New Photos of Albia and Nusura

With Albia’s first photo, I didn’t think it was possible for her to be any cuter. But then I got her new one…


Is she not so darn precious??


Nusura is my correspondent child through Revive a Rural African Child in Uganda. I haven’t received a photo of her in a long time, so I was really excited to see new ones!



Here are 2 of her older photos to compare:

First Letter from Nafula Faith!

I felt a connection with this beautiful spirit before I ever received a letter from her, and now having heard from her, I love her so much more!


Nafula is 14 and lives in Uganda

“Dear Alisa, how are you and your Emma (my cat)? I hope you’re fine. Me and my family are fine and healthy. I am praying hard that also you get a family of a husband and children. As you asked about my favorite color in your previous letter, I would like to answer you. My favorite color is pink. No! I don’t have any pets but I have gained the interest of getting a pet cat and hope very soon I will get one. I would like to become a teacher just like you teaching young children. I like reading, drawing, and playing. I am also praying for you to succeed. My family members are grateful to have you as a family. I would like to answer your question about the health in my country. In my country there is an outbreak of a disease commonly known as cholera, but God being my protector, me and my family are healthy and alive. I thank God who healed you from the tonsils that were in your throat. All in all may the good Lord protect you and enlarge your territories. I would love to end this letter wishing you the very best and a colorful year full of God’s glory. I send greetings to your beloved students. I love you and them so much. Nice time. May God bless you. Nafula Faith”

Could she be any sweeter?

Letter from Mugisha Isaac


Isaac is 6 and lives in Uganda

The letter uses the Weather template. They have a dry and/or rainy season twice a year. Right then the weather was sunny, his favorite kind of weather. It’s usually sunny on his birthday. When it’s sunny, Isaac likes to play football with the friends. The letter says “Thank you for the love, prayers, support, and care. My prayer requests are good health, better performance in education, and God’s provision, guidance, and protection. Dear Alisa, receive lovely greetings from your dearest Isaac. He is extremely proud of you for the love and concern. He is thankful to you for the letters and the prayers you offer for him. He says he is now in holidays and school was good. He ends saying God’s blessings in all you do.


Letter from Mugisha Isaac


Mugisha Isaac is 6 and lives in Uganda

The letter uses the My Family template. He has 3 older sisters and lists the names of them. His family’s faith background is Anglican. His favorite thing to do with his family is collecting firewood, and his favorite way to help is fetching water. His food is prepared by his older sister. They live in the rural area of Gishegera, Uganda. The letter says: “Isaac says Christmas was very good. He enjoyed it with his family members and they ate good food. He went on to say that there are no special Christmas traditions. He went on to say that his New Year’s Resolution is to study hard and perform well in school. His prayer requests are good health for him and his family members.”


It looks like his mom uses a cane based on the drawing. I hope she is doing okay. Reading the letter and hearing about what he likes to do with his family, it’s hard not to notice the contrast of 6 year olds here in the US. I like his resolution!

Introducing Nafula Faith!

My week last week took an unexpected turn. Over the weekend, I had not been feeling well. I had a sore throat, headache, dizzy spells, stomachache, fatigue… my symptoms were all over the place. On Monday, I was feeling worse and I barely made it through work. I hate taking sick days and not being there for my students, but I knew I needed to take one to rest up and hopefully feel much better. I was also coming down with a fever. I wasn’t big on the idea of going to the doctor, since I figured I had the flu and they wouldn’t be able to do anything for me. But as my symptoms progressed even more on Tuesday and new ones appeared, I decided to go to urgent care. I was shocked to find out I had strep throat, scarlet fever, a sinus infection, and a peritonsillar abscess. Here I thought I’d regret going, but everything I had needed to be treated by antibiotics, so I’m so grateful I did. Even the doctor said she was glad I went in. I haven’t had strep since I was a kid, never had scarlet fever, and never even heard of a peritonsillar abscess…

So just like that, my week changed and I had to stay home Wednesday and Thursday too. When I let my boss know, she told me to also take Friday off. I figured I’d definitely be better by Friday with the antibiotics and steroids, but I agreed. I was told to come back to urgent care Wednesday for a recheck of my tonsil. It still was the same, so then I was told to come back again on Friday for another recheck. By then, I could feel the strep/scarlet fever and sinus infection were getting better. However that tonsil and the side of my neck it was on were still swollen and I wasn’t sure if it would have to be aspirated. When I went back for the second recheck on Friday, I was told I’ll have to come back again on Sunday (today). They want to make sure it’s going down and not staying the same or it will have to be aspirated.

All these days stuck on the couch and in bed sick, with little motivation to do anything, had me checking Compassion’s website quite a bit, hoping to see a new correspondent. Finally on Thursday evening, there was beautiful Nafula Faith from Uganda, a country that has become very near and dear to my heart.


Feeling discouraged and worried about this potentially serious abscess, God reminded me to have Faith! 😉


Faith is 14 and lives a little outside the capital city of Kampala. I’m thrilled to have a new teen girl to write to.

Updated Photo and Letter from Mugisha Isaac

Mugisha just had a photo update last week, and he looks so much older! I asked him shortly after I started writing to him which name he wanted me to call him, because both names can be used in Uganda. He answered that he’d like to be called Mugisha, as it means “blessings”. His letters often use the name Isaac, although he is not yet writing them himself. So on the blog I often use the names interchangeably, as I do when I refer to him in my head 😉

Isaac is 6 and lives in Uganda. Isn’t he getting big? He must have an affinity for stripes! And Isaac’s updated profile now lists his school performance as below average. I’m going to pray extra hard for his studies. I know from my students that it can be much more easily turned around the younger the kids are.

The letter uses the What I Like Best Template. I always love how the Ugandan letters have fun facts about the country on the side. Did you know Uganda is home to more than 50% of the world’s mountain gorillas?? What Isaac likes to do best with his family is bouncing a ball. What he likes to do best with his friends and playing soccer. What he likes best about his project is meal time, and his favorite teacher is Teacher Agatha because she takes us to class and teaches us. His favorite place to visit is his aunt’s place. The letter says “Alisa receive Christian greetings from Isaac and the family. He is happy for this God given opportunity to communicate to you as they prepare to end the year. He goes on to say is now in a holiday and that the family is busy preparing for Christmas and new year 2018. He asks how do you prepare Christmas there? He says thank you for the story you sent him of the starfish and for praying for him. He and the family are also praying for you and wishing blessing as we reach Christmas and new year 2018.”


Photo Friday- Photos of Mariatu and Nicholas & Shadia receiving their letters

I recently received photos of Mariatu receiving the latest letter I sent her, along with a drawing and a video! I love that The Bridge of Hope sends us all of this each time! She is just precious!Mariatu is 6 years old and lives in Sierra Leone.

Mariatu Turay's scan update2


My snail mail letters to Shadia and Nicholas arrived in Kampala, Uganda, and I also got photos of them! I have come to love this special set of siblings so much, and seeing the smiles on their faces made me so happy!

Aren’t they adorable? I correspondent with Nicholas and Shadia through the wonderful program of Living Life in Abundance Ministry.

Letter from Nicholas

I also received another letter from Uganda last month, this time from my little guy Nicholas with Living Life in Abundance Ministry. I correspond with him and his sister, Shadia, there. Joy, the woman who runs the organization, helped him type up a wonderful letter!

Nicholas and Shadia are 3 and 4 and live in Uganda.

“Dear Aunty Alisa, How are you my friend? My name is Nicholas and I am happy to have you as my friend. Thank you so much for my letter and for all the photos you sent me. You are all beautiful. I loved to see your cat Emma because I love cats very much. I live in Uganda on a village called Nakulabye with so many residents. It is a small town but a slum and not very far from the capital city of Uganda. I stay with our mother and sister Shadia. Our father died so our mother takes care of us. She sells jackfruit and maize by the roadside in the evening. I go with her at night when we have to wait for customers to come and buy. Thank you very much for all the gifts you gave me and my sister Shadia. They gave us very beautiful shoes and also a soccer ball. I love it so much and my friends on the village come to play with me. When my mother gets money for me to go to school I will also play football at school. Our mother was also very happy because they gave us food also. When there’s no food in the house my mother takes long to cook but when Mama Joy brought us food we were so happy. I even love to eat bread and I want to eat rice and meat on Christmas day. I want you to be my friend all the time. I will pray for God to keep you every day and to give you much money every day so that you can buy me and my sister bread and gifts. I love you so much. May God bless you!IMG_9756

Letters from Nusura

These are the first letters and drawings I’ve received from Nusura, since Revive a Rural African Child is a very small charity and postage is expensive. I was thrilled to get an envelope from Uganda containing a long letter and 2 pages of drawings!! It’s clear she wrote the letter herself and is doing a great job with her writing, especially since English is not her first language.


Nusura lives in Uganda.

“Dear Mom Alisa, Thank you for writing to me a letter. I am so happy to receive your letter. I am special. Special means to be good. I will see Chicago on the world map. I am happy for the words you tell to me. I want to study very well and be a good person and help my friends. Do kids in your class sing? At my school, baby class, children sing, hide seek, and jump. I want to play hide and seek. Rope jumping is hading (?). My best color is orange. At school I see only blue pen. Where do you get the colors you use to write a letter to me? Your hair is very tall mom. Long hair the picture. I have long hair cut it off and is lice mine because long hair disturb. I see at school a bog is called Emma and the cat is called also. What plant day plant in the farmland? Mom thank you very much for my letter and the pictures. I love you mom. I want to learn English and write you but I don’t know to write and very well. Bye bye mom. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year mom. My name is Nusura.”


Photo Friday- Nicholas and Shadia

I got some pictures sent to me of Nicholas and Shadia at the Living Life in Abundance Ministry’s Christmas party. It was great to see that the party was such a success, because these kids live in the poorest of poor conditions and any meal is a big deal, let alone a nice one at a party.


Shadia with Santa. She seems a little overwhelmed but happy.


Nicholas with Santa. Poor kid looks scared, but I can’t say I blame him 😉