Thursday, June 30, 2016

June Compassion Joys





letters
I'm having a harder time tracking letters now that I'm notified by email and not getting hard copies, 
but I think I received 6 this month....
Rayson (Kenya), Orm (Thailand), Hondy (Dominican Republic), 
Esther (Uganda), Collina (Kenya), Collins (Kenya)


birthdays

Mwanzia in Kenya turned 16 on June 10th




Kendry in Nicaragua turned 13 on June 21st


photo update

Hondy in Dominican Republic

other

meeting Gilbert Mfitundinda and hosting Compassion Sunday at our church



16 children were sponsored this year!






And now it's your turn! Here are some guidelines for you to follow for this link-up:
  1. Link up by entering the URL to your blog post (make sure it's a link to the actual blog post and not just your blog).
  2. Be sure to link back here to Compassion Family and tell others you are doing so. Feel free to grab the button code for your post (it's on the right side of the blog).
  3. Set aside some time to visit the other participants and leave some comment love.
  4. Begin taking notes and making a list for next month.
I should also mention that I reserve the right to remove anyone's submission if it fails to meet the link-up requirements or is inappropriate. 





***If you have trouble linking up, simply leave a comment and I'll be sure to visit your blog.

***If you don't have a blog, share your blessings in the comments!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Noel in Kenya


Noel
February 25,2011


Noel attends KE 917 - PCEA Evergreen Student Center which is located north of Nairobi. She is my oldest daughter's correspondent child and we've been writing letters to her since October 2015. So far we have only received one letter. 



She lives with her father (Nickson) and her mother (Millicent). Her siblings are Noah (4), Shalom (8), Brian (13) and Joan (13). Some of the siblings are step-siblings and do not live at home. 

Her best friends are Noah and Salome. 

Favorites:
  • game - hide and seek
  • song - Jesus Loves Me
  • food - rice, chicken and beans
  • language - Swahili
  • story - Jesus
  • color - red/pink

message from the pastor

My name is Michael Mundia, reverend at PCEA Evergreen Church, which ministers to Noel. I love children and I'm dedicated to their ministry. 
The center has indeed impacted positively in the lives of the children and the community. The fact that the children in the center come from different churches has allowed us as a church to work with other churches and preach the gospel of Christ. 
The center has enabled our mothers, caregivers, babies and older children to avoid preventable diseases which have reduced their hospital bills. Before our church partnered with Compassion International, some children never lived long enough to celebrate their 5th birthday. The caregivers have been equipped with health skills which help them to prevent simple ailments like proper use of mosquito nets that could otherwise lead to complications and premature death. Child screening and continuous monitoring of the children's health has led to early detection of conditions which have been curbed early that would otherwise lead to dangerous illnesses. 
We provide HIV/AIDS training, especially on prevention of mother to child transmission, and provide voluntary testing and counseling. It has helped many children whose parents were HIV positive to be born HIV negative, and helps HIV positive caregivers to live in a healthy way. We really thank God for this program because it has assisted not only the registered children and their families, but also the entire community. 
The skills and knowledge learned from the center have enabled two of our children to be economically and financially self-sustaining. Our mothers and caregivers have started a small income-generating activities which have improved their life standards and brought a new beginning in the family. They have learned the importance of kitchen-gardening, poultry-farming and rabbit-rearing, which has helped them to provide for their daily expenses.  
They have gained skills in bead work, basket-making, soap-making, and cookery, which have enabled them to start small businesses. They have also been taught the importance of saving and some are now working with micro-finance institutions so as to get small loans to help them expand their small businesses. 
The church congregation has also reached out to the community by having volunteers in their area of specialization minister to the children. We do medical camps. Some of the children in the community are also educated by the church. In fact, the current county representative at our ward was educated by the church. In the future, we would like to have more families benefit from the church by having long-term projects which will employ more people from the slums, equipping them with skills to support themselves financially. We have witnessed many changes in the lives of many families in the community.  
The children love to receive letters from their sponsor. They are happy to write to you so often and to learn about your culture. Their writing skills have improved and every time they look forward to the letter writing season just to share what has happened. We encourage you to write letters. 
 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Veronica in Dominican Republic


Veronica
December 20, 2003

Veronica started off as one of our correspondent children, but we were able to pick up her sponsorship. We've been writing to her since August 2013 and have received 13 letters so far. 

She attends DR 495 which is the Integral Development Fuente de Esperanza (Source of Hope) and the Rock of Salvation Church. 

She lives with her mother, Zoila, her step father, Daniel, and her brothers, Alex, Guillermo and Alberto. However, in January 2015, her letter informed me that she and her mom moved to a new town, and her new info states that she is the only child living at home with her mom. In one letter she asked us to pray for her dad. 

Favorites:
  • color - pink and blue
  • food - corn flakes with milk and rice with chicken
  • sport - volleyball and soccer
  • hobby - playing rope and tag
  • subject - natural science
  • hero - Jesus
  • animal - rabbit
  • instrument - violin
  • Bible verse - Psalm 23:!

Other information:
  • wants to be a lawyer
  • met Wess Stafford




signs her letters....
"goodbye with a big kiss and hug, your girl that loves you"

Friday, June 10, 2016

What to Write ~ Commandment 6


I've been writing a series of letters to my kids based on the 10 Commandments. You can find my other letters in this series by following the links below.

  1. first letter (introduction)
  2. second letter (first commandment - no other gods)
  3. third letter (second commandment - no idols)
  4. fourth letter (third commandment - don't misuse God's name)
  5. fifth letter (fourth commandment - keep the Sabbath day holy)
  6. sixth letter (fifth commandment - honor your father and mother)

And now for the seventh letter discussing the sixth commandment...




Dear....


How are you? We are well. We've changed seasons here and are now in summer - our warmest season. This is also when our girls get a break from school studies. I'm enjoying my garden and love seeing everything grow. Right now we have a lot of raspberries, which is one of my favorite kinds of fruit. I also love the different creatures I find that visit the garden - bees, insects and frogs. Sometimes I can see hummingbirds and butterflies, but by the time I am ready to take their photo they have flown away. I will keep trying and if I manage to get a photo, I will send it to you.



I also wanted to tell you about something very exciting that happened in May. Sydney, our oldest daughter who is 11 years old, was baptized at our church. This brought our family so much joy - to see her publicly declare her decision to follow Jesus Christ and be immersed in the waters of baptism.



In my last several letters to you I've been talking about the 10 Commandments. Do you remember that the first four teach us to love God with all our hearts? And the rest of them show us how to love others with that same kind of love. In my last letter we talked about honoring our father and mother (or guardian). The sixth commandment is this...You shall not murder.  Exodus 20:13

It seems pretty obvious to me (and hopefully to you), that we are not to kill another person. Jesus expands on this idea in the Sermon on the Mount in the book of Matthew (5:21-22). In this passage he says,

You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment."

Jesus is teaching us that being righteous is more than just following laws. If we are filled with anger for people around us, we are sinning. It's true that we might be keeping the commandment not to murder or kill them, but we are sinning. Following the commandments is so much more than simply obeying a rule...it's about a complete change of heart. If we are to love others in the same way we love God, then we cannot be filled with anger towards them (and of course we won't murder them). Don't let your heart be filled with anger and hate towards others.







Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Compassion Sunday

The first Sunday of June has become the annual date of Compassion Sunday at my church. We have the amazing honor and privilege of our pastor's blessing to use the entire service to present the ministry of Compassion. 


In past years we've had friends and fellow sponsors share their experiences, shared about our trips and meeting our children, and this year we had the special honor of welcoming Gilbert Mfitundinda to share his story with us.


Gilbert is currently one of Compassion's fellows and is also available to share his story around the country as one of Compassion's speakers this year. He is the youngest of 8 children and grew up in Uganda. At age 7 he was registered into Compassion's program through his local church. He shared with us that his family was "so poor, even the poor people called us poor". When he was 14 he gave his life to Christ, and that same year his father passed away from a severe asthma attack. His sponsor was a great source of encouragement and comfort to him during this time.

Gilbert had three sponsors during his time in Compassion, and all three were good letter writers. He brought several letters and photos with him and it was so encouraging to me to read those letters.









In addition to our morning service, we held an evening event.



We had some activities for kids, which I found on Compassion's Explorer page.

It's ALWAYS an encouragement to meet the young men and women who have been the recipients of Compassion's ministry. I loved how Gilbert kept saying his life was transformed because of "a caring person just like you". We saw 16 new children sponsored as a result of our efforts on Sunday, and while it's not a huge number, I know there is more happening that we can't see. Sponsor development is also an important part of sponsorship, and I know a lot of this took place as a result of conversations people had with Gilbert.






Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Small Matters



Greg Nettle is the current president of Stadia Global Church Planting,  which is an organization that is committed to making sure that every child has a church. Jimmy Mellado is the current president of Compassion International, a ministry that partners with churches around the world to release children from poverty and development them holistically. These two men, and their organizations, have partnered to help children worldwide, and this is their story.

Children are the focus of this book. Not just children living in poverty, but children in general. According to Greg and Jimmy, ALL children are at risk. If you are a child living in a developing country, then you are at risk for poverty, hunger, disease and more. But if you are a child living in a developed country, you are at risk for obesity, over-indulgence, selfishness and more.

This book will challenge how you think of and view children. It reminds us that our own children are the very most important children in our lives. It challenges churches to view children as the church of today - not the church of tomorrow. It shows us how love transforms lives - both on the receiving and giving ends. It shows us that small matters, and how Jesus started small.

I loved reading the stories of these two men and how God led them to their current positions at Stadia and Compassion. And I'm excited about what God will do through these men and their ministries.

I highly recommend you pick up this book and be encouraged by the message.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

May Compassion Joys






letters
Yoselin, Veronica, Collina (2), Collins (2), 
Jerry, Marlon, Duncan, Mwanzia



birthdays 

Orm, in Thailand, turned 13 on May 19th



Jackson, in Kenya, turned 17 on May 27th



Jazmin, in Peru, turned 15 on May 30th




Mwikali, in Kenya, turned 10 on May 30





photo updates
It's always a joy to see how the kids are growing

Esther in Uganda



Kendry in Nicaragua




Noel in Kenya




Veronica in Dominican Republic




Yoselin in Dominican Republic



And now it's your turn! Here are some guidelines for you to follow for this link-up:
  1. Link up by entering the URL to your blog post (make sure it's a link to the actual blog post and not just your blog).
  2. Be sure to link back here to Compassion Family and tell others you are doing so. Feel free to grab the button code for your post (it's on the right side of the blog).
  3. Set aside some time to visit the other participants and leave some comment love.
  4. Begin taking notes and making a list for next month.
I should also mention that I reserve the right to remove anyone's submission if it fails to meet the link-up requirements or is inappropriate. 





***If you have trouble linking up, simply leave a comment and I'll be sure to visit your blog.

***If you don't have a blog, share your blessings in the comments!
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