Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Blanca's First Photo Update!

Besides receiving letters from sponsored kids, another exciting time for Compassion sponsors is when their child's picture updates! We only receive photo updates of our sponsored and correspondent kids every 1 and a half to two years, so they are very special. It's amazing how much they change in that time! Along with the updated picture also comes updated information, so we can know how they're doing in school, what other activities they enjoy, etc.

So without further ado, here is what I have learned about Blanca, my sponsored child in Ecuador!
To read about how Blanca became part of my Compassion family, click here.

Here is Blanca's photo from 2012 (the photo I got when I sponsored her). She was 7 years old:

At the time I sponsored Blanca, she was in grade 4 in Ecuador which is the equivalent of grade 3 in Canada and the U.S. Her performance in school was average. Her chores included running errands and cleaning. She enjoyed playing with dolls and jumping rope.

And now, here is her updated photo from April 2014! She is now 9 years old.

Blanca is now in grade 5 (aka grade 4 in Canada and the U.S.'s standards). Her chores at home include washing clothes, running errands, cleaning and kitchen help. She enjoys playing hide-and-seek, running, and other ball games. (I hope she still enjoys playing with dolls because I'm sending one to her in July with a group of Compassion sponsors who are travelling to Ecuador!). Her performance in school is now....drumroll please.... above average! So exciting! And her best subject is math. Want proof that child sponsorship works? Just look at some of the differences between these photo updates!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Proud Sponsor Moments!

It can be hard to develop a friendship with your sponsored child, especially if you only hear from them a few times a year. It takes awhile to build that trust and familiarity. For the past couple years, the letters I have received from Misgana haven't been too personal, and at times have been quite short. I know that she is grateful for the support we give her and we love her just the same but sometimes I've wondered when my friend and I would get a letter from her that was a little more personal. Well, today was the day! This sweet letter is just so awesome that I had to share it:

My respectful and dearly beloved family, how are you doing? I hope you are doing good. I and my family are so good. I am attending my 2nd semester education. I am glad as I am improving now. We have celebrated the Christmas feast in various preparations including drama. I have been participating in the drama. I played the character of Moses' mother. It was so interesting. From the Bible let me share you one verse, "For the Lord so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" John 3:16. I love you so much. I hope you love me too. I will be glad if I may meet with you. 

What Misgana doesn't know is that ever since my friend and I sponsored her in 2011, we have been hoping to go on a Compassion trip to Ethiopia to meet her in the future! I just wrote her a letter and told her we would also like to meet her someday, and asked her to join us in praying about that.

This is definitely the best letter from Ethiopia that we have received so far!

To read about how Misgana became part of my Compassion family, click here

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

First Letter from the Philippines

It's always an exciting day for a Compassion sponsor when they see an envelope with this on it in the mail!

Today I got my first letter from 11-year-old Rosalie. Many of you probably remember when I added this sweet girl to my Compassion family recently.

Rosalie lives in the Philippines with her family. I did not realize until today how big her family actually is! Her mother wrote the letter on Rosalie's behalf.

I found out that there are 8 children in Rosalie's family! The information I got from Compassion when I sponsored her said there were 5. This is because some of her brothers are over the age of 18. From this first letter I found out that her brother's names are Rolando, Enries, Joseph, Rusty, Earnest and Regie. Rosalie also has a twin sister named Ronalie who also attends the Compassion project. The language Rosalie speaks is Tagalog and her favourite foods include spaghetti and fried chicken. Her mother wrote a short message to me. She said:

Dear Sponsor,
First of all I would like to thank you for choosing my child, she is so blessed to have you as her sponsor. I am Rowena Taon, mother of Rosalie. How are you? We as a family are doing good. Rosalie is the youngest among my eight children (that answers my question of who the older twin is!). Again, thank you for supporting my child. Love, R.

Rosalie also drew pictures of a star, flower and a sun.

I'm looking forward to the opportunities I will continue to have to connect with Rosalie and her family, and to make a difference in her life In Jesus' Name. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"That's Why I Sponsor a Child"

I think many of us living in North America and other well-off countries today often forget how privileged we are. We have so many opportunities that millions of kids all over the world can't even dream of. I have some college-age friends who have had serious health problems, some even needing open-heart surgery, and those operations and medical treatments have been able to happen, and they are continuing to live full lives. But what if you had a child, a sibling, or a best friend, who needed life-saving surgery but couldn't afford it? How would you feel? What would you do? Would you lose all hope?

This mother shares a story about her son Judah, who needed open-heart surgery when he was just a newborn. It was a hard time for her and her family. But thanks to God's goodness and the medical treatment available in the States today, Judah had a successful surgery and is living a full life!
Watch Judah's Story Here

Judah's mom says that every year 6 million children die who don't have to. If they only had the medical care we take for granted here, many more children in the developing world could grow up to be strong, healthy adults. This is a fact that can seem quite depressing. Is there anything we can do about it?

The answer is YES. Through reliable organizations like Compassion, we can provide help and hope to families who would otherwise be helpless to watch their children die of preventable causes. By sponsoring a child living in extreme poverty you can help them be able to grow up healthy and strong, just like Judah is. All it takes is $41/month CDN, or $35 a month in U.S. dollars.

That's why Judah's mom sponsors a child. I agree with her reasons, and of course there are many more. My family started sponsoring this girl, 9-year-old Priyanka, back in 2005. I know that the sponsorship has had a huge impact in her growth and development in so many ways. She is now 18, and tells me in almost every letter she writes how much this sponsorship means to her. 

Why do you sponsor? Or if you don't currently sponsor, what is holding you back?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My First Guest Post!

Hi everyone! Today I have the privilege of being featured in Lizzie's Blog, Love is an Action. Lizzie is a Compassion sponsor and correspondent who lives in the U.S. I've really enjoyed getting to know her over the past year through a Compassion sponsors social networking site called OurCompassion. On top of being a dedicated sponsor and correspondent, Lizzie also has her own business making bracelets to financially support some of her Compassion kids! To check out her Etsy shop go to MadeFromSratch4u. She also makes custom bracelets for Compassion sponsors, with beads from each country that you sponsor children in! These make great gifts. I've ordered them from her multiple times!

The story I'm sharing on her blog is called Washington's Prayer. It's about the incredible faith of a boy named Washington who I met in Ecuador in January 2013, and how his prayers have made a huge difference in his life and the lives of his family members. So go check it out :)