming due date. Imagine my excitement and slight panic when I was told I could send backpacks for them if I was able to send them out quickly! The next day after work, I went shopping for their backpacks and items to include and was pleased with what I was able to find so quickly! I got everything sorted and put together in the backpacks, made labels with their names and pictures, packed everything into a box, printed out a shipping label and loaded the box in my car. The following day on the way home from work, I dropped it off ad the FedEx store and once I was finally able to catch my breath, I was thrilled that these two sweet children would be getting some extra love at backpack delivery time!

I look forward to getting to know Diego better as I receive letters and photos from him and our relationship develops!

Introducing Marcus!

My wait on the Compassion correspondents waiting list was looong but I knew it was in God’s time, because He had the right child for me, and that child just needed to become available. Last week, this finally happened as Marcus was added to my account!

Marcus is 14 and lives in Brazil, just like Rikelme. In fact, their project numbers are just one off from each other. Rikelme is such a sweetheart and I love Brazil since I visited there back in 2004, so I was very excited to have another Brazilian teen! His favorite school subject is math and his hobbies include bicycling, marbles, soccer, and toy cars. I’m looking forward to getting to know him!

Introducing Albia

Little Bia is my latest Compassion sponsored child. She is my first and only child from the Philippines and it was a God moment, what else can I say?

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Bia is 5 years old. I sponsored her on the day after her birthday this year. She lives in a very low income community with her parents, grandparents, and two siblings. Her parents struggle with employment. Bia attends preschool, and her hobbies include art, dolls, hide and seek, play house, toy cars, running, and walking.

Isn’t she just precious? I love that I get to watch this sweetheart grow up!