Friday, July 31, 2015

July Compassion JOYS

It's that time of the month when we take a few moments to name all the gifts and blessings God has brought our way through the ministry of Compassion. Join us!

we received 8 letters this month....

One letter was very special in that it was a report of how Kendry's family used the $ we sent as a family gift earlier this year. After visiting their home and asking what their needs were, we learned that they were wanting building materials to make a better home. And I also learned that Kendry, at age 12, was still sharing a bed with his sister. So I requested that the money be used for a bed for him.

Kendry posing with various building supplies

Kendry on his new bed (with the pillow pal I gave him in January)

Kendry's drawing of a house

Binti in Kenya turned 4 on July 2nd

Collins in Kenya turned 10 on July 7th

Duncan in Kenya turned 16 on July 23rd

We also learned that Rubi in East India, our correspondent child for the past 6 years, left Compassion's program to pursue work. She has been in college for a couple years now, studying to be a teacher. I feel so blessed to have had six years to encourage her through letters and pray God will continue to work in her life.

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!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Mexican Wild Mushroom Soup

The recipe for Wild Mushroom Soup can be found on the Mexico Rural Region page.

I did a few substitutions: olive oil instead of canola, oregano instead of epazote, a can of diced tomatoes instead of slicing whole ones (I was out of fresh tomatoes) and jalapeño pepper instead of serrano peppers since my mum has tons of jalapeños from her garden right now. I also cut the amount of chicken broth in half since my husband likes soup with more stuff and less broth.

Juanito had so much fun cutting the mushrooms!

Rosie just had fun dressing the part of the chef but was not interested in helping cook.

The soup was delicious, but was spicy…and I only put one jalapeño! So if you have kids, I would go with only a little bit of jalapeño or serrano, not all four peppers like the recipe called for. My husband loved this soup!

Now I'm off to write to Jose about our Mexican soup! I can't wait to hear what she thinks. If you have older kids and would like to get more involved, here are some ideas:

* Mexican flag and country coloring page
* Individualized coloring page
* Time for Kids: Mexico


Previous Recipes
* Colombian Rice Pudding
* Indonesian Pisang Goreng
* Brazilian Baiao De Dois
* Dominican Arepa
* Bolivian Quinoa P'Esque & Buñuelos
* Nicaraguan Gallo Pinto

About Hannah Hinojosa...Hannah is a long time Compassion sponsor and writes about her sponsorship journey at Because of Shamim. In addition to being a wife and mother, she is a part-time math professor and loves to read.

Monday, July 27, 2015

final letter from Nowanda in Indonesia


First letter was dated February letter was dated October 2010. We received approximately 30 letters over 7 years.

Miscellaneous info from letters:
  • was not yet in school when we first sponsored her
  • had a new father (step father) when we first sponsored her
  • called us papa and mama / brother and sister
  • asked to consider our new baby (Sydney) her own sibling as she didn't have any siblings
"I'm the happiest kid on earth because I'm now a part in your family."
  • participated in project's swimming program. Also got to go to Pizza Hut during this time.
  • egg decorating contest at project around Easter
  • went to waterpark on holiday
  •  in 2009 her baby brother was born

final letter....

Dear Kevin and Jill, 
Hello. How are you doing? My family and I in Indonesia are healthy and are blessed by the Lord. What do you do now, Kevin and Jill? I am busy at school. After I start Junior High school I often go home in the evening because there are so many activities at school. What makes it even sadder is that I have to move to a new house in Boyolali. I cannot attend the activities at the project any longer because the distance between my new home and the project is very far away. Because of that, I have to depart myself from the project. I thank you for your willingness to sponsor me all this time, Kevin and Jill Foley. I also thank you for financing my schooling and for helping my family. My family and I cannot repay your kindness. I can only pray that you and your family will always be blessed and protected by the Lord, Kevin and Jill Foley. I will end this letter here. Please forgive me as this will be my final letter to you. May the Lord Jesus bless. 
Written by Wanda

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Nicaraguan Gallo Pinto

This recipe came from the Compassion Cookbook, which is apparently out of print. But I will share the Gallo Pinto recipe with you here! After traveling to Cuba and the Dominican Republic, I fell in love with black beans. But every time I tried to recreate a black beans and rice dish, I was always disappointed with the result. This Gallo Pinto recipe was amazing! It was super easy and was the closest thing I've ever made to Cuban or Dominican rice and beans!

I did used canned beans instead of dried, which made the meal a lot faster. And due to the tiny size of my rice maker, I cut the recipe down a bit, added garlic to the mix, and used the following proportions:

* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1/4 onion, diced
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 cups rice
* 1 can of black beans
* 3 cups water
* dash of salt

Juanito had a blast helping me cut the onions and add all the ingredients to the pot. And since the meal cooked in the rice maker, it was so easy!

And then I made salsa to go with it! My mum's garden is producing a ton of jalapeños and Eric loves salsa, so I thought it would go perfectly. If you don't have a good salsa recipe, here's the one I use:

* 4 cans diced tomatoes, drain the water and then process the tomatoes briefly for smaller pieces
* 8 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 sweet onion, minced
* 4-6 jalapeños, minced
* 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
* juice of 2 limes
* salt & pepper to taste

Rosie and Juanito are big fans of helping with the cilantro and tearing it up… although I suspect most of it is eaten and not placed in the salsa!

We then topped our rice and beans with feta and salsa! You could also top it with sour cream and/or cheddar cheese. Our whole family loved it and this is going to become a favorite last minute meal.

Now I'm off to write to Julissa about our Nicaraguan meal night! I can't wait to hear what she thinks. If you have older kids and would like to get more involved, here are some ideas:

* Nicaraguan flag and country coloring page
* Individualized coloring page
* Time for Kids: Nicaragua


Previous Recipes
* Colombian Rice Pudding
* Indonesian Pisang Goreng
* Brazilian Baiao De Dois
* Dominican Arepa
* Quinoa P'Esque & Buñuelos

About Hannah Hinojosa...Hannah is a long time Compassion sponsor and writes about her sponsorship journey at Because of Shamim. In addition to being a wife and mother, she is a part-time math professor and loves to read.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Cristine in Philippines


First letter was dated February letter was dated February 2011. We received approximately 60 letters. She was 8 years old when sponsored her and 16 when she left.  In July 2010 she wrote, "I promise to my family and to you also, that I will finish my studies to get a good job." I was heart-broken to learn she had left school and the program.

Miscellaneous info from letters:
  • oldest of 4 children / 3 brothers: John Paul, Jay Lourd and John Carlo
  • called us Mom and Dad / called herself our daughter
  • learned drawing, writing and singing in Compassion project
  • medical check-ups at project
  • did not move to Manila with her family in 2007 because she didn't want to lose me as a sponsor
"Me and my family are fine. My mother, father and siblins are in Manila. Because my mother works there as a housemaid and my father as a construction worker. I am staying here in my grandmother's because I do not want to lose a sponsor. I do not want to lose you. I love you Daddy Kevin and Mommy Jill!"
  • 2008- new house constructed by Compassion - family back together again]
  • bought mosquito net with $ we sent
  • every letter was full of love and gratitude for us

final letter....

Dear Mr. Kevin and Mrs. Jill, 
One blessed day to you Mr. Kevin and Mrs. Jill. I am Nancy Sabalboro, the mother of Cristine. I am sad to say that Cristine is no longer attend CDSP activities and also in school. She did not continue her studies, because she is working already. That is why, we decided to say goodbye to you and here in the CDSP project.  
As mother of Cristine, I am truly thankful for you for your support and love and for being second parents of my child. You have been a good sponsor of my child. She also want to say thank you. I know that God will bless you for your good heart. 
God Jesus bless you. 
Thankful, Nancy, mother of Cristine

Friday, July 17, 2015

Our Summer Pilgrimages

In just a little while our family will be setting foot on a land of majestic volcanoes, lush rainforests and ancient Mayan ruins. And... we are most excited to soon be face-to-face with our Compassion daughter, Esperanza

Esperanza whom we didn't choose. Esperanza, whose name means hope, whom God chose for us!

Yes, we are headed to Guatemala!

Guatemala... where we thought we would go last summer until God changed all our summer plans and sent us back to the Philippines instead, where our hearts woke up and broke afresh for those things that break God's.

Guatemala... the first destination we are headed to, as a family, where we know no one and where we do not speak the language. 

Ah, yes... that oh-so-familiar outside-our-comfort-zone place where God somehow seems to always call for our obedience, our yes!

Since our family started answering God with this wild nod of a yes over these past few years, it is changing everything. Among other things, it has changed the way we spend our vacation time... that's for sure! 

As Jennie Allen so eloquently wrote in this must-read guest post on Ann Voskamp's blog, "... something is happening — not a feeling or love of adventure or desire for glory but something within us that is from God, a call to more: to die — to live. My heart is bleeding and I can’t make it stop. So we are praying and willing and dreaming of living for heaven instead of the American dream, and it is changing everything. And I am strangely okay with that."

Yes, I am indeed strangely okay... strangely okay.

D0 come on over to my blog to read the rest of this story...

About Aimee Esparaz... Aimee is mother to two teens and is passionate about living out Micah 6:8 with her family. She is a sponsor and advocate through Compassion Canada and works in global marketing. She loves to read and garden, and blogs at A Mom On A Mission.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Bolivian Meal

In 2007 I traveled to Bolivia with my brother and some other teens and young adults for a missions trip. It was such a neat time of getting to make friends in Bolivia, to serve at a youth retreat and at an orphanage. Upon our return, my brother sponsored a child from Bolivia, and since then our family members have added many kids from Bolivia! Eric and I sponsor and correspond with 5 kids from Bolivia and my sister has two. When I saw the recipes from Bolivia, I asked my sister if she wanted to help me make a Bolivian meal and she said she'd love to! So meet my sister Ruthie, without who's help I wouldn't have tackled two dishes.

For dinner, we made Quinoa P'Esque, and the recipe can be found on Compassion's Bolivia Rural High Plateau Region page.

When originally reading the recipe, I interpreted "peppers" as sweet peppers and so I was not prepared when I read "chilies" later in the instructions. So we made ours without chili peppers and instead added dried chili pepper to the pot. And since I had sweet peppers, we just diced them up with the onion and added it to the recipe.

The Quinoa P'Esque was delicious! The feta cheese offers a lot of flavor and the kids ate it all up for dinner! Since we doubled the recipe, it took a little while for the potatoes to cook, but other than that, it was relatively easy to make.

Then for dessert we made Bunñuelos from Compassion's Bolivia Valley Region page.

I couldn't find aniseed at the stores around here, so I substituted fennel seeds, which a number of websites said is a fine alternative. I'm sure the flavor was a little different, but it was still delicious!

Juanito really enjoyed helping cover the dough to let it rise! The recipe says to stretch the dough, but we made our food with gluten-free flour and so the dough wouldn't stretch, thus the strange shapes. And because we were out of syrup, I instead used powdered sugar on top.

These were so good! They tasted kind of like powdered sugar donuts and rose very nicely. My gluten-free family members had been trying to find a good recipe for donuts and this was a hit! My kids enjoyed them also. And I appreciated that they weren't super sweet.

Now I'm off to write to Franco, Maria, Jhomary, Daniela and Mary about our Bolivian meal night! I can't wait to hear what they think. If you have older kids and would like to get more involved, here are some ideas:

* Bolivian flag and country coloring page
* Individualized coloring page
* Learn Bolivian games: Tirar Frijoles & Lobo Lobito
* Time for Kids: Bolivia


Previous Recipes
* Rice Pudding
* Pisang Goreng
* Baiao De Dois
* Arepa

About Hannah Hinojosa...Hannah is a long time Compassion sponsor and writes about her sponsorship journey at Because of Shamim. In addition to being a wife and mother, she is a part-time math professor and loves to read.
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