Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Rayson in Kenya

Rayson in Kenya
August 24, 2011

Rayson is one of my daughter's correspondent children. She has been writing letters to him since January 2015 and has received 8 letters so far. 

He lives with his parents, siblings, grandparents, aunt and uncle.

  • KE 563 (Serem Child Development Center)
  • approximately 350 children
  • walks 2 km
  • activities - singing and dancing
  • eats rice with beans

  • color - pink / blue
  • food - rice and beef
  • story - creation
  • subject - religious education
  • sport - soccer
  • animal - cow
  • hero - Jesus

Miscellaneous info:
  • wants to visit Nairobi
  • wants to meet President Obama / wants to be like him
  • wants to see the airport
  • wants to help family have a decent house
  • wants to be a journalist
  • gifts received: trouser, shirt, jacket, vests, sugar and underwear
  • sleeps on the floor
  • gets water from a well
  • house made of mud walls and iron sheet roof
  • does not have electricity

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Yoselin in Dominican Republic

Yoselin in Dominican Republic
January 9, 2005

We began sponsoring Yoselin in September 2009. I was specifically looking for a child that shared a birthday with my oldest daughter, and found Yoselin was an exact match! Finding birthday buddies for my girls has been such a great way for them to take more ownership of Compassion's ministry and our family's involvement with sponsorship. A couple years ago, I switched this sponsorship over to my daughter and she is now responsible for all the letter writing. So far we have received 29 letters.

father - Domingo
mother - Yoselin
siblings - (oldest to youngest) Caterine, Francis, Blady, Pedro, Luis, Carlos, Manuel and Jazmin

Caterine, Fancis and Blady are her father's kids / Pedro, Luis, Carlos and Manuel are her mother's kids / Yoselin and Jazmin are full sisters

(two different letters mentioned the above kids....another letter also mentioned Lisaul, Carola and Wendy)

  • approx 325 children
  • write letters, take Bible classes, play sports, group activities
  • attends Mennonite church

  • food - plantains and salami / sancocho (soup cooked with plantains, manioc and meat)
  • color - yellow / green
  • animal - dog
  • activity - go to beach or river / ride bike
  • game - volleyball / soccer
  • subject - literature
  • hero - God / Jesus

Miscellaneous info:

  • throws teeth up and says "little mouse, little mouse, I give you this little tooth. Please send me another pretty one." 
  • gifts received: yellow clothes, 2 pair sandals, black sneakers, underwear, shoes, dresser
  • house has water and electricity / made of wood
  • likes to pray
  • hobbies: play, tv, share, read, clean, go out
  • wants to be doctor
  • wants to visit Puerto Rico, New York, Spain and Italy
  • likes to go camping

"I love you as much as Jesus love me."

"I go to the center every day and I learn the word of God there. I like music a lot. I love to help other people out. I believe that Jesus died to save us." 

"Thanks for your letters and gifts. They are of great blessing to me. You talk to me about patience in the letters you send me, and I have had a lot of patience at this moment. My father has a little tumor in his lung. I pray for God to heal him."

"I will tell you about my feelings. God gave me a heart to feel several emotions, and some of them are: I feel happy when I play with my friend. Sometimes I get sad when my mom goes to work to the capital, and I get angry when they don't let me play with my friends."
showing us her emotions - happy, sad and angry

Thursday, August 11, 2016

What to Write - Commandment 8

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)
  7. seventh letter (sixth commandment - do not murder)
  8. eighth letter (seventh commandment - do not commit adultery)

And now for the ninth letter discussing the eighth commandment...


We are nearing the end of our 10 Commandments - only a few more to go. Today's letter is about the eighth commandment - "You shall not steal." 

What does it mean to steal? There are a couple different ways to define the word steal. The first, and most common, is to take something without permission and without the intent of returning it. Maybe you see a piece of candy lying around and no one is looking. Is it ok to take it and eat it without permission? According to this commandment, if you do not have permission then it's stealing and that is not permitted. Anytime you take a physical object that does not belong to you, without permission from the owner, it is stealing.

Another definition of stealing has to do with honesty. Perhaps you hear a wonderful idea and you try to pass it off as your own. If you don't give credit to the original source, then you are stealing the idea and being dishonest to those around you. It's much better to say to the person who had the idea, "What a wonderful idea! Do you mind if I use it as well?" If you don't have the opportunity to ask the person, another acceptable way to handle the situation is to be honest about where you got the idea to begin with. You could say something like, "My friend wrote a similar story and I loved the idea so much that I decided to try it myself."

One other definition of steal is to do something in secret - like "steal a kiss" when no one is looking or "steal a glance" at another student's test paper. You aren't taking anything from anyone or being dishonest, but you are doing something you don't want anyone else to see.

When we steal, we are not keeping the New Testament command to love our neighbor. It is not loving to take something (either a physical object or an idea) from someone else without their permission. In many cultures, there is a penalty for stealing - either a monetary fine or perhaps even time in jail. It's important to keep the law - both the civil law and God's law. Following God's commands takes discipline and a resolve to behave differently than those around us. It may be hard to resist temptation, but we need to remember that God doesn't give us these commands for the sake of ordering us around. He has given them to us out of love, because He truly does know what is best for us.

May God bless you as you continue to grow in your knowledge of Him. I pray these letters are helpful to you, and that you are better able to understand how much God loves you. I know they have been helpful for me, and that I have learned a lot from writing them. Until next time, be faithful.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Mwaniki in Kenya

Jackson Mwaniki in Kenya
May 27, 1999

We began sponsoring Jackson in June 2012. He attends the same project our Dominic attended, and I wanted to sponsor another child in the same project just in case I ever get to Kenya. Dominic was graduating in October, and we went ahead and sponsored Jackson in June so their sponsorship would overlap a little and they could share the bond of sharing a sponsor. So far we have received 20 letters from Jackson.

He lives with his mother and younger brother. His parents were never married, and I don't know if he has a relationship with his father.

Jackson attends KE 200 - Anglican Church of Kenya and Kamwaa Child Development Center. He started attending the Compassion project at age 4, and had several sponsors before us.


  • color - green
  • story - King Pharoah
  • subject - math / kiswahili
  • food - chips
  • game - car racing

Miscellaneous info:
  • wants to be doctor / policman (2013)
  • fetches water 
  • looks after cattle
  • collect firewood
  • sweeps compound
  • likes soccer and running

Gifts received from sponsorship:
  • school bag
  • leather shoes
  • 2 chickens
  • mattress
  • goats
  • flour
  • 2 plastic chairs
  • food
  • one year we sent a bag with the following: blue t-shirt, toothpaste, pencils, calculator, photo album, bag, notebook, flashlight and mints (which he shared with his friends!)

Jackson is a great letter writer, but has only sent this one drawing. He often refers to himself as "your son" and in every letter shares a Bible verse with us.

"I thank you for the letters you wrote to me. They are quite encouraging because of the Bible verses that are quite blessing. Thanks a lot and may the Lord God bless you as you try to look for more Bible verse to write to me." 
"I would request request you to help me in my prayers for prosperity in my education. How would you wish me to pray for you or join you in?" 
"I request you to pray for us to be blessed with rain. How do you want me to pray for you?" 
"I like swimming although it is dangerous to do it in the nearby river where there are crocodiles." 
"I received advice from your former sponsored child Dominic Muchangi who is working in a public hospital."

Friday, August 5, 2016

Ruth in Bolivia

Ruth in Bolivia
December 18, 2007

We began sponsoring Ruth in March of 2012. So far we have received 23 letters, most written by her mom, with several others written by her older sister, Giselle, and her older brother, Luis. In October 2014, we received our first letter written by Ruth, herself. 

Ruth is one of 5 children, and is the fourth born. Her siblings are Luis, Giselle, Jonatan, Nataly and Benjamin. The baby, Benjamin, was born in 2015. She lives at home with her parents in the area called Cochabamba. 

Ruth attends BO  522, which is a 30 minute walk from her home. She attends the project on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. 

At the project she enjoys learning to pray, brush her teeth, take care of others and care for God's creation.


  • verse - Psalm 23 (she mentions this verse many times over several years, so I truly think it is her favorite)
  • season - spring (she loves flowers. One letter said "she gets sad when flowers die.")
  • day of the week - Sunday because she goes to church
  • subject - math
  • Bible character - Samson

Miscellaneous info:
  • wants to be a doctor
  • wants to visit Lake Titicaca
  • lives in a brick house
  • gets water from tanker truck
  • has electricity in house
  • Feb 2014 - best student of kindergarten
  • bought shoes, uniform for school and backpack with gifted money

Many of the letter templates had a small blurb with statistics from Bolivia....

Ruth loves to draw and so many of her letters include beautiful, colorful drawings for us.

These next few show that she started drawing a familiar scene on each letter, and eventually started adding new things to the scene.

When Wess Stafford retired, I invited all my sponsored children to write a brief note to him and this is what Rut's mother sent....

Dear Mr. Wess Stafford,
Greetings! Ruth sends her regards to you with love. It is really a great joy and a privilege to be able to talk with you, because you got a ministry with children throughout the world. And one of the children who received love and support is Ruth. She and her family are very thankful to be able to meet you by the photo Jill has sent for us. Ruth wishes the best for you and your whole family. And, may God be with you in every activity that you do. Through this ministry, many children and families know Jesus. Thanks to the years that you were involved in this work. You will remain in our prayers and hearts of many children. God bless you. Ruth will say bye with all her gratitude and love, Zaida (mother). 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Lian in Colombia

Lian Lee
October 10, 2004

We began sponsoring Lian in October 2009 as an attempt to get my youngest daughter a birthday buddy. The exact date was off, but it was as close as I could get at the time. So far we have received 35 letters from Lian, and you'll see later how much this girl likes to draw.

Lian lives at home with her father, Geovanny, mother, Mayra and sister, Daimy Yuliana. Her parents are not married (never were) and a letter in 2015 indicated that they were separated and no longer living together.

Lian's dad, mom, grandpa, aunt and sister

Lian attends CO 660 - Holistic Development Center Crecer, which is located 1 km from her house. At the project she likes learning, snacks, drawing and playing with her friends.

  • color - pink
  • food - arepa with mortadella
  • verse - Psalm 91
  • subject - English / religion
  • hero - Jesus
  • animal - dog
  • fruit - plum / grapes
  • sport - basketball / soccer

Miscellaneous info:

  • likes to watch tv
  • uses gas cylinder for cooking
  • loves school
  • likes to draw
  • likes to sing
  • likes to ride bike and play freeze tag
  • March 2013 - building a new house
  • wants to go to Brazil
  • wants to go to Bogota because it's the capital
  • wants to see the sea
  • wants to be a veterinarian / teacher (math and writing) / nurse (2015) / policewoman (2016)

Lian with her mom 

I celebrate Christmas with my family and friends. We share the most traditional dishes in my region which are the "hallacas" (traditional Colombian tamal), "natillas" (custard), "bunuelos" (cheese ball) and "masato" (drink made of corn).

One of my biggest wishes is that one day you come to visit me, or I go to visit you, it would be wonderful don't you think?

The letter templates from Colombia are so colorful!

March 2013
I get up at 6am. I attend the project and then do my school homework. I go to school Monday through Friday from 12:10-5:15pm. I go to the project Tues, Wed and Thurs. I go to bed at 8:10 pm. The day of the week I love most is Friday becasue I study the subjects I love most.

Lian posing with some items she received from gift $

"this is my handwriting"

wearing new pink shoes she received from the project

Monday, August 1, 2016

July Compassion Joys

this month we heard from Ruth, Nadege and Kendry!

Collins turned 11 on July 7th

Duncan turned 17 on July 23rd

photo update

Ruth in Bolivia is growing up

I had the chance to meet up with Cecilia from Peru. She was one of our amazing translators for our advocate tour in 2010. I've kept in touch with her and she was passing through Oregon on a big road trip. (If you want to know more about her job as a translator with Compassion, you can read a post she wrote HERE.) 

in 2010....

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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