Monday, November 17, 2014

Saying Goodbye


I had to do something very hard today. I had to write a final letter to one of my closest friends: Priyanka, my parents' sponsored child in India. She is leaving Compassion's program for very good reasons, but after almost 10 years of building a friendship through writing letters, it's hard to say goodbye. Her letters have been a significant source of encouragement for me, and I know she faithfully prays for me and my family. I just wish we could meet face to face!

Despite having never met, I can honestly say that Priyanka is one of my closest friends. We've grown up together. And more and more each day I'm learning that good friends are few and far between. But because we both believe in Jesus, we have an incredible hope. This goodbye is not goodbye forever. As I told her in the final letter, if we do not get to meet on earth, we will meet one day in heaven and be able to catch up on stories of our lives.

It has been an amazing ten years getting to know her. She frequently invites my family and I to visit her. Last I heard, she wants to be a doctor someday. Her favourite colour is red and her favourite verse is Psalm 23:1. We have shared so much about our lives with each other.

While this may seem like an end, it is only the beginning. Priyanka has the rest of her life ahead of her to live as a Godly young woman and be a witness of His love wherever she goes. And I am only in the beginning stages of getting to know another 9-year-old girl: one who also likes the colour red and whose favourite Bible verse is Psalm 23:1:


This is not goodbye. I know we'll meet again, so let your life begin. Cuz this is not goodbye, it's just "I love you" to take with you, until you're home again...
(The Sidewalk Prophets: This is Not Goodbye)



Friday, November 7, 2014

Smile! Part 2

Hello Compassion friends! This is the second edition of one of my previous blog posts. Click here to read my blog post called Smile! The goal of these posts is to highlight some children who are currently in need of sponsors. Today I want to introduce you to some kids with amazing smiles! Click on their names to view their full profiles on Compassion International's website.


First up is lovely Rose from Haiti! She is 4 years old. 


This little guy is 3-year-old Sky from Indonesia!


This is Dinidu from Sri Lanka. 


This is sweet little Stacy from Honduras. 


And finally, a friendly wave from Luis in Bolivia. 

You can bring a smile to a child living in poverty today! Consider sponsoring a child through Compassion, or send an encouraging note to kids you already sponsor :)


Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Day to Celebrate

I still remember the day in April 2005 when my friends and I attended a ZOEgirl concert in Toronto. One of the members of the band spoke about Compassion, and it was the first time I had ever heard about this ministry. Being only 11 years old at the time I didn't fully get it though. They asked anyone who wanted to sponsor a child to raise their hand, and someone would come around and hand them a picture and information of a child waiting for a sponsor. I looked across the row to where my mom was sitting. She raised her hand! I felt embarrassed--I thought it would draw attention to us. What was she doing? After a couple minutes, this picture was put in her hands:


Her name is Priyanka. She was my family's first sponsored child. She was 9 years old when my mom sponsored her. My mom doesn't like writing letters, so she handed that responsibility over to me. I had no idea what I was getting into. Little did I know that years later, Priyanka and I would become very close friends.

We have now been writing to each other for 10 years--she turns 19 in December. I can honestly say that she is one of my closest friends even though we've never met. Her letters have been a great source of encouragement to me.

Today, I received news from Compassion about Priyanka. As of recently, her family has become self-sufficient and is no longer in need of Compassion's assistance. That is by far the best reason for a child or teenager to leave the Compassion program. I am so excited for her and her family! I will miss writing to her, and it's probably going to take awhile to get used to not receiving letters from her anymore, but I know that God will take care of her. 


God used my family's involvement in Priyanka's life to change the story for her: economically, physically, and most importantly spiritually. She now knows that there is hope in Jesus Christ even in the midst of poverty's dire circumstances. She has received an excellent education and her family's basic needs are being provided for. She can go into the world with confidence, knowing that she can handle anything as long as God is with her. Compassion has prepared her to become a Godly young woman who can have a positive influence on her community, her country, and ultimately her world. That is definitely a reason to celebrate!

There are many children like Priyanka who are currently waiting for loving sponsors to speak encouragement into their lives, and support them on their journeys similar to the one Priyanka has taken through her time in Compassion. There are even some children named Priyanka who are waiting for sponsors right now! .

I want to introduce you to one Priyanka who is waiting for a sponsor. This is Priyanka S.


Priyanka S. is 5 years old. Her birthday is August 19, 2009. She also lives in India, with her father and mother. There are 3 children in the family (just like my Priyanka's family!). Her household duty is buying or selling in the market. Her parents are sometimes employed as laborers.

For fun, Priyanka likes playing house, hide-and-seek and group games. Her performance in kindergarten is average.

If Priyanka sounds like a perfect fit for your Compassion family, click here to view her full profile.

If you want to find your own Priyanka, check out www.compassion.ca or www.compassion.com. Your life will never be the same!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Asante


This past week was pretty dull. While many of my friends got a week off from school, I had to take an extra class--a whole semester crammed into one week--that I need in order to graduate in April. In the midst of the academic stress I was facing, I got a surprising text from my mom, telling me that a choir of children from Uganda were staying in our small Saskatchewan town and were going to put on a concert that night! It was a very last-minute thing. Most people in my town knew nothing about this until Thursday afternoon or evening! It was a wonderful surprise.

This group of children is the Asante Childrens' Choir. They are 11-16 years old, from Uganda, have grown up in extreme poverty, and have lost one or both of their parents. From what I heard, they seem to have a similar mission to other African choirs I know about, namely the African Children's Choir and the Watoto Children's Choir. This is their first tour in Canada! Until February 2015, they are travelling around my country, sharing the hope they have, praising God even in the midst of difficult circumstances. It is am amazing testimony to God's goodness. "Asante" means "Thank-You". When they sing and dance they are saying thank you to God!

Here are some highlights from the concert:










I also got videos of some of the songs. I would have recorded more but my phone didn't have enough room. I hope you enjoy what I did record, though :)




Click here to check out Asante's website for their Canadian tour. See if they're coming to a city near you! It is definitely worth going if they have a concert in your area. 


One of my friends and I got to talk with some of the girls in the choir after their performance. I told one of the girls that I hoped they would come back to my town someday. She said that I should tell everyone I had a dream that they came back here, so then it will have to happen :P I certainly hope we will see them again! "Asante", Asante, for a wonderful evening. 

Please keep this choir in your prayers as they continue their tour!