Friday, December 2, 2016

Hola from Ecuador!

Today I found letters waiting for me from both of my Compassion friends in Ecuador: my sponsored child Blanca, and my correspondent Edison!

First up, here is an update from Blanca:

She is doing well in school and working hard so that she can "be promoted to the next school year". She got some new school supplies at her project. She visited her uncles in Quito and had fun and went to church there. She asks me to pray for her studies.

Edison's photo has updated since I wrote to him last. He spent his vacation with his family and says "and every day I feel better." He is trying to finish high school now so that he can go to college someday. He says "I know it is difficult but not impossible, if you have faith in God everything you propose you will achieve it." He says he is learning interesting things at his project. I am always amazed by his faith and his wisdom!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

An End and a Beginning

Today when I logged onto MyCompassion, I found much to my surprise a letter waiting for me classified as "Final Letter." It was written on behalf of Jose, one of my correspondent "kids":

Dear Sponsor (it was addressed both to his financial sponsor and myself),
My very warm greetings to you. We hope the love of God reign in your home. This letter is to thank you on behalf of Jose, who is very happy for all the support received that was of great impact to his life. He could discover through your letters and presents that generous people exist, but due to personal and family issues he is no longer coming to the program. His life has taken a new path. He could enjoy a well-balanced diet, medical, psychological and educational assistance, as well as camps, retreats, field trips, birthday and Christmas celebrations. Our church is very grateful for such generosity. My God always bless you. We encourage you to continue blessing the life of a new child. We will pray for you. Sincerely, N. (Project Director)

I hope that the reasons he had to leave were good ones, such as the fact that both his mom and his aunt both had babies recently and maybe they need his help around the house more. But I may never know. Thankfully, God does. Please keep Jose in your prayers. He is only 14 years old and whatever country you're from the teenage years can be tough, especially if there isn't a strong support system in place like this project at his local church.

As much as this is sad news to receive, it was exactly perfect timing as well. I had already planned to contact Compassion Canada this morning and ask to be added to the waiting list for one more correspondent child! So now the waiting begins, before I will "meet" someone new to write to and encourage.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

News from Peru (Finally!)

It had been ten months since I last heard from Jose, my correspondent teen in Peru, until today. I had just asked Compassion Canada to do an inquiry into this about a week ago and lo and behold, there was a letter for me from him in my MyCompassion account today! It looks like the letter was written in March. I'm guessing the implementation of the new letter system had something to do with the delay. Whatever the reasons, I'm excited to finally have a letter from him that also came with a picture!

Here is the letter:

Dear sponsor, I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus. I hope that you are in good health. Thank you for your letters, the Christmas card and the cute owl that you painted (I coloured a picture and sent it to him as I'm not great at drawing). 

His financial sponsor sent him a significant amount of money as a gift, and with it he was able to buy sneakers, boots, sweatpants, a pair of pants, sweatshirts and a cap, to which he says Great!

I am so happy to hear that you found a job, congratulations! God always listen to the prayers, you are going to have such a nice experience with the children from Uganda.

I know there is so much hunger in Africa, but I don't exactly know much about it. It is so nice that Compassion is over there too, reaching out to more children, such a blessing! ...Thanks for telling me about your trip to Canada with your choir; I will pray for you. Please, I send greetings for them, I will be praying for them and for you.

I try to imagine their faces when watching the snow; such an unforgettable experience for them. I hope that one day will snow here, in order to touch it. May God guard you and take care of you while you travel. 

My aunt, my mom's sister, just had a baby so I help her to look after him. My mom also has a four-month-old baby, his name is Exmit and he is my fourth brother. He is healthy, thank God. I liked the card of Easter and the Bible text of 1 John 3:1: "See what great love the father has lavished on us..." and Psalms 23:1: "The Lord is my Shepherd; I lack nothing." I hope to hear from you soon, about the new things that you do and your family. I finish these lines with many kisses and hugs. From Peru, the person who loves you a lot, Jose. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Kaveri: Hope in Hardships

I received another letter from Kaveri today. It was titled "Something About Me." 

Here are some of the things I learned about her:

She is really good at singing, and she enjoys dancing. When she grows up she wants to be a teacher!

Her favourite colour is orange and one of her favourite games is hide-and-seek.

She goes to school a lot. Her dad works as a driver and her mom maintains the home. She helps her mom at home and loves her family very much. 

She is shy but very kind. She loves all kinds of fruits but her favourite is mango. The project worker writing on her behalf says She want fruit, sweets and so many food but she can't tell her parents because she feel families poor condition. Her understanding power is very good. While that is so heartbreaking to hear, it also shows that she has a lot of understanding at a very young age. And the letter doesn't end there!

She gets along well with her teachers and likes to help needy people. She loves attending her project. Her parents are very happy that she is attending the project and are glad that my family is also here to help her.

Despite the very difficult situation she is living in every day, she has hopes and dreams for her future and is treating other needy people with kindness. Even though her parents may not be able to provide her with many material things, they love her very much and are likely also learning new things from their daughter's experience at the project. The Compassion project at her local church is changing her life! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Letter from Rosalie: Visitors from Korea, Relatives and Good Teachers

I'm excited to say that I got another letter written by Rosalie's mother today. And the letters are getting longer! Yay! Here are some highlights:

She told me that Rosalie's twin sister is in 6th grade now. Since Rosalie is in Special Education classes, they attend separate schools.

In June, a relative of the person who sponsors her grandson through Compassion came to visit and spent time in their home. They are from Korea. Rosalie's mom says "We enjoy the visit although we can't understand each other." I wonder if that's what the kids I visited in Ecuador tell their sponsors about our visit?

She says that three of her sons "live in partners" (I'm not sure if that means married or just living together), but she ONLY has three grandchildren! I think she wants more :)

She says that Rosalie has a good teacher at her Compassion project, who understands her situation and helps the whole class to be understanding and kind.

And finally, "Rosalie want to ask if you have a plan to come to the Philippines." <3 The plan is if I ever have enough money to go and Compassion Canada is going then I will be there! I told her I am continuing to pray that such an opportunity will arise.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Celebrating 100

Today, just after I published my post with updates from Asia, Blogger told me that I have now shared 100 blog posts. Wow, that’s a pretty big milestone! 

Here's a quick look back at where this blog has been over the past two years:

First, there was the significance of the name of my blog: from Saskatchewan to Sodo. It is connected to the story of how God led me to sponsor my first Compassion child, Misgana, in 2011. 

Then I was able to share the story of how I met and sponsored Blanca in Ecuador in 2013.  Quite unexpectedly, Rosalie's sponsorship photo and information came into my hands and she joined my Compassion Family in March 2014.  In November of that same year I said goodbye to Priyanka, my family’s previously-sponsored child as her family had become self-sufficient. Along the way we said goodbye to three correspondent children whose sponsors did not keep them for long: Antonela, Kurt and Emmanuel. Kaveri joined my Compassion family in December of 2014 as a new correspondent/my parents' sponsored child.
In 2015, I had lots of fun finding pictures of twins needing sponsors through Compassion and sharing their similarities and differences in a blog post. 

2016 saw me absent from the blogging world for the first couple of months, but when I returned a fellow Compassion sponsor was able to share with us her amazing experiences on a Compassion Exposure Trip in El Salvador!

We have seen pictures and stories of kids around the world who are waiting for sponsors with Compassion (even some cute videos from Compassion International's website!). You have watched with me as the members of my Compassion family have grown from young children, to teenagers, to men and women who will be able to bring positive change to their communities. We are starting to hear more about their hopes and dreams for the future, and seeing just how much sponsorship means to them and to their families. 

Who knows what the next couple of years (and next 100 blog posts) will bring?

Updates from Asia!

*Yes, I am purposefully being vague on the location of these children. Current events have made me decide to do this to ensure their information is protected. If you know where these children are from, kindly refrain from providing that information. Thanks!*

Today I have two updates from members of my Compassion Family. First of all, Malathi's birthday is today!

She is now 13 years old. She is my newest correspondent, so I am still anxiously awaiting a first letter from her! I hope she has a wonderful day.

I also got a letter from Kaveri today, titled "My Project Learning".

Here are some highlights:

About manners, I have learnt: "When you meet anyone that time greet, always respect to elders, wish always good."

About taking care of my body, I have learnt: "Always bath, wash hand before and after meal, eat healthy food, drink lots of water."

About behavior, I have learnt: "Caring. Always care of animals, as well always care of tree."

Moral lessons I have learnt in my project in the last six months: "Don't lie, always talk true, always help to needy people."

...She lives so far from project but is coming to the project regularly. She is happy about project choose her. She feel very secure about project. She is so excited about you. You are so good person in her life. You are her best friend.