Friday, 13 June 2014

She sent me one of my favourite verses!

I am fortunate to be correspondent to a lovely LDP student, Geraldine from Peru.  She is studying to be a teacher. I love to receive her letters are they are full of enthusiasm and affection.

I always love to send my kids verses, but I was so happy when Geraldine sent me this verse in her latest letter yesterday, as it is one of my favourites.

Psalm 37:31
The law of his God is in his heart;
his steps do not slip.

In fact, we had it made into a shirt for our quizzers.  I am going to send her these pictures.


Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Wise Solomon is in Engineering!

I just received a fantastic letter from my 20 year old student, Solomon from Ethiopia.  Solomon has been a correspondent for just over a year, and this is only my 3rd letter from him, but I feel like it is a 'breakthrough' letter.  Sometimes it takes a few and sometimes it takes several letters before you feel like you are making a connection.  This letter just contained so much excitement!

He says

"I have joined university this year... I am 1st year engineering student. Thanks be to God. You must be happy for making someone to be an engineer. You supported me a lot with God in order to be an important person.  Please pray for me to be successfuly in my university class and to have a blessed mind."

It's so awesome!

I wrote back right away to let him know that I am so proud of him, that his parents named him well.  I also mentioned that my father is an engineer, and my son plans on being on engineer when he gets older.

Even though it had nothing to do with me, I am a proud sponsor mama today :)

Friday, 16 May 2014

Final Letters

When Your Sponsored Child Graduates

It is both a happy and sad time when your Compassion child graduates. 2 of mine graduated this month and even though I've only known both of them for barely a year, I have enjoyed getting to know both of these amazing kids!  

To Karen Vanessa in El Salvador -  I hope you know that wherever you go, God has a plan for your life and I am here in Canada praying for you! I have enjoyed your letters and your drawings. I want to encourage you to keep fighting to stay in school and study something that you find interesting!  

To Rumario in Bolivia - you, young man, are going to be successful in accomplishing God's plan for your life. Let your fun personality shine through in whatever you do. Let Jesus be the light in you so that other people wonder what you have. I hope we can be in contact some day.

I hope you continue to grow as a strong and Godly young man. Keep your christian friends close to you as much as possible.  Find a christian man with a family in your church who you can talk to and who will pray with you. It is important to have strong christian mentors in your life.
I pray for your future wife and future family, that God will bless you and them in the years to come. 
My prayer for both of you is from Colossians 1:9-12 English Standard Version (ESV)

9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Pastor Letters Part 4 - Pleas for More Letters!

This is the 4th Post in a series about Compassion Projects' Pastor Letters. These letters from the pastors give us tremendous insight into our sponsored children's world. The first three parts in the series can be found here:

Pastor Letter Quotes Part 1 - A Safe Haven in Desperate Situations

Pastor Letters Part 2 - Good News

Paster Letters Part 3 - Addressing Health Concerns

Pastors share the importance of letters...

Our children get very excited every time they see a light plane landing because they know a letter from their sponsor may arrive

EC261 - The communities that we visit are not easy to access and the only way to get there is by light plane. Each community has its own landing strip made by the people in the area….Our children get very excited every time they see a light plane landing because they know a letter from their sponsor may arrive. Hearing from their sponsors is a huge motivation that pushes these children to keep on studying and becoming better; therefore, your communication is a great encouragement. Thank you so much for such a gift! Daniel Rogers, Director

raise up their self-esteem.
EC449 - Every time a sponsor sends a letter to their sponsored child, they are contributing to raise up their self-esteem. You make children feel loved and cared. Your sponsorship fills the lives of these children with joy and hope so that they learn to face the future. Juan Córdova

Letters and gifts make a lot of difference in the children's lives
UG522 Kibaale Child Development Center - Every time a child gets a sponsor, there is usually great improvement in their behavior and studies. They become so friendly. ... The sponsored children are always happy when they hear from their sponsors and they can see what their sponsors and their families look like in photos. Letters and gifts make a lot of difference in the children's lives.

UG704 I would like you to know that your personal sponsorship is so important to your sponsored child. Upon receiving sponsors letter and photos and gifts, they feel so happy. This makes them feel special and loved.

PH408 "We have received at least 220 letters and all of the children are excited to hear stories from their sponsors. I must say that the correspondence between the children and sponsors portray a very crucial role in the life of a child and their families. I have seen children who grew up without knowing their parents but as they knew their sponsor, they felt a sense of belongingness in their 'foster mom and dads.' The passion and care that the sponsors are showing to their sponsored children though letters touched their lives and made them aware that there are a lot of people who care about them

They jump full of joy

EC 227 – Keep on sending your letters as they have a huge value to these children. They jump full of joy every time they receive one.

BD508 – These children expects affection and love from their sponsors. The children become very happy while they get letter and gifts from the sponsors, which they never expect from their family.

There isn't a happier face

BO435 MMB Viliroco Student Center - I would also like to share and point out the great value of the close relationship you have with the kids through written correspondence. There isn't a happier face than the ones of the children when they receive a letter or a picture from their sponsors because they know that on the other side of the world there are people who pray and worry about them.

GU 943 Bethania Student Center - From the bottom of our heart we encourage you to send letters to the children in the center. A child's happiness is great to receive an encouraging letter from the sponsors, knowing that there is someone praying for them and their families.

From Marius Elabi: Partnership Faciliatator: If I can just share one more thing, it is to tell you how important your letters are. There are days when some children get letters and others don’t, and it is hard to explain. The staff tries very hard to make all the children feel special, but you can see when some children feel left out. If you are able to even send short letters, it helps so that all the children are able to receive something. And the words you share mean so much. The staff also helps each child to understand that their sponsor loves them and wants great things for their lives. 

From Lizbeth Torrico: Partnership Faciliatator: Finally I want to tell you my experience with the letters. During 14 years of sponsorship I only received 2 letters and that made my heart sad; many times I did not understand the reason why. I encourage you to be able to write letters; your words mean a lot to your sponsored child.

From Mr. Prajosh Rajan: - During my visits, I have witnessed the importance of sponsor letters. I have seen the immense joy of children when they receive the letters from their sponsors. While I visit homes, I have noticed that children are keeping the letters from their sponsors very safely. The few words that you write can mean a lot for these little ones. On the other hand, there are children who do not get letters from their sponsors. If you are able to even send short letters, I am sure that it will bring enormous joy and happiness in the life of your sponsored child.

From Micarlerme Pierre, Partnership Facilitator - Thank-you again for your support of your sponsored child. At last, I would like to say how important sponsor letters are for the children. Children feel very special when they receive letters and photos from their sponsors. It’s sometimes hard to explain ot them why some children receive, and some don’t.

From S. Libe Suryapusoro: Partnership Faiciliator of my Cris’ project: - I see how important letters from sponsors can be. Through sponsor’s letters, children feel special that there is someone who loves and pays attention to them. They feel they have a friend who accepts them just the way they are. If it is possible, please send letters to your sponsored child, even short ones; your sponsored child will feel a connection with you. This will also help the Project’s staff to make the children understand the love from their sponsors. The children will not feel alone in the world because their sponsors are there.

CO-667: no sponsor has ever visited the project and the project received about 150 letters.

- SIDE NOTE from a sponsor at this project - That means about 10% of the letters they get are from me to Karen. It breaks my heart to think how many kids are receiving little to no mail.

BF120 - Christians are few in number in our area. That is why the children's spiritual needs are great. It is lovely to see that the lives of the kids who are coming to the center are transformed. They are always glad to receive a letter or a photo of their sponsors.

UG544 - Your personal support as a sponsor means a lot not only to our center but also to our church and our community. Our children need to be loved and valued and their joy is evident when we share with them the names of their new sponsors or when they get letters, cards and photographs from their sponsors. That joy is unexplainable and it makes them feel extra-special.

TZ812 - Each child feels very sure and well of love and value to read every round of letters. Our children even tell me the name of the sponsor working with him or her. Photos give great excitement and lots of joy.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Pastor Letters Part 3 - Addressing Health Concerns

This is the 3rd Post in a series about Compassion Projects' Pastor Letters. These letters from the pastors give us tremendous insight into our sponsored children's world. The first two parts in the series can be found here:

Pastor Letter Quotes Part 1 - A Safe Haven in Desperate Situations

Pastor Letters Part 2 - Good News

and Pastor Letters Part 4 - Pleas for More Letters!

I was shocked when I read this pastor's letter talking about how commonplace leprosy is. Leprosy??!! How can this preventable and treatable disease still exist?

many families are affected with leprosy

EI-161 - In this community, many families are affected with leprosy, which has made them outcasts from the society. Leprosy is curable if treated in time. Leprosy-affected people become physically deformed, losing their fingers, hands, legs, and even eyes. Leprosy-affected people do get any jobs because of their physical deformity. Most lepers of this community take up begging as their profession.

Young people are at risk of joining unhealthy groups and practices. Malnutrition is prominent here. Children suffer from malaria, typhoid, skin diseases, etc. The sanitary system around the community is very impoverished. The maximum size of a house is 6 x 8 feet with an average of five people per household. Unemployment is high in this area. Usually parents go begging early in the morning and they return by evening. Children do not get food all day long and do not get opportunity to attend school.

a boy from the center was bitten by a snake

BF120 - In January 2009, a boy from the center was bitten by a snake and the vaccine was costly; it was only by the assistance through Compassion that he was saved, because his parents didn't have any way to buy the vaccine. Another child, an orphan, was suffering from cancer and his adoptive parents couldn't pay for care and were thinking he was cursed. But with Compassion's support, an operation was done and he is okay now.
Still others have received food that has helped them survive famine.

children that were undernourished

ES796 Pastor - We had 86 children that were undernourished, and now we only have 30 with a low weight.

kids, some of whom have got AIDS

TH910 - I really thank you that you and our other sponsors all have mercy heart to Thai kids, some of whom have got AIDS through their parent. There was one child who just passed away to be with God after having join us through the program for some time. Some are kids who need the good place to grow up so the parent relies on us as they want the children to be brought up here.

Malaria, hepatitis and tuberculosis is common among the people. (EI617)

Next in the series - Pastor Letters Part 4 - Pleas for More Letters!

Friday, 10 May 2013

Pastor Letters Part 2 - Good News

This is the 2nd Post in a series about Compassion Projects' Pastor Letters.  These letters from the pastors give us tremendous insight into our sponsored children's world.  The first part in the series can be found here.

The Compassion projects become a light in their community where people can see hope and learn about Jesus.

like an oasis in the desert
ES816 Jardin de Jesus Student Center - Our center through Compassion has become like an oasis in the desert, where the light of hope is being shown, where the children are taught about the Word of God

fewer than 20 percent of the parents were Christians
ES796 Pastor - When we began with the center, fewer than 20 percent of the parents were Christians. Now 84 percent received Christ in their hearts.

more than 54 persons have come to the Lord
ET805 Pastor Negessu Ebba- Ever since the center started, more than 54 persons have come to the Lord because of their children. In turn, those have brought 16 people to Christ....

many for the first time 
HA106 Pastor Elice Nortelus- We love the children and know each of them by name.....I am so thrilled when I see children and young people come to our center and learn, many for the first time, about our heavenly Father.

helping a tree to produce good fruits
CO329 CDI Manos Unidos - I am so grateful to you for helping children from my community. Know that you are helping a tree to produce good fruits. I am sure that you and I will see those fruits in the future. I want to thank you for helping children in need. You can make a difference in so many children's lives and in their community. 

a team of brothers and sisters
DR522 Jesus Fuente de Paz - We have a team of brothers and sisters - believers - helping our children and leading them in the knowledge of God's Word.

25 children … & seven parents have accepted Jesus as their Savior
TZ812 - Myself as a pastor have been always visiting the children in their Bible classes and know that as a result of these teachings, 25 children have accepted Jesus as their Savior. This development has deeply impressed their parents and moved them to attending our worship services. As a result of what is happening at our center many parents have very much been impressed by their children's new conduct after getting teachings about Jesus and now seven parents have accepted salvation through Jesus.

I would very much wish to tell you how this ministry is expanding my vision for ministering to this community that surrounds me. I have had great opportunity to preach God's Word to all parents very easily than before, when the center was not existent yet. Through this children's center is a wonderful opportunity.

though they come from Islamic background
KE355 - Already we have children who have confessed Christ as their Savior and though they come from Islamic background they are able to become disciples of Christ.

Next in the series - Pastor Letters Part 3 - Addressing Health Concerns

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Pastor Letter Quotes Part 1 - A Safe Haven in Desperate Situations

I love the information we get from the Pastor Letters at Compassion. Pastors of the Compassion Projects write a general letter to the sponsors of their children at least once every two years. They provide a fascinating glimpse into the world of our sponsored children.

This is the 1st Post in a series about Compassion Projects' Pastor Letters.  The first three parts in the series can be found here:

Pastor Letters Part 2 - Good News

Paster Letters Part 3 - Addressing Health Concerns

Pastor Letters Part 4 - Pleas for More Letters!
 Some of the letters will tug on your heart, to hear about the desperate situations in their communities. But there is Hope because the Compassion projects become a LIGHT in these communities and act as a Safe Haven for our children. Here are just a few examples.
‘death through starvation’
KE200 - Rev. M.G. Johnson - Of great importance, Compassion has revived a race and a generation, which would otherwise be extinct by now, due to the pressure of human wants and an absolutely non-conducive climate. Currently, without Compassion's partnership children would be coming to church naked or in tatters. The illiteracy and school dropout would be unstoppable, and above all death through starvation (and especially at this time of threatening drought and famine in our country) would escalate unpredictably. 

‘sons and daughters of prostitutes’  
BR-417 - "Most of these children live at risk in their houses. Usually they are sons and daughters of prostitutes and of parents involved with drug dealing. They live in Serviluz, an impoverished community in the outskirts of Forteleza. They come from unstructed families, in need of affection, attention, or even a simple smile."

‘Illegal video shows, drugs, and gangs ‘

ET-329: - "There are also evil influences in this town which suffers economic, social, and spiritual collapse. Illegal video shows, drugs, and gangs are traps to the young people. Many families are breaking and children often live on the street. "

‘Men here are irresponsible’

IN-380: - "In Banaswadi, mostly poor and neglected people are in the community facing major problems, like illiteracy, poverty, alcohol, and broken homes. Men here are irresponsible and women work and support the families. Children suffer from malnutrition."

‘come from broken families, child-headed homes..’

UG-721: - "Children who come to the center here at our church are very excited to be in the program because some of them come from broken families, child-headed homes, and others suffer from malnutrition. Some of the children live on less than a dollar a day."

‘been left as single and double orphans due to HIV scourge’

UG704 Nyaruhanga Child Development Center - Many of the children come from poverty-stricken background. Some have been left as single and double orphans due to HIV scourge. Many of the homes are headed by women because their husbands left for casual work far away from their homes. The responsibility of providing food, medical care to the children is done by the wives. Husbands come home after several months. Generally the living conditions here is poor, characterized by diseases, poor sanitary conditions, respiratory diseases and intestinal worms.

'they are often overworked with stressful house chores'

From Pastor Muganuza Romuard from RW-363, Gashonga- The children are very happy to come to the center here at our church to relax because back at home they are often overworked with stressful house chores. There is a big problem of poverty and unemployment is at the highest due to illiteracy. Children live in tiny crowded houses made of mud walls and the conditions they live in are quite unhygienic. It is for this reason that children suffer from various diseases such as malaria. Spiritual needs for the children are very high, for many of them have not known about Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour.

'child labor stems from the inability of the parents to send their children to school'

PH408 - Shepherd Child Development Center - "In our community, child labor stems from the inability of the parents to send their children to school. As early as 11 or 12 years old, children opted to work as a house helper to help their parents in supporting their large family. They never prioritize finishing school as they considered it as an 'additional' need. . . Most of the people [in this community] settle for farming, work as helpers and some got married at an early age. . . "

'unemployment rate is over 90 percent'

HA288 Capene Child Development Center - Our center is located in a very difficult community in Capeine, Bainet. The unemployment rate is over 90 percent. So, parents can't afford to pay their children's school tuition. Because of that, most of the children are involved in bad companies. Their families hardly cook a meal a day, and complain about their hard living conditions from time to time. It's evident now that our partnership with Compassion is more than a blessing. It helps us to have an impact on children's lives in the community.

'alcoholism, teenage pregnancy, underemployment'

EC 227 - The main social problems that we face here are: alcoholism, teenage pregnancy, underemployment and migration. In addition, one in every three couples that live together are not legally married; they just cohabitate. All these social issues have created a very sad family environment for many children. A large percentage of kids come from dysfunctional families, so they lack affection, as well as, have problems related to their behavior and their academic performance. [...] All I can state, my beloved sponsors, is that I am thankful for your putting a smile on the face of each child and their families. Thank you so much for sharing your love and blessings with your sponsored child. Please, do not stop praying for them and please remember what Jesus said in Matthew 25:40, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me" (NIV). I am sure you will find your reward in the kingdom of heaven.

'hardly eat a decent meal a day'

PH863 – Our place where we are ministering to these children is one of the most depressed towns in Eastern Samar, Philippines. People here have to migrate to other towns and even abroad in order for them to find regular source of income. Those who decide to stay have to be content in the small amount of money they earn from farming or fishing, which is not even enough to provide nutritious food for the family. Children here can hardly eat a decent meal a day, and some of them often must skip meals. They live in homes made up of wood, bamboo and coconut leaves, which are destroyed by typhoons that usually hit our area. Poor sanitation is also present in the community, and many of our children are suffering from respiratory diseases, skin rashes and other illnesses. The spiritual needs of the children are also great.

'Promiscuity and sanitation problems are rampant'

HA731 – The difficulties in the community are many. Most of the children live in very small and crowded homes. Promiscuity and sanitation problems are rampant. Children are vulnerable to malnutrition and other types of diseases. These children are always delighted to come to the center here at our church because they are often stressed at their homes and in the area where they live. But in the center they have the privilege to enjoy lots of activities prepared for them.

'place where all social evils are present'

IN384 Siddapura Child Development Center - As we see in the background of the community where we live, it is the place where all social evils are present and children is prone to be victim of this. The children live in a situation where they see their own parents always fighting, using very bad and filthy language, having extra-marital relationship, addicted to alcohol and not even bothered to send the children to school. The number of children in the family is more, and they struggle to fulfill the basic amenities. Many children are left uncared of sickness and malnourishment. There is no joy in the face in the children. It is because of the sponsors who restore that lost smile back of the children's face.

'40% of their pregnant women die every year during child birth'

TZ-303 - 40% of their pregnant women die every year during child birth. The reason the percentage is so high is because the health centre is so far away that the women die on the road while giving birth!

'most of the children are from polygamous families'

BF120 -The children are very glad to come to our center, because they are relieved to receive services. Most of the population here is poor and most of the children are from polygamous families where the children are left to mothers whose lack resources.

I am so grateful for the ministry of Compassion in these desperate communities.