A month and a week ago, I was assigned my second child from Africa, a new correspondent, Mugisha Isaac from Uganda. And now, I already received a first letter from Mugisha, which also answers questions from my first letter to him! How incredible is that?? Before Compassion’s new letter writing system, it could easily take 6 months to receive a first letter, which would have been written before the child received any letters from you. Such an awesome improvement! And I love how it looks like he’s trying to hold back a smile in his photo.
Mugisha Isaac is 5 and lives in Uganda.
His Introduction Letter says that he lives in a village and gives the names and ages of each of his family members, as well as the names of his best friends. If he could visit anywhere, he would go to Kisoro because there are many cars. His favorite school subject is reading, his favorite food is rice and something I can’t read, his favorite color is orange, his favorite game is sports (football), his favorite Bible story is the story of David, and his favorite song is He is Good He Did Me Good My Heart Praise the Lord! The letter says “Dear Alisa, Receive Christian greetings from Isaac and his family. He says he is excited to know you as his friend and also excited to receive your letter with amazing pictures. He says he would like you to always call him Mugisha, that in his language it means blessings and he also asks how he can be calling you and that him and his family would like to know how they can be praying for you.”
I asked him what he would like me to call him, and I think it’s so cool to know that his Ugandan name means ‘blessings’. I don’t know what the drawing is of but I love it, and I also love the fingerprint!
In January, I took on a very special sponsorship. I lost my grandmother in October, and I had a very difficult time with her passing, as I was very close with her. I thought that the best way to honor her was to sponsor a child in her memory, as she was all about giving and helping others, and she loved children. I searched for children with the same birthday as my grandmother over several weeks. I was looking for the right child, and I know I’d know who it was when I saw him or her. And eventually I saw Oxford and I knew. My grandmother would absolutely love this bright smile that could light up a room. Oxford became my first African child, as previously I kept all of my children to the Western Hemisphere, but it seemed fitting to expand out to Ghana for him. Whenever I see Oxford’s picture, I smile, which is a perfect way to honor someone who I still very much miss every day.
I’ve received a first letter from Oxford since I started sponsoring him, too!
Oxford is 5 and lives in Ghana.
In his introduction letter, I learned the names of Oxford’s family members, that he lives in a town, and some of his favorites. His favorite song is gospel, his favorite food is rice and stew, his favorite color is yellow, his favorite game is playing football, his favorite toy is a car, and his favorite pet is a cat. It says “Oxford is much delighted and thanks you for choosing him. Oxford says pray for him to become a doctor and to be a good boy. He prays for God to grant you a long life and also bless you abundantly in all areas of your life. He wants to know please what is your full name?”
If you’re not familiar with Manna 4 Lempira, they recently expanded and opened up a 3rd project in another area, El Tablon. If you’re not familiar, please do check them out, if for no other reason than to pray for them, because the work they’re doing is truly wonderful for children in Honduras. I have 2 children at each of their other projects: Heidy and Junior are from Mi Betania and Brayan and Deilin are from the Mercedes project. When the children of El Tablon were posted, I read through the information sheets of each child, praying for each one that they would find the right sponsors for them. There were so many children, and I knew there would be many eager and generous sponsors to start taking on some of them right away, but others I knew would have to wait longer. When Manna was starting to introduce El Tablon, they updated their profile picture to include a girl with the most radiant smile on her face. I smiled every time I saw her picture as the profile. I was sure this sweetheart would be sponsored right away.
Yesterday, however, as I was looking through the photos of the children still waiting for sponsors, I noticed Maria’s photo was still included. Over a week since these children became available for sponsorship, I was shocked no one else had sponsored her yet. Then I felt a strong pull, a voice in my heart, saying “She’s still available because you’re the one who’s meant to sponsor her.” I couldn’t shake this voice. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this incredible message. Both Elvis and Angeles had been waiting 200+ days when I sponsored them, and I couldn’t fathom why at first. But then it became clear: they were still there waiting for me, because I was meant to sponsor them.
When I inquired about sponsoring Maria, imagine my joy when I was told that the whole Manna team would be very happy because they were really pulling for her! What a blessing God has given me in this new addition to my family. I’ve learned through my time sponsoring children to trust in God’s plan, and He will provide. I can’t wait to get my first letter to her in the mail along with the letters to my other Manna children, so she knows that she has a sponsor in time for Christmas. Here is beautiful Maria:
I started sponsoring Evelin back in the end of August, after I lost Deysi because she left the program, but I haven’t posted in awhile. As a teacher, the end of August and all of September are very very busy times. I would work all day and then bring home more with me and work through the evening until I crashed and had to go to bed. It’s the life of a teacher in the beginning of the school year, and really, year round. But I’m beyond blessed to have this job after an awful school year last year at my old job. I have 40 little preschoolers that I just love and get to work with every day.
However right now, I’ve been spending a lot of much needed time on the couch after surgery on my back on Thursday. I’ve had lots of surgeries, including several on my back, which I think is the most painful location. I’m headed back to work in just 2 days, and right now, my body doesn’t feel ready to keep up with all the demands and physical aspects of the job. I’m praying that I take a turn for the better and am ready by then. But for now I’m going to catch up on my sponsor kids’ news while I can! There will be a series of posts over the next several days.
First up is Evelin. It was originally going to be the plan that I was going to go to Guatemala this coming summer, so when Deysi left, I needed to find another child from Guatemala. (Although now that the June Dominican Republic dates have been announced and I’ve found out that they’d work too, it’s a tougher decision). It took me some time and prayer to find the child that I was meant to sponsor, but Ms. Evelin Adali is it.
Evelin is 7, and her school performance is above average. Some of the things on her long list of favorite activities include walking, dolls, art/drawing, ping pong, and singing. Don’t you just love that smile and the hands on the hips?
Just on Friday, I checked my account after a long week of getting ready for students, and I found Rikelme, my new correspondent who was added to replace Abnner! He is my first child from Brazil and I’m very excited, as I visited Brazil several years ago and just loved the country, and I really hope to go back one day. Rikelme is 13, has been in the program for 4 years, has had one sponsor who has sent some gifts, but he has never received a letter. I just think of him, eagerly hoping a letter would one day arrive for him for 4 years, and never receiving one. But then I’m filled with joy when I think that that’s about to change, and I wish I could be there to see when he gets my first one! I know with an older child who maybe has lost some trust over these years, it will take time for him to feel comfortable opening up and forming the relationship. But I know that, through God, I can provide him with encouragement and love. Here are Rikelme’s current and previous photos.
Along with saying goodbye to some faces, I’ve also been saying hello to some new faces. I told myself that if I got the new job, I would sponsor another Manna 4 Lempira kid. I really love this organization and what they do in Honduras since I’ve been sponsoring Heidy and Brayan with them. When Kim posted on the Manna page about Deilin writing about the loss of her father and how she honors him in church, and I saw that she wants to be a teacher, which is what I do and why I wanted to sponsor another child, I felt an immediate connection. I feel so blessed that I’m able to offer some encouragement to this sweet and beautiful young lady. When I added Deilin, I also added a correspondent, Junior, who jumped out to me. There was something about his smile that pulled at my heart. Junior is from a big family with lots of kids in the home, and I can’t wait to encourage him and make sure he feels special. Deilin is 14 and Junior is 7.
So I’ve had 2 more new kids to shop for backpack items for! If you don’t sponsor with Manna 4 Lempira, we are able to send backpacks to our kids right now, filled with school supplies and other items, which will be delivered in the winter. I’ve had fun shopping and need to get all 4 of mine in the mail very soon!
I may or may not stalk the Compassion site a few times each day in hopes of having a letter come through translation or a new correspondent appear. Well, I was thrilled today to see a new face on my account! And he’s from Nicaragua, a new country for me!
Here’s Abnner’s current and previous photos:
He is 11, but will be 12 in just 6 days! I’m getting a letter to him right away, in hopes that he’ll get it some time soon. I don’t know how fast letters are going through in Nicaragua right now. At least his financial sponsor has been sending him annual birthday gifts, so he will have something special for his day. He hasn’t received a letter in 3 years. That breaks my heart, but it’s definitely about to change! I hope he likes letters, because he’ll get plenty from me 🙂 His parents are now married, and his father is a driver and his mother is a bioanalyst- impressive! He has a large list of interests, including: group games, soccer, bicycling, baseball, marbles, hide-and-seek, cars, running, singing, listening to music, and other ball games. He also plays an instrument- the drums! How I’d love to get to hear him play. I can’t wait to get to know this sweet boy with the kind smile, and I know God has plans in bringing Abnner and I together!