Friday, February 11, 2011

~ Birthday Trees ~

Yesterday, I was so thrilled to get one of those coveted cream envelopes in my mailbox.  As I slowly tore it open, I noticed a staple in the corner and had a moment of anticipation, hoping that it meant that a photo was attached to the letter.  It WAS!

In September, we sent a $25 gift to Bertille in Burkina Faso.  Bertille turned 9 in November and we always try to send birthday gifts at least 2 months early to allow for travel time. I am amazed at what our children are able to buy with the monetary gifts we send. 

Yishak in Ethiopia used our $25 birthday gift to purchase a goat.


Precious in Ghana was able to have a birthday party with her friends with the $25 we sent the first year we sponsored her. She also bought books, paints, a dress, shoes, sponge, toothpaste and a toothbrush.  All of that with just $25!


Last year with the $25 birthday gift, Precious purchased a backpack, shoes, clothing and biscuits to share with her friends.


Last year, our former Correspondence Child, Yolanda in Guatemala bought clothing, a wool bedspread and shoes with her $25 birthday gift.


While we don’t have pictures, our other children were able to buy a bicycle, clothing, warm coats and other great things with the $25 birthday gifts we’ve sent.

Photos make me so very happy, though.  I was grinning ear to ear to receive this beautiful photo of Bertille with her birthday gifts.


Wow, $25 really went far!  Bertille received a new water jug, a jar of something (possibly dry milk or peanut butter) and at least a dozen saplings.  A friend on Facebook suggested that they are probably Shea trees, which grow really well in Burkina Faso. I just love her beautiful grin!  Bertille’s father has passed away and the letter says that Bertille and her mother are so blessed by this gift.  I pray that the trees grow and thrive and produce well for them.  I am happy to know that Bertille has a clean and sturdy container to carry water.  I keep looking at the photo of this beautiful girl and feel such a sense of gratitude to be able to reach out and help.  It can be so easy to frivolously spend $25 here or there, but it can also be used to make a real impact.

As a side note, I want to thank you all again for the prayers and messages of support I have received since my post on Monday.  This week has been a tough one but your love and encouragement means so much.  I’d like to say that I have been convinced, once again, of the power of prayer.  I cannot get into details at this moment, but something pretty incredible happened yesterday that really illustrates the idea that prayer works.  Sorry to be vague, but I hope to be able to spill some details tomorrow. :)



JD said...

We love getting photos as well, and have also received one this week. It just makes us freak out at the mailbox even harder :D

I love finding out what they were able to purchase with the gifts (birthday, child, family), and it's always amazing how far a little can go when God stretches it!

faithlikemustard said...

Love the goat!!

Robin said...

I know what you mean about seeing that cream envelope in the exciting!! I have never received a photo in the mail, other than when Compassion updates their website (still awesome and so neat to see!) but it would be really cool if I ever did get one. For now, I just love seeing their words and drawings and knowing that they received my words. Thanks for sharing these, Bertille's smile and face just melt my heart. :)

Amy D said...

Awwwww.... We send our kids monetary gifts for their birthdays as well, but we have never gotten a picture of what they bought with it. You are blessed.

Bev Sykes said...

So happy for you! I sent a family gift in October and have not heard what happened to it yet. I was surprised that our Indian girl only bought a dress with the $25 I sent for her birthday, and Pedro in Brasil apparently spent $25 on a pair of shoes, which seems strange. Didn't get a photo of him, but did of her.

Junie said...

Hi Michelle, Thank you for sharing the pictures with all of us. The one of Bertille is so sweet the way she is waving to you and your family in the photo. It makes it so much more personal, doesn't it ? :) We have received pictures some times too. One of our kids received things like a plastic wash basin, soap, sandals etc. One child did receive a goat but we didn't get a picture of that. You and your family are in my prayers Michelle. Love from, junie

Lana said...

What a sweet smile Bertille has!!

Heather said...

yes, I was going to say the same--your recent posts had me excited about a new letter and picture, after birthday and Christmas gifts to our children. Got one letter today, Rajes (in Indonesia) mentions and thanks us for the gift, but no new picture. i don't think we've ever had a new picture of him.

lightenough said...

I just discovered your blog. Thanks for your awesome promotion of child sponsorship! I sponsor 2 children but through World Vision. I appreciated all the ideas you share on your blog about communicating with the children you sponsor. Sometimes I run out of ideas, and I loved your many creative thoughts!

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