Friday, April 29, 2011

Finally!! A Letter from Jack!

I was so happy to open my mailbox today and find a Compassion envelope with the wonderful words, “A letter from your sponsored child” on the outside.  I ripped open the envelope and immediately looked at the bottom for the country code——-PE!  Yes!  Peru.
That means I finally got another letter from Jack.  The last one I received was written in October.  I know that they do not have school in Peru during our winter months, so I’m sure that’s why it took so long for me to hear from him again.
Jack says that he is studying “logic math” and is doing very well.
In his previous letters, he has asked me to write him often because he is lonely, and he has talked about not having a home.  This time, he thanked me for my letters and said that they are beautiful.  :)  He did not mention not having a home, so perhaps that is not a problem now.  I did call Compassion about that after I received his last letter.
I’m so happy to hear from him.  His letters are always so sweet.
And the cool thing is, I can read most of it in Spanish, except that his handwriting is a bit sloppy in places, so I can’t get every word exactly, even after I look at the English translation.
Happy, happy, joy, joy!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Camilo Alberto

Is he a doll, or what?
Why I chose Camilo:
  1. He's been waiting longer than 6 months for a sponsor.
  2. Boys are not sponsored as often as girls.
  3. He lives in Colombia.

Monday, April 25, 2011

John Wesley Child Survival Program

My newest project with Compassion is to sponsor a child survival program.  Mine is the John Wesley Child Survival Program in Cap-Haitien, Haiti.  
Cap-Haitien is a city of about 500,000 people.  I received a letter from the pastor of the John Wesley Church in Cap-Haitien.  He says the community is “chaotic … vulnerable to epidemics, natural catastrophes.”  I can’t begin to imagine living in a place like this.
In the Child Survival Program, the children are “provided health care and food.”  The Program also organizes “activities for them, endeavoring to help them develop spiritually, socially, cognitively, and physically.   The parents are educated on how to better take care of their babies.  They learn how to read and write and other skills that will enable them to generate income in the future.”
The pastor’s name is Denor Rosemond.  Please pray for him, the people who work with him, and the children and their parents who are being helped by the program.  It seems a hopeless situation, yet I know that God can save them.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

This is Silas from Kenya.  I have been Silas’s correspondence sponsor for about a year.  In his first letter to me, he wrote, “Thank you for choosing me as your child.”
That’s really all I can say about that.  
Silas is now 20 and has completed the Compassion program.  After he finished 8th grade, he enrolled in a vocation program where he learned welding.  He has now finished that and has a job!  That is even more of an accomplishment in his world than it is for someone in the U.S., in spite of our horrid economy.
Although I have been Silas’s sponsor, his letters have been an inspiration and encouragement to me because of his genuine love for Jesus.  I think if we ever met in person, we would be good friends.  
Since he’s leaving the project, he wrote a departure letter to me. Here are some of the things he said that I like best:
“Thank you for the love you have shown me by taking me to be your sponsored child.”
“Through the sponsorship I was fed with the word of God.  My health was very well cared for and I am healthy and strong because of the balanced diet I was given at the project.”
“Thank you very much for your tender care.  May God richly bless you and continue strengthening to reach to many children who are in need.”
“I am happy because the Lord is my saviour and I trust he is going to guide and protect me.”
“If we don’t meet in this world we shall meet in heaven.  I wish you blessed days of your life.”
The last one makes me cry every time I read it.  I don’t think I can even add any words to explain why.  It is powerful on its own.
Anyone who wonders if he or she should sponsor a child through Compassion, or if the money we send is actually used for the children, need only read Silas’s letter for the answer.
I am truly blessed.

Monday, April 18, 2011

My Children

These are my Compassion children.  I had a dream last night that I had all of them together in a big house at the beach for a vacation.  We had lots of fun, but I had to hide two of the boys from someone, I think the government.  Probably the US government, judging from the way it is now.
In my dream, all the children could speak English.  I guess I don't know Spanish well enough yet to dream in that language.
First is Isaac from Mexico and then Francis from Nicaragua. She looks sad, but she's really a very happy and sweet girl.  Many of the children just don't know what to do when they are being photographed.  Beside Francis is Jack from Peru. Jack is the oldest; he just turned 15.  There are some things going on with him that I'm still trying to investigate.  I pray for him a lot.  He began as a correspondent child only, but I now sponsor him financially.
Michelle came to me in an unusual way, which I will explain at a later time.  She lives in El Salvador.  There is something very unique about her, and I'm excited for the Lord to reveal that to me in the coming years.  Two things I already know--she is the only child I have sponsored who is performing above average in school, and she sure knows what to do when someone takes her picture.  Doesn't she just make you smile?
Gethory is from Haiti.  I had been waiting to add a Haitian child, but right when I was ready to do that, the earthquake hit.  It took several months for the Haitian children to become available again because, sadly, Compassion had to determine which ones were still alive.  I have already talked about Gethory a little.  In his introductory letter to me, he said that he cooks for the family.  He's four.  Wow.
Annet is my latest addition.  She is correspondence only.  She lives in Uganda.  I haven't received anything from her yet, but she sure is a cutie in her sweet pink dress. 
I may request another correspondence child.  There are so many needy children, but I have reached the max of my financial sponsorships, I believe.  God will have to make it clear to me if He needs me to add another financial sponsorship.
I love these children.  I wish I had the finances to meet each one in person.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chalk Walk

I’m sending this photo to my children this week.  I’m with students from the school where I work.  They are in a class called Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow.  We participated in a Chalk Walk at the Boardwalk at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.  (Okay, so boardwalks are always at the oceanfront.  Duh.)  Their teacher wasn’t able to be there with them, so she asked me to be their chaperone.
Not everyone from the class was able to participate, and not everyone who participated is in the picture.  (Elle, a very talented photographer, took the picture.) 
The point of the walk was for the students to write on the Boardwalk with chalk, the names of teachers who had inspired them to become teachers.  These kids are really awesome, awesome kids and were really into the walk even though it was rather cold and very windy on the Boardwalk.  (The girl to my left is wearing my prized VBPD fleece—prized because it’s very warm.  She wore a short sleeved tee shirt and no jacket.  Typical Beach kid.  Ha.)
We laughed a lot and even ate ice cream at Dairy Queen, in spite of the cold.  They decided they should write my name since I was the one who went with them, and then they wanted a picture with me beside my name.  It’s moments like these that make me glad I chose to be a teacher.  I have worked with this class a lot.
My sponsored children all revere their teachers in the Compassion projects, and Francis wants to be a teacher one day, so I know they will like this picture of me with some students.  Since my Spanish is limited, it was a little difficult to explain that they are students at my school, but not my students.
Oh well, it won’t matter so much.  They will be so happy to have a picture of me with high school students.  How humbling that they think that much of me. :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011


This is a picture that 7-year-old Francis from Nicaragua drew for me.  I love getting pictures from my kids.  Francis always draws very happy looking pictures. 
In her letter to me, she said, “Usted tiene una risa muy bonita.”  And people wonder why I like sponsoring these children!
I chose Francis over a year ago because she lived with her mother and sister, and her parents aren’t married.  Since then her mother has given birth to a little boy.  Francis wanted another sister, but she said she would love the baby even if he were a boy.  Now that he’s born, she talks about him often.  She asked me to pray for him because he has a cough.
Francis is a very sweet girl.  I hope to meet her one day.  She loves candy, and I can’t wait to get a letter telling me what she bought for her birthday this year.  Last year, it was corn flakes, milk, cookies, candies, and plates.  :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

"He Doesn't Know How to Sing Yet

For several years, I have thought that I should sponsor children. I mean, I have none of my own; at this point in my life I am HIGHLY unlikely to have my own; so I need to help some children somewhere.
Of course, the financial commitment always held me back. Last year, I heard Tony Nolan speak at Winter Jam twice. Of course, the push at Winter Jam is to sponsor an orphan through Holt International. I didn't do that.
I had heard of Compassion in the past, but couldn't remember the name. By looking at sites of some of my favorite Christian music groups, I was able to find them again. I decided to sponsor a child. Little did I realize how difficult it would be to pick just one out of all those sweet faces looking at me.
I decided on Javier in Mexico. I had heard Michael Tait talk about Mexico being our neighbor, and the fact that we should help our neighbors, so I picked Mexico.
I received my information about Javier from Compassion, and I wrote to him. I received nothing. I wrote again. I still received nothing. I don't know how many times I wrote, but I never got a letter from him. However, I did get a call from Compassion telling me that Javier's family situation had improved, and they no longer needed Compassion's help. On that very day, I had decided to sponsor Francis from Nicaragua. I chose Francis because she lives only with her sister and her mother (and now a little brother). Compassion offered me Isaac in place of Javier, but said I could just sponsor Francis. I told them I wanted both.
Through some unusual circumstances, I have since added Jack from Peru, Michelle from El Salvador, and most recently, Gethory, a four-year-old boy in Haiti.
I have many details to add later about each child, but the one thing that stands out to me is that in Gethory's introductory letter to me, he was asked to name his favorite song. The answer was, "He doesn't know how to sing yet."
At first, I just thought that was cute. Then I realized the sadness of that statement. Think of the children you know, the babies, the toddlers, the young children. Don't they all sing?
Gethory is four, and "he doesn't know how to sing yet." That breaks my heart.
My goal through Compassion is that each of my children would learn to sing, that they would be able to see beyond the hopelessness and darkness of abject poverty to the hope and future that Jesus offers to them.
I can only pray that my contributions, my letters to them, and my constant prayers for them, will help to lead them in that direction.
I pray that Gethory will learn to sing.